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Flash Movie Review: A Star is Born

I AM MORE OF A “don’t fix it if it isn’t broken” type of guy. As long as the item is meeting my expectations/needs, then I am fine with it. If you recall in one of my recent reviews I said, “Just because something is new does not make it better.” This is true to me based on the multiple examples I have experienced while buying replacement items. When my refrigerator finally stopped working I had to buy a new one. The salesperson had all these reasons why the newer refrigerators were so much better than mine. I originally asked if mine was fixable which led the salesperson to go into their sales pitch for the newer models. Granted, the ones I looked at were nicer looking, brighter inside and had a variety of shelf configurations I could adjust depending on what I needed to store inside. After I came to the realization that the cost to fix my old fridge would be better spent on buying a new one, I chose one similar to what I had and had it delivered. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with my new refrigerator; but for some reason it does not seem I can fit as much food into it as my old one did.      MY PHILOSOPHY CAN BE EASILY APPLIED to movie remakes. If you look back at the reviews I did of movies that were remakes, you will not find many that were favorable. Just last week the film Little Women I reviewed was an updated version; it was one of the worst remakes I had seen in a long time. For the life of me I could not understand how the studio looked at that remake and thought they made a good picture. It makes me wonder where are the writers who have an original idea for a story? Honestly, I do not fully understand what the reasoning is behind the decision to do a remake of an established movie. Remember, don’t fix it if it isn’t broken; why would a studio want to take a well-known, classic film and do a remake of it? If the bar is already set up high, what are the studio’s chances of having a success? Maybe it is an economic decision, where if the 1st movie was successful then the new one has a built-in fan base. I do not have the answers, but I must tell you everything I just said about remade movies does not apply to this romantic, musical drama.      HAVING BEEN TOLD SHE WAS NEVER good enough Ally, played by Lady Gaga (Machete Kills, American Horror Story-TV), had no reason to believe famous music celebrity Jackson Maine’s, played by Bradley Cooper (American Sniper, Silver Linings Playbook) comments about her. There was only one way to show her. With Sam Elliott (The Hero, I’ll See You in my Dreams) as Bobby, Andrew Dice Clay (Blue Jasmine, Pretty in Pink) as Lorenzo and Anthony Ramos (Mobsters and Men, Patti Cakes) as Ramon; I was stunned with this being Bradley’s 1st stint as a writer and director. His direction was simple and pure which was a beautiful compliment to Lady Gaga’s expressive face. Acting was in top form from everyone, but I do have to say I forgot Bradley was playing Jackson Maine; he was that believable. Doing all the singing live was a brilliant decision because it added a vibrancy to the scenes that truly made them stand out. Now there were a few slow spots for me, but they were just a minor distraction that I did not mind much. This is the 4th time this story has been done in movie form and I believe this not only can stand on its own, but it shines the brightest.

 

3 ½ stars     

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Flash Movie Review: I’ll See You in My Dreams

You see them with their heads bowed, peering down at the item in their hand. If you did not know better you would think everyone standing in the aisle was having a moment of silence. What they are looking for is the defining answer on whether they will purchase that particular item; it all depends on the expiration date. If the date is close or even past the day’s date, the food item is placed back on the shelf and the shopper looks for a fresh container. Thank heaven love doesn’t have an expiration date, though seeing some people’s reactions to an elderly couple being affectionate makes me wonder. If two people can find each other and form a long lasting love relationship then I say more power to them. I am not comfortable when I see anyone performing public displays of affection that go way over the top, where you want to tell them to go get a room. For those types of individuals I think they are doing it more for the people around them than the recipient of their affections. However, when I see a couple holding hands or one has their hand gently resting on the other person’s leg or back I think those two people have a comfortable connection. When I am in a relationship I enjoy resting my hand on the person’s arm or leg, especially at the movies because I can get an extra read on how they are reacting to the film. So why should it matter how old a person is if they can still find and enjoy being in love?    CAROL Peterson, played by Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents franchise, The Lightkeepers), had been a widow for many years. Encouraged by her friends she attended a speed dating event. It only reaffirmed why she preferred to be alone all these years; but did she really prefer it? This comedic drama had everything working in its favor. Blythe was so good; she may get a nomination for best actress for this role. I cannot believe this was Blythe’s first starring role; she was in every scene and was wonderful. Joining her in this story were June Squibb (Nebraska, Scent of a Woman) as Georgiana, Rhea Perlman (Matilda, Cheers-TV) as Sally, Martin Starr (Knocked Up, Adventureland) as Lloyd and Sam Elliott (Tombstone, Draft Day) as Bill. The script was smartly written, allowing characters to grow in a real and organic way; I was quite taken by this movie. The script felt fresh and was not predictable. Whether you are young or old, I feel everyone could connect to this picture on some level. Love is a powerful force; it would be hard to resist it and this film.

 

3 1/2 stars

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