Directed by Brett Morgen.
Written by Brett Morgen. (Some of this documentary's material is
Starring the voices of Nick Nolte, Hank Azaria, Jeffrey Wright,
Roy Scheider and others.
Release Year: ?
Review Date: 1/31/07
"Chicago 10" was chosen to open the 2007
Sundance Festival, which is in Big Fucking Deal territory, for
sure...thankfully, the Sundance programmers picked right on this
one, directed by Brett Morgen, the documentary filmmaker who has
been nominated for one of his documentaries ("On the Ropes") and had
commercial success with another ("The Kid Stays in the Picture").
His newest film, "Chicago 10", is clearly
meant to not only highlight a turbulent time in American
politics--the 1968 Democratic National Convention, to be
specific--but to inspire a new generation of rabble rousers to get
off their collective keisters and take arms! Talk about a
strange brew: by mixing old news footage from 1967 and 1968 of "The
Yippies", a collection of men and women who opposed the war in
Vietnam and staged rallies against American policymakers all over
the country, as well as crafting an animated film-within-the-film
about the trial of eight of the leaders of these protests, and then
mixing great angry music from the '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s and today,
Morgen's fiery documentary will make some of the more agitated
younger folks of today raise up and fight for their rights!
The film isn't perfect--and, because the
animated portion of the film is mostly a fictionalization of what
really happened during the trial, "Chicago 10" is also occasionally
more drama than documentary--but it certainly is a bold, lively,
entertaining work. The voice work that Morgen wrangled for his
film is quite good--Nick Nolte, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber, Hank
Azaria, Jeffrey Wright and Roy Scheider, to name a few, all worked
for free on this film--and the footage of race relations and police
brutality of the time is still just as shocking today as it was back
then. The characters involved with the Yippie organization are
certainly colorful; for a generation of people like myself who were
not alive when all of this went down, it's a nice history lesson on
one of the last great organized protest of the 20th century in terms
of turnout and effect.
"Chicago 10" got a standing ovation from our
audience, but again, I thought that it was mostly well done, but far
from perfect. Hopefully, the film will get picked up and make
some noise if it gets released later this year.
Rating: $9.50 Show
Comments? Drop me a line at
Bellview Rating System:
"Opening Weekend": This is
the highest rating a movie can receive. Reserved for movies that
exhibit the highest level of acting, plot, character development,
setting...or Salma Hayek. Not necessarily in that order.
"$X.XX Show": This price
changes each year due to the inflation of movie prices; currently,
it is the $9.50 Show. While not technically perfect, this is a
movie that will still entertain you at a very high level.
"Undercover Brother" falls into this category; it's no "Casablanca",
but you'll have a great time watching. The $9.50 Show won't win any
Oscars, but you'll be quoting lines from the thing for ages (see
"Matinee": An average movie
that merits no more than a $6.50 viewing at your local theater.
Seeing it for less than $9.50 will make you feel a lot better about
yourself. A movie like "Blue Crush" fits this category; you leave
the theater saying "That wasn't too bad...man, did you see that
Lakers game last night?"
"Rental": This rating
indicates a movie that you see in the previews and say to your
friend, "I'll be sure to miss that one." Mostly forgettable, you
couldn't lose too much by going to Hollywood Video and paying $3 to
watch it with your sig other, but you would only do that if the
video store was out of copies of "Ronin." If you can, see this
movie for free. This is what your TV Guide would give "one and a
"Hard Vice": This rating is
the bottom of the barrel. A movie that only six other human beings
have witnessed, this is the worst movie I have ever seen. A Shannon
Tweed "thriller," it is so bad as to be funny during almost every
one of its 84 minutes, and includes the worst ending ever put into a
movie. Marginally worse than "Cabin Boy", "The Avengers" or
"Leonard, Part 6", this rating means that you should avoid this
movie at all costs, or no costs, EVEN IF YOU CAN SEE IT FOR FREE!
(Warning: strong profanity will be used in all reviews of "Hard