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All That Jazz

Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: A-
Video/Audio/Extras: B/A-/C+

Directed by: Bob Fosse
Written by: Bob Fosse and Robert Alan Aurthur
Produced by: Robert Alan Aurthur
Starring: Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Leland Palmer, Ann Reinking, Cliff Gorman, Ben Vereen, Michael Tolan
Buy it!, Buy it, rent it or skip it: Buy it

During the whole hippie era of the 1970's, many films started to become labeled as acid trips due to their sheer strangeness. Sometimes, these films are good and sometimes they aren't. Examples of bad acid trips are Tommy and the recent Donnie Darko. An example of a great acid trip would have to be the subject for this review, Bob Fosse's All That Jazz. The same creator of the hippie-themed Hair, Bob Fosse has been known for creating strange Broadway musicals. I mean, who ever thought about doing a musical about women killing people and then becoming famous for it? Although, the creator of Rocky Horror Picture Show was probably much more strange than Fosse ever was.

Roy Scheider gives a wonderful performance as Joe Gideon, a Broadway choreographer set on making the biggest play of the decade. Unfortunately, him turning to drugs and sex makes him fall apart from the daughter that he loves (Leland Palmer). Sometimes, Joe goes into a dream sequence by talking to an allusion named Angelique (Jessica Lange). Meanwhile, Joe is in the midst of editing a documentary about a stand-up comic and ends up in the hospital because of a drug overdose.

Bob Fosse is very well-known nowadays for creating the hit show Chicago. However, we was also an acclaimed film director with hits such as Cabaret. All That Jazz is a wonderful addition to his resume and features already aforementioned great performances form Roy Scheider and Jessica Lange. The music is also a delight with some of my personal favourites being "On Broadway" and "I Think I'm Going to Die." The editing is some of teh best that I have seen and Joe's dreams and real-life scenes combine perfectly. Star spotters watching All That Jazz should also watch out for "before they were famous" cameos by John Lithgow and Wallace Shawn.

Fox has provided us with a nice DVD with good video, wonderful sound and a cute smattering of special features. The first extra is an audio commentary by Roy Scheider who provides some interesting points mostly about the late Bob Fosse. He also talks about how he chose to potray Joe and filming the scenes. Roy Scheider then returns again for some interviews, obviously done on the set of the film since he is in costume. Similiar material occurs in an extra that I love. We see Bob Fosse on set directing the actors. Personally, I am a huge fan of behind-the-camera sort of things and this fits the bill easily. The trailer for All That Jazz appears as well as previews for The Marilyn Monroe Collection, Oklahoma, The Rose, The Sound of Music and South Pacific. The disc also opens with a promo for Fox DVDs.

Sure, the extras aren't that great, but the DVD is rather cheap so it's worth buying. People who are fans of Bob Fosse should also buy this bargain disc.

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