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All That Jazz (Special Music Edition)
DVD disk
May 8, 2007 By: Quigles
All That Jazz (Special Music Edition) order
Director:
Bob Fosse

Actors:
Roy Scheider
Jessica Lange
Leland Palmer

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A drug-addled womanizing director/choreographer feels the pressure brought on by managing his next musical, editing his current feature, and dealing with his girlfriend, ex-wife, and daughter.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Bob Fosse's self-indulgent, self-referential, self-loathing, self-reflexive narcissistic tirade of a film ALL THAT JAZZ is also one of extremely stylish and grungy appeal. It's a musical that seems to despise the business nature of musicals, demonstrating the censorship and artificiality that shines through in even the most "artistic" facets of show business (much of it brought on by the lead character himself). And unlike other musicals, it's filled with song-and-dance routines that don't merely consist of people breaking into song about menial trite, with lyrics that could have just as easily been spoken. I, for one, enjoyed every cynical second of it.

Roy Scheider plays Joe Gideon, the apparent alter ego of film director Bob Fosse. He inhabits the character so well that even the most minor of nuances are communicated right through the screen, and it becomes almost hard to disinterest yourself from his warped journey. The story is presented through flashbacks, real time storytelling, and trippy dream-like hallucinations (with regular conversations between Gideon and the Angel of Death, who's presented as yet another hot female for the lead to try and seduce). Things can get a little hectic and messy during the film, but the morbid style shines right on through. I was reminded at times of the demented boldness you might see in a Stanley Kubrick production. But not even Kubrick was twisted enough to intercut real footage of an open-heart surgery with a grimly over-the-top musical number. That's the type of bizarre act that can only be seen in ALL THAT JAZZ.
THE EXTRAS
This Special Music Edition doesn't contain much in the way of worthwhile extras, but coupled with the improved audio/video, the whole set should even out to be a satisfying purchase for fans of the film.

The previous DVD included: Scene-Specific Audio Commentary (with Roy Scheider), Bob Fosse on Set (5 clips), Interview with Roy Scheider, and the Theatrical Trailer. This DVD features all new extras.

Audio Commentary (with film editor Alan Heim): An informative retrospective commentary filled with interesting stories and bits of trivia.

Portrait of a Choreographer (22:45): Dancers/choreographers discuss the genius of Bob Fosse and his inspiring methods.

Perverting the Standards (7:51): An interview-filled featurette detailing how Fosse was able to vary from the formula of movie musicals.

Making of the Song "On Broadway" (3:36): George Benson delves into his experiences with the film's exuberant opening number.

Movie-Oke: "Take Off With Us" (1:20): A sing-along track with scrolling subtitles/lyrics.

Music Machine: This isn't so much an extra as it is an easy-access chapter guide for the movie's six musical numbers.

Also included are two Photo Galleries, one for Bob Fosse and the other Production, and a foldout DVD Insert featuring information about the director and film.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
ALL THAT JAZZ is an uncompromising autobiographical look at a man who exhausts himself under the pressure of his chaotic lifestyle. Some may be put off by how self-indulgent the film is, but the harsh nature in which the film presents its lavish musical numbers is enough to make up for that. It's the type of movie that even non-musical lovers can enjoy, as it has genuine dramatic weight constantly pushing it. In other words, it's not just a bunch of happy people bursting into song every time they have a small conflict that needs sugarcoating.
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