Every time they make A Star Is Born it gets nominated for lots of Oscars. That’s because I think it’s such a classic story, as long as you don’t mess it up you’ll have a good movie, as this fourth iteration of it shows.
The picture looks stark and real on Blu-ray, with closeups of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga filling the wide screen. Then stage light explodes when they’re performing. There’s lots of lens flares from natural light, and the HD picture can hold both the flare and the face in the same shot.
The 30 minute behind the scenes feature is better than most. Clips of the Ally screen test and early recording sessions show Cooper sing in his voice without the gravel first.
Gaga and Cooper give solo interviews and have a conversation together. Musicians and costars join in too.
You see Cooper rehearse guitar and singing. Cooper cites David O. Russell as a director from whom he learned, and you can see where he applied those lessons. Cooper also says he’s seen every movie Andrew Dice Clay ever made so I Trust that Cooper has seen Brain Smasher: A Love Story and No Contest. And Casual Sex, remember that?
Analysis of the cinematography is deep and true. Matthew Libatique tells the story of getting Lars Ulrich to shoot a second camera. Gaga sings some a Capella at the table read.
3 rarities show a full demo of “Baby What You Want Me to Do,” “Midnight Special” intercut with the film and “Is That Alright” which may be a deleted scene. Music videos include “Shallow, Always Remember Us This Way,” “Look What I Found” and “I’ll Never Love Again.” Musical Moments is a compilation of 28 minutes of the film’s performances which is really convenient to see the highlights when you don’t have a full two hours.