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All That Jazz (Bilingual)

Roy Scheider , Jessica Lange , Bob Fosse    R (Restricted)   DVD
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 17.15 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Choreographer-turned-director Bob Fosse (Cabaret, Lenny) turns the camera on himself in this nervy, sometimes unnerving 1979 feature, a nakedly autobiographical piece that veers from gritty drama to razzle-dazzle musical, allegory to satire. It's an indication of his bravura, and possibly his self-absorption, that Fosse (who also cowrote the script) literally opens alter ego Joe Gideon's heart in a key scene--an unflinching glimpse of cardiac surgery, shot during an actual open-heart procedure.

Roy Scheider makes a brave and largely successful leap out of his usual romantic lead roles to step into Gideon's dancing pumps, and supplies a plausible sketch of an extravagant, self-destructive, self-loathing creative dynamo, while Jessica Lange serves as a largely allegorical Muse, one of the various women that the philandering Gideon pursues (and usually abandons). Gideon's other romantic partners include Fosse's own protégé (and a major keeper of his choreographic style since his death), Ann Reinking, whose leggy grace is seductive both "onstage" and off.

Fosse/Gideon's collision course with mortality, as well as his priapic obsession with the opposite sex, may offer clues into the libidinal core of the choreographer's dynamic, sexualized style of dance, but musical aficionados will be forgiven for fast-forwarding to cut out the self-analysis and focus on the music, period. At its best--as in the knockout opening, scored to George Benson's strutting version of "On Broadway," which fuses music, dance, and dazzling camera work into a paean to Fosse's hoofer nation--All That Jazz offers a sequence of classic Fosse numbers, hard-edged, caustic, and joyously physical. --Sam Sutherland

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Scheider/Lange/Palmer/Gorman ~ All That Jazz

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Stephen Pletko TOP 50 REVIEWER

"To be on the wire is life. The rest is waiting."

The above is said by the main character, Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider), in this movie.

This movie is a semi-autobiographical fantasy based on the life and career of dance man, Bob Fosse (he was also a choreographer, director, screenwriter, and actor). Fosse directed, co-wrote, and was choreographer for this movie.

We follow Gideon's (Fosse's alter ego) life where at this point in his life he starts each day with Vivaldi, Visine, Alka-Seltzer, and Dexedrine (a prescription upper). Gideon has to start each day like this because he is a chain-smoker, a womanizer who cheats on his wife, drinker, takes drugs, and is a workaholic on the road to self-destruction.

This is a movie you either love or hate. For me, I found the dancing frenzied, the dialogue piercing, the photography superb, and the acting first-rate. (Actor Roy Scheider gives a brilliant performance.) This is a great-looking film with some humorous parts that sometimes is not easy to watch.

There are ten song and dance numbers in this movie. Don't worry!! These pieces are integral to the movie, are short and sweet, and in a word are...fantastic. I especially enjoyed these songs (accompanied by dance):

"On Broadway," "Everything Old is New Again," and "Bye-Bye Life" (part of the lyrics is given in this review's title).

In 2001, the U.S. Library of Congress deemed this film "culturally significant" and thus selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.

As well, this movie won four Academy Awards.

Finally, the DVD itself (the one released in 2007) is perfect in picture and sound quality.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By Nix Pix
"All That Jazz" is a semi-autobiographical recounting of Bob Fosse's life. Directed by the master himself, the film follows Broadway producer, Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider)as he spirals into an oblivion of drug addiction, alcoholism and womanizing while preparing to launch his greatest show yet. Joe is ably pushed to the edge of the great beyond by the lovely Angel of Death (Jessica Lange)who eventually gets her wish. This is perhaps the only time in my viewing experience that a musical film has given me chills. The entire plot functions on the mental anguish of its protagonist and his inevitable demise and the final few moments are truly unsettling.
So is FOX's DVD transfer quality; the image suffers from dated - often muddy - colors, washed out and pasty flesh tones, weak blacks, an excessive amount of film grain and various age related artifacts that generally detract from the visual experience. Edge enhancement and pixelization are big problems in certain scenes but others appear to be free of their frustrating inclusion. The soundtrack is Stereo Surround, well balanced though, on occasion, strident.
EXTRAS: An interview with Scheider while he was making the film that is needlessly divided into chapter stops that don't matter. Ditto for several snippets of Fosse at work on the set. The theatrical trailer is also included.
BOTTOM LINE: If you simply can't live without this film - as I could not (for its brilliant story telling vision and disconcerted charm)then I recommend it highly. The transfer, however, will disappoint - especially for a film of seventies vintage!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Celebration of Dancing Bodies March 24 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
ALL THAT JAZZ is a phastasmagoria of memories passing through Bob Fosse's mind as he dies of heart failure. Most of his memories are of his choreography, simply the most spectacular showcase of sexy modern dance on film. Like no other choreographer, Fosse composes his frames for the camera instead of the stage. A must-see for lovers of Terpsechore, graphic design, and photography.

After her plodding performance as a warrior maiden alongside CONAN, 6-foot, statuesque Sendahl Bergman bring life to her stage in her proper profession as a stellar dancer.

A producer remarks at the celebration of body beauty, "There goes the family audience." Definitely not your usual Busby musical comedy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What a dazzlingly engaging experimentation with the medium of film as we take an evocative peep into the life of a showbiz-obsessed director Fosse -- the hedonistic man behind the actual stage version of "Chicago."
Apart from being a truly sexy turn-on of a musical, it hits one out of the park as an exploration of an artist at war with himself. Somewhat indulgent, yes, but it is the brutally honest potrayal of the many imperfections (girls, gin, glitz) of a perfectionist, in all his triumphs and trials, that makes this film a very, very endearing experience.
The bleak undertones may scare the faint-hearted but for them there's all the riveting stage action. A wholesome film that belongs in your own collections, not just in your Blockbuster records.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's show time! April 10 2004
Hard to believe this great movie has so few reviews.
I was impressed from the opening scene of dancers leaping across the stage to the final zipper at the end of the movie the very first time I saw this movie 20-odd years ago, and every time since.
As Joe Gideon's producer said, "every dollar is on the screen".
I had the feeling I was really watching a work of genius. Even if the movie is Bob Fosse's bloated egotistical account of his life and career (not my viewpoint), it is still amazing in its scope. To predict your own death is one thing, but to put into one of the best 20 minutes on film is quite another.
Good acting, writing, directing, cinematography - you name it, it's there.
Sparse extras on the DVD, but worth it for the movie alone.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars It's showtime: a flood of Fosse razzle dazzles
Sometimes the Zeitgeist goes retro in the most entertaining and intriguing ways. A new biography of Bob Fosse, Fosse by Sam Wasson, landed on my desk just before a touring... Read more
Published 20 days ago by Andrew C. Rowsome
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This is one of my husband's favorite movies and I got this copy for his birthday. He was pleased and surprised.
Published 14 months ago by VivianCanada
3.0 out of 5 stars very slow to get here
The delivery was very slow. Came about a week later (maybe more) than stuff ordered the same day from the States. It's a shame! Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2010 by mike alberto
4.0 out of 5 stars Jazz hands!
Broadway choreographer Bob Fosse wrote and directed this movie based on his own life. Fosse is represented by the character Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider) and the film is a series of... Read more
Published on June 5 2009 by Kona
5.0 out of 5 stars Narcissism On Center Stage
The whole point of the movie is Fosse is a narcissistic (...)and freely admits it. He revels in it. Read more
Published on June 27 2004 by J
5.0 out of 5 stars An Incandescent Entertainment
This is vintage Bob Fosse at the height of his game. Roy Scheider portrays Joe Gideon, a pill-popping womanizing workaholic who is literally unable to stop his compulsive bad... Read more
Published on June 8 2004 by Stephen B. Selbst
1.0 out of 5 stars still getting over the film...and I saw it four years ago...
This film sounded really intriguing because I had heard about the legendary Bob Fosse and had also caught him as one of the dancers in KISS ME KATE. Read more
Published on June 5 2004 by D. Pawl
4.0 out of 5 stars has one of the most drawn out death scenes ever !
The good news about this film... some phenomenal choreography, and very strong performances by the ensemble... The bad news... Read more
Published on May 2 2004 by Eddie Landsberg
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of my money
I loved Chicago and thought from the other posted ratings that this would be just as great - or better. It was NOT. I haven't been able to watch the full movie YET!!!!
Published on April 3 2004
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