Director: Bradley Cooper
Starring: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, Rafi Gavron, Anthony Ramos
I know I am late to this party, but man, A Star Is Born is electric. Not bad for a film that has been done quite a number of times in the past. While there are a few elements that come across as a bit cliche', Bradley Cooper gives it his all. Not just as a first-time director either. His performance is haunting, and it sticks with you. Lady Gaga, gives an outstanding performance in her own right. The chemistry between Cooper and Gaga, is what binds this film together. Cooper's steady hand as a director, make it all work in the end. Surrounded by some great music, and a talented supporting cast (Sam Elliott is fantastic as well), A Star Is Born is some great cinema. It's simple, yet very effective storytelling.
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Bruce Willis, James McAvoy, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Paulson, Anya Taylor-Joy, Spencer Treat Clark
Glass may not stick the landing every time it tries, but it more or less lands with steady footing. Shyamalan, directs the shit out of this movie, and that is both a strength and weakness here. The screenplay, tends to buckle when things get too deep. However, most of the movie takes some big swings, and for that, I quite admire it. The movie does slow down a lot, but that's expected given what we had in Unbreakable and Split. Night, uses to his benefit, fantastic performances to sell all of this. The entire cast, is wonderful here. McAvoy, is just as good, if not better than he was in Split. Bruce Willis, is great, returning as David Dunn, and Jackson, is also solid. The main issue with Glass, is some of the overindulgent storytelling. Night, clearly has something to say, but it doesn't always come out clear. Sometimes, it can be downright gibberish, which is a bit frustrating. Still, when Glass is firing on all cylinders, it often feels like a masterpiece. It's a shame that it isn't quite all put together though. I personally loved where the film headed. The journey just isn't always a smooth one, which can be frustrating.
Director: Adam McKay
Starring: Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Sam Rockwell, Steve Carell, Alison Pill, Jesse Plemons
Vice is a painfully scatterbrained dramedy, about one of America's most controversial political figures. Trying to infuse comedy into his story, director, Adam McKay, isn't able to fully maintain an entertaining narrative. Most of the comedy lands with a thud, and the film's message is so muddled, it sinks rather than swims. The film trudges through, on the back of a fantastic performance by Christian Bale, who transforms himself into Dick Cheney. Along for the ride, are, Amy Adams and, Steve Carell, who both turn in equally fantastic performances. Besides that, Vice is a boring, excruciating exercise in message mismanagement.