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NEW All That Jazz (DVD)

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B000MNOY0W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #67,578 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Some great dance numbers here.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 34 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love his warts Aug. 29 2007
By The Man in the Hathaway Shirt - Published on
Format: DVD
I have to admit the title of the DVD, All That Jazz--The Music Edition, puzzled me. Did the last version of the DVD have the music cut out??? Was this just a DVD of the songs, without any movie? Fortunately the naming of the DVD, like so many other things studios do and applaud themselves for, is just a meaningless gimmick. You get the whole movie just as before, in a transfer that looks very good to me. Some reviews called it a "soft print," but I think they're just seeing the photography the way it was intended, with fog filters being used extensively, especially in the scenes with Jessica Lange. Razor-sharp high-contrast cinematography where you can see every pour on the actors' face is a relatively recent phenomenon.

The movie itself harkens back to a different age, one where filmmaking was more personal and more daring. Fosse proves he's as brilliant a film director as he is a stage director. Sound fades in and out and overlap and go echoey. Some of the most dramatic moments are silent. There's rapid cross-cutting and temporal jumps. But none of it is gimmicky, it's all in the service of the story.

Some have criticized that story for being too sympathetic to the Fosse character, played by Roy Scheider in a career-defining performance. (No Oscar?!? Typical.) It's true the script is subtlety very sympathetic to Joe Gideon--despite all his failings, we are offered excuses, not the least of which is his genius. It's true that the screenplay isn't as hard on Gideon as it superficially comes across--this is *not* the hard-hitting, uncompromising, unflinching film that reviewer John Remington thinks it is. He's been "fooled," exactly the way the filmmakers intended. (He's also apparently never seen Fellini's 8 1/2.) Still, it must have been a brave portrait in 1979 to show a main character with an ex-wife and a small daughter popping pills and having open and free sex with every woman who crosses his casting couch. Casting Scheider was a triumph. He has a natural warmth that adds a lot to Gideon's likeability. I cannot imagine the original choice--Richard Dreyfuss--in the role.

The others in the cast are also very effective, from the ex-wife, played by Leland Palmer to the current main girlfriend, played by Ann Reinking. However, you'll note both female characters put pressure on poor Joe Gideon--one to choreography a lame musical solely as her comeback vehicle, one for fidelity only to go to the arms of another man as soon as Gideon takes ill. The other men in his life, mostly annoying producers, managers, agents and competing directors, are portrayed as small and narrow people. Never having worked in his profession, I can't say if this is accurate or not, but again, it *is* designed to make Gideon, for all his faults, look so good. Self-critical All That Jazz is not.

The movie, however, is well-written, directed and paced--until the ending. The last 20 minutes should have been 10. Once Gideon ends up in the hospital the pace starts to drag, and while the final set piece is brilliant and deliciously satirical, it goes on for too long. Still, all that jazz is a very good motion picture and one of the more important films of the 70s. But with a little tweaking, it could have been even better, a masterpiece.

This is Fox's second DVD of the film, and the extras are even more lame than those in the first. So lame they're not worth mentioning, or even checking out by the viewer. A lengthy interview with Schneider would have been nice. If you love this movie this DVD is worth owning, but not for the goodies. I wish Criterion would get its hands on this.
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant movie. Imperfect DVD. Dec 30 2008
By NEIL TOBIN - Published on
Format: DVD
I am a huge fan of Bob Fosse in general, and of this movie specifically. However, the current Special Music Edition DVD (which replaces the now-discontinued original DVD release) has several flaws that prevent me from giving this a full five-star rating.

(1) Incomplete picture: this film deserves to be viewed in a letterbox format that delivers the full picture as the director intended; pan-and-scan is unfortunately the only format provided here.

(2) Dark picture: there's a lot of murkiness in the shadows, much more than in the previous released version. This renders some of the action (especially in Scene 5 with Victoria) nearly invisible.

(3) Commentary thinness: the commentary provided by editor Alan Heim is fun, but could be so much more. Why isn't the scene commentary provided by the late Roy Scheider from the prior DVD release also included on this one? And why haven't other leads (particularly Ann Reinking, who has played such a big part in the resurgence of popular interest in Fosse's work) been tapped to be a part of this?

(4) Special Features filler: unfortunately, there just isn't a lot here. We've got two short featurettes of Fosse colleagues talking about his dances, intercut with numbers from the movie. The rest of the special features menu just raises questions. Why is there an interview with George Benson about recording the opening song, "On Broadway?" It's unnecessary and not at all illuminating. Do we really need a direct menu to all the musical numbers? I thought that's what the scene selection menu was for. And a singalong of "Take Off With Us?" You've gotta be kidding me; what a waste of time and menu space. In their place, imagine what could have been included: how about an overview of his choreography for film, from "Kiss Me Kate" and "My Sister Eileen" forward? Or even better, a non-fictional look at Fosse's life for comparison -- couldn't somebody have talked to the folks at PBS and included its Emmy Award-winning hour-long biography on him, which aired in 1990 but remains unreleased?

I hope that one day, "All That Jazz" finally receives the DVD release it deserves. Until then, the Special Music Edition will have to do.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Bye-Bye life. Bye-Bye happiness. Hello loneliness. I think I'm going to die." March 14 2011
By STEPHEN PLETKO - Published on
Format: DVD

"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. It has eight extras including a "Musical Machine" (that's why this DVD is called the "Special Music Edition").

In conclusion, this is a movie like no other movie I've seen and proves that "there's no business like show business!!"

(1979; 2 hr; wide screen; 20 scenes)

<<Stephen Pletko, London, Ontario, Canada>>

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dance 10, Looks 0 Jan. 29 2008
By David K. Watson - Published on
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The film itself is one of the greats of the past 25 years, but the DVD is one of the lousiest I've seen in a long, long time.

The entire movie is a little dark and slightly fuzzy; the color correction is off throughout. Dingy is the word that come to mind. The better your TV, the more obvious the flaws. It's as if the disc was mastered from some previous-generation tape source instead of a copy of the film print.

The film and its fans deserve better. We can only hope that someone will take the time to do a fresh, new, and careful film-to-digital transfer for release someday soon on Blu-Ray.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fosse's best Sept. 17 2007
By Frank Gallagher - Published on
Format: DVD
bob fosse is regarded as a genius. although he won oscars for directing caberet and his movie on lenny bruce, his genius is universally acknowledged to lie primarily in the field of choreography. All that Jazz contains his best choreography on film, no argument. what else needs to be said?

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