‘A Star Is Born’: Best Picture’s First Contender?

By Anthony Peyton and Olivia Norwood

Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born is the incredibly anticipated remake of a remake. The anticipation lead to something just as satisfying, as the movie itself was incredible.

This time, the film stars Lady Gaga as Ally and Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine, a music superstar. Ally is a struggling artist and Maine is already clearly successful, as the show opens on his concert.

Without giving too much away, the rest of the film revolves around the building of Ally as a musical sensation and how Maine helps her get there. It’s a heartwarming love story that is spritzed with lots of beautiful songs and sweet moments from the brilliant chemistry of Gaga and Cooper’s love.

Cooper not only starred in this, but he was also the director. My favorite part about this was how seasoned it seemed. It was as if Cooper had directed dozens of films, and this was another to add to the batch. Cooper guided himself and Gaga to a performance that could only be described as phenomenal.

Gaga wasn’t the only one that shined with their vocals. Cooper surprised us all with his ability to not only sing but sing in character as Jackson Maine is almost a southern crooner with a gritty and rustic voice to match. Absolutely stunned by the impressive array of talent shown by Gaga and Cooper.

As soon as I left the film, the first thing I thought was how this was the first movie I’ve seen this year that seems like a solid Oscar contender. Of course we’ve had Eighth Grade, First Reformed, and several others, but this is the first one I very solidly believe deserves it. At the very least, I see this being nominated for Best Directing and Best Original Song.

A category I don’t see A Star Is Born adding to the list of nominations is Best Original Screenplay and here’s why: it fell short in story. Everything seemed very rushed which is understandable considering it follows Ally’s rise to fame but, there was background information that could be further explained.

In one scene, Jackson punches his brother Bobby (Sam Elliot) after finding out that he sold their dead father’s farm and burial spot. You only know this because there is a drawn out argument (involving the usage of f*ck more than three times) where Jackson and Bobby get into each others faces and talk about a past that is hardly ever mentioned before the scene. This happens throughout the entire film of them not really fully explaining any background information along with cutting to another scene right when a character begins to have a moment.

Again, I’m not sure if this was to speed up the progression of the story but it would have been nice to see some type of drawn out moment for any of the characters.

Aside from this, A Star Is Born absolutely did not disappoint in not only giving Lady Gaga redemption for her acting career (I blame you, Ryan Murphy) but it gave us heart, soul, and a song to sing along with. If this isn’t nominated for an Oscar then something is severely wrong with the Academy.


Our Rating: 95%

Acting: 3.6/4

Cinematography: 3.8/4

Story: 3.9/4

Enjoyability: 3.9/4

Advertisements

Film Forecast Friday: September 21

Welcome back to another Film Forecast episode of Basement Talk with your hosts Olivia Norwood and Anthony Peyton. This week we talk about all kinds of things, including new music being released (From artists Lana Del Rey and the collaboration between X and Lil Peep), new movies (who will take home the most money this week), and movies in the news, where we talk about what’s new in the industry.

Episode Length: 23 Minutes

Intro & Outro Song: “Funhouse” by John Treash

TV Talk: Who Will Be Final 3 in Big Brother 20 ?

By Olivia Norwood, Edited by Anthony Peyton

In honor of final 3 being solidified after tonight’s live eviction, we’ll be discussing our thoughts on Big Brother 20 nearing the finale night on Wednesday.

Our second TV Talk, was about my own thoughts on the beginning of the season and the show all together as it was my first time watching it. I had listed my top 5 favorite houseguests and as crazy as it is, those people became final 5. Sam, Tyler, JC, Kaycee, and Angela. My thoughts, of course, have changed on certain houseguests but, nonetheless they made it to final 5. So they must have done something right.

As fate would have it, Sam was evicted last night with JC winning his first HOH (Head of Household). This left the Level 6 alliance (Tyler, Kaycee, and Angela) fighting for their chance to stay. JC made his nominations for eviction with Angela and Kaycee on the block. Being the Comp Beast that Kaycee is, she won the Power of Veto to take herself off of the block, putting up Tyler next to Angela. Kaycee joins alumni Janelle, Dani, and Paul in winning the most consecutive vetoes with 5 wins.

Tonight, the budding showmance “Tangela” will be sitting side-by-side on the chopping block. Who will be making their way to the jury house? Will Angela or Tyler face the wrath of “The Hive/FOUTE”? Let’s make a prediction: Kaycee is in a final 2 with Tyler but there is a chance that she could pick Angela to stay because of the irrational fear that she couldn’t win against the Puppetmaster. Either way, the showmance has done nothing to maintain good graces with the jury.

Either way, Kaycee will be the winner of Big Brother 20.

Onto something non-houseguest related. On the Thursday, September 13th live eviction, Julie Chen made the shocking statement of ending the show with “Outside of the Big Brother house, I’m Julie Chen Moonves”. What made this so scandalous was ‘Moonves’ as it is her husband Les’, the former CEO of CBS, last name. This was done intentionally as her husband recently resigned from his position after the reporting of four allegations of sexual harassment. Using her married name was a small, yet impactful defiance against CBS and Chen has already resigned from her spot on ‘The Talk’. Whether or not Chen will continue her career on Big Brother is still unanswered but, she will likely be leaving.

This may be Julie Chen’s last season, but this will not be the last of Big Brother. With the speculation of next season being the second ‘All Stars’ season, I am confident that BBUS will be back next summer for another 90 days of backdoors, betrayals, and blindsides.

Film Forecast Friday: September 14

No podcast this week for the Film Forecast, but we do got a post for ya! September 14, 2018 has some very interesting movies coming out.

We have…

  1. A Simple Favor
  2. The Predator
  3. Unbroken: Path to Redemption
  4. White Boy Rick
  5. Lizzie

Anthony’s Opinion:

I think this week has some good movies that have been talked about pretty often lately. Specifically The Predator and A Simple Favor. The Predator is a highly anticipated remake/sequel (?) to the classic franchise. Chances are, it’ll make the most at the box office this weekend. This doesn’t mean it’s going to be the best movie, but it will probably make the most money.

A Simple Favor is a movie I’ve been looking forward to for ages now. It’s starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively as two very different woman, but it has a very intriguing plotline I’m excited to see pan out. It’ll make the second most at box this week, behind The Predator.

The next three movies (Unbroken: Path to Redemption, White Boy Rick, and Lizzie) won’t make big – if any – impressions at box his weekend. However, I will say I’m incredibly excited for White Boy Rick, as it looks like it has potential to be a good movie. Lizzie is starring Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart and tells yet another story of the infamous Lizzie Borden.

Olivia’s Opinion:

Listen. The Predator looks like crap. Will it stop people from seeing it? Unfortunately, no. I want it to tank but it won’t so that is the reality that we (mostly me) are living through.

The new Blake Lively film A Simple Favor is one film that I am excited to see. With costars such as Anna Kendrick and Henry Golding, I expect a huge turnout for this sexy mystery and I expect to see Henry Golding shirtless again. So, that’s a big thumbs up from me.

As for the lesbian drama that no one expected Lizzie, I think this might garner a lot of attention from the indie following. It stars Chloe Sevigny and Kristen Stewart and maybe their acting will finally be seen as serious with this new thriller after their past few unnoticed films.

As for Matthew McConaughey’s White Boy Rick (which reminds me a lot of Johnny Depp’s Blow), I think this will be a box office hit. Not necessarily as big as other films like A Simple Favor or The Predator. More on the box office status of other 2018 films like BlacKkKlansman or Eighth Grade. 

Overall, The Predator is taking home big money this weekend. Big money from a big YIKES movie. Let’s go shirtless Henry Golding for A Simple Favor!

Surviving ‘Apocalypse’: Top Ten ‘American Horror Story: Murder House’ and ‘Coven’ Characters

American Horror Story: Apocalypse only aired last night and it’s setting us all on edge. Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk are obviously going back to their roots with this sinister, almost comical representation of the apocalypse. While we endure the agonizing wait until next Wednesday, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 Murder House and Coven characters.

Moira American Horror Story

10. Moira

Murder House‘s Moira made #10 on this list for being such an anchor point of her season. I can’t imagine Murder House without picturing Young Moira being murdered by the beloved Constance, or without picturing Ben seeing Young Moira in several, uh, compromising positions. Beyond that, what would season 1 have been in Frances Conroy’s Moira wasn’t bonding over Vivien and protecting the house from all evil – in or outside the boundaries.

viv ahs

9. Vivien

Vivien was another anchor of the first season of American Horror Story. Granted, she was also the one with the most issues. I mean, she *SPOILER* (but if you haven’t seen Murder House, then get to it) gave birth to the damn antichrist and was raped by an angry spirit. Now THAT’S some emotional baggage. Vivien was someone who I loved watching on screen, no matter what storyline she was stuck in. I’m serious, the number of happy moments that woman has is, like, zero.

zoe ahs

8. Zoe

Seeing Taissa Farmiga for the first time since Murder House was absolutely life-changing the first time I saw her as Zoe. Zoe Benson was one of the several coven witches from Coven that we very quickly came to love. She was a powerful witch, even if she didn’t always look it at times. We loved watching her bond with the rest of the coven and her franken-boyfriend Kyle. Zoe proved to be a kindred soul that only wants the best for her coven and the people who care most about her. Who cares if that means having several threesomes with a boyfriend stealing b*tch?

marie ahs

7. Marie

Based on the real life “Voodoo Queen of New Orleans”, Marie Laveau added a touch of history to the third installment, Coven, as well as a new fanbase for the legend. Portrayed by Angela Bassett, we introduced to a new story and a new persona that many in New Orleans would question if it weren’t done so eloquently. Not only is Marie the Queen of Voodoo but she’s also an immortal bad bitch hair stylist who got reparations by giving her racist enemy, Delphine, an immortal life- in a coffin below the city of New Orleans. She gets revenge in the sweetest way and never gives pity apologies to the ones she’s hurt (let’s be honest, they probably deserve it). A Queen in her own right.

constance ahs

6. Constance

Constance from Murder House snagged the #6 on the list for proving that as long as you’re confident enough, you don’t need to be scared of no ghost. Although most of her children are suffering very severe consequences for their actions, Constance remains strong. She has moments of fragility, which are usually cleared up pretty fast by medium Billie Dean Howard and her spiritual guidance. She is the mother of Tate and knows about every single spirit in Murder House. Even with this overwhelming knowledge, she survives and remain the one that all the spirits are scared of. Mess with her and you’ll suffer the same consequences as those before.

cordelia ahs

5. Cordelia

This whole paragraph is about to be spoilers, so avoid reading this one unless you’ve watched the almighty season of Coven. When we meet Cordelia, she is quite fragile while being one of the strongest witches in the coven. She’s a mentor and a guide, and keeps her calm at all times. She literally blinds herself just because she cares more about the coven than she cares about herself, just to find out she’s a little more powerful than she imagined. When I think about the fact that this queen is about to be in Apocalypse, I internally scream. Cordelia is a witch of power and a witch of ultimate love and gratification, the supreme anchor of the coven. Screw top 10 of Murder House and Coven, she’s in the top ten of all time.

violet ahs

4. Violet

What would Murder House be if Violet, the moody teenager, wasn’t there to fall in and out of love with the ghost of a mass murderer? Well, we would have to find a love story in Ben and Vivien because Violet and Tate were the original OTP (one true pairing) of American Horror Story. Not only is Violet lovestruck but she’s also the slightly gothic character in all of us. As a teenaged viewer, you could relate to Violet’s inner struggles which included depression and thoughts of suicide. She’s goes through all of the things that teenagers go through with the added bonus of living in a haunted house inhabiting ghosts that want you dead like them while your parents are on the verge of divorce. Despite her unfortunate ending, I think we can all give Violet a medal for putting up with that much trauma and drama at 16 years old.

misty ahs

3. Misty

The Swamp Witch who’s a mega-fan of the infamous White Witch Stevie Nicks. Misty is second to Cordelia as the sweetest and most morally disciplined character in Coven. This is due to the fact that her special power is bringing people and animals back to life. She has a love and appreciation for life and nature that can sometimes get in the way of her progression in magic but, she’d rather die before killing another living things. Which is admirable and melancholic at the same time. Aside from having an interesting hippie style, Misty is one of those characters that we love for her heart and not just her icon status.

tate ahs

2. Tate

Look, people have very mixed opinions about Tate. Let me get this out of the way right now and say that I definitely think Tate is an awful person. It’s not a debate whether or not he was a good person when he shot up a school, but from a character standpoint, he’s splendid. So splendid, in fact, that he made #2 on this list. Tate Langdon is a classic American Horror Story character for all sorts of reasons. First of all, him and Violet’s relationship was one of the first couples in the series that I actually wanted to happen. Even if they do seem slightly – very – toxic. They were still cute. There were also times in season 1 where you really just felt for Tate. The times when he forgot he was a mass shooter and a total serial killer and just surfaced the fragile loving side of himself. If you want to push it even further, his son just so happens to be one of the main characters of Apocalypse

fiona ahs

1. Fiona

All hail the Supreme. Don’t disrespect her, don’t try to dismiss her, only love her with your entire being. If you don’t, she will gladly kill you and destroy your body. Fiona Goode is the definition of iconic. She has some of the MOST quotable lines in the series and some of the most memorable moments. Most people, if they were given the honor of becoming the Supreme, would end up just like Fiona. She cared purely for herself, not for anyone else. So much so that she actually did end up killing someone out of fear that she was being run out. She barely cared about her daughter, but occasionally you would see that side poke through. She absolutely never gave up on anything, not until her dying breath. She became the queen of AHS, and even in a world of amazing Jessica Lange characters, Fiona Goode remains at the top of the list. Power is a dream that most can never receive, but Fiona Goode remains the baddest witch in town.