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A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

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A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Old 10-07-18, 10:24 PM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by johnnysd

If anything he was positioned more as a folk rock singer that had gradually moved into harder rock territory. Nothing about him suggested either country or southern rock. He felt much more like a drunk Springsteen if anything than what you suggest.
Springsteen was a "New Dylan" who rose to fame in the early 70s.

Name 3 male folk rock singers who became HUGELY famous in the 1990s. Note that they would have to be so famous that in 2018 they would be still be instantly recognizable to white male cops and black female grocery clerks and drag queens.

If you talk like Sam Elliott, you talk like a cowboy. Cowboys are generally associated with country music.

Originally Posted by johnnysd
Also, the producer was presented as a Simon Cowell "pop packaging" type of producer so that transition made sense as well.
Yes, and SC works with YOUNG singers and directs that music to teen audiences.

I'll say it again, Ally is not young and her only claim to fame is doing duets with an older folk rock / hard rock male singer.

Originally Posted by johnnysd
There are also TONs of super famous singers outside of the media fueled genres like fake crap country, and modern pop that are famous enough to have that type of recognition. I doubt Enya could go to too many places without being recognized as an example.
I bet Enya could walk through 99% of the grocery stores in America --wearing an "I am Enya" t-shirt-- and not be recognized.
Old 10-07-18, 11:15 PM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Count Dooku
Springsteen was a "New Dylan" who rose to fame in the early 70s.

Name 3 male folk rock singers who became HUGELY famous in the 1990s. Note that they would have to be so famous that in 2018 they would be still be instantly recognizable to white male cops and black female grocery clerks and drag queens.

If you talk like Sam Elliott, you talk like a cowboy. Cowboys are generally associated with country music.



Yes, and SC works with YOUNG singers and directs that music to teen audiences.

I'll say it again, Ally is not young and her only claim to fame is doing duets with an older folk rock / hard rock male singer.



I bet Enya could walk through 99% of the grocery stores in America --wearing an "I am Enya" t-shirt-- and not be recognized.
I kinda see your point but at the same time it presupposes that a singer in his mid 40s, could not have possibly rose to semi-super stardom as a rock (whatever flavor) singer over the last decade assuming the film is set in modern times. And I just don't buy that, music tastes change and sometimes a singer will just find a niche. Not super stars but as example look at the rapid rise of Greta Van Fleet singing 1970 ish rock. I hear them played on the juke box often enough that they are getting close to being really famous in a genre that does not generally fit into today's demographic.

I will try and find the article, but I picked Enya for a reason because I expected you would dismiss her as being famous. She has sold 75 million albums or so, and unlike some musicians is known internationally. She does not like attention and has essentially become a recluse in her castle, because she was being recognized wherever she went be that in Ireland, the US or elsewhere.
Old 10-08-18, 09:32 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

The Ringer brings up a good point : You pay over $100 a pop to go see a Jackson Maine concert, you wait patiently as he doesn't play his biggest best song, saving it for an amazing, mind-blowing encore, then instead he brings out his unknown girlfriend and they sing a song that nobody has ever heard before, and then they leave! The audience should have been PISSED!
Old 10-08-18, 09:46 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Decker
The Ringer brings up a good point : You pay over $100 a pop to go see a Jackson Maine concert, you wait patiently as he doesn't play his biggest best song, saving it for an amazing, mind-blowing encore, then instead he brings out his unknown girlfriend and they sing a song that nobody has ever heard before, and then they leave! The audience should have been PISSED!
Everyone got over it once they realized they were at the debut of a major star
Old 10-08-18, 10:08 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by johnnysd
I kinda see your point but at the same time it presupposes that a singer in his mid 40s, could not have possibly rose to semi-super stardom as a rock (whatever flavor) singer over the last decade assuming the film is set in modern times. And I just don't buy that, music tastes change and sometimes a singer will just find a niche. Not super stars but as example look at the rapid rise of Greta Van Fleet singing 1970 ish rock. I hear them played on the juke box often enough that they are getting close to being really famous in a genre that does not generally fit into today's demographic.

I will try and find the article, but I picked Enya for a reason because I expected you would dismiss her as being famous. She has sold 75 million albums or so, and unlike some musicians is known internationally. She does not like attention and has essentially become a recluse in her castle, because she was being recognized wherever she went be that in Ireland, the US or elsewhere.
It is not my intention to fixate on this subject and (perhaps) imply that the movie was deeply flawed. I thought it was excellent and moving.

Let me explain it this way.

When one makes a movie and presents a character as famous, and their level of fame is VERY important to the movie's plot, there are two ways for the film to handle that.

One is to provide appropriate backstory and many specific details that contextualize their fame.

The other, and easiest, way is to paint a broad portrait that includes a few very specific character details that draw a clear parallel to someone the audience would immediately recognize. (We knew in Rocky that Apollo Creed was Ali based on just a few character beats.)

As an example, I have read numerous articles/reviews of the movie that refer to Maine as a country singer, but you (for one) insist he is a fading rock star. There should not be any reason for anyone who watched the movie to be confused about such a point. It is not really an important point, but it is something Cooper could have handled easily.

My belief is that Cooper is no fool, and he kept a lot of details about Maine ambiguous on purpose. So be it. But it was a distraction FOR THIS VIEWER that I was wondering "who the fuck is this guy supposed to be?" while watching the film. (Note that his brother immediately goes to work for "Willie" which I bet was a detail that put a lot of people on the country music track. A previous poster said that Cooper might have had Eddie Vedder in mind as a template; if so, then just mention Seattle.

And my larger point is that the way Ally's career is handled does not make any sense considering her initial association with whatever genre of music Maine makes.

I'm not going to talk about this anymore.
Old 10-08-18, 10:24 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

I thought it was incongruous that an artist big enough to apparently headline on the main stage at Coachella would be demoted to a non-singing performance at the Grammy the very next year (or maybe the year after that) . No artist has that rapid a decline, and the Grammys are too Star-driven. Now if Cooper had shown a quick scene where the show's director sees Jackson is too wasted to perform and makes a switch on the fly, I could have bought it (but why have him play guitar onstage). They just gave him a Jeff Lynn / Robbie Robertson demotion.
Old 10-08-18, 12:56 PM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

It is possible that although they filmed at Coachella it doesn't necessarily mean that the scene took place there.
Old 10-09-18, 04:01 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

This movie was all over the place. I thought the frenetic pace and how fast the narrative moved the movie forward did the film a disservice. It never gives the audience a chance sink into the characters. It felt like from the moment she sang at the drag bar until she was a worldwide pop star happened in about 2 seconds. There was no time to breathe. The whole side story of Ally selling out her music for some kind of pop star fame with the manager starting out as a nice guy and then turning out to be a corporate shill was so cliche. Not only that, but none of that was ever resolved. She just kept moving forward and they never had any kind of resolution to the choices she was making and the fact that she wasn't being her true self. They build that storyline up and then it just disappears. It reminded me of that cornball episode of Saved By The Bell when the gang forms a band in their garage with the best of intentions and then when they make it big Zack turns into a sellout because of his manager. But at least in the tv show they pay it off when Slater gets injured and everyone realizes they lost sight of themselves. I thought the interscope rep character was a one note cardboard cut out. Jack kills himself because of this insignificant weasel and the narrative leads us to believe that nothing has or will come of it. He's a slasher movie villain without the end reveal where he gets exposed. And then theres the suicide. I thought it was inauthentic, I thought it was played for the pure melodrama of it all, and didn't really earn itself authentically and truthfully. He kills himself because of a 2 minute speech from that small time slimebag. After he had just gotten sober. I didn't buy it. I also thought the Grammy scene was awful. It was just so over the top. I also thought Coopers voice suffered from the same thing Joaquin Phoenix's voice did in Walk the Line where the low gravely voice just felt so forced. Thats said if you set aside that the entire movie was chaos, it did have some great scenes. The scenes between Cooper and Sam Elliot were heartbreaking. I wish, more of the movie was about that relationship. Also Gaga was absolutely transcendent from beginning to end. Both acting and singing. I wouldn't be surprised if the Academy has already engraved her name on the statue. She's gonna coast to a Best Lead Actress win.

Anyhow I was pretty disappointed. I'd give it a 3/5 just for Gaga and Sam Elliot. Or else it would have been lower.
Old 10-09-18, 04:10 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Count Dooku
It is not my intention to fixate on this subject and (perhaps) imply that the movie was deeply flawed. I thought it was excellent and moving.

Let me explain it this way.

When one makes a movie and presents a character as famous, and their level of fame is VERY important to the movie's plot, there are two ways for the film to handle that.

One is to provide appropriate backstory and many specific details that contextualize their fame.

The other, and easiest, way is to paint a broad portrait that includes a few very specific character details that draw a clear parallel to someone the audience would immediately recognize. (We knew in Rocky that Apollo Creed was Ali based on just a few character beats.)

As an example, I have read numerous articles/reviews of the movie that refer to Maine as a country singer, but you (for one) insist he is a fading rock star. There should not be any reason for anyone who watched the movie to be confused about such a point. It is not really an important point, but it is something Cooper could have handled easily.

My belief is that Cooper is no fool, and he kept a lot of details about Maine ambiguous on purpose. So be it. But it was a distraction FOR THIS VIEWER that I was wondering "who the fuck is this guy supposed to be?" while watching the film. (Note that his brother immediately goes to work for "Willie" which I bet was a detail that put a lot of people on the country music track. A previous poster said that Cooper might have had Eddie Vedder in mind as a template; if so, then just mention Seattle.

And my larger point is that the way Ally's career is handled does not make any sense considering her initial association with whatever genre of music Maine makes.

I'm not going to talk about this anymore.
@Count Dooku: the New York Times music critic Jon Pareles addresses some of the issues you've raised in this piece on "pop vs. authenticity" in the movie's songs. I'm not sure if he agrees with you or not, but maybe you can make better sense of it than I did:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/a...ype=collection
Old 10-09-18, 06:06 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

I think trying to draw REAL-WORLD PARALLELS is a futile effort. Why was Main so big? When did he have his biggest hits? Who was he modeled after? Who cares -- it's not important to the story. Just accept it and move on.

It's not supposed to be pinpoint-accurate to reality.
Old 10-09-18, 06:55 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy
I think trying to draw REAL-WORLD PARALLELS is a futile effort. Why was Main so big? When did he have his biggest hits? Who was he modeled after? Who cares -- it's not important to the story. Just accept it and move on.

It's not supposed to be pinpoint-accurate to reality.
Well, the original film version that started all this, WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD? (1932), was supposedly based on the marriage of rising star Barbara Stanwyck and her alcoholic husband, Frank Fay, who had once been a big star on Broadway and made a few movies before his career sputtered. I can't help but think how much better that first movie and the 1937 version would have been, if it had been based more closely on the real-life events. As I watched the 1954 version on TCM the other day, I realized there was absolutely no real-life equivalent there and enjoyed it on its own merits, but I couldn't help thinking of "what-if" scenarios. What if Errol Flynn had married Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn when they were just starting out and they rose as his career fizzled. But I'm not suggesting that either of them should have been cast in the 1954 version. It might have been interesting but it would have been a very different movie. And for the new version, I thought of Cardi B and Eddie Murphy in the roles, with Murphy doing a riff on his DREAMGIRLS character.
Old 10-09-18, 08:10 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Who would be real life equivalents of the 70s version?
Elvis and Linda Ronstadt? Or Stevie Nicks?
Old 10-09-18, 08:38 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by rw2516
Who would be real life equivalents of the 70s version?
Elvis and Linda Ronstadt? Or Stevie Nicks?
Streisand wanted Elvis for the lead. She offered the Kristoferson part to him directly and he wanted to do it, but apparently that was a mistake because she was supposed to run everything past Colonial Tom Parker first.

Barbra Streisand insisted that she wanted Elvis Presley for the part of John Norman Howard. She even went to Las Vegas to see Elvis after one of his performances in 1975, and talked to him directly to convince him to play the part. Elvis wanted to do it, but Colonel Tom Parker, his manager, was angry that Streisand did not come to him first. He told the producers that if they wanted Elvis, Elvis's name had to be at the top of the movie poster, above Streisand's name. Moreover, it was said that he asked them for a very large sum of money. Elvis hadn't been in a movie since 1969, and nobody knew what he could do at the box-office, because of all that, Elvis Presley didn't make the movie, although he had been Streisand's first choice since the beginning of the project.
Old 10-09-18, 08:48 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
Well, the original film version that started all this, WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD? (1932), was supposedly based on the marriage of rising star Barbara Stanwyck and her alcoholic husband, Frank Fay, who had once been a big star on Broadway and made a few movies before his career sputtered. I can't help but think how much better that first movie and the 1937 version would have been, if it had been based more closely on the real-life events. As I watched the 1954 version on TCM the other day, I realized there was absolutely no real-life equivalent there and enjoyed it on its own merits, but I couldn't help thinking of "what-if" scenarios. What if Errol Flynn had married Marilyn Monroe or Audrey Hepburn when they were just starting out and they rose as his career fizzled. But I'm not suggesting that either of them should have been cast in the 1954 version. It might have been interesting but it would have been a very different movie. And for the new version, I thought of Cardi B and Eddie Murphy in the roles, with Murphy doing a riff on his DREAMGIRLS character.
Doing an IMDB deep-dive, What Price Hallywood is very similar to and perhaps an inspiration for A Star is Born, but the latter is not a remake of the former :

This film bears such a striking resemblance to A Star Is Born (1937) that it is often considered "the original version" of that often remade classic. In fact, David O. Selznick, who produced both this film and Star is Born, was threatened with a lawsuit by this film's writers, claiming plagiarism.

This film was not a success at the box office, resulting in a loss of $50,000 ($890,000 in 2017) for RKO according to studio records.

George Cukor, who directed this film, was offered the chance to direct its "partial remake," A Star Is Born (1937), but turned it down, claiming the two films were too similar. Interestingly, Cukor would later direct the 1954 Judy Garland/James Mason musical remake of that film, often cited as the best version of this material.

Although this film is remarkably similar to A Star Is Born (1937) (and its various later remakes) it is interesting to note that in this version, the character of the successful female star does not marry the male character surrendering to alcoholism, but does remain loyal to him and his legacy.
Old 10-09-18, 09:54 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

As far as him committing suicide so quickly as it seems in the movie, that was something that was always in his head. He even tried to do it as a youngster. The promoter was basically the one that brought those demons back to the surface. In his mind, he could not and did not want to see himself holding his wife back. However, that is not how she truly felt about him. It really sucks to think about people you know or know of that have taken their lives over things that others feel they could and should have helped them through. Once those thoughts are in your head, it is hard to completely get them out of there. I know.
Old 10-09-18, 10:05 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

^ At least he left her a song reminding her to never love anyone else after he's gone.
Old 10-09-18, 11:08 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Decker
^ At least he left her a song reminding her to never love anyone else after he's gone.
I took it as it was him telling her that he would never love someone else again. Instead, she ended up being the one that that had to say his words and ultimately feel that way.
Old 10-09-18, 11:23 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by dsa_shea
As far as him committing suicide so quickly as it seems in the movie, that was something that was always in his head. He even tried to do it as a youngster. The promoter was basically the one that brought those demons back to the surface. In his mind, he could not and did not want to see himself holding his wife back. However, that is not how she truly felt about him. It really sucks to think about people you know or know of that have taken their lives over things that others feel they could and should have helped them through. Once those thoughts are in your head, it is hard to completely get them out of there. I know.
Haven't seen this latest version. In the earlier versions her fame eclipses his. He becomes better known as "her" husband rather than for his own accomplishments. People mistake him for being her assistant, etc. That's what finally drives him over the edge.

In the 76 version Kristofferson is busy writing a song on the guitar. He's constantly being interrupted by the ringing phone. He keeps yelling for someone to answer it. He finally answers it himself. The call is for Streisand and the caller mistakes him for her secretary. That sends him over the edge. He hangs up and goes and crashes his car.
Old 10-09-18, 11:43 AM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

In this version, I don't think he was really interested in fame later in the film (not sure he even was at the beginning any more either). He would probably have already been dead if he hadn't latched on to Ally. She was pretty much everything to him, and he just didn't want to hold her back.

Yeah, the 2 minute speech from the promoter was a short path to his suicide, but I think he did realize it was all true, he would likely have gone right back down the same path of destruction at some point, is was just a matter of when. And then the realization that he was truly holding her back put him over. He was never portrayed as a very stable person.

She did do the name thing at the end, similar to how all the other versions have, but I don't think it really had the same impact as the other versions. If it was more evident that she was going back to her roots and giving up the pop-star/dance-star persona, then it might have.

Last edited by The Cow; 10-09-18 at 11:50 AM.
Old 10-09-18, 03:23 PM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

I was thinking : It certainly wouldn't have been Bradley Cooper's version, but I think it would have been more interesting if this current remake was a rap/hip-hop version with a Rap superstar taking a young hip-hop singer and making her the next Rhianna. It would have not only felt more contemporary but would have rang truer because 1) A featured performer guesting on a hit single by a rap superstar CAN actually launch a career, 2) Rap and hip-hop singers do date and break up frequently and 3) the rapid downfall could have been much more believable. Rock stars get drunk and stoned all the time and it just adds to their legends, but we've never seen anything like Kanye's real-time downfall before. His SNL appearance last week was wilder than anything a screenwriter could have dreamed up.
Old 10-09-18, 04:18 PM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

A hip-hop scenario would have had ZERO appeal to me, but that's just my preference. The story didn't need to feel contemporary in my opinion; just emotionally genuine. I think it really succeeded.
Old 10-09-18, 05:04 PM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Hokeyboy
The story didn't need to feel contemporary in my opinion; just emotionally genuine. I think it really succeeded.
I can't argue with that. I loved the movie very much. Still, you have to separate movie logic from real life music industry to make it work.

Funny that one of the biggest problems I had with this movie is the same one I had with the last great movie musical as well (La La Land) -- One of the protagonists is forced to compromise their musical principles in order to make it in the music business and it puts a strain on their relationship, but how they actually feel about selling out and how it affects them personally never really gets explored the way it should.
Old 10-09-18, 06:05 PM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

Originally Posted by Hazel Motes
This movie was all over the place. I thought the frenetic pace and how fast the narrative moved the movie forward did the film a disservice. It never gives the audience a chance sink into the characters. It felt like from the moment she sang at the drag bar until she was a worldwide pop star happened in about 2 seconds. There was no time to breathe. The whole side story of Ally selling out her music for some kind of pop star fame with the manager starting out as a nice guy and then turning out to be a corporate shill was so cliche. Not only that, but none of that was ever resolved. She just kept moving forward and they never had any kind of resolution to the choices she was making and the fact that she wasn't being her true self. They build that storyline up and then it just disappears.
Pacing being off and no resolution to plotline(s) usually happens when actors direct. Surprised by the love for this movie. Thought it was grating and underwhelming other than Gaga's voice. Haven't seen the previous versions in forever but it was a real triumphant feeling when they finally become stars. In this, it was basically overnight. "Oh, she's a star now." "Oh, she's selling out now." Cooper's drunky/druggy musician is so paper thin, his character didn't resonate for me at all.
Old 10-09-18, 09:52 PM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

I still object to the concept that only a Country or Hip/hop star could become widely known. In fact, I think some of the musical ambiguity in the film is what broadens its appeal. I would have less than zero interest in a hip-hop film and if that was the choice made it would really only appeal to the audience of that genre, and it would be part of that genre. Just seems extreme to be taken out of the movie because of the choice of music style, when we gleefully accept super heroes, alternative presidents, outlandish action all the time.

In terms of the movie, I still love the first hour, but I think the last 70 miniutes is a cliched nightmare. There was a better story there than the "traditional" route they took.
Old 10-13-18, 11:35 PM
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Re: A Star is Born (Bradley Cooper, 2018) — The Spoiler Filled Reviews Thread

I am glad to see I am not the only one who enjoyed this but had some major issues with it. An “award contender” this is not.

Between the patchy editing and too many shortcuts taken in the storytelling, I was disappointed. Most of the examples have been mentioned here already, so I won’t keep beating those points. Things like “who the hell are Dave Chapelle and his family?” are just glaring flaws.

I will hit again on the lack of resolution ... Ally needed to realize she was being “manufactured” and gone back to her roots. While I loved the final song, the movie would have been better simply ending at the flashing red and blue lights since nothing after that mattered.

The acting and music were superb. More important, my wife was happy that nobody
Spoiler:
turned into a horse at the end. (I wasn’t sure if she would ever go see another movie with me after Sorry To Bother You.)


Grade: B-

Last edited by dex14; 10-14-18 at 09:02 AM. Reason: Do not post spoilers from other movies

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