A Star Is Born is a romantic musical drama produced and directed by Bradley Cooper (in his directorial debut) and written by Cooper, Eric Roth and Will Fetters. This film is a remake of the 1937 film of the same name. It marks the third American remake of the original 1937 film (which starred Janet Gaynor and Fredric March), after the 1954 musical (starring Judy Garland and James Mason) and the 1976 rock musical (with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson).
Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) performs at sold out concerts but has a serious drinking problem, which he hides from the public (“Black Eyes”). Jackson’s main support and manager is his older brother Bobby Maine (Sam Elliott) who is always there for him. One night, after preforming a show, Jackson has his driver drop him off at a bar so that he can continue to drink. There he witnesses Ally (Lady Gaga), a singer/songwriter perform (“La Vie en rose”). Ally also works as a waitress with her friend Ramon (Anthony Ramos), while moonlighting as a singer at a drag bar. Amazed by her talent, they have a drink together and Ally reveals that she has never pursued a professional career due to being told that she has a big nose, something Jackson admits that he finds attractive and they share songs together.
He drops her off at her home where she lives with her widower father Lorenzo (Andrew Dice Clay) who runs a driving service with his friends. Jackson asks Ally to come to his show that night, but she refuses even when her father insists that she go. She eventually changes her mind and takes Ramon with her where Jackson asks Ally to sing on stage with him. After some hesitation, she relents and is praised on social media (“Shallow”). Jackson has Ally perform at several concerts with him and they slowly begin to form a relationship (“Maybe It’s Time”).
A Star is Born is an intense love story of two singers of which one of them is an alcoholic. I cannot say enough about the performances of Lady Gaga, Andrew Dice Clay, Bradley Cooper and Sam Elliott. I was memorized by Clay’s performance as Ally’s father. It was the first time I’ve seen him in a serious role. Bradley Cooper was more than convincing as a hopeless, love sick, drunk. I was also surprised at his singing abilities. Lady Gaga was her usual kick ass singer self. It was worth seeing the movie just to hear her sing. A Star is Born was totally believable and very entertaining. I loved this movie and shout out kudos to Bradley Cooper, what a debut. The story gets very deep and shows the ups and downs of an alcoholic as he tries to change his life around. A Star is Born is well worth your time and money to see it. Check it out!
[A Star is Born is Oscar nominated for BEST: Picture, Actress, Actor, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, Cinematography, Original Song and Best Sound Mixing]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged a star is born, alec baldwin, ally, andrew dice clay, anthony ramos, bobby maine, bradley cooper, brandi carlile, carl, dave chappelle, don roy king, emerald, gail shangela laquifa wadley, george noodles stone, greg grunberg, halsey, jackson maine, lady gaga, lorenzo, luenell, lukas nelson, marlon williams, michael harney, phil, promis, rafi gavron, ramon, rebecca field, rez, ron rifkin, sam elliott, william belli, wolfie
BlacKkKlansman is a biographical crime film co-written and directed by Spike Lee, based on the memoir, Black Klansman (2014) by Ron Stallworth. The film is produced by Lee, Raymond Mansfield, Shaun Redick, Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, and Jordan Peele. I didn’t know quite what to expect from this movie — I went to see it without much information going in. To my surprise, based on a true story, BlacKkKlansman has turned out to be Spike Lee’s best, complete with a “scientific explanation” of white racial superiority by Dr. Kennebrew Beaureguard (Alec Baldwin), and my personal favorite.
Set in 1972 Colorado Springs, the plot follows the first African-American detective in the police department, who sets out to infiltrate and expose the local chapter of the Ku Klux Klan. In order to achieve this goal, Detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) will need the permission from the police department, Chief Bridges (Robert John Burke) as well as a White counter part, who turns out to be David “Flip” Zimmerman (Adam Driver) to make actual appearances to the KKK.
Ron’s first encounter was with national civil rights leader, Kwame Ture (Cory Hawkins), who has taken the name of African leaders. At the rally, Ron meets Patrice Dumas (Laura Harrier), the president of the black student union at Colorado College. Now a member of the intelligence division, Ron calls the president of the Colorado Springs chapter, Walter Breachway (Ryan Eggold) pretending to be a White man.
Not to be a comedy, there were several scenes that had me laughing my head off. I found BlacKKKlansman to be an inspiration to all humans and a very well acted and well written movie. Note: John David Washington is the real life son of Denzel Washington. There are a host of brilliant actors in the movie with a plot you have to see to believe. BlacKkKlansman sends a powerful message, which couldn’t have come at a better time. Hate is so ugly and unnecessary. What a waste of your mind when all you do is focus on race. I urge everyone to see this movie, which by the way, is not for kids. See it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy every second of BlacKkKlansman. Check it Out!
[BlackKkKlansman is Oscar nominated for BEST: Picture, Supporting Actor, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Original Score and Best Film Editing]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged adam driver, alan gary, alec baldwin, ashlie atkinson, blackkklansman, chief bridges, connie kendrickson, corey hawkins, craig muMs grant, damaris lewis, david duke, detective flip zimmerman, detective ron stallworth, dr. kennebrew beaureguard, felix kendrickson, frederick weller, harry belafonte, isiah whitlock jr, ivanhoe, jabbo, jasper Pääkkönen, jerome turner, jimmy creek, john david washington, ken garito, klansman, kwame ture, laura harrier, michael buscemi, mr turrentine, nicholas turturro, odetta, patrice dumas, patrolman andy landers, paul walter hauser, robert john burke, ryan eggold, sergeant trapp, topher grace, walker, walter breachway
Mission: Impossible – Fallout is an action spy film written, produced and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. It is the sixth installment in the Mission: Impossible film series, and the second film to be directed by McQuarrie, after Rogue Nation (2015), making him the first person to direct more than one film in the franchise. Since there have been 5 Mission: Impossible films, I couldn’t wait to see if the 6th sequel could possibly be any good. Surprise, surprise, many critics hailed it as the best installment in the series, with some considering it one of the greatest action films of all time.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout starts two years after the capture of Solomon Lane, an anarchist mastermind who was the leader of “The Syndicate” during Rogue Nation. The remains of Lane’s organization “The Syndicate” have reformed into a terrorist group known as “The Apostles”. While in Belfast, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is given a mission to intercept three stolen plutonium cores before the Apostles can sell them to a fundamentalist named John Lark. He joins Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames) for the mission, but they fail when Ethan chooses to save Luther’s life and the plutonium is taken by the Apostles in Berlin. The team capture and interrogate nuclear weapons expert Nils Debruuk (Kristoffer Joner) and learn that he built three portable nuclear weapons for the Apostles.
CIA Director Erica Sloane (Angela Bassett) instructs Special Activities Division operative August Walker (Henry Cavill) to shadow/monitor Ethan and his team as they attempt to retrieve the plutonium, after their failed mission in Berlin. Together, Ethan and Walker infiltrate a fundraiser party in Paris where Lark is believed to be buying the cores from an arms dealer known as The White Widow (Vanessa Kirby). They track a man whom they suspect to be Lark but he is killed when Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson) intervenes. Ethan impersonates Lark and meets the White Widow. He warns her that agents of the Apostles have been sent to kill her and the two evade their pursuers. .
This basically describes the introduction into “The Fallout”. The plot thickens and gets much more intense from this point. The action is exciting and some of the stunts are unbelievable. This movie is brilliantly acted and executed. From Ethan to the White Widow to Alan Hunley’s surprise involvement, you will enjoy every minute of this mission, which seems to really be impossible. There is so much more to see and so much more to enjoy. Tom Cruise is proving, age is just a number, for some! Check it out, you won’t be sorry.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alan hunley, alec baldwin, angela bassett, august walker, benjamin "benji" dunn, erica sloane, ethan hunt, frederick schmidt, henry cavill, ilsa faust, julia meade, kristoffer joner, luther stickjell, michelle monaghan, mission impossible: fallout, nils debruuk, patrick, rebecca ferguson, sean harris, simon pegg, solomon lane, tom cruise, vanessa kirby, ving rhames, wes bentley, white widlow, zola
Rules Don’t apply is basically a semi-quasi romantic comedy and story of a later time in the life of Howard Hughes, brilliantly played, produced and directed by Warren Beatty. If you think Warren Beatty is old and done, you’re only half right. He may be old but he’s not done. I absolutely loved the story (which takes place between 1958 and 1964) and the way it was presented on screen. An inspiring young actress, song writer and singer named Marla Mabrey (Lily Collins) and her mother, Lucy Mabrey (Annette Bening) comes to Hollywood for a screen test that would make Marla a star. Marla is currently under contract with RKO, receiving $400 a week and living in a home paid for by Hughes and his associates. Marla and her mother, Lucy is also assigned a driver, Frank Forbes (Alden Ehrenreich) who takes them anywhere they want to go. Levar Mathis (Matthew Broderick), who also works for Howard take turns driving Marla and Lucy as well as preforms other task for Hughes, including reminding Frank that any one working for Hughes cannot have a relationship with any contract actress signed to the studio. As Marla and her mother await results of the screen test, it becomes clear that the movie is never going to happen and all has been a waste of time. Upset, Lucy suggests the two move back to Virginia since no progress is being made. However, Marla decides to stay behind.
In the meanwhile Frank and Hughes develop a relationship while Hughes begins to descend into odd behavior. Later, Noah Dietrich (Martin Sheen) informs Hughes that he should see a doctor as he is forgetting and saying bizarre things. Hughes fires Noah and replaces him with Frank. Hughes asks to travel the world alongside Frank and Levar. They head to London, where Hughes flies his plane opposite a Colonel (Steve Coogan), but Hughes does bizarre things in the air, scaring the Colonel and Frank. They then travel to Nicaragua, where the president (Julio Oscar Mechoso) informs Hughes he is being sued by the U.S. government for $645 million. They then fly back to America, where Hughes discovers he would have to sell his father’s company in order to pay for the debt.
The movie then cuts back to 1964, where Frank, Levar, and Nadine Henley,(Candice Bergen) who is a long term friend and employee, sit in Acapaluco, Mexico, waiting for Hughes to make a call to the press, revolving around a novel written by Richard Miskin (Paul Schneider), who claims Hughes has no memory of anything that has happened in the last five years.
Excellent movie, entertaining and funny. I thought Rules Don’t Apply was worth my time and cost of the ticket to see. The cast was stellar and I enjoyed every minute of it. Check it out. There are many twist and turns to this story and one big surprise at the end. A nice change of pace.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alec baldwin, Annette Bening, Candice Bergen, Colonel Nigel Briggs, Howard Hughes, Levar Mathis, Lucy Mabrey, Martin Sheen, Matthew Broderick, Mr. Forester, Nadine Henly, Noah Dietrich, oliver platt, paul schneider, richard miskin, Robert Maheu, rules don't apply, steve coogan, Warren Beatty
What an unusual, pleasant, romantic comedy. Bradley Cooper plays Brian Gilcrest, a military contractor who returns to Hawaii to organize a traditional blessing for a new pedestrian gate on behalf of his new employer, billionaire Carson Welch (Bill Murray), who intends to develop nearby land into a space center. After enjoying a celebrated military career that ended because of shadowy deals in Afghanistan, a now disillusioned Brian is tasked with negotiating a deal with the Hawaiian Natives and supporting Carson’s launch of a privately-funded satellite. Brian’s mission is complicated by his former girlfriend Tracy (Rachel McAdams), now married to a very nice guy named Woody, (John Krasinski) plus they have two children but still carries a torch for Brian, and his idealistic Air Force liaison, Captain Allison Ng (Emma Stone), whose wide-eyed fascination with space and spunky character has drawn her to him as well as reminds him of his own childhood sense of wonder. Brian and Allison attend a Christmas party given by Carson, where General Dixon (Alec Baldwin), who practically loathes Brian, tells him not to screw up the deal with the Hawaiians. During the party, Brian becomes more attracted to Allison, who is having fun dancing with Carson. After the party, relationships among other things start to get very complicated.
To recap, there’s Brian; two women (Captain Allison, who he’s falling for and a former girlfriend, Tracy, who’s married with two children, General Dixon, who can’t stand Brian, the new billionaire employer, Carson, who is deceiving Brian and his old Hawaiian Native friends that he is deceiving (except, he doesn’t know that) and the realization that his new relationship with Allison may not be in her best interest.)
There is so much more to this plot, which is considered a box office bomb. I found the movie funny and interesting. Not the best and not a must see. Now that it’s on DVD, you can’t go wrong. Aloha is a little silly but mainly a very cute story with a few surprises.
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alec baldwin, aloha, bill murray, bradley cooper, brian gilcrest, captain allison ng, carson welch, emma stone, general dixon, hawaiian natives, john krasinski, rachel mcadams, tracy, woody
Tom Cruse continues to show the world that he is able to frolic through a physical production like a young buck (who, BTW, just turned 53) with no problems. He was injured 6 times in the making of MI, but all is well and MI – Rogue Nation is a big hit. Still electing to do his own stunts, Tom has signed up to do a sixth sequel, to start filming in 2016.
Rogue Nation stars Rebecca Ferguson as Ilsa Faust (known for Starz’s series The White Queen). Rebecca displayed some pretty fancy moves and was an added delight to the cast. In this sequel, Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruse) must prove that an international criminal consortium known as the Syndicate exist against their organization (IMF). CIA director, Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin) thinks Ethan’s Syndicate theory is just that, a theory, so he dismantles IMF, dissolving them into the CIA and goes after Hunt causing him to go rogue. Hunt is captured by the Syndicate but gets away to start his journey to prove their existence. The Syndicate is headed up by Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) who will stop at nothing to discredit IMF and get what he needs to keep the Syndicate well financed and undercover. The Syndicate employes various skilled and dangerous villains like Janik “Bone Doctor” Vinter (Jens Hultén). Their skill level and intelligence is tantamount to IMF. There are many, many twist and turns, car and motorcycle chases, hidden agendas, special effects and thrill soaked scenes. There’s some corny and humorous scenes and some very intense scenes as well as some totally unbelievable scenes. The entire IMF gang was there, William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames). I thought Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation was very entertaining, well acted and had a pretty descent plot. Can’t wait for the next sequel. Check it out!
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alan hunley, alec baldwin, benji dunn, bone doctor, cia, ethan hunt, imf, janik vinter, jens hulten, jeremy renner, luther stickell, missions impossible - rogue nation, rebecca ferguson, sean harris, simon pegg, solomon lane, syndicate, tom cruse, ving rhames, william brandt
Alzheimer’s is one of the most horrible and deadly diseases known to man. Still Alice deals with a 50 year old linguistics professor who has been diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer. Although it’s rare to have Alzheimer’s at 50, Alice Howland played by Julianne Moore is assumed to have inherited it from her father. Still Alice shows the heart ships caused by this debilitating disease. Alec Baldwin plays Alice’s husband, John who does everything in his power to support her but is unable to cope. We get an intimate look into the deterioration of a person with the early on-set of this disease. Alice and John also have 3 children Anna (Kate Bosworth), Tom (Hunter Parrish) and Lydia (Kristen Stewart) who are also in jeopardy of inheriting the disease. Still Alice is very real and very sad. The movie teaches us a philosophy on how to live with Alzheimer, which is good to know. Julianne Moore provides us with a brilliant performance that’s both believable and heart felt. Still Alice is a must see for everyone because it gives you information that can be very useful, especially if you know someone who is inflicted with this terrible disease.
[STILL ALICE is nominated for Best Actress]
Posted in DVD MOVIE REVIEWS
Tagged alec baldwin, alice howland, alzheimer, anna howland, disease, hunter parrish, john howland, julianne moore, kate bosworth, kristen stewart, linguistics professor, still alice, tom