All That Jazz Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 21, 2015
One of the best films I ever watched in my life.
Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2009
Decent depiction of the toll the daily grind of putting together a new show takes on a director, and the tension between the drive to produce original art and the knowledge that your time has to end eventually. Spacey dream sequences, entertaining dance numbers and the spectre of mortality keep you watching... at least until the bizarre, excessive finale. A rather "out there" film, and one that's more of a "should see" than a "want to see," it's a sharp piece of art but it's probably not for everyone.
Super Reviewer
September 16, 2012
Imagine a vain dancer admiring himself while moving between two mirrors and you've an idea of this work, only that dancer is Bob Fosse, a reality show all by his lonesome, in love with hating himself for loving himself too much, endless reflections stretching to an infinity. Wildly creative and passionate about dance, this is must see for every admirer of musical comedy.
Super Reviewer
June 8, 2012
Clever flashback structure with Angelique on the cluttered "backstage" of Joe's life, sexy and sexual choreography (as expected from Fosse), fantastic performance by Roy Scheider (all the iterations of "It's showtime, folks!"). Really tight story overall about existential angst in life and art with well-timed exposition-while-dancing scenes: Audrey and Joe candidly discussing their failed marriage while she's rehearsing and he's relegated to her barre; Joe, choreographing a routine with his daughter, Michelle, while she fishes for information about his love life. Ann Reinking, as the new woman, is oh-so-slinky in her dance numbers.

The conclusion is much too obvious - so many numbers devoted to regret and loss, all with the faux happy Broadway veneer. It's meant to be ironic, but it becomes self-indulgent at a point. Scheider also doesn't really get any singing or dancing opportunities. He nails the drama, but I wish there could have been at one least number in which he wasn't just dancing around somebody or harmonizing with the angel-voiced Ben Vereen.
Super Reviewer
June 16, 2011
A philandering, chain-smoking choreographer struggles with heart problems, both real and figurative, as he attempts to mount another Broadway hit.
What an amazing film! Bob Fosse's All That Jazz is everything that 8 1/2 and by extension Nine wish they were. It is about both show business and mortality, fucking around and fidelity, and addiction and love. We see this in Joe Gideon's attempts to rev himself up for the life he's chosen for himself like a car that won't turn over. He understands that all of his choices have amounted to his unhappiness but feels powerless to change anything. And the producers who calculate profit off of his potential death and scoff at the artistry of his choreography serve as an unwelcome reminder that for many it's more about the business than the show.
I think my favorite scene is the dance that Gideon's daughter and girlfriend do for him before they serve him dinner. The choreography and their interaction with him are so charming as to melt this cold cynic's heart. More to the point, I thought, "Why is it that those who are most loved realize it the least?" Then I saw the reaction shots, showing Gideon laughing uproariously. He does realize it, but nothing can re-direct his life's course, which sets up the truly tragic but fitting ending.
Bob Fosse's remarkable choreography is all over All That Jazz, and this is the film to disprove those who think that dancing isn't a truly effective form of artistic communication. Additionally, Roy Scheider's performance is fantastic; who knew that the dude from Jaws could sing and dance?
Overall, this is one of the best musicals ever made, full of fantastic numbers, great acting, and a substantive story.
Super Reviewer
½ August 5, 2010
The last 45 minutes or so of this show were very very good. The last 15 minutes FANTASIC! I loved it...If you love broadway, showbusiness, choreography ect. You will love this movie!
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2010
One of the few musicals i can tolerate, and even like.
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2010
Really liked this movie a lot more than I thought I would. I think it was the editing that some might find annoying but I thought it was perfect for the story. Roy Scheider is great, but I was really impressed by the dancers and their naturalistic performances.
Super Reviewer
January 20, 2010
Vulgar, decadent, autobiographical musical about Bob Fosse. Interestingly, the portrait is not flattering despite being written, directed, even choreographed by Fosse himself. There is real self -loathing here as the film challenges the viewer to care for the main character. He's morally repellent and downright unpleasant. Joe Gideon's constant daily routine is Vivaldi, Visine, Alka-Seltzer, Dexedrine and sex. He juggles multiple women, including a wife and girlfriend as his health deteriorates. Overly affected and self indulgent fantasy sequences in which he flirts with the angel of death are intercut with graphic scenes of real open heart surgery. Even the dance numbers feel overwrought. AirRotica, one of his most flamboyant, tries to be so aggressively erotic, it's actually humorous. Shockingly overrated, it was nominated for Nine Academy Awards. Roy Scheider has a real presence in the leading role. As for the rest? I just didn't get it.
Super Reviewer
April 28, 2008
Roy Scheider gives a good performance of a basically unlikable person and most of the dancing is very good but the overall tone and feeling of the film is off putting.
Super Reviewer
½ January 29, 2007
although held back by an unothodox style and pacing of the music, the film excelled in enough areas so as to not only balance it out but to overcome the flaws to make for a very good movie. the commentary on death in the final act was obviously the strength and scheider gave a great performance.
Super Reviewer
March 18, 2008
After years of battling drugs dealers, murderers and sharks, Roy Scheider really shines in this dark musical based on the life of Bob Fosse, who was previously involved in Cabaret, Chicago and Damn Yankees. The ending of this movie (with Ben Vereen) is one of favorite endings.
Super Reviewer
½ August 12, 2007
I kind of had a 3-star attitude about All That Jazz throughout most of the movie. I don't like musicals but seeing as how this one was darker and more character-driven I was able to get past my own bias. Roy Scheider was great and Ann Reinking was cute as all hell. Once the inevitable kicked in about 2/3 of the way through and the extended (as in often too long) musical and dance numbers kicked in I started losing interest. The hospital scene with the old woman on her death bed left me speechless. And Jessica Lange is a foxy Angel of Death. In the end I liked All That Jazz, but I probably don't need to see it again.
Super Reviewer
September 17, 2007
Incredibly over-the-top and really typifies the area where reality meets illusion. The style takes some getting accustomed to but the dance numbers (oh wow, oh god wow) are really something. Oh mann Anne Reinking.
Super Reviewer
April 19, 2007
Fosse's most personal and flamboyant work. One of my all time favorite films.
Super Reviewer
August 21, 2007
The word phantasmagoria in the synopsis here is a good description of this odd picture. Not an autobiography, but Scheider plays a thinly veiled version of Fosse himself. I couldn't really identify or connect with anybody or anything in this strange movie. The music and dance wasn't all that impressive and I couldn't find any solid meaning to hook me to the story.
Cameron W. Johnson
Super Reviewer
August 17, 2014
"I know a whoopee spot, where the gin is cold, but the piano's hot; it's just a noisy hall, where there's a nightly brawl, and all that jazz!" Man, that song is now so deep in my had that I just had to make that reference, even though it's not especially cleverly ironic, considering that this film's title really is a direct reference to that song. That's right; if you're the kind of person who has always wanted them to make some sort of property based on the opening number in a musical, well, congratulations, because this film stands as evidence to your not being the only weirdo to think that. Well, you're probably the only one alive who thinks that, because Bob Fosse is dead, and if he was really as busy as this film says he was, I'm surprised juggling the film "Lenny", the musical "Chicago", and all sorts of other jazz (Tee-hee) wasn't what killed him. Yeah, this film isn't actually directly about the song "All That Jazz", but it was the closest thing we got to an adaptation of Fosse's "Chicago" until 2002, and even then, it seems more like a rip-o-I mean, companion piece to Frederico Fellini's "8 1/2", because it's yet another pseudo-surrealistic semi-autobiopic about the struggles of being a filmmaker. This film scored the Palm d'Or, so I guess Fosse's playing to the European crowd worked out, but don't go worrying that this film is a dull as "8 1/2", because it's got... song and dance numbers (Cue - you guessed it - "jazz" hands)! Well, as entertaining and, for that matter, rewarding as this film is in a lot ways, it still has more than a few aspects to challenge your attention.

Tonally uneven, this drama alternates between lively and tongue-in-cheek, maybe even rather blue humor, and heavy, almost existential dramatics which, even by their own right, fail to keep consistent with subtlety. I don't suppose the subtlety lapses are ever all that considerable, but they're decidedly present, found within melodramatics, if not an almost abrasive overemphasis on visuals and set pieces which aim to compliment themes regarding the monotony and stresses of life, and, of course, the consequences of excess in life. This film doesn't seem to be quite as vulgar as they say (Well, why did we have to see the surgery sequence?), but it's still a little obscene, as well as a little tonally abrasive in its betraying the potential sophistication of this character study, leading to an intellectual unevenness to accompany tonal unevenness, and focal unevenness. Between aspects of the lead's love/sex life, family, career and fascination with mortality, this film juggles a lot of branch, and sub-branches to largely be so driven by a single individual, and simply can't keep up with it all, jarring back and forth in an almost exhaustingly convoluted manner whose monotony is exacerbated by other forms of excess. Focal inconsistency derives from, not simply too many segments, but too much focus on each segment, reflecting fat around the edges of storytelling that, with all of the other abrasive aspects, leads to a sense of repetition, if not utter monotony. The film is about as inspired as it is ambitious, and is ultimately rewarding, though not as fulfilling as it could have been, as it's too overblown to keep consistent in tone, focus, pacing and subtlety, and almost too overblown to compel. Of course, the final product manages to engage through and through, or at least entertain thoroughly, partly because of its musical flavor.

Featuring anything from Vivaldi masterpieces and an original Ralph Burns bebop score, to delightful mainstream and show tunes, this film's backing soundtrack keeps the musical value of the film pretty sound in between the song and dance numbers, which are underused, but well worth the wait, with that classic Bob Fosse snap, flare and audacity. These musical numbers simply mark heights in a solid style that makes this a fairly glamorous film throughout its course, and supplements an entertainment value which still can't completely carry the engagement value of this promising drama. Convolutedly overblown with branches, this film's story concept is even overambitious, and the missteps in its interpretation betray the potential, but this remains a very worthy plot, which touches upon themes regarding glamor and sleaze of show business, and how it can corrupt a man of vision, lust and pride, if not obsession and excess, broken up by themes on existence and mortality which secure the sophistication of this film's subject matter to back an intriguing plot. There is a lot of potential behind this film, and Robert Alan Aurthur's and Bob Fosse's script stand to fulfill it more thoroughly, but even with its excessiveness, it too endears pretty thoroughly, with sparkling dialogue highlights which reflect a wit whose incorporation into even some of the more blue comedy snap and liven things up, while depth is brought into the storytelling by rich characterization. Most every supporting role is tightly drawn as memorable by its own right, - with the help of across-the-board charismatic performances - as well as complimentary to the depths of the leading Joe Gideon character's story, truly carried by Roy Scheider, who, in one of the defining performances of his career, captures the charisma of a sleazy artist with an impeccable charm, until humanizing the role of a flawed, doomed mortal with powerful emotional layers which range from engrossing to near-penetrating. Scheider is a revelation, but not even he can secure the reward value of this drama, thus, it all falls on Fosse's direction to make or break this film, and considering Fosse's ambition and abilities, he delivers more often than not, with a style that, while often abrasive, colors up brisk momentum and sustains thorough entertainment value which holds your attention, until your investment is secured by thoughtful, maybe even subtly delicate moments of dramatic inspiration. The film is moving when it most needs to be, and a lot of fun the rest of the time, and although it could have been a little more consistent, it compels enough to reward as a lively and intelligent drama.

When the curtain falls, tonal, intellectual and focal inconsistencies reflect an excess that is particularly found within an overdrawn and often repetitious structure which threaten the final product's reward value, firmly secured by the lively soundtrack and musical numbers, intriguing story, clever script, strong performances - the strongest of which being by an outstanding Roy Scheider - and inspired direction which make Bob Fosse's "All That Jazz" a thought-provoking, compelling and, of course, fun exploration of the show business and mortality itself.

3/5 - Good
Super Reviewer
July 11, 2007
Before I ever saw Chicago or Caberet, I saw his biopic of Bob Fosse and it was also the first time that I saw Roy Scheider do something other than chase sharks. I thought he did a marvellous job.
Super Reviewer
June 15, 2010
Bob Fosse's dazzling, marvelously surrealistic film which is loosely based on his own life. Joe Gideon is a womanizing, chain-smoking, pill-popping director-choreographer, played brilliantly by the late great Roy Scheider, in a sensational Oscar nominated performance, which is the finest of his career. Gideon's life is a frantic mess, he is directing a big Broadway musical while trying to edit his over-budgeted motion picture about a "Lenny" like-stand up comic, as well as trying to deal with his girlfriend, ex-wife and daughter, while bearing his troubles to an angel in white, wonderfully played by Jessica Lange, who could really be death in disguised. Gideon is literally burning himself out and is inevitably heading down the path towards his own death. Terrific Oscar nominated direction by Bob Fosse, with stunning dance sequences choreographed by him, and expert supporting performances by Leland Palmer, Ann Reinking, Cliff Gorman, Ben Vereen and Erzsebet Foldi. This memorable motion picture earned 9 Academy Awards nominations including Best Picture, Best Director: Bob Fosse, and Best Actor: Roy Scheider. Highly Recommended.
Super Reviewer
September 1, 2007
Its basically just a reworking of "8 1/2", but that's not a bad thing. Fosse's self hatred demonstrated here is uniquely interesting because as much as he berates himself for all his personal problems, he's also able to acknowledge that he was rather talented (there are some great dance sequences in this film.).
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