A Star Is Born (v4) 2018: Review by Kush Hayes
Twitter was maybe a year in the main stream when I heard the phrase “Lady Gaga killed it in Texas” I didnt know what that meant and soon later would be subjected to some of the strangest music videos I wouldnt care for: #OldManKushTenYearsAgo. Then as time goes on she starts showing that shes more than this gimmick originally projected to the world. She has legit talent and is pretty versatile with instruments. Then she crosses over into television and film and you know this woman is going to be a powerhouse.
I had never heard of the previous A Star Is Born movies, this is the fourth edition of this story. Seems to be generational. The last one was in 1976 with Kris Kristofferson and Barbara Streisand. Thats 42 years ago, so most would say this was overdue and maybe we should be seeing the fifth one at this point?
Hearing that Bradley Cooper is not only staring in this, in the Kris Kristofferson role but he’s also directing, was fascinating to me. I didnt see this guy ever taking over responsibilities behind a camera. To get to the point Bradley Cooper can direct. This is a strong directorial debut. Especially on a risky project with as much history as it has that I was unaware of.
Cooper knows where to take this character, knows where to show its strengths and its absolute embarrassing vulnerable spots. He takes Lady Gagas character from the mundane and throws her into the whirlwind of professional entertainment.
This movie has a great soundtrack. I had the pleasure of seeing it on the Dolby screen and the sound is just fantastic, especially when we are talking about live performances and our main character is losing his hearing which is part of the experience we deal with on this journey.
Kush, what is this about? Please…
Youd think this was about a musician losing his hearing, finding a woman with an amazing voice to coax him through his last days of a career that will be affected by the loss of his audible senses. And thats kind of there? However, this is the story of an cartoony alcoholic like one would see in an after school special, except hes got money. This alcoholic wanders into a bar after a show one night, looking for nothing more than a drink. He sees a female singer. Love at first sight. They hang out all night. He asks her to go on tour with him, she says no, he says “c’mon”, she replies, “I cant, I have this shitty life”. But then shes triggered and accepts his offer, is immediately put on stage and kills it in Texas. Although this may have been Arizona.
Its immediately brought to her attention hes an alcoholic, but she thinks she can ride it out. You think she makes this decision based on a past experience with her father, however, father, played by Andrew Dice Clay, solid dude. Some less than realistic memories of a singing career he never had, however not a bad guy, nor a bad performance. ADC is great in this and its him and Sam Elliott who plays the older brother to Bradley Coopers character, who you wish were in more of this movie. More on these two later.
Its once Lady Gagas character breaks through the ceiling, that the movie just kind of drags. It loses the charm it carried in the first hour. We just go through the motions. Lady Gaga becomes a pop sensation. Even getting Grammy nominations out the gate. She gets pulled left and right, but its the actions of Coopers alcoholic character that drags her down.
Thats the movie in a nut shell, it has a sad ending. Thats all Ill say. In 2018s game of “How much time should we cut from this?” the answer is take 30 minutes off the 2 hour 15 min saga this is.
Again, great sound, great music. This movie wants to be an early contender for the Oscars. I think the best it will do is Golden Globes. Although Sam Elliott and Andrew Dice Clay I believe could be the ones to come out with Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actors.
Theres a lot of great in this movie but the runtime drags it down.
4 out of 6 blueberries.