A Star is Born (2018) 4K Blu-ray Review
By Chris Heinonen on
A Star is Born Summary
In “A Star Is Born,” Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga fuse their considerable talents to depict the raw and passionate tale of Jack and Ally, two artistic souls coming together, on stage and in life. Theirs is a complex journey through the beauty and heartbreak of a relationship struggling to survive.
In this new take on the iconic love story, four-time Oscar nominee Cooper (“American Sniper,” “American Hustle,” “Silver Linings Playbook”) makes his directorial debut, and also stars alongside multiple award-winning, Oscar-nominated music superstar Gaga in her first leading role in a major motion picture. Cooper portrays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, who discovers and falls in love with struggling artist Ally. She has given up on her dream to become a successful singer until she meets Jack, who immediately sees her natural talent.
The film also stars Andrew Dice Clay, with Dave Chappelle and Sam Elliott. In addition to playing Ally, Gaga performs original songs in the film with Cooper, which they wrote with a handful of artists, including Lukas Nelson, Jason Isbell, and Mark Ronson. The music is original and all vocals for the movie were recorded live during filming.
A Star is Born Movie Review
When I first saw they were remaking A Star is Born for the 3rd time I wasn’t sure if that was a good idea. Having Lady Gaga star and Bradley Cooper direct also didn’t give me any confidence, but oh boy was I wrong on this one. A Star is Born is absolutely fantastic, and one of the best films of the year by far. It is full of real emotion, fantastic acting, and a wonderful story.
And that acting is just something else. Bradley Cooper is flat out wonderful as Jack, a booze-and-drug-addicted musician, and while you might want to compare Lady Gaga and Madonna for their music-to-film pursuits, Lady Gaga is far better here than Madonna has been in anything. Sam Elliott might be better than both of them playing Jack’s older brother. Fantastic on the first viewing and worthy of multiple viewings later, A Star is Born is a 4K disc that is completely worth owning.
A Star is Born Technical Review
A Star is Born was shot with ARRI cameras at 2.8K and 3.4K resolution, and has a 2K digital intermediate. The disc includes a Dolby Vision version and that is what I watched on a Sony OLED and Vizio PQ. If I didn’t have the requirement that you need to be a true 4K master to get a 5 for video, I’d have no issues giving that rating to this disc. There is loads of detail here, and scenes with a great mixture of shadows and highlights. When Lady Gaga wears a gold dress the way it glitters and sparkles in HDR is nothing short of amazing. I noticed no flaws with banding or shadow crush, and nothing at all that distracts from the experience. It’s a fantastic disc.
The audio here is spectacular as well. While the default disc track is a 7.1 DTS-MA HD, you can select a Dolby Atmos track and I recommend that you do. While it does well during the film, with lots of small sounds like heels on a stage coming across clear, it excels with the songs. There is a quick selection feature on the main menu so you can listen to just those and they stand out above the rest. Vocals are nicely isolated in the center channel, and the music plays across the front while the audience fills the arena around you. I couldn’t push my system loud enough here, as it was just fantastic to watch these scenes over and over. On a technical level, nothing about this disc disappoints.
A Star is Born Special Features
- Jam Sessions and Rarities
- “Baby What You Want Me To Do”
- “Midnight Special”
- “Is That Alright”
- The Road to Stardom: Making A Star is Born
- Music Videos
- “Always Remember Us This Way”
- “Look What I Found”
- “I’ll Never Love Again”
A Star is Born Review System
Sony A1E OLED, Vizio PQ LCD, Panasonic UB820 UltraHD Blu-ray Player, KEF Ci5160RL-THX Fronts, Ci3160RL-THX Center, 2x Ci200RR-THX Surrounds, 4x CI200RR-THX Atmos Speakers, Anthem MRX 1120 Receiver, SVS PB-3000 subwoofer.
A flat-out spectacular film with incredible acting and music, the Dolby Vision image and Dolby Atmos soundtrack are superb and only enhance what the actors are doing.
Not a true 4K master.
A Star is Born is one of the best films of 2018, and one of the best discs in recent memory. The movie is fantastic while the image and audio don't disappoint at all. This is one that I will keep coming back to in the future and well worth the purchase.