A Star Is Born (2018)

A Star Is Born
Director: Bradley Cooper
Writer: Bradley Cooper, Eric Roth, Will Fetters
Remake of: A Star Is Born (1937) (and 1954 and 1976)
Cast: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, Rafi Gavron, Anthony Ramos, Dave Chappelle, Alec Baldwin, Marlon Williams, Brandi Carlile, Ron Rifkin, Barry Shabaka Henley
Seen on: 12.10.2018
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Content note: suicide

Plot:
Jack (Bradley Cooper) has seen his heyday as a musician and has made his home in a slump, saturated with a lot of alcohol. That’s when he meets Ally (Lady Gaga), talented, but unknown musician. Almost convinced that she has to give up on her dreams, Ally is convinced that she is not a singer, not made for the spotlight, but rather that she is a songwriter. But Jack gives her the leg up she needs to start her career as they fall in love with each other. But as Ally’s star rises, Jack’s keeps falling.

I admit, I was doubtful regarding A Star Is Born and whether I should see it at all. But then the critics kept falling over themselves with praise and I thought, I’d give it the benefit of the doubt. Having seen it, I am not convinced that I should have let myself be swayed. I mean, I have definitely seen worse films but that doesn’t mean it’s all that good either.

The film poster showing a black and white image of Jack (Bradley Cooper) playying the guitar and Ally (Lady Gaga) sitting in front of him, leaning in for a kiss.
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Grandma (2015)

Grandma
Director: Paul Weitz
Writer: Paul Weitz
Cast: Lily Tomlin, Julia Garner, Judy Greer, John Cho, Nat Wolff, Laverne Cox, Elizabeth Peña, Sam Elliott, Marcia Gay Harden
Part of: identities Festival special screening
Seen on: 10.6.2016

Plot:
Elle (Lily Tomlin) is not necessarily in the best of places. She has no money. She just broke up with her girlfriend Olivia (Judy Greer). And then her granddaughter Sage (Julia Garner) stands at her door and lets her know that she’s pregnant and needs an abortion. Sage and Elle are in complete agreement that Sage’s mother (Marcia Gay Harden) can never find out. So what is a penniless grandmother to do? She grabs Sage, starts the car and goes in search of money to fulfill her granddaughter’s needs. Even if it costs her whatever remains of her dignity.

Grandma is a different kind of road movie with a great concept that lives off grumpy Lily Tomlin and her sharp comic delivery. I enjoyed it immensely.

grandma

[Slight Spoilers]

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The Good Dinosaur (2015)

The Good Dinosaur
Director: Peter Sohn
Writer: Meg LeFauve
Cast: Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Marcus Scribner, Steve Zahn, Peter Sohn, Sam Elliott, Anna Paquin, A.J. Buckley
Seen on: 16.12.2015

Plot:
Arlo (Raymond Ochoa) is the youngest member of his dinosaur family, and he is not only small, but scared of everything. While his siblings handle their chores and rites of passage with apparent ease, Arlo still has problems feeding the chicken. So his father Henry (Jeffrey Wright) gives him a special task: catch a critter that has been raiding their silo. Arlo actually manages to catch the little human (Jack Bright), but can’t go through with killing him. When the boy runs off after being freed, Henry and Arlo chase after him. They get trapped in a thunderstorm which leads to a flash flood and Henry drowns. Riddled with guilt, Arlo finds himself washed ashore a long way from home and somehow has to find his way back.

The Good Dinosaur is a weird film. The main plot and characters are nowhere near the high standards that we usually get from Pixar movies. But everything happening on the sidelines is frankly amazing.

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The Company You Keep (2012)

The Company You Keep
Director: Robert Redford
Writer: Lem Dobbs
Based on: Neil Gordon’s novel
Cast: Robert Redford, Shia LaBeouf, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Nick Nolte, Chris Cooper, Terrence Howard, Stanley Tucci, Richard Jenkins, Anna Kendrick, Brendan Gleeson, Brit Marling, Sam Elliott

Plot:
30 years ago, The Weather Underground robbed a bank and shot a guard. Nobody was arrested. Now the FBI managed to arrest Sharon Solarz (Susan Sarandon). Her arrest has journalist Ben Shepard (Shia LaBeouf) digging into the story. He talks to lawyer Jim Grant (Robert Redford) who turns out to have been one of the Weathermen, Nick Sloan. Grant/Sloan goes on the run, but there seems to be more to the story than that.

The Weather Underground are certainly a topic that deserves discussion and cinematic treatment. Unfortunately this movie skirts the interesting bits and ends up being boring, unrealistic and self-congratulatory.

company_you_keep

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