REVIEW: ‘A Star is Born’ will hook you in with passionate musical scenes

I’ll admit, when I hear the title, I think of the song at the end of the Disney “Hercules” movie.

In all seriousness, “A Star is Born” is actually a remake of a 1937 film with the same name. In fact, along with this most recent adaptation, that 1937 movie has been remade two other times in 1954 and 1976. This newest version was directed and co-written by Bradley Cooper, who also stars in the film as the lead character Jack.

Jack is a successful musician with plenty of hits, but also faces problems. Not only does one of his ears have a medical issue, but he’s also suffering from alcoholism. Despite, this, though, he meets a talented singer named Ally (Lady Gaga) who’s been overlooked her whole life. Not only do the two strike up a relationship, but Jack also helps Ally get her talent noticed. A strain remains, though, because of Jack’s health.

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REVIEW: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is a charming, insightful romcom

Subjects such as wealth, power and differences in the social hierarchy based on income are all packaged and put before audiences in this summer romcom.

As the name implies, the film centers around very affluent Asian individuals. However, the main protagonist Rachel (Constance Wu), isn’t one of them. Rachel is an economics professor living in New York City and is in a relationship with Nick Young (Henry Golding). The two are a happy couple, yet when Nick invites Rachel to his best friend’s wedding, she finds out that he’s been hiding something.

It turns out that Nick’s family is extremely wealthy and holds great influence in Singapore. Upon arriving in Singapore, Rachel experiences some of the perks of her boyfriend’s wealth, but at the same time, their relationship becomes strained. This is mainly because Rachel isn’t remotely close to being a rich person, and some of the individuals close to Nick look down on her for it.

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REVIEW: ‘Phantom Thread’ Is A Fascinating Look At An Obsessive Relationship

Writer and Director Paul Thomas Anderson gives audiences a look into obsessive minds in his latest picture “Phantom Thread.”

The film, set in 1950s London, tells the story of a successful dress designer named Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis). During a trip to the country where he gets away from the glitz and glamour, Reynolds meets a young woman, Alma (Vicky Krieps), and the two hit it off.

After their initial meeting, Reynolds has Alma try on some of the clothes he’s designed and after time passes she becomes his muse and later his lover. The picture details how their personalities both blend and clash as the story progresses.

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REVIEW: ‘The Shape Of Water’ Is A Wonderfully Bizarre Fairy Tale

“The Shape of Water,” or How I Learned to Stop Worrying, and Love the Fish. OK, OK, not a great joke, never claimed to be a comedian.

So here’s the rundown on this great new film from Director Guillermo del Toro. The picture takes place in the 1960s at a government run facility that appears to be used by intelligence personnel. Instead of following scientists or special agents, though, the film explores the life of Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a woman working as a janitor for the base.

It’s let on quite quickly that Elisa’s life is repetitive and lonely, with the only company in her life being a neighbor who works as an artist (Richard Jenkins) and a coworker named Zelda (Octavia Spencer). Her life changes, though, when a captured amphibian humanoid is brought into the facility. Elisa soon learns that the creature is intelligent, contrary to military agents, and can communicate. As a result, the two begin interacting and form a bond.

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REVIEW: ‘Call Me By Your Name’ Is A Fantastic, Authentic Look At Youth And Love

“Call Me By Your Name” is the art of film at its highest level.

This movie, set in Italy during the early 80s, follows the 17-year-old character Elio (Timothee Chalamet). Soon after the movie starts, Elio meets Oliver (Armie Hammer), a college student who’s come to work as an assistant for Ellio’s father, who works as an archaeology professor.

What follows is a beautiful story about youth, love and figuring out who you are.

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REVIEW: Solid Acting Isn’t Enough To Save Melodramtic “Mountain Between Us”

Idris Elba and Kate Winslet are both talented performers and they bring their abilities to the table in “The Mountain Between Us.” However, the movie surrounding them is largely weak.

The film introduces Elba’s and Winslet’s characters at an Idaho airport where most of the planes have been grounded because of poor weather. Because the two need to get out of the area quick, though, with Alex (Winslet) needing to get to her wedding and Ben (Elba) having to get to a surgery, they are rather desperate to get in the air.

That’s when Alex comes up with the idea of taking a smaller charter plane from the airport and invites Ben to come along. At first the flight seems to be going well enough, but that soon flips as a series of events causes the plane to go down. The pilot dies in the accident and the rest of the film follows the two protagonists having to work together to get through a cold, harsh part of the country.

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REVIEW: ‘The Big Sick’ Is A Triumph Thanks To Great Humor, Meaningful Drama

Once in a while during a summer, a great movie comes out that’s in a genre not associated with super heroes or action stars. “The Big Sick,” a romantic comedy, is one of those flicks.

The picture stars Kumail Nanjiani and is actually inspired by the story of how he met his wife Emily Gordon. The film follows Nanjiani through his life in Chicago as an Uber Driver and a stand-up comedian. By way of the latter, he meets Emily, played in the film by Zoe Kazan, and the two start a relationship. Things get a bit complicated, though, as Nanjiani’s family wants him to marry a Pakistani woman.

The situation becomes more complicated when Emily comes down with a sudden illness just after the couple has a fight and she is placed in a medically induced coma for treatment. This leads to Nanjiani having to balance his relationship with his parents and building a new relationship with Emily’s parents.

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REVIEW: A True Delight, ‘La La Land’ Is 2016’s Most Charming Film

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, who’ve co-starred before, reunite on screen for “La La Land,” which is arguably the best movie of their careers.

A true love letter to old Hollywood, “La La Land” kicks off by telling the story of Mia (Stone), an aspiring actress in Los Angeles. The key word is aspiring, as Mia is unable to catch attention in her auditions. Gosling, meanwhile, plays Sebastian who’s also a hopeful artist.

Sebastian is a pianist who’s all about jazz music and has a goal of opening a jazz club. Eventually, the two characters meet, a relationship develops and the film explores the effect it has on their dreams.

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REVIEW: Story Twist In ‘Passengers’ Causes Space Romance To Crash

“Passengers” could have been a good movie, but a lot went wrong here.

In “Passengers,” Chris Pratt plays the character Jim Preston, an engineer and mechanic who’s taking a voyage on the space ship Avalon. The craft, filled with 5,259 people, isn’t making just a day trip, though, as its entire journey from Earth to a new colony is 120 years long. Everyone on the ship are in a state of hibernation, but unfortunately, Jim’s sleeping chamber malfunctions and he wakes up 90 years early.

As a result of this, Jim tries to fix his pod to get back to sleep, but it proves unsuccessful and his efforts to contact any of the crew, also in hibernation, prove futile. His crisis is only deepened by the intense loneliness he feels as the months aboard the ship drag on. That is until he comes in contact with another passenger, Aurora (Jennifer Lawrence) through a series of events.

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REVIEW: ‘Loving’ Lives Up To Its Title Thanks To Heartfelt Lead Performances

The strength and conviction of a couple’s love is put on full display in “Loving.”

The picture tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, two residents of Virginia who were married in Washington D.C. However, because of Virginia state laws, their marriage was not just declared void because it was interracial, they were also put in jail.

The result was a nearly decade long legal battle that eventually found its way in front of the United States Supreme Court. The majority of the flick, though, is spent with Richard and Mildred, who make the best of their situation in any way they can. Continue reading “REVIEW: ‘Loving’ Lives Up To Its Title Thanks To Heartfelt Lead Performances”