Case Number 23989: Small Claims Court


Image Entertainment // 2012 // 94 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Patrick Bromley // June 16th, 2012

The Charge

The legendary band Chicago triumphantly returns.

The Case

I've never really listened to the band Chicago, but I do live in the city of Chicago. I guess this makes me at least half qualified to review Chicago in Chicago (Blu-ray), the new live concert special featuring the classic rock group.

I did grow up with sisters in the early '90s, though, so I'm familiar with just about every one of Chicago's recognizable songs. Their Greatest Hits CD was standard issue for teenage girls in the suburbs during that time, alongside Journey's Greatest Hits and Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell. (Not sure why they weren't listening to anything contemporary.) So I know about half the songs presented here on Chicago in Chicago.

Recorded at the Charter One Pavillion during the band's 2010 tour, Chicago in Chicago does make the city look great, with the band playing right in front of Lake Michigan and a gorgeous night sky. The songs performed include...

* "Ballet for a Girl in Buchannon"
* "Make Me Smile"
* "So Much to Say, So Much to Give"
* "Anxiety's Moment"
* "West Virginia Fantasies"
* "Colour My World"
* "To Be Free"
* "Now More Than Ever"
* "Dialogue Pt. 1 & 2"
* "If You Leave Me Now"
* "Call on Me"
* "Old Days"
* "Hard Habit to Break"
* "You're the Inspiration"
* "Beginnings"
* "I'm a Man"
* "Just You and Me"
* "Saturday in the Park"
* "Hard to Say I'm Sorry"
* "Get Away"
* "Feelin' Stronger Every Day"

This is a pretty good mix of familiar hits (at least for someone whose exposure is limited to radio airplay and the aforementioned sisters) and deeper cuts, which makes sense if this Blu-ray is designed to appeal to fans of the band...and it clearly is. I'm not sure anyone else would be interested in checking it out. Because the Chicago songs I'm most familiar with are all sung by Peter Cetera, it's a little jarring to hear them sung by someone else. It's only jarring to me, of course, seeing as how Cetera left the band back in 1985.

The band is also joined by The Doobie Brothers for an encore consisting of several songs: "Free," "Does Anybody Really Know What Time it Is?," and "25 or 6 to 4." Having never been much of a Doobie Brothers fan, this wasn't necessarily a pairing that got my heart beating. Others will feel differently, I'm sure.

Chicago in Chicago arrives on Blu-ray in 1.78:1/1080i high definition widescreen. The transfer looks fine, but is far from great; detail is very limited (somewhat by design), colors are muted, and there's quite a bit of visible noise throughout. We're given two audio options: a lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio mix and an LCPM 2.0 stereo mix. Both sound roughly CD quality; the DTS-HD track, in particular, fails to make much use of the surround channels, except for ambient crowd noise. I don't really think fans of the band are going to gripe much, but with as far as Blu-ray technology has come, the HD presentation on this disc leaves something to be desired. The only bonus feature is an interview with the band.

So, Chicago in Chicago (Blu-ray) puts me in a difficult position. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it, but it hasn't been made for me. Fans should be aware the technical specs aren't first rate, and that Peter Cetera left the band almost 30 years ago.

The Verdict

It's hard for me to say I'm sorry.

Review content copyright © 2012 Patrick Bromley; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 73

Perp Profile
Studio: Image Entertainment
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080i)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

* None

Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Interview

* IMDb

* Chicago's Official Site