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Forum namePass The Popcorn
Topic subjectIt nails a lot of things. It is a mess at others.
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=6&topic_id=729941&mesg_id=732593
732593, It nails a lot of things. It is a mess at others.
Posted by dgonsh, Tue Nov-13-18 07:21 PM
Part of it feels like Lonely Island portrayal of Behind The Music - Jackson Mayne & Ally.

I thought the first act was pretty mesmerizing. I don't know that it was great, but it was definitely engaging.

The 2nd act felt very rushed and messy. I did not understand Ally's jump to full on silly Pop/Dance music. Had she blown up in county music or singer/songwriter Elton John stye, i'd have bought it. They alluded to the silliness of it when Cooper confronts her in the bath, but it feels like the artistic jump came out of left field. Also we are under the impression early on that Jackson is a household name huge star a la Toby Keith or something, but he gets drunk and immediately becomes kinda washed up. Random. And also, they keep alluding to his hearing loss early on, and the audience keeps waiting for the seemingly inevitable "amp is set to 11 and blows out his ear drum when he strums, accidentally" scene, WHICH WOULD HAVE set up his career faltering, BUT the scene never comes!

I kept thinking throughout the whole film "wow they must have show a 6 episode miniseries and cut it down two 2+ hours". So much more would have made sense if this had been an HBO limited series. They could have explored so much. And i'd bet my house that they filmed it that way. But so much seems cut out. Like Chappelles backstory. Maybe I missed something, but that shit came out of left field. I don't need half an hour of Jackson/Chappelle backstory, but even the slightest "im gonna visit my old friend, like a brother to me, while im in Memphis" and then it makes sense when he wakes up passed out in his driveway. Not a huge gripe, but just sloppy and rushed.

And then the final act. It didn't work. The "i tried to hang myself from my ceiling fan" was so heavy handed and random. and then what feels like 10 minutes later it happens. Just didn't feel earned. Too rushed, like everything else. AND OMG was cooper trolling us throughout the movie with the comic relief of people being scene out of frame after a 10 minute scene? Early in the parking lot grocery scene they're singing for like 10 minutes before revealing Greg Grunberg eating cheetos. Okay. Some laughs. But then later when Cooper is in Rehab talking to Gaga, they have this huge emotional scene and then the camera pans out and you see another patient, one single patient, just like painting on a lay-z-boy 5 feet away from them...

What they nailed:
1. The concert scenes. Felt very real. Very big. Very authentic.
2. The singing. Again, felt authentic.
3. The SNL scene
4. The camerawork. the movie looked great.
5. Supporting cast. Everyone was pretty good.

What they failed at:
1. Pacing
2. The script was very corny at times. Uneven though, as some of it worked.
3. Ending. Felt rushed. Felt unearned.
4. Ally's career. Where were her fans? We're supposed to believe she becomes a smash hit. But her songs SUCK and the film admits it. And her look is silly. I just didn't buy it. Which is funny, cause I seriously bought her and Jacksons performance scenes...Country fans would have turned their back on Ally.

Last thing Ill say: Gaga. I think she was miscast. Not because she was bad. I think she really went for it. But, I think her real life fame took me out of it. She doesn't have Coopers skill, or beard. So I kept seeing "Oh, Lady Gaga is running lines with Jackson". She's just too....Gaga. I think she really committed and her singing talent really makes you believe that Ally could be a star. I think this role is almost impossible to cast unless its a true "unknown", maybe someone from the theatre world that can REALLY ACT. No shade to Gaga, she committed. She really did. But she's Lady Gaga. You can't shed that.

I'd give it 3/5.