Discover more from The Chatner
Movie Yelling With Grace and Danny: A Star Is Born and the Laws of Conservation of Energy
Spoilers throughout, proceed accordingly!
Danny: You ready??
Grace: yes I am ready. I am "born"
Danny: So I feel like the most representative moment from last night, for me, was leaving to go to the bathroom what felt like a mere ten minutes into the movie, and coming back to find that Bradley Cooper was suddenly screaming at Sam Elliot YOU SOLD THE RANCH AND BOUGHT A WIND FARM, and Sam Elliot screaming back YOUR DADDY'S GRAVE WAS WASHED AWAY IN THE STORM
Grace: both of them sounding like they had swallowed and consumed Sling Blade
yes, but right at the outset there is something important I need to disclose: I did not understand *a single word* that either of those men said for *the entire movie*
Danny: Sam Elliot at least enunciates through the gravel, I absorbed a lot of "friendly rock monster energy" from him
Grace: it was like Lady Gaga was doing the thing where people pretend they can talk to Beaker on the muppet show
"what's that, Bradley Cooper? you want me to sing you a song? okay then!"
I think what's really important is that I communicate that this isn't an overstatement. not a single word. I thought Sam Elliot was his dad.
Danny: I clearly missed a VERY important five minutes, because I have no idea what Sam Elliot was to him. A roadie? His much, much older brother? Cormac McCarthy?
did you catch that when they ran into one another backstage at SNL, Sam Elliot was genuinely surprised to see him?
Grace: he was his future
Danny: like he just HAPPENED to also be at SNL for some reason?
Grace: yes, he just stopped by and didn't think that the man would be there with his wife
who was performing
Danny: I thought we agreed Lady Gaga was his future, and that the only bearable interpretation of this movie was one where it's all a very heavy-handed metaphor for transition
Grace: right yes
the Fight Club ending
Danny: like that time that one lady thought your ID was your husband's
"Jackson Maine is dead."
Grace: ha yes
Danny: "Long live...Ally Maine."
Ally Maine is a great trans girl name
Grace: "I preferred the other Professor Lavery"
less said about that the better
Ally Maine is a great trans girl name though
Grace: "Danny... this is on Ally Maine!!"
Danny: horny on Maine: the star is horned
Grace: okay then I think that like, Bradley Cooper was Lady Gaga's past and Sam Elliot was her fear of the future
Danny: at least Sam Elliot was sober, I think? Sober-ish? A normal drinker?
Grace: wait, really? jesus
Danny: I mean, Sam Elliot wasn't running around pissing himself at the Grammys
this definitely was not as good as depicting alcoholism as the Betty Ford musical sequence in the New York episode of the Simpsons
Grace: I have absolutely no patience for that genre of American masculinity, he may as well have been drunk, at least then he'd die onscreen quicker
Danny: was Joel Grey really in this movie? did I imagine that?
Grace: he was. Dave Chapelle too. And Dave Chapelle's really wonderful daughter who was the best thing in it by far
Joel Grey played an approximation of what might happen in rehab, maybe. "Don't be late. Can we all agree we're not late?"
by the way when he said that line "can we all agree we're not late" I thought he meant like, "let's just pretend that it's five minutes earlier than it really is" which I thought was an interesting idea
Danny: Bradley Cooper: hmmrrafghl latebargle
also Andrew Dice Clay was in this movie, I learned during the credits
and then spent like, five minutes trying to guess who he played
Grace: I guess he was her dad?
Bradley Cooper: the twinkling poignant narrowing moist eyes of the soulful wounded scarred male alcoholic
yes, he was playing New Jersey in 1978, along with his friends who were also Lady Gaga's only friends
"yes, my friends are some drag queens who never talk to me and my elderly dad's back-up singers"
Danny: I feel like whatever dialect coaches specialize in "white ethnic regional variations" were so thrilled when they saw the notices for this movie
Grace: it was unnecessary. but yes I am glad those people are getting work I guess
I also should make clear I really did not enjoy A Star Is Born
Danny: "KEEP SAYING SINATRA, ANDREW DICE CLAY. SAY SINATRA AGAIN."
I also did not enjoy it!
Grace: "thay seared oi whas bitter thun Snoutrer"
Danny: the moment Bradley Cooper is being driven around town and the car stops ominously in front of a HUGE NEON RAINBOW FLAG with like SIX NOOSES on it my heart sank
"Oh, no, this movie is going to be terrible."
and then, in my memory, the car took a left turn such that it was even MORE framed by the sign
Grace: you say that but what actually happened is we both cracked up quite audibly and rather disturbed the mostly respectable-looking afternoon crowd at the indie theater
Danny: I feel like someone had very recently told Bradley Cooper about oranges in the Godfather
and he was like "Oh, HELL yes"
the opening shot where he's crushing pills or whatever
I'm pretty sure you audibly said, "Oh yeah, take some PILLS"
Grace: I did. then after when he was in the car I was like "take some MORE of the SAME pills" and you were like "NO take DIFFERENT pills" and I suppose the tone was set
Danny: you can't take the same pills BEFORE and AFTER going onstage!
Grace: um, beg 2 differ
Danny: if you're going to give us PILL MELODRAMA, show the difference between uppers and downers!!!
"It's the logical next step for you!"
Grace: xannies are inherently versatile
Danny: definitely Walk Hard was also a better depiction of substance abuse than this movie
Grace: I was amazed that the movie got MADE after Walk Hard.
Danny: oh hush you've been vers for like six months and suddenly you're an expert on versatility
"HE NEEDS MORE BLANKETS...AND FEWER BLANKETS"
Grace: "six months"
okay, so can we talk about the wood panelling? why do "washed up rockstar sets" always involve wood paneling
Danny: wood paneling and those really expensive denim shirts
let's talk about the wood panelling
and the evil sockless British executive
in this moral universe, the following things are evil: Male socklessness, backup dancers, the concept of dance in general, blonde hair, Alec Baldwin
Grace: also, perhaps this is far fetched, but I kept thinking that with (a) the lumberjacking and (b) the red and blue lighting, there were some shots of the "washed up rockstar set" that were meant to remind me of Kirk in the Nexus
A STAR TREK IS BORN
Grace: like, Bradley Cooper will be visited by an older bald man with his exact job but a ways in the future
"Klingons are our friends now"
we're getting off track
Danny: we are
Grace: yes the backing dancer malice was bizarre
Danny: also just weird because
she was discovered AS an "authentic country singer"
so fine, do the evil star machine if you want
but it's weird that she was not promoted as the thing she was discovered for
Grace: what genre *was* that garbage? someone in the guardian called it like "bourbon blues country rock" and I was like, ugh go suck on a sock
Danny: "someone in the Guardian" described it as “what they play at the Hard Rock Cafe in Vegas?”
Grace: yes okay my people's newspapers are not the best source of information on American musical genres
Danny: lmao now I'm just imagining this exact same movie but with Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow as the leads
Danny: MY NAME IS KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDD....*crushes pills*....RAWWWWKKKK
Grace: I thought at one point "Is the point of this movie that Lady Gaga wants to be Sheryl Crow"?
because girl... you can. but you don't have to.
Danny: I think it was great that every time she performed on stage she acted as if she had just discovered 1. what music is and 2. that her vocal cords can produce sounds
"holy shit, holy shit, WHAT'S HAPPENING TO ME"
"what is this thing you call.....moo-zack"
Grace: yes she kept waving her hand up and down like "wait, wait, something strange is happening in my larynx, shhh!"
I somehow didn't know it was going to be a musical - if you can call a film with such an intuitive dislike for homosexuals a musical - and as soon as Bradley Cooper opened his mouth in that opening scene I was like, oh god, this is going to be bad isn't it
he sounded like the scene in Velvet Goldmine where we realize Ewan McGregor is actually awful. except that was at the *start* of the movie and there was no flashback to a time when he sounded good
which, did he? what's the best case scenario here, Creedence Clearwater Revival? Lynyrd Skynyrd?
god don't tell me he was supposed to be Neil Young. not that I hold Neil Young in such high regard. just like, jeez
Danny: ok remake this movie with the cast of Velvet Goldmine, GO
bearing in mind I remember very little about Velvet Goldmine except that it seemed to have like, nine variously pouty male rock stars who love glitter but are terrified by female competence
Grace: TONI COLETTE IS BORN
Danny: oh my god YES
Grace: Jonathan Rhys Meyers is successful BUT he dies in the first five minutes and then the rest of the movie is just about her excellence after having successfully murdered her father figure
Danny: "An intuitive dislike for homosexuals? But Grace, they met in a DRAG BAR, where Bradley Cooper managed to speak for SEVERAL MINUTES with a DRAG QUEEN. Checkmate?"
Grace: oh oh oh oh oh The Divine David is in almost every shot
yes, you're quite right, that one scene where the straight man watched the straight woman perform in a drag bar was very gay
plus he peeled off her Myrna-Loy-thin eyebrows
"See, we know she's Lady Gaga too."
Grace: although her performance of "La Vie En Rose" was very good. I will give her that. More of that, Lady Gaga! You don't have to be Sheryl Crow!!
Danny: yes! she has a beautiful, beautiful voice
Grace: ugh also now I'm thinking about it
part of the moral of the movie is, there's this sweet Sheryl Crow type but an evil British homosexual wants her to be more like Sia so he teaches her how to dance
it honestly feels like kind of a betrayal that Lady Gaga would sign off on that
Danny: dancing is the Devil's Art! it is Inauthentic and also you can't do it when you're stumbling-shambling drunk
Grace: yes, since Schiller dancing has long served as a metaphor for inauthenticity
Danny: authenticity is passing out in Dave Chappelle's front yard
Grace: God, it is fall and we are supposed to go pumpkin-scouting soon. I am not sure I have more to say about this terrible, terrible movie
the worst movie I have seen since La La Land
Danny: if only you had been guided by my moviegoing principle: only see movies in theaters that are in 3D and/or have gladiators in them
Grace: which was another fake musical that instinctively dislikes homosexuality
Danny: that's our pullquote for the Guardian
Grace: they cn have it
Peter Bradshaw gave it five stars, he ought to be ashamed of himself
Danny: I love you, let's go buy pumpkins and listen to the Walk Hard soundtrack