VANYA ON 42ND STREET (1994)

Directed By: Louis Malle
Screenplay By: Andre Gregory 
Based On The Play “DYADYA  VANYA” By Anton Chekhov
Play Adaptation By: David Mamet 
Cinematography: Declan Quinn
Editor: Nancy Baker 

Cast: Julianne Moore, Wallace Shawn, Lynn Cohen, Larry Pine, Brooke Smith, Jerry Mayer, Andre Gregory, George Gaynes, Phoebe Brand, Madhur Jeffrey 

An uninterrupted rehearsal of Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya” played out by a company of actors. The setting is their run-down theater with an unusable stage and crumbling ceiling. The play is shown act by act with the briefest of breaks to move props or for refreshments. The lack of costumes, real props, and scenery is soon forgotten.


though you can tell it’s more performance, so stripped down and organic that it sometimes feels like the actors’ lives and drama might be bleeding into the performances. Keeping the audience on its toes and feeling magically

Though from time to time you can see the people watching. As an audience as well as the director. The film begins traditionally as the actors and director arrive to let us see the setup and give us a New York street view placing the location to a degree.

How it works, not such a staged production, but any distraction. No illumination. So that we are close in the middle of the action and relationships and characters as the camera stays close, rarely moving, and is always close in and tight on their faces. Feels like it is giving us intimacy with the characters.

Wasn’t quite sure exactly when the play started as it seemed more like a general conversation at first then all of a sudden moved on. Though serious it feels adventurous and experimental, open and free.

This is another collaboration that feels similar in spirit yet bigger and not as much of an endurance test. Whereas MY DINNER WITH ANDRE seems almost like a documentary of an intellectual dinner conversation between two friends that reflects so much personality and personality about the people involved. Though we know it is a put-on production, in reality, it was the actors using their real names and partial history but really two originally created characters. Here we have Andre Gregory break up the scenes and guide the audience a bit so that we are In New locations within the play.

Though we are with the camera and the theatrical viewers are right up on them they manage to establish being alone and to themselves quite well. So good it’s hard to tell the difference

Truly be amazing if done straight through act breaks need to explain what has passed and where we are at

Happy to see Brooke smith who over the years has quite a resume. Not exactly a star but a recognizable character actress over the years. Who has earned her success from small to significant supporting roles seems as if we can watch her grow up on the screen as I remember her early first role in THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. One of my favorite immoral films in junior high school and high school where I earned the nickname Hannibal the cannibal by fellow students and Jeffrey danger because of the similar first name and I was also quiet and unassuming. It’s always a surprise to see her even at first if she seems miscast like in BAD COMPANY.

Grade: A

HOLLYWOOD STARGIRL (2022)

Directed By: Julia Hart
Written By: Julia Hart & Jordan Horowitz 
Based On Characters from the novel STAR GIRL By: Jerry Spinelli 
Cinematography: Bryce Fortner 
Editor: Shayer Bhansali & Tracey Wadmore-Smith 

Cast: Grace VanderWall, Elijah Richardson, Judy Greer, Uma Thurman, Judd Hirsch, Tyrel Jackson Williams, Chris Williams, Al Madrigal, Nija Okoro, Sarayu Blue 

Stargirl Caraway as she journeys out of Mica into a bigger world of music, dreams and possibility.


while better made than the first film. As it seems to have a larger scope. it also seems to have lost a little of its heart. This one might be a bit better because you know what to expect throughout. 

As it tries to keep a positive and romantic tone. It still is paced morosely.

As even though it’s a kid’s film it feels like doom or the rig will get pulled under at any minute.

This one also benefits from a more well-known cast of supporting actors. Who gets more time to actually have their presence felt. Instead of the last film which focused primarily on the main couple. 

Star girl still seems to be a beacon of optimism And the guys she falls for seem to be the same type. Here she is not quite as mysterious. Not offering a surprising knowledge of music and classic hits. Though there are plenty of singing scenes.

Not quite a musical in the classic sense but more songs were performed without any choreography or dancing. The difference between seeing a performer and a show.

This film is also a romance but maybe as in the last film they spent more time on the romance and her doing the chasing while staying mysterious. This time around we get to know more about her and the romance just seems to happen. It’s sweet but doesn’t feel like it has as much depth this time around.

It pretty much goes through the numbers and is a sweet film. None of it is really believable but keeps your interest. Especially when it is more made to please its audience of Disney viewers 

Though everything feels rushed its pace is like molasses.

Grade: C

DANIEL ISN’T REAL (2019)

Directed By: Adam Egypt Mortimer 
Written By: Adam Egypt Mortimer & Brain Deleeuw
Based On the novel “IN THIS WAY I WAS SAVED” By: Brian Deleeuw 
Cinematography: Lyle Vincent 
Editor: Brett W. Bachman 

Cast: Miles Robbins, Patrick Schwartzenegger, Sasha Blane, Mary Stuart Masterson, Hannah Marks, Chukwudi Iwuji, Peter McRobbie

A troubled college freshman, Luke, suffers a violent family trauma. He then resurrects his charismatic childhood imaginary friend Daniel to help him cope, not realizing how dangerous Daniel is.


This is a film I truly looked forward to watching and I will say that it is the work of an original filmmaker. Who definitely has talent, unfortunately, the film never seems to rise to how strong it seems to lead. 

The film offers a tale of a schizophrenic That can be compared to or seen as a dual personality. Here that other personality corns across as a long-lost imaginary friend. Who comes back during a mental break though the film presents as more supernatural.

Though a film that is more willing to examine mental illness and the effects it can have not only on you but those around you and how it can be hereditary. 

Which leads the film to be a strong and tight thriller. As the other personality is more of a bad boy, yet comes across as a hipster jerk or A frat brother type you would think most would want to avoid. who comes across as charming to most of the female characters. 

Which makes him more believable as a sociopath. Eventually, the Film reveals why the other personality is so murderous. That might be one of the few parts of the movie that feels like it needed to be stronger or at least have a stronger explanation.

The film attempts to make the supernatural elements help to build a world. Though even once it is explained it feels a bit vague. As you want more information. Though it does leave you guessing as to whether it is truly him or a split personality or something else altogether 

One of the perks of the film is seeing Mary Stuart Masterson in a film again. Here she as usual is strong in her scenes. 

If looking for a psychological thriller that has originality and doesn’t walk the familiar beaten paths this is the film for you.

Grade: B

DEATH ON THE NILE (2022)

Directed By: Kenneth Branagh
Written By: Michael Green 
Based upon the novel by: Agatha Christie 
Cinematography: Haris Zamberloukos
Editor: Una Ni Dhonghalie 

Cast: Kenneth Branagh, Gal Gadot, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Armie Hammer, Letitia Wright, Emma Mackey, Tom Bateman, Sophie Okonedo, Rose Leslie, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Adam Garcia, Michael Rouse, Alaa Safi 

While on vacation on the Nile, Hercule Poirot must investigate the murder of a young heiress.


This film was postponed for release due to the pandemic and having a troubled cast member. That was meant to be released theatrically because of the big-name cast. Though quietly released onto streaming. While it has the beauty to be a more theatrical release, by the end it feels more compact and like a television movie with grand ambitions.

This feels like the British version of the movie. As most of the cast is more British stars and recognizable actors. Maybe it helps the film be more acceptable for a foreign audience. 

As it lacks the star power of Kenneth Branagh’s previous Agatha Christie novel brought to film MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS. While he directs and stars a detective Hercule Poirot is seemingly on vacation and brought into another murder mystery.

This film is much darker in spirit than the previous film. Which although had a murder plot came off a little more lightweight and his performance was more comedic and fun. In this film, it is much more dramatic. As it feels more personal for the main character. This leaves Branagh’s Performance much more melodramatic. Even if the rest of the motivations feel a little looser.

As this film cuts closer to his character’s heart as we learn more about his past and he is much closer to the characters and one of the victims.

The film feels too long and it takes almost 45 minutes before the initial death comes to pass. Where there is a lot of build-ups and setting up animosity and motives for various characters. Even though it seems obvious from the early part of the film who the killer is.

So that it feels like we are not really waiting for who did it, but more how and why. 

The relationships throughout don’t seem very romantic or warm. Yet we are told how much they care about one another. Some of the castings seem more like a stunt. Like having comedic duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders in the film and giving them nothing comedic to work with or having Russell Brand play a more dramatic role. Which he does well and without his long hair you barely recognize him. 

The film feels like it had a much lower budget to work with. As it seems to be a much smaller story and more limited in locations. It also seems a little less glamorous than the first film.  So it goes the opposite direction of most sequels. 

Though still beautifully filmed. Including a shot that showcases most of the cast In one shot that is obviously more for the trailer to show off. 

The film is a good time waster. As it is mostly entertaining as it goes along. Even though it is predictable.

Grade: C

THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK (1998)

Written & Directed by: Randall Wallace 
Based On The Novels “Vingt Ans Apres” & “La Victome De Bragalonne” By: Alexander Dumas 
Cinematography: Peter Suschitzky
Editor: William Hoy

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Gabriel Byrne, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu, Judith Godreche, Anne Parillaud, Peter Sarsgaard, Edward Atterton, Hugh Laurie, Laura Fraser, Leonor Varela 

Paris is starving, but the King of France is more interested in money and bedding women. When a young soldier dies for the sake of a shag, Aramis, Athos, and Porthos band together with a plan to replace the king. Unknown to many, there is a 2nd king, a twin, hidden at birth, then imprisoned for 6 years behind an iron mask. All that remains now is D’Artagnan, will he stand against his long-time friends, or do what is best for his country?


I remember being excited to see this in theaters with such a distinguished cast playing the musketeers and Leonardo DiCaprio’s first film right after TITANIC. Filmed before that film I believe but released relatively soon after. While I wasn’t a particular fan of that movie. I was a fan of DiCaprio. Who at that point. Had been gaining a lot of buzzes.

I really didn’t like the film as I watched it in theaters I remember being heavily disappointed and downright bored. It had its highlights but there were relatively few of them. Watching the film years later I have to say it is still disappointing.

It didn’t help that this movie was advertised as having more action than it ended up having. Watching it now even the action scenes aren’t very inspired or all that vivid. They lack any skill or any finesse and look like they are running and wrestling one another.

In fact, the only thing the film has going for it is the cast. Leonardo DiCaprio playing dual roles keeps your attention and shows here that he is much better in villainous roles. As he was on his way up to stardom and making quite a male for himself. This role showed he was more about the craft somewhat than the box office. 

Other than him the actors playing the musketeers are so loved and fun you almost want a separate film all about them. As they bring life to the film and their scenes. Putting a spin on each of their characters. So that they show charisma and can be both funny and captivating often in the same sentence.

The film feels like a movie made to be watched in English classes teaching the book to make the material more vivid for the kids. As everything looks like a set and bland in the background. As the film never displays any real passion or energy. So that it almost feels like reading the book. Which I never have. It comes off as a throwback to classic studio adaptations, Where they just throw stars at the material and hope it sticks in with a certain audience.

The female lead, Judith Godreche really has little to do. She just seems to be a pretty face here. Her character is more put there to be a means to an end. The curse of her character is her beauty which sets everything in motion. As she comes across as a plot convenience and somewhat eye candy. So later the fate of her character never even feels that shocking or dramatic. 

In the end, it feels almost like a school production only with a budget. The film at times tries but misses the target. 

Grade: D+

CANNERY ROW (1982)

Written & Directed By: David S. Ward
Based on the novels “Cannery Row” and “Sweet Thursday” By: John Steinbeck
Cinematography: Sven Nykvist
Editor: David Bretherton 

Cast: Nick Nolte, Debra Winger, M. Emmet Walsh, Audra Lindley, Frank McRae, James Keane, Kathleen Doyle, Art LaFleur, John Huston 

A depressed section of Monterey, California, known as Cannery Row from its string of now-empty canning plants is the backdrop for an offbeat romantic comedy about a pair of mismatched lovers. Doc is a lonely marine biologist (and former baseball star) who supplies specimens for science labs and classrooms. Suzy is a scrappy drifter who can’t even succeed as a prostitute because of her abrasive manner. When the two get together, it’s fireworks, though not the romantic kind. Not to worry, everything is in the hands of Cannery Row’s resident guardian angels, Mack and the boys, a band of drunken derelicts whose hearts are in the right place, even though their brains are not.


The film is atmospheric and feels enriched in culture but like John Steinbeck’s writing, it is based. It feels dull yet full of depth. It is a particular slice of life. 

The film has certain scenes that are full of charm and feel inventive. As well as a romance that feels like it takes place in real-time.

The character feels full and lived in and not necessarily caricatures. Where you could actually set stories around them individually. Which the film tries to do by giving them each time to shine. 

Debra winger comes off as charming. Especially as we learn more about her as the film goes along.

The film offers itself up more as a slice of life that feels like not too much happens. Thought the film will have A scene that will wake you up and then go back to being mundane. As the film in exchange for feeling lived in, never decides what or where it wants to go or to be.

Frank McRae plays another stereotypical mentally simple role but is meant to be more the lovable giant. This might be one of the first times he played the type. Before moving on to angry police captains in other films. 

The film feels like POPEYE the movie spin-off with a whole new set of characters but leftover similar sets.

As the film feels episodic. The film feels like a set of short stories coming Together to tie together the ensemble and focus on friendships and relationships.

Each character is lived in and feels like they have more to offer. As the film has scenes of absolute slapstick ingenuity and a hard-won romance.

One can see why the film might not have been a success, but also easily can be seen as a product of a bygone era. Even as the time period shows this more as a character-heavy periodic, episodic, and ensemble finding the story, character and themes 

This film works like that invention from the beginning of PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE. Where we see the invention and its mechanics, the nuts and bolts of it all, and are amazed at its assembly d how it works as it seems to put in a lot of synchronization for it all to work at certain intervals. 

Even entertaining to watch themselves until finally at the end. All of that for something so simple. Where the mechanics are more interesting or captivating than the act. A lot of work for something basic, that is how this film feels. 

GRADE: C+

THE BIRDCAGE (1996)

Directed By Mike Nichols 
Written By: Elaine May 
Based on An Earlier Screenplay By: Francis Veber, Edouard Molinaro, Marcello Danon & Jean Poiret
Based in the play La Cage Aux Folles by: Jean Poiret
Cinematography: Enrique Lubezki
Editor: Arthur Schmidt 

Cast: Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman, Dianne Wiest, Hank Azaria, Christine Baranski, Dan Futterman, Calista Flockhart, Tom McGowan, Grant Heslov, Kirby Mitchell, Ann Cusack, Trina McGee-Davis

A gay cabaret owner and his drag queen companion agree to put up a false straight front so that their son can introduce them to his fiancée’s right-wing moralistic parents.


this film at the time was a little daring or a bit of a gamble for a mainstream audience. Though it was also self-assured because of the popular cast. Though behind the scenes you had a bunch of heavy hitters. Who managed to raise the bar on a familiar tale and still knock it out of the park. 

Which shockingly had some actors playing against type. Where we have a fun yet more restrained Robin Williams while playing more of a funny conservative grouch. Seeing gene hackman in drag is certainly different and new.

The film also tries to put in some satire of the political culture at the time and while camping up gay culture at least offers a glimpse inside of it and offers representation.

This film also is really the big screen introduction of Nathan Lane as Albert the drag queen lover who has been practically a mother to robin Williams son in the film. Playing a role that was abandoned by Steve Martin last minute due to scheduling problems. Thilough broadway star Nathan lane took it and made it a star-making Role.

Hank Azaria also makes his presence felt in his supporting role as the couples maid, assistant and cook. Who is also part of the slapstick laughs later in the film.

This is one of those films that came around at the right place and right time. As the film and play was already a hit In France and waiting for an American remake for years that never got made which might have been out of fear in the 1989’s to portray a gay relationship. non chalantly with mainstream big name actors. So that when it did come along the culture was a bit more relaxed and if made today might not even bat too many eyelashes.

Luckily it is still hilarious to watch even on this day and age. Even when the Jokes are a little more obvious they still make you laugh. As there is wit on display as well as physical comedy and just plain old slapstick in the third act.

Out of the cast if anyone is flat It’s the young couple looking to get married played by Claista Flockhart and Dan Futterman though in a film filled with flamboyant and over the top characters you need some to be more quiet and seemingly normal to even it out a little. though they come off a little dull and Futterman Looks way older than Flockhart 

While the film is a laugh riot from beginning to the end it also has character moments that come off more serious and dramatic. As even after the so called Macho lesson the scene where lane tries to act like a straight male in a suit is a thing of beauty and partial pain.

You can feel its theatrical roots throughout it truly strongly in The theirs act where everything comes to a head. What truly is amazing is that while it was dating at its time it plays off so cute that now it feels like a more modern comedic classic that the whole family can enjoy. Even if there are times when it feels overloaded with stereotypes. 

It is so styled yet feels so haywire. That while it might seem like it is filling turbulence it’s always smooth sailing. 

Though there is an overwhelming comedic quality with heart and care that had me going to see it in theaters more than once or twice. 

Grade: A-

SOMEONE LIKE YOU (2001)

Directed By: Tony Goldwyn 
Written By: Elizabeth Chandler
Based On The Novel “ANIMAL HUSBANDRY” By: Laura Zigman
Cinematography: Anthony B. Richmond 
Editor: Dana Congdon

Cast: Ashley Judd, Hugh Jackman, Marisa Tomei, Greg Kinnear, Ellen Barkin, Donna Hanover, Catherine Dent, Nicole leach, Peter Friedman, Colleen Camp, Mirelle Enos, Veronica Webb, Naomi Judd

After being jilted by her boyfriend, a talk show talent scout writes a column on the relationship habits of men which gains her national fame.


Way before the ADELE song on the same name. This movie came around when Ashley Judd was getting used to being a star. This was the film where it would really rest on her shoulders.

The problem is that this film is so generic. That even at the time it came out there felt outdated. It’s one of those films that came out in the 90’a and while you can tell it is a studio film it still comes across as no-frills. As there is no particular style everything’s made to look bland. So that when something that looks sharp in style and person. It is jarring. The film feels like it could have been a storyline on the television show FRIENDS rather than getting its own movie.

It also feels like everyone is too for their roles and especially to still have the character’s mindsets.

This film is disposable. So disposable I watched it recently and don’t remember much of this film. I know enough that I would never watch it again.

Hugh Jackson plays a cad who somehow becomes roommates with a co-worker played by Judd. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend and at first, they can’t stand each other (then why live together in the first place. It is New York after all so I guess desperate measures) slowly but surely, of course, they fall in love and he changes his ways.

I enjoy Hugh Jackman a lot. He is like one of those classic leading men from the 1940s and ’60s and at least the film in a scene shows why his character is so jaded and cruel as a ladies’ man. Though here he rarely has any chemistry with his female co-stars which really doesn’t help if you are making a romantic comedy. (Nor does the theory of double negative where the chemistry is supposed to be bad that it comes off charming eventually) Though there is something innately watchable about him.

Watching this film less for the romance and more for the comedy. As there is already little romance and more talk of it than anything. The comedy also never really comes other than some catty one-liners more from Jackman than Judd

At least Hugh Jackman seems to know he’s not in a necessarily good movie. He is just biding his time until each scene ends and is happy with the work. Not to mention a paycheck.

One can’t get mad at this film totally as it fits its conventions and lets you know what type of film it is. It doesn’t try to misdirect to make itself seem like it has more depth or one-of-a-kind filmmaking. Still even for its genre while competently filmed it is majorly disappointing in most aspects.

By the end, it also makes it obvious that the main character needed the break-up to happen for her to grow. As she would have been noted and settled into marriage with the wrong person in the first place and Even Though would have been happy. She also would have been bored and stuck 

The film is strictly painted by numbers and off the assembly line. I don’t even have that much more to say about it.

Grade: F

CHERRY (2021)

Directed by: Joe Russo & Anthony Russo 
Written By: Jessica Goldenberg & Angela Russo-Otstot 
Based On The Novel By: Nico Walker 
Cinematography: Newton Thomas Sigel
Editor: Jeff Groth

Cast: Tom Holland, Ciara Bravo, Jack Reynor, Forrest Goodluck, Jeff Wahlberg, Michael Rispoli, Michael Gandolfini, Damon Wayans Jr. Kelli Burland, Daniel R. Hill, Pooch Hall, Thomas Lennon

Cherry drifts from college dropout to army medic in Iraq – anchored only by his true love, Emily. But after returning from the war with PTSD, his life spirals into drugs and crime as he struggles to find his place in the world.


It might be that one really wanted this film to succeed. As it is the first film for the Russo brothers directing after THE AVENGERS  movies and a starring role for Tom Holland in a more dramatic role. Not to mention actress Ciara Bravo in a leading female role after the streaming Series WAYNE was unfortunately canceled before it’s time and she was so good on it. That the film’s problems might’ve taken a little more personal. 

While I never read the book. I know it was critically acclaimed and had its fair share of fans. 

This is a clear case of style over substance. As the film gives us a story adapted from the book of the same name.

Though throughout the film flirts with so many different genres a mind types that it never has time to settle into any of them flirting but never quite sealing the deal. As they are just escapades that help us get to the next part of the story.

The film mainly revolves around two characters and at heart is a love story of two people trying to find themselves in one another. While dealing with constant mistakes that seem to get bigger whenever trying to solve the last problem.

It is also a drug addiction story. While the two leads are capable Tom Holland and Ciara bravo they look so young which might be the age of the characters, but they look Ike they are playing dress-up half the time. Especially as their characters get older and for Tom Holland especially the later scenes where he grows a mustache Looks more like make-up than a naturally grown character. Though Ciara bravo tries very hard with her character. Her more adult scenes just never hit home. As she is a good actress.

When it comes to the direction of the film. It is overly stylized which can be appreciated when done with just enough panache. The problem here though is that the story never quite earns it so it usually feels over the top. Though it does give the film an operatic presentation. It feels overdone and at times like it is taking suggestions from other films but is never quite as sharp as those other films. So that even in some scripted scenes that are more comedic it still falls flat.

Even as it tries to base itself on the book and present each new time period in their lives as a new or different chapter. Trying to elevate the material higher.

Even the bank robbery scene has no flair. We get that they are trying to show it’s not like the movies are glamorous or necessarily well thought out, but they just feel lifeless. As the film goes on everything feels familiar but the film keeps trying to present it in a different way that ends up going overboard and not actually adding anything to the overall experience or film. Be

The film seems to go out of its way to show that life isn’t fair as the good moral characters have a way of always having hardships or dying. While the characters who showcase bad moral behavior sometimes are punished but at other times seem to succeed or at least survive. At least In our time with them.

One of the problems is that throughout the movie the scenes feel melodramatic and examples of emotional beats you have seen done bigger and better and more deserved in Other films. Making the film again feel like it is more trying to be like films of this type instead of just being itself. It’s let’s put on a show rather than let’s stay true and tell a story.

It’s not a bad film but like the main character, it feels full of ambition but never quite makes it to where it wants to go or wants to be. Though it is a nice try. It ends up feeling like it is trying to show off to prove it belongs and in doing so showcases why it doesn’t.

It might be that the film feels more like a dramatic graphic novel with its style and with the filmmakers behind it. It just feels like a movie of moments that might have been handled better emotionally,  gritty and dramatic rather than grand and so visual and surreal. 

There is a plan here it just doesn’t match the story or material 

It’s an interesting try that in the end doesn’t quite stick to the landing. By the end, you have a film that will keep your interest but you might not have anything to really grab onto to remember or even truly feel.

Grade: C

HOUSE OF GUCCI (2021)

Directed By: Ridley Scott
Written By: Becky Johnston & Roberto Bentivenga
Based on the Book By: Sara Gay Forden 
Cinematography: Dariusz Wolski
Editor: Claire Simpson 

Cast: Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino, Jared Leto, Jack Huston, Salma Hayek, Camille Cottin, Reeve Carney 

When Patrizia Reggiani, an outsider from humble beginnings, marries into the Gucci family, her unbridled ambition begins to unravel their legacy and triggers a reckless spiral of betrayal, decadence, revenge, and ultimately…murder.


This should be a movie that could almost guarantee an audience. It has a strong true life story of an emotive that is successful and slowly crumbles. The infighting amongst the family for control of this empire. An outsider who comes in and manipulates everyone and then later a true crime aspect. 

For such an established and pedigree cast this film should be much better. It is grand in style though strangely considering the story should feel epic. Never achieves the heights and power that it should. It never feels rich or full-bodied. 

Now, this is Lady Gaga’s first big starring role after A STAR IS BORN. All eyes are on her as she has the showiest role and while she does ok. It might have been much stronger with a more experienced actress. Who could captivate the audience.

Jared Leto acts like he is in a totally different film. His performance comes off as more comedic but will admit he is the most entertaining part of the film. As with him In Scenes. The film either feels uneven or that it is slipping more into camp at times. 

The film at least allows for other cast members to shine but they rarely come close to being as interesting or captivating. Other than gaga Adam driver has the character who shows the most range in terms of emotions and situations. 

The script fails at times also. As gaga’s character at first seems In love and humble and then all of a sudden seems to desire money and success manipulating her husband and the rest of the family. It might have been a little more understandable if the film showed she was a girl who came from much more humble beginnings and once around. Wealth and success she got spoiled and wanted to stay in that environment. Instead of making. It seems like she was a power mad gold digger all of a sudden.

The film feels like it is going through the motions of telling the story rather than being invested in it or the characters. It feels to a matter of fact or more reporting. Even in the good times, you don’t feel heights of joy or happiness. Though Can only go so far as Based ona true story

The film feels like it lacks the glamour and indulgence. It’s pretty much a television movie with a star name cast and more of a budget and even has scenes to help individualize the characters

It might be that wanting to show her more rags to riches we see glimpses  of the power and fortune and are left with more the gaudy and rather basic indulgences and keep i everything smaller with lesser volumes as far as size of story making it feel more personal 

As far as star casting she is in the middle of it all and does fine but needs a bigger star for us to indulge in. Went to tell a mroe realistic story instead of letting it either go to camp or makign it more about the Star than the story ala evita and with lady Gaga can see it as that kind of film where it could be but here the peers that be were more interested in story and details 

Which might disappoint her audience but for fans wanting to learn the story or look for this to be a mroe all around film night prefer it

When dealing with a film about a known empire of fashion. Most expect a film More of style than substance. Maybe the thinking of the filmmakers was to be more restrained as style would be expected. As the story itself was so wild in the first place.

In the end it ends up not only a true crime drama that only showcases that aspect in the last third. As the first third is a romance and rags to riches story and the middle is indulgence but after all is said and done it is ultimately a tragedy. Where the new element brought the house down, but also everyone’s individual greed is their own worst enemies that becomes personified in the end 

The film Works on many different levels for the audience star power as she has a best actress nomination. She has to be jsit as good as her cast memebers making her bring more of an a game as most of these actors are good even on their worst days

Her power of celebrity brings most of they punter audience even if not for die hard fans there is that element for others to see if she is up to par with her co-stars 

It would only be more heightened if she had performed a song for the soundtrack which might have helped the film financially but then would have come over even more as a vanity project 

Having Al Pacino in a movie set in Italy and with a crime drama background already poses sea the stereotype of somehow involving the mob. Luckily when it comes to him and his pedigree he is associated only with illustrious films about the mob that are mroe legendary

The film looks good but never quite as sharp as it should and never achieves the dramatic depth it should. Making it feel like it is constantly missing an ingredient. As it is definitely missing a sense of glamour.

Grade: C+