Tag Archives: Sam Elliott

Cinema Dispatch: A Star Is Born

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A Star is Born and all the images you see in this review are owned by Warner Bros Pictures

Directed by Bradley Cooper

Let’s see… a remake of a classic film, the directorial debut of a respected actor, and it’s about the entertainment industry.  Are we sure they can’t squeeze in World War II to make this finely engineered Oscar Bait in all of existence?  Now Oscar Season has always been a bit of nebulous term as there are a lot of films throughout the year that manage to maintain prestige buzz all the way to voting time (*cough* Get Out *cough*), but there’s no denying that this time of year is chock full of films hoping to be contenders; especially this one!

The movie follows Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) who is an aging country rock star (think Bruce Springsteen or Florida Georgia Line) that likes to drink hard, take pills, and try to pretend he isn’t developing a severe case of Tinnitus.  After one of his shows and three fourths of a bottle of whisky, he randomly stumbles into a bar and sees Ally (Lady Gaga) performing one of her sets.  Now it could just be the booze talking or she could be THE GREATEST SINGER OF ALL TIME, but either way he has to meet her and try to get her to date him.  Oh, and ALSO he’ll help her get a career, but he’ll cross that bridge when they get to it; which is after the dating bridge.  ANYWAY, they spend some time together, party hard at a few bars, and eventually he takes her on tour with him (which is managed by Jackson’s brother played by Sam Elliott) to sing her songs among other things.  Eventually she catches the eye of a manager (Rafi Gavron) and suddenly her success isn’t dependent on Jackson which I guess just gives him more time to drink heavily even if it’s obviously a problem for everyone around him, including her.  Will Ally live out her dreams and become the next great pop sensation?  How long can Jackson function like this without destroying everything and everyone around him?  How the heck are they successful in TODAY’S music climate!?  There’s not a single sick drop in any of their songs!

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Give him six months of Spotify returns and he’ll be singing in the same bars that she was!

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Cinema Dispatch: Rock Dog

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Rock Dog and all the images you see in this review are owned by Huayi Brothers and Summit Premiere

Directed by Ash Brannon

Okay, so maybe saying The Great Wall is some bold new step in Hollywood/China co-productions was overselling it a bit as stuff like this movie, which was animated in the US but made for the Chinese film market, have been happening for quite some time now.  Still, The Great Wall is unique in how hard it was pushed to try and make an impact on the US film market instead of just making all its money in China which usually isn’t the case; including with this movie that barely got any promotion leading up to its release.   That said there’s still some really solid talent behind this, including an all-star cast of voice actors, the studio that animated The Book of Life, and even the co-director of Toy Story 2!  Okay, he’s not the co-director everyone remembers (that would be John Lasseter), but still!  Is there enough talent in this internationally minded animated film to be of some appeal on this side of the globe, or was this all just a cynical cash grab from everyone involved.  You know, like when celebrities do those insane Japanese commercials and hope no one in the US will see them?  Let’s find out!!

The movie begins in the town of Snowville… I mean the Village of Snow Mountain, where the local sheep population is protected from wolves by Tibetan Mastiffs which is a breed of dog.  Well okay, it’s just ONE dude named Khampa (JK Simmons) who has mastered the Kamehameha and used it to fend off a wolf raid several years ago.  Yes, you read that right.  Motherfucking dog shoots energy beams from his hands because reasons.  This would be AMAZING if it wasn’t for the fact that he did all that in the past and hasn’t had to for some time now because the wolves know better than to attack while he’s on watch, so he doesn’t have much cause to use it nowadays.  Still, he’s kept the sheep safe and even managed to raise a son named Bodi (Luke Wilson) who will one day take his place as the town protector, even if he needs a bit more practice before he can ACTUALY do a Kamehameha of his own.  It’s too bad that the writers of this have seen The Gods Must Be Crazy as one day a plane drops civilization right in front of Bodi in the form of a wireless radio that’s fully charged and able to catch a signal.  How about that!?  On the radio he hears a sick track from the one and only Angus Scattergood (Eddie Izzard) which inspires him to pursue his dreams, and with just the right amount of buttering up of his old man, he manages to get a bus ticket to the big city which is… actually pretty close by.  How has Bodi never been to the city before?  WHY IS THERE A BUS STOP NEXT TO SNOW MOUNTAIN IF NO ONE IS USING IT!?  Anyway, his leaving manages to catch the attention of the wolves who are gangsters in that big city, and so the big bad one named Linnux (Lewis Black) sends his slapstick prone henchmen to kidnap him and… I guess get information about Snow Mountain so they can finally kill all those sheep.  Will Bodi be able to live his dreams of a rock star, or will he ultimately get lost in the cruel and uncaring world of professional music?  Will the wolves finally get what they want, or will Body manage to outsmart them… somehow?  For a movie called Rock Dog, he’s not much of a rock star… so why aren’t we following Angus Scattergood instead?

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“Look, I’ve just downed two bottles of tequila and chased it with an irresponsible amount of Chimichangas, so I expect you to do a lot of the heavy lifting here, alright?”

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