All That Jazz - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

All That Jazz Reviews

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½ June 10, 2017
I don't particularly like this film, which isn't to say I dislike it. It has a very strong central performance from Roy Scheider, which is all the more remarkable when you focus on just how trite and badly written the central character is. The film has a lot of sequences that are remarkably put together, and it's also got a lot of plain outright stupidity. I'm less interested in what the film has to say about Fosse than in what the fact that he made it has to say about him. This is the product of a rather dazzling mix of raging ego and vicious self-loathing. Ultimately. I don't know why I should care about Joe Gideon. Everyone in the film loves him to death (perhaps literally), but he has no admirable qualities outside his talent.
½ May 13, 2017
Featuring electrifying dance scenes, vicious editing, and the heart and soul of show business, "All That Jazz" is a surreal and unique performing arts drama.
April 14, 2017
All That Jazz is an unforgiving portrait of a drug-abusing, sex-obsessed, and egomaniacal dancer with a heart like rusted metal.
½ February 11, 2017
I prefer the Simpsons episode homage to this flick, and i can't look at the film without thinking about the cartoon version.
Saw it in theater, then, wdn't pay to see it again.
February 4, 2017
Musical theatre and dance aren't really my thing, so some of director/choreographer Bob Fosse's epic and excoriating paean to himself was probably lost on me. But it is epic and not unrelated to Fellini's 8 1/2, which also took the director's own life as a starting place for an extended fantasy/nightmare. Roy Scheider is the surprising lead (surprising because he never seemed like a song-and-dance man to me) and he pulls off the chain-smoking, speed-taking, rascally irresponsible promiscuous character just fine, including the singing/dancing finale. I'll admit that the film drags at times: I had more than enough of the clips of Cliff Gorman playing Lenny Bruce riffing on Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's stages of death, a scene from the movie (presumably Lenny, 1974) that Gideon/Fosse is editing while also getting a Broadway show together. Of course, death is a main theme here because Fosse had been warned that is was being hastened by heart problems (presumably brought on by his lifestyle; he eventually died of a heart attack in 1987). The film maintains a reasonably linear trajectory but bounces in and out of reality, presumably lingering in Gideon/Fosse's thoughts or even perhaps in the immediate anticipated afterlife (where Jessica Lange plays an angel) and dance sequences are liberally spread throughout, culminating in that finale. You don't feel that the musical setpieces interrupt the story - they _are_ the story - and Fosse had the balls to make them his story.
December 22, 2016
9.5/10, 12-21-2016.

Original rating: 5-16-2013 (8/10)
½ November 2, 2016
Director Bob Fosse has fashioned a stunning, thoughtful song-and-dance spectacle about the realization of his own mortality, channeled through Roy Schneider in the performance of a lifetime.
August 8, 2016
Roy Scheider plays a womanizing, pill-popping, and egotistical theater director who is a (very thinly) disguised version of co-writer/director Bob Fosse. All That Jazz follows this director as he battles to stage an elaborate musical while his declining health and atrophied relationships crumble around him. All That Jazz is often compared to Fellini's 8 1/2 since it features a self-destructive auteur wading through hallucinatory sequences as his doomed production steadily fails. It's not even remotely fair to compare All That Jazz to such a universally beloved classic, but it still comes out looking good thanks to its beautifully staged dance routines, daring story structure, and some impressive acting from a cast personally affected by Fosse's proclivities both on the stage and off.
½ June 23, 2016
So unlike most Musical films All that Jazz serves as an absolute standout in that genre of film. It involves more dialogue and the musical numbers don't happen the way most of these films do. They actually serve more of a purpose here and are so well choregraphed. For Roy Scheider I must say this is a serious departure from French Connection and even Jaws this is some remarkable work here. This Semi-biographical film portrays aspects of director/dancer/choregrapher Bob Fosse who also is the director of this film.
Like Fosse the movies main character Joe Gideon is also a director Choregrapher and former dancer. Gideon is looking to direct a worthwhile broadway musical but he is also working on editing a Hollywood film. At the same time he is a heavy drinker and smoker. Gideon experiences many stressful days both in his professional life and personal life. It gets to the point where it where you wonder if he may actually die as he has continuous visions of the angel of death whom he confesses his secrets too.
The film as expected has a very jazzy 70's swagger to it. its probably the least musical esque film u'll ever see as it's more a character driven film. It does have the presumed musical numbers but it focuses more on how a director carries on life while dealing with the stress of making a musical production. It also takes time to delve right into the idea of death and kinda brings to life the idea of working one self to death.
Not to point out the obvious but it seems like every movement and every scene is choreographed like its done in a way like a rehearsal for a play. It's less a movie about being in the moment and more a film about getting each scene right which is quite a different way to direct. The mother daughter musical routine was really cute and shows how the movie also was really fun for the cast. To be honest all the numbers were dope. Overall bob fosse directs in a manner that resembles a stage play director and it really makes him stand out. The editing was excellent and so was the cinematography
Roy scheider delivers one of the most fascinating performances of his career here. he commands presence in each scene and brings a lot of ego and intrigue to this role of joe Gideon. Gideon is a a guy who is at the top of his game but deep down he struggles with trying to hold everything together. I like how this character study wasn't done overly dramatic but it still got that idea across.
I think this maybe my favorite musical along with Chicago. Go check this out especially if you love musicals.
May 20, 2016
'Nothing wrong with me (that) a rewrite of the show wouldn't cure.'
½ April 22, 2016
Outsprung from a chaotic depressed mind. Artistical visions are sent out like radiowaves from dancing bodies. Death will come, though not easy. Too long, too messy.
Super Reviewer
April 12, 2016
Good, but not as good as it thinks it is.
½ March 14, 2016
The numbers are fantastic but the rest falls pretty flat for me.
October 2, 2015
SUPER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
September 5, 2015
Felt like a dying man's last apology... depressing but well done, and fantastically acted.
Update: Rewatched this recently and I'm upping it a full star. Powerful, depressing and beautifully sardonic. Probably one of the most honest and truthfully representational biopics ever made.
August 21, 2015
WOW, incredible movie about death and regrets !
½ August 5, 2015
Bob Fosse hired Giuseppe Rotunno's to serve as his cinematographer. It is clear that the idea her is to apply some Fellini-like style to his bold and brave 1979 film. Filled with some truly thrilling moments -- the opening sequence is awe inspiring. But the really interesting aspect of this near masterpiece is the fact that the film doesn't even attempt to hide that it is inspired the filmmaker own life of art, sex and excess. By the time this angry movie reaches its abrupt and grim ending, you're left exhausted and amazed. An innovative, Fellini-esque and magical dance into the void. Brilliant, iconic and a Cinematic Masterwork.
Super Reviewer
July 26, 2015
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.
July 5, 2015
I remember looking at the title image for this film and even though it's bright and dazzling, I always felt like there was a hint of despair and sadness behind it, just from the angle of it and that fact that it's surrounded by nothing but darkness, showing the hollow and cruel other side to the business. Coupled with the way the trailer was shot and what the film is actually about, I feel like what I've said about the title fits perfectly, and the fact that it is semi-autobiographical makes it all the more compelling and shocking. Honestly, the only part I feel that makes it 'semi-autobiographical' are the last few seconds. 'All That Jazz' is such a fantastic experience.

This is a very brave film and it's such a brilliant achievement, it's so unique and once more, Fosse makes something hugely influential, his direction in this film was perfect, he was a man who knew his craft well. It had an awesome introduction and it was so fast, the film feels fully alive and, much like our main character, it just kept going. Like other Fosse works, the film is funny but in a very dark and cynical sense, the characters are very well written and the acting is perfect, Roy Scheider is perfect in the film and fully jumps into character, you truly believe the way his character ends up as the film goes on. Unbelievable to think that he wasn't nominated for an Oscar more times than he was, it's a shame. It is also smartly filmed and excellently edited, even though in just one or two scenes it seemed like it cut so quick that I couldn't understand what a character said or it seemed like they were cut off. Perhaps it was only done these few times on purpose as these were the only times I noticed and the editing did win an Oscar; although, it's funny, when films that have won an Oscar for editing I always seem to find an issue with it somewhere.

Joe mentions Kubrick at one time but this film did have a very Kubrick-esqe feel to it, the use of music playing in the background throughout an entire scene but having it compliment it as opposed to being a song used for a particular moment felt like something from a Kubrick film. There were a couple points in the film where it was a simple lullaby-sounding song and given what Joe was going through at that time, made it extra saddening. We see him editing 'Lenny' throughout the film but I thought it'd be funny if it was Dustin Hoffman we saw in that footage, but it was the original actor who played Lenny in the show but not in the film, but at least everything worked out, sort of. Although, Hoffman didn't mention Roy in his speech, when he was mentioning all the other nominees, oddly; but perhaps he forgot. It felt a little bit forced that the film deals with the death-obsessed character and he just so happened to be editing something where a character kept talking about death and it kept playing whenever something was going wrong. There isn't much you can do about that given the circumstances and what he was editing so it can't be called a coincidence.

I was a little confused at first as one of the 'fake' performances happens at the start for a little bit but nothing like that happened again, but that is until the excellent ending. I'm honestly quite surprised by what happened after an hour in this film, I had no idea what would happen next, the film was already dark but the way this film concludes it's like it was laughing into the abyss, whilst also being hugely sad. Fosse's films usually end rather suddenly but each film seems to end more suddenly than the last, this film slaps you in the fast so fast and then just ends that you are just in total shock by what just happened.

Once more, Bob Fosse makes a hugely entertaining, deep, funny, cynical and influential film, it's such a shame he only managed to make a handful of films but as this film shows, he was always busy but he did pretty well for himself with his films. This film probably should have won more Oscars, but as should many more films of 1979. 'All That Jazz' is a perfect film, with excellent performances, a perfect tone, excellent musical numbers and just embraces itself so much.
May 27, 2015
It's a biographical movie of Bob Fosse, a Broadway choreographer and director, who joined scripting and directed the movie by his own. He takes a look back and musicalize his foreseen death. It's not negative nor decadent but entertaining for everyone probably because it's something like homage to musicals Bob Fosse loved. The title comes from the song 'All That Jazz' in the musical 'Chicago' which he scripted and choreographed. Bob Fosse suffered from heart attacks which killed him 8 years after the release of All That Jazz' when he was 60.
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