Famous rock star Jack leaves a concert one night in search of a late-night drink. He happens upon a dive bar and is immediately smitten by the young lady singer he meets there. After inviting her to one of his concerts, he woos her to the stage to sing a new song she’s written. Her performance goes viral and she becomes an immediate sensation. Through all this, Jack battles alcoholism and drug addiction; vestiges from a troubled childhood and a life spent on the road. As Ally’s career soars, he finds himself less relevant in her life. The couple arrive at a crossroads where they must choose between their lives or their vocation.
2018, Color, Rated R, 2 Hrs 16 mins
Dolby Atmos, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 2.40:1 Aspect Ratio
Dolby Vision, HDR10
Starring: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott
Directed by: Bradley Cooper
This is a powerful film with a powerful statement; several, actually. Early in the story, Jack talks about the difference between talent and having something to say. It’s a completely relevant take on the music business and how it is filled with talented people who are more concerned about fame and fortune than they are about the art.
It’s also a love story and there Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga generate an intense on-screen chemistry. Both turn in stellar performances, not only as actors, but as musical performers. Lady Gaga literally commands your every attention every time she sings. I would be happy just to listen to the original songs presented here because they are superb from both characters. Cooper turns in one of the best performances I’ve seen from him as he literally disappears into the role. You can’t help but hate him and feel for him at the same time.
The story is a profound and deep-felt one that does not break new ground from the previous iterations of this film. But if you haven’t seen any of them before (I hadn’t), it will have an emotional effect. And that is what struck me most about it. It draws you into the character’s lives more than any other movie in recent memory. You become emotionally invested almost immediately and that is a true sign of a great movie. I hope it wins lots of Oscars because it most certainly deserves to.
The Ultra HD presentation looks superb with richly-saturated primary colors and deep contrast. Black levels are impressive and loaded with detail. Textures and fine elements pop right out whether in the foreground or background. A thin layer of film grain is used here to give an appropriately gritty effect and it is used well. This is an excellent transfer.
Audio is equally superb with a wide soundstage and perfectly balanced mixes of music, dialog, and ambient effects. There is an ideal level of bass and slam along with crystal-clear highs and a rich mid-range. The music mixes fit perfectly with the different venues portrayed, from cramped bars to vast arenas. It truly doesn’t get better than this.
There are about 45 minutes’ worth of bonus features, mostly taken up by a making-of documentary. Shorter clips include rehearsal footage and a collection of music videos. You can also watch the movie’s 11 musical sequences as a group without interruption if you wish.