The Movie: 8/10
A well made movie is a thing of joy for someone like me. A Star Is Born is one of those. I can’t say it’s a new story, of course. We all know this is the 4th Star is Born, but it’s not a straight up remake as such, just a retelling of the same story. A talented young woman is discovered by a talented older man, and voila, magic happens. The relationship is challenging because he’s an alcoholic and she’s ambitious beyond his naive vision of what she is to him. I don’t know if it’s a love story so much as a people story.
The performances are intimate and captivating. I think a lot of that comes from the dialogue and the style of the camera work, so many close up and personal moments you can’t escape from with our leading characters, you are forced into the gravity of their attraction to one another. There is nothing new here, nothing about human nature we don’t already know or haven’t seen in other movies, and then there’s the music. That’s the key to unlocking the real guts of this story. To hear our leading characters sing, see them perform, and feeling so close to that magical thing performers do, it adds a lot to what is otherwise a simple tale of attraction, rise to fame, fall from grace, redemption, etc.
I enjoyed this movie a lot. It’s got some genuinely fun moments as our young lady is singing her way down her own road to fame, alongside what we understand was a big singing career for our leading man but now is waning for a few reasons. The criss cross of their shining stars, one rising one falling, adds to the tension and that sense of doom I think creeps in pretty early in the story. I haven’t got any hope that our alcoholic singer dude is going to have a comeback, and I appreciate that honesty in how it’s written and portrayed.
For as fun and dynamic as this movie is, from song to song and enchanting “lovey dovey” moments with our stars, it’s grounded in a truth about human nature that I feel is not glamorized or hyped at all, and that’s saying a lot for a big Hollywood flick. You can love someone for who they are and not love what they do or the choices they make, if you can accept that you cannot change them. At least that’s one of the strong messages I got from the movie and I really like that.
It’s got some big songs, big performances, and you can listen to the soundtrack for years to come, but at it’s heart it’s a story about the best moments of this life balanced with the worst, and moving on anyway we can.
- The Road To Stardom: Making A Star Is Born (30 Minutes) – A very well made featurette that sits down with Bradley Cooper, Gaga, and Mark Ronson for a talk about how the film was made.
- Jam Sessions & Rarities (7 Minutes) – Rehearsal footage from various songs in the film along with some hidden gems you will not have heard yet.
- Music Videos (18 Minutes) – Shallow, Always Remember Us This Way, Look What I Found, and I’ll Never Love Again are included in full here.
- Musical Moments (30 Minutes) – All the music from the film in one place, think of it like a visual soundtrack.
- 4KUHD, Blu-ray & Digital Copy
Audio & Video: 10/10
A Star Is Born comes to 4KUHD courtesy of a upscaled 2160P Dolby Vision transfer that preserves the theatrical vision perfectly. Sharpness and clarity are king here with some amazing looking scenes and colorful stage performances that really look great on home video.
The Dolby Atmos track here is standout and reference quality, easily something to show off your home theatre with. The concert scenes are thunderous and enveloping at all times and make you feel like your sat right in the middle of the action. Dialog is central and always easy to understand except perhaps when Sam Eliot is talking as his whole voice seems to come out of the subwoofer.
Overall Score 8/10