All That Jazz (1979)

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Released 8-Apr-2002

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Musical Theatrical Trailer
Audio Commentary-Roy Scheider
Interviews-Cast-Roy Scheider
Featurette-Bob Fosse On Set (5)
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1979
Running Time 117:45
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (65:09) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Bob Fosse
Studio
Distributor

Twentieth Century Fox
Starring Roy Scheider
Jessica Lange
Ann Reinking
Erzsebet Foldi
John Lithgow
Case ?
RPI $36.95 Music Ralph Burns


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
English Audio Commentary Dolby Digital 2.0 (96Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.85:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles Croatian
Czech
Danish
English for the Hearing Impaired
Finnish
Hebrew
Hungarian
Icelandic
Norwegian
Polish
Portuguese
Swedish
Turkish
Smoking Yes, in almost every scene
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    All That Jazz (1979) is a brutally honest, semi-autobiographical movie that follows the tragic decline of a brilliantly creative individual, while also providing a glimpse inside the painful and often sad world of the performer and artist. While the movie is excessive, self-indulgent and simply too long, it stands as proof that movies can be artistic and carry a powerful message while being entertaining and thoroughly absorbing.

    The movie was co-produced, co-written, choreographed and directed by the Oscar, Tony and Emmy Award-winning Bob Fosse. Previously, Fosse had earned considerable respect as the choreographer and director of the musical movies Sweet Charity (1969), and Cabaret (1972). In this movie, Fosse again exhibits his talent for creating an inventive, artistic, and well-crafted movie.

    Set on Broadway, the story follows the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune' that beset the very talented director and choreographer, Joe (Roy Scheider). Joe provides one of the most complex, interesting and real characters that I've ever seen in a movie. Joe is mentally and physically exhausted. He is a selfish, obsessive, driven, egotistical, pitiful, likeable, depressed, unconventional, extraordinary, suicidal, self-destructive womaniser, living with guilt and regret which fuels a low self-esteem, despite his obvious creative and artistic brilliance. Joe survives on a diet of prescription drugs, speed, cigarettes, alcohol and women. A workaholic, Joe is choreographing and directing a new Broadway production, while also editing a movie (as the director). The story follows Joe's decline in mental and physical health, and explores his relationships with the women in his life, past and present: his mother, ex-wife, daughter, girlfriend, and the many other women he picks up along the way.

    Stylistically a little similar to Fellini's classic 8 1/2, the movie features a number of fantasy sequences, where Joe discusses his life and feelings with Angelique (Jessica Lange), who appears to represent 'Death'. These sequences provide a lot of depth to his character, and many insights into his psyche, as it is generally here that Joe is honest.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    Considering the age of the movie, the transfer is very good.

    The transfer is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The sharpness and black level are great, but the shadow detail is not. For example, consider the scene in the darkened room at 16:40. Occasionally there is some low level noise, such as at 14:51, but this was very slight and not distracting at all.

    The colour is great for the age of the movie, and the flesh-tones are accurate.

    There are a few MPEG artefacts, but they are all slight and nothing to worry about. For example there is some pixelization, such as at 19:49, some mild posterization, such as at 80:50, and some macro-blocking, such as on the background wall at 39:59.

    Film-to-video artefacts appeared in the form of aliasing, such as the slight shimmer on the background set at 3:06, and on the blinds at 25:34.

    Film artefacts appeared throughout, but they are tiny and not distracting. Early examples can be seen at 2:21 and 5:21.

    There are thirteen sets of subtitles present, and the English subtitles are slightly simplified but accurate.

    This is an RSDL-formatted disc, with the layer change placed during Chapter 13 at 65:09. It is very smooth and not disruptive.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are two audio options on this DVD, the default English movie soundtrack, and an audio commentary, both presented in Dolby Digital 2.0.

    The dialogue quality and audio sync are good.

    The movie features clever use of songs, such as On Broadway, and There's No Business Like Show Business. There are also a number of original and non-original cabaret songs and show tunes with lyrics that tie into the plot, and advance the story. All the music was arranged and conducted by Ralph Burns.

    The Dolby Digital 2.0 audio is not surround encoded, and thus there is no surround presence and activity, or subwoofer action.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    There are an interesting set of genuine extras.

Menu

    A very simple menu, presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, 16x9 enhanced. It is static and silent.

Theatrical Trailer (1:33)

    This trailer is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.85:1, 16x9 enhanced, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

Commentary Track

    Although there are some long gaps, Roy Scheider provides an interesting screen-specific commentary track.

Interviews with Roy Scheider

    These are three short interviews with Roy Scheider, made during the making of this movie.

Bob Fosse On Set

    These are five short behind-the-scenes clips of Fosse choreographing and directing one of the dance numbers in the movie.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    All That Jazz was released on video in Region 1, but is currently unavailable on DVD in Region 1.

Summary

    All That Jazz is perhaps one of those 'love it or hate it' movies. Viewers will be polarised into two camps -- either it's the most boring, overly long, bloated, self-indulgent movie you've ever seen, or alternatively, like me, you may find it one of the most creative, artistic, moving and brutally honest movies you've ever seen.

    The video quality is excellent considering the age of the movie.

    The audio quality is very good considering the age of the movie.

    The extras are genuine and interesting.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Brandon Robert Vogt (warning: bio hazard)
Friday, May 17, 2002
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV-535, using S-Video output
DisplayGrundig Elegance 82-2101 (82cm, 16x9). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationSony STR DE-545
SpeakersSony SS-V315 x5; Sony SA-WMS315 subwoofer

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add)
One of the very best - Peter Morris (read my bio)
Great Fosse! - Byron Kolln (HELLO FOOLS! Read my Bio!)