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Blu-ray Review: A Star is Born

February 19, 2019

By John Corrado

One of my favourite movies of last year, having landed comfortably in the upper half of my top ten list, Bradley Cooper’s exceptional directorial debut A Star is Born is arriving on Blu-ray this week, and at this point I couldn’t recommend it more highly.

The film is up for eight Academy Awards on Sunday, garnering recognition for Best Picture, Best Original Song for the soaring ballad “Shallow,” as well as a trio of acting nominations for Cooper, Lady Gaga and Sam Elliot, who all deliver powerful performances in the romantic drama.

A film that is both extremely enjoyable and emotionally devastating to watch, A Star is Born is undoubtedly one of the best directorial debuts by an actor of all time, making the fact that Cooper didn’t get a Best Director nomination all the more frustrating and disappointing. For more on the film itself, you can read my full review from its theatrical release back in October right here.

The Blu-ray also includes a selection of bonus features, divided into several sections. First up is The Road to Stardom: Making A Star is Born, an excellent half-hour featurette that covers a lot of bases, from Cooper’s directing style – which he admits was heavily influenced by his frequent collaborators Clint Eastwood and David O. Russell – to the casting, story, characters, musical performances, and Matthew Libatique’s stunning cinematography. It’s an above average supplemental piece that provides an excellent look behind the scenes, really illustrating Cooper’s passion for bringing this story to the screen, and his strong understanding of both the filmmaking and acting process.

Next up, under a tab labelled Jam Sessions and Rarities, we get invaluable rehearsal footage of Cooper performing the old songs “Baby What You Want Me to Do” and “Midnight Special” – which was the first time him and Lady Gaga sung together, recorded at her home – as well as footage of Gaga performing the original end credits song “Is That Alright,” which is cut more like a music video. Next we have a section for music videos, including “Shallow,” “Always Remember Us This Way,” “Look What I Found” and “I’ll Never Love Again.” Finally, under the section titled Musical Moments, you are able to watch just the eleven song performances from the film, separated out on their own.

While some deleted scenes would have been nice, as there was reportedly a lot of footage shot that didn’t make it into the film, it’s easy to imagine they are saving this for an extended edition or possibly even a director’s cut somewhere down the line. But as it stands, between the film itself and the extras that are included, this is a worthwhile release of an outstanding film.

A Star is Born is a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release. It’s 136 minutes and rated 14A.

Street Date: February 19th, 2019

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