You know what we need? More remakes.
Or not. Even for the FOURTH time.
What is it about “A Star is Born” that made anyone, much less Bradley Cooper, want to tell this story again? It sure is not the need for another feel-good-movie-of-the-year, as this story of aging singer/songwriter Jackson Maine (Cooper, who also directed and co-wrote this version of the script) and his discovery of a young new talent in Ally (Lady Gaga), whose popularity and success gets on a rocket to the moon as his swirls the drain mainly because of the demons that he cannot (and in most cases will not) overcome. It sure is not because if it is one thing we need, it is Bradley Cooper (whom I am normally a huge fan of) making the conscious decision to instead of making the role his own, he would just do his best Kris Kristofferson impersonation with a splash of Sam Elliott (who plays his manager and brother), thus really bringing nothing to the table. It definitely is not because if it is something we need, it is a lack of chemistry between himself and Gaga that makes this TWO HOUR AND FIFTEEN MINUTE opus feel like I would be in the theater for days.
On the upside, we were able to screen this in an auditorium outfitted for Dolby Cinema, which made the musical performance scenes even more impressive (when the kick drum hit, I felt it in my chest as it should be). This does not make up for the rest of the film, but when you get Lady Gaga into her element, she just seems to raise the level of everyone around her, and for the most part she is able to perform most as Ally and not her normal stage persona in order to give the character her own style, which I found impressive. Unfortunately, the list truly ends there.
Maybe it was just because Cooper needed an excuse to work with great talent like Elliott, Gaga, Dave Chapelle, and Andrew Dice Clay. Maybe it is because he got to spend a year learning to play guitar with Willie Nelson’s son and play live (as all of the music was done that way, and respect for that) with his band, Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real. Or maybe it was just because he wanted to do something that would be so blatantly Oscar-bait that it should have come with a disclaimer and a ballot for any Academy members that wandered into a screening. Whatever it is, this thing exists, and if you are so inclined to put yourself through this thing, Godspeed to you. Seriously.