A Star is Born Blu-ray Review

Review: ‘A Star is Born’ Shines on Blu-ray

February 19, 2019Ben MK

For anyone lamenting that they don't make movies like they used to, Bradley Cooper's directorial debut is a classic Hollywood romance with a contemporary twist that's sure to please even the most cynical viewer.

In this remake of the thrice-told tale first brought to the big screen in 1937, Cooper plays Jackson Maine, a jaded country music superstar with a penchant for drugs and alcohol. But when Jackson makes an impromptu stop at a drag bar one night after a show, he meets Ally (Lady Gaga), and suddenly his whole world changes. A server at a restaurant with dreams of being a singer, Ally is quickly swept up in a whirlwind love affair with Jackson, which also leads to her own dreams of stardom coming true. But with his self-destructive tendencies looming large over their relationship, can their love survive?

Needless to say, A Star is Born has its share of emotional moments. But what's surprising, perhaps, is that the film's most resonant scenes belong not to Cooper and Lady Gaga, but to him and Sam Elliott, who plays Jackson's long-suffering older brother and manager. Together, the pair bring some much needed depth to a movie that might otherwise have been too old-fashioned for its own good.

A Star is Born radiates star power on Blu-ray, thanks not only to the presence of Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga, but also the disc's powerhouse Dolby Atmos sound mix and crisp 1080p image. Picture quality is blemish-free, full of fine detail, and rich in color (particularly when it comes to the lighting of the film's on-stage musical performances). However, the centerpiece of this technical presentation is without a doubt the sound design. From the more intimate musical moments to the footage captured at real-life concert events such as Coachella and Glastonbury, this is the very definition of melodious perfection.

Warner's two-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes a DVD and digital copy of the film, as well as the following Blu-ray extras:

  • The Road to Stardom: Making A Star is Born (30:02) - Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga lead this discussion about working together, crafting the music with the band Promise of the Real, working with the cast, the cinematography, and shooting live on-stage.
  • Jam Sessions and Rarities (7:01) - Three videos ("Baby What You Want Me to Do (Jam Session)," "Midnight Special (Jam Session)" and "Is That Alright by Lady Gaga").
  • Music Videos (15:53) - Four videos ("Shallow by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper," "Always Remember Us This Way by Lady Gaga," "Look What I Found by Lady Gaga" and "I'll Never Love Again by Lady Gaga").
  • Musical Moments (28:33) - Shortcuts to twelve of the film's musical scenes ("Black Eyes," "La Vie en Rose," "Maybe It's Time," "Shallow (Dialogue)," "Alibi," "Shallow," "Maybe It's Time," "Always Remember Us This Way," "Why Did You Do That?," "Oh, Pretty Woman" and "I'll Never Love Again").

A Star is Born is available from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment as of February 19th, 2019. The Blu-ray features English Dolby Atmos, English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, French, Spanish and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1, and English Dolby Digital 5.1 Descriptive Audio tracks. The film is presented with English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The total runtime is 2 hrs. 16 min.

* Reviewer's note: Portions of this Blu-ray review were adapted from my TIFF review of the film, published on September 14th, 2018.

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