- This old Marines thoughts 10/8/2018 12:00:00 AM by silvaback-13517
I did not want to watch this movie but took my wife to see it, because we both saw the one with Kris Kristofferson and Barbra Streisand, growing up. The crowd was a lot older than we were(we are almost 50) it was the biggest screen they had at our theater and seats a lot but it was maybe half full on Sunday afternoon. Not one dry eye in the place, it had a great tempo and didn't drag on or have any lulls in the story. We were both very pleased and are still engaging in conversations about the movie. It's my opinion to highly recommend to everyone go out and watch a great movie and a heartfelt movie that redefines love in this time and age we live in. That is my two cents, hope you enjoy as much as we have.
- A Star Is Born 8/31/2018 12:00:00 AM by ventourisspyros-68672
A magnificent movie, captivating performances by Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. The ultimate shock was how brilliant Lady Gaga was, we knew she could sing, but didn't have any idea just how far her acting talent stretches!After watching that I can tell you it stretches far enough to earn her some Oscar gold. The movie is outstanding, the music is annoyingly perfect, the cast is great and everything shouts Oscar worthy movie. Ten out of ten!
- The Lady Is A Star 10/28/2018 12:00:00 AM by johngiovannicorda
This is the 4th version of A Star Is Born I've seen - 5th if you count What Price Hollywood - each version had a life of their own and reflected the times of the time in which it was made. The 2018 version is no exception. For me represented also the revelation of Lady Gaga as a phenomenal film presence. She is, quite simply, superb. Moving, powerful and real. Janet Gaynor had brought a form of overwhelming innocence, Judy Garland exploded in heartbreak in a Hollywood that doesn't exist anymore and she was, unquestionably, memorable. Barbara Streisand was tough with a strong sense of self even during her tribulations. Lady Gaga brings a little of each of them as well as something profoundly personal. Kudos to Bradley Cooper. His Norman Maine has a new name and a totally new presence. At times this version seems more about him than about her. In any case, I loved them both - Bravo!
- A Star is Born Shines (TIFF 2018) 9/22/2018 12:00:00 AM by michaeljohnson-27597
If you're even a casual moviegoer, chances are you have already heard the argument; that originality is dead in Hollywood. We live in an era where even Ghostbusters is no longer sacred. Where you wouldn't be surprised if one of the large studios announced a remake of the Godfather or Citizen Kane. Those remakes might capture some audience members, but those films almost certainly don't capture the audience's hearts. They certainly don't capture the praise critics. They certainly don't take home any major awards.
That all changes with A Star is Born.
Change, however, is a key word when it comes to remakes. (Or remakes of remakes of remakes...) In order to make the venture worthwhile, the film makers not only have to stay close to the ideas of original film, but they have to have a reason to retell the story. It's a delicate balance. Every version of a Star is Born follows a broken celebrity, in the Winter of his career, damaged by years of drinking who is suddenly reborn when meeting a young ingénue. The two fall in love, but while their relationship develops, their entertainment careers go in different directions.
Director and Co-Star Bradley Cooper's film seemingly borrows more from the Streisand/Kristofferson iteration of A Star is Born (the last time this story was retold), as the dynamic between the two lovers hinges on the music industry. When Streisand and Kristofferson remade the film, (for the fourth time at that point) in 1976, they broke one of the aforementioned expectations, as they both took home Golden Globes for their performances. Perhaps Cooper was more inspired by performance, rather than aesthetic, as the acting is one aspect out of many that shines in Cooper's version. The characters of Jackson Maine (Cooper) and Ally (Lady Gaga) drive the entire story in what is essentially a film with only half a dozen notable characters. Cooper and Lady Gaga have amazing chemistry, and from the moment you see the two on screen together for the first time you feel the connection.
First time director, Cooper, deftly creates intimacy between Jackson and Ally, without which the story would certainly not be as successful. In stadiums housing thousands of fans, in small dressing rooms packed with screaming Drag Queens, in a loud dive bar, in the parking lot of an all-night-grocer, Cooper uses tight framing and sound impeccably to make it seem like they're the only two people in the world. You understand his charm, you see her vulnerability, and the two actors give side-by-side stellar performances.
That isn't to take away anything from a small, but powerful supporting cast. There were some brilliant and surprising moments from Dave Chappelle as Noodles, an old friend of Jackson's who reiterates how much Ally has revitalized Jackson. The largest surprise came from Andrew Dice Clay as Lorenzo, Ally's father. Both Clay and Chappelle brought great moments of love and humanity in their criminally small interactions with the two main characters. Sam Elliot also surprised me in his role as Bobby, Jackson's (much) older brother. They explain the age discrepancy, but the rest is self-explanatory as he and Cooper truly are brothers on screen, with all the frustration, fights and familiarity that goes with that relationship. Elliot in his similarly small time on screen, often showed the softer side of his craft, hiding touching instants of sadness when it comes to his difficult relationship with his brother, concealed only slightly by his iconic mustache.
It begs the question, does Cooper deserve all the praise as director, or does the cast? What I can glean from the film is Cooper definitely had his cast on the same page, as regardless of screen time, these actors made you care about their characters. The audience is invested. There are countless pivotal story beats where these characters may do something frustrating or angering. Instead of merely recognizing that these are hurdles to push the story further, I found myself almost vocally upset, akin to yelling at a character in a horror film to not go in the room where the killer is hiding. This film makes you want the protagonists to succeed, even when dealing with topical subplots regarding celebrity, regret, depression and substance abuse.
And that's because you're along for the ride the entire time. You're a part of this love story. The film sucks you in from the beginning with the roar of a raucous concert audience, the hard beat of the drums on Jackson's stage, and his hypnotic swagger as he plays for thousands. If you were one of the millions of people who have seen the trailer for this film, I'm sure you know exactly what I'm talking about (kudos to the promotional department of this film, as that, is an extremely engaging and powerful trailer) but it stems from an extremely engaging and powerful film. The music, much like it did with the trailer gets inside you, not just inside your head where you find yourself humming a gentle country lilt sang by Cooper, it gets inside your heart and soul and rattles around. It repeats over and over until you're the one who doesn't want to let go. While Cooper should be commended for taking his craft seriously and improving his singing, this is where Lady Gaga shines, to no one's surprise.
Ally is a perfect role for her. The performer has spoken about how vulnerable and ugly she felt in some scenes when shooting this film, but it made her so real on screen. Ally's career, much like the first half of the film, blasts off, and all you can do is hold on until you realize the songstress is belting a powerful ballad. You wonder, much like her character "how did we get here" but at that point, you're just happy to be along for the ride. It is a testament to Lady Gaga's ability, because being such an iconic figure, if it weren't for her conveyance of sincerity and humility, the character's journey would seem forced and unfulfilling. Because of Gaga's performance, however, you relish the moment Ally can finally embrace who she is and bravely belt out her songs with no inhibition. In a film with so many moments that grab you, the music is undeniably one of my favorite aspects. I can't wait for this film to get a wider release so the studio can also make the soundtrack available.
If and when Award season comes, and A Star is Born is undeniably a forerunner for several major awards, I think Cooper should be commended simply because as director, he brought everything together. The songwriters, the actors, the cinematography, the sound design was superbly balanced to create the best possible version of this story making it, the brightest star for both critics and audiences.
- Is it a good film? Yes. Oscar material? No. 10/5/2018 12:00:00 AM by superdupersentinel
Let me start by saying that the performances are solid. Not mind blowing but solid. For her first film, Lady Gaga did very well but I can't say she blew my mind...but hey it's her first film and I like her, so good for her. That being said, the film seems to be getting WAY overblown by people. The first act is really great and the chemistry between Gaga and Cooper is phenomenal but after that it sort of devolves into a melodrama. The character development of Cooper's character is lacking. He is an alcoholic and we certainly see him drunk many times but I didn't see enough struggle to justify his character arc not was Cooper's performance powerful enough to convey the devastating agony of addiction. The film then goes through a few cliches as we see Gaga's character ascend to fame but again, we also don't see enough struggle from her character either. In all, the character conflicts are addressed but the film never fully dives into them in the way it certainly could have. I loved the first song of the film but the rest of the music was surprisingly bland and didn't captivate me at all. Lady Gaga obviously has an incredible voice and Cooper held his own surprisingly. Overall it was a good film, not great, just good.