Starring: Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle, Sam Elliott, Anthony Ramos, Rafi Gavron, Greg Grunberg
Written By: Eric Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters
Directed By: Bradley Cooper
Studio: Warner Bros
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The latest remake is A Star Is Born, which has been remade 5 times now. Each time, the story has been altered and updated a bit. This time it stars Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga and it’s very good movie, except you can see things happening a million miles away.
This version of the movie is about legendary country musician Jackson “Jack” Main (Bradley Cooper) discovering a young waitress/singer/songwriter Ally (Lady Gaga) and taking her under his wing. They soon hit it off, even though he’s been dealing with major alcohol and drug issues. Soon enough, they get married and Ally becomes more popular than Jack which causes him to spiral out of control.
I haven’t seen the previous movies of this story but this was an interesting one. Within 5 minutes, I knew something bad was going to happen. Just the writing was on the wall and perhaps Bradley Cooper directed it that way. Maybe he wanted to show the viewer things weren’t going to be this happy, sappy love story. The story felt like I was watching a Lady Gaga biopic in a way, well in terms of how she was in the music industry. In order for her to be seen, had to do these pop songs and wear these crazy outfits. I always thought she had a great voice but didn’t like when she’d wear these outrageous outfits just to stand out. Perhaps seeing this now, I kind of get why she probably did that. Much like the character of Ally, even if you have a good voice, it’s so hard to stand out in a massive group of talented singers.
I like that Bradley Cooper actually sang the songs and played the music. It makes movies so much better when the actors learn or know how to play. The fact that Lady Gaga can sing and perform also makes the movie that much better as well. I thought she did a great job acting, and it was the first time seeing her act since I don’t watch American Horror Story. I thought it felt a little weird seeing Andrew Dice Clay as Ally’s Father. I was just expecting him to break out his routine every time he appeared on screen. Sam Elliott was great but he’s always the same type of character. I laughed when his character told Jack that he stole his voice. I was thinking that the entire time watching the movie.
Even though A Star Is Born has some cliche stuff in it, it’s the chemistry between Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga that makes the movie worth watching. The songs are done really well too, and one of the guys that wrote the music played in the CT ska scene back in the 90s too so that’s kind of cool. I thought the way Bradley Cooper shot the concerts with real audience members made the movie better too. Bohemian Rhapsody couldn’t replicate that size of the crowd but it’s still noticeable. You also find out in the featurettes that Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich was one of the cameraman for the concert footage. In the end though, you just knew something was going to happen tragically and you were expecting it the entire time. At least that’s what I thought.
The extras for the Blu-Ray include a half hour making of The Road to Stardom: Making A Star Is Born, some jam sessions, music videos and the musical moments from the film. The making of was the best part of the extra for me because I was interested to know how Cooper directed the movie and what went into doing it. The jam sessions is them just rehearsing the songs from the movie.
A Star Is Born has some cliche stuff in it like the alcoholic veteran musician, a couple getting married so quickly and a heartbreaking ending. For whatever reason, it still works and I liked the movie a lot. The first time Ally goes on stage to perform with Jack, you can feel it how emotional it was for the characters. You’re a piece of stone if you weren’t moved by that scene. The movie is predictable a little bit but for the most part, people will like A Star Is Born. I just don’t think it’s the Best Picture of the year.
The Road to Stardom: Making A Star Is Born
Jam Sessions and Rarities
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1
English: Dolby Atmos
English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 16-bit)
French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1
Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
English: Dolby Digital 5.1 (448 kbps)
English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish
Bottom Line: A very good movie with great performances from the actors. It’s a bit cliche and predictable though.
Running Time: 136 mins