A Star Is Born,
directed by Bradley Cooper
(R, 2 hours, 16 minutes)
The fifth version of this film (following the first one called What Price Hollywood? in 1932, the second one in 1937 with Janet Gaynor and Fredric March, a third in 1954 with Judy Garland and James Mason, and the fourth in 1976 with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson) stars director Bradley Cooper as aging rock legend Jackson Maine and Lady Gaga as Ally, the raw material for superstardom that he discovers on the stage of a nightclub drag show.
As her career blasts off, his plunges down, burdened with substance abuse, emotional instability, and diminishing popularity.
It's entertaining enough, but the plot doesn't have the underlying strength to undergo all these resurrections. This time around, the inherent condescension toward women is tamped down -- with good reason -- but that adjustment shoves the story off track, making it less coherent.
With Sam Elliott, Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle.
Overlord (R, 1 hour, 50 minutes) Zombies and war -- a winning combination for a bloody, lively and cliff-hanging B movie! In the hours before the launch of D-Day, American paratroopers are dropped into Nazi-occupied France in order to destroy a troublesome radio transmitter on the top of a fortified church. After recruiting a young French villager to penetrate the church's walls, they encounter formidable enemies they didn't expect. With Jacob Anderson, Wyatt Russell, Bokeem Woodbine; directed by Julius Avery.
Robin Hood (PG-13, 1 hour, 56 minutes) There's nothing new, and nothing worth watching, in this latest and lame attempt to tell the outlaw legend that has been around since the Crusades: Steal from the rich, give to the poor. Sigh. With Taron Egerton (as our hero Robin of Loxley), Jamie Dornan, Jamie Foxx, Ben Mendelsohn (as the evil sheriff of Nottingham); directed by Otto Bathurst.
All the Devil's Men (R, 1 hour, 39 minutes) It's unclear what the goal of this bloody actioner is, as it employs a typical and incoherent plot concerning a mercenary in the war on terror who heads to London in search of a disgraced CIA operative. Double-crosses and danger ensue. With Sylvia Hoeks, William Fichtner, Milo Gibson; written and directed by Matthew Hope.
Backtrace (R, 1 hour, 32 minutes) Self-important and incomprehensible, this poorly plotted and dull crime thriller features Matthew Modine as an amnesia-afflicted bank robber stuck in a prison psychiatric ward who is convinced by an inmate and ward doctor to break out after being injected with a serum that forces him to relive his former life. That's when a detective (Sylvester Stallone) and an FBI agent (Christopher McDonald) come after him, intending to recover the stolen bank money. With Ryan Guzman, Jenna Willis; directed by Brian A. Miller.
MovieStyle on 02/22/2019
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