A Star Is Born [Blu-Ray] Frank Pierson

A Star Is Born [Blu-Ray] Frank Pierson
5
The third incarnation of this showbiz melodrama was a 1976 vehicle for Barbra Streisand, who doubled as executive producer. The first two versions of A Star is Born (from 1937 and 1954) were Hollywood tales of up-and-coming starlets eclipsing the alcoholic, washed-out stars who discovered them. Babs set her story in the excessive rock world of the mid-'70s. It wasn't a bad idea, but her A Star is Born is too clichéd and corny to endure as anything more than a curio today, despite Streisand's charisma. Kris Kristofferson is believable as the self-destructive rock star, but does anyone really buy Babs as a rocker who upstages him by singing her middle-of-the-road pop? Reportedly, Babs wanted Elvis Presley to play the role that Kristofferson eventually landed. It's a shame that Elvis didn't, because it may have leant this production some grit. This Blu-Ray release is merely a hi-res version of the DVD release; it has the same audio commentary by Babs, the same 12 unreleased scenes, with her commentary, the same wardrobe tests (also with commentary) and sthe ame trailers from the earlier versions. Streisand's commentary is sporadic, suffering from mysteriously long pauses as the film plays, offering no glimpse into the backstage battles she waged with director Pierson, which are legendary. In fact, Streisand doesn't mention Pierson at all. The elegant, 40-page digi-book is full of colour photos and production notes, but aside from that, there's no incentive to upgrade from the DVD unless you're a Babs freak or a first-time buyer of this film. (Warner)