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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Star Is Born DVD More Than Satisfies
I highly recommend the disc to Streisand fans who will relish Barbra's full-length film commentary, 16 minute of additional scenes (many previously unseen), and original wardrobe test footage. Of course, the movie itself in all of its remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack glory sounds and looks as vibrant and possibly even better than it played in cinemas. The musical...
Published on November 14, 2006 by M. Iskowitz

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3rd Version of A Star is Born
THIS BLU-RAY (DIGIBOOK) IS CODEFREE AND CONTAINS A GERMAN TRACK (INCL. SUBTITLES AND MENU)
German review see below!

ENGLISH I was just wondering about this version of "A Star is born" because Barbra Streisand is playing Judy Garlands "part" (and because she has a great voice) and the get the "first" Dolby Surround movie.

Well, both Versions are...
Published 18 months ago by Swissangel


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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Star Is Born DVD More Than Satisfies, November 14, 2006
This review is from: A Star is Born (DVD)
I highly recommend the disc to Streisand fans who will relish Barbra's full-length film commentary, 16 minute of additional scenes (many previously unseen), and original wardrobe test footage. Of course, the movie itself in all of its remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack glory sounds and looks as vibrant and possibly even better than it played in cinemas. The musical numbers and theatrical lighting are exceptional and features some truly classic Streisand singing on stage. With the inclusion of Barbra's complete humming and acoustic guitar rendition of "Evergreen," we finally have the opportunity to enjoy an otherwise unused musical number. Even her commentary is enlightening, revealing that Kristofferson had a first shot at the song's lyrics but didn't submit them until just a few years ago when he sent Barbra a framed copy. Among the deleted footage is Barbra applying lipstick to KK in the bathtub scene where she admits being comfortable enough with him from earlier years to forego anything covering her chest. Indeed, she first met KK at L.A.'s Troubador club escorted by manager Marty Erlichman whose virtues she frequently praises in the commentaries. In her discussion during the film Barbra recalls being certain she wanted to become a film director during A Star Is Born's shooting, as she often made suggestions to KK between takes and thought the movie's director Frank Pierson cut the camera prematurely. After directing three films, Barbra recently declined ASIB producer Jon Peters's recent invitation to direct an upcoming ASIB remake. Her commentary also details her music composing resume back to "Ma Premiere Chanson," admitting that winning an Oscar for composing "Evergreen" is the biggest thrill of her career. She wants to release another set of unreleased songs, including recordings made with Leon and Mary Russell in their home. In the commentary Barbra identifies her antique clothes worn in the film and says "People look great in black...you listen to them better." Of course, her 2006 concert wardrobe is almost exclusively black. She also engages in thoughtful analyses of the importance for her of being in the moment when capturing performances on film, especially her singing. Barbra elaborates how choices were made for the film's finale and even calls attention to her runny nose quite candidly and humorously. Concluding, she remembers ASIB as "a satisfying work experience," and that's how I would describe this DVD, perhaps more than satisfying yet not completely satisfying. Missing is the excellent Barbra: With One More Look At You TV program on the making of the movie, copies of which have circulated among fan-collectors for years. The DVD would also be enhanced and appear more complete by a collection of photo stills, especially the famous Scavullo poster session, a staple on nearly all DVDs. Including the original 4-minute theatrical trailer for ASIB as well as those for the previous two Star films with Garland and Gaynor is a nice touch.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Wallow for Barbra-philes...Watch Closely Now as the New DVD Has Solid Extras, November 28, 2006
This review is from: A Star is Born (DVD)
Thirty years after its initial release, the third version of "A Star Is Born" finally comes to DVD in a package that should please the most devoted fans of Barbra Streisand. That would include me since I just saw her in concert singing among other numbers, the feminist anthem "Woman in the Moon" from this 1976 film. Easy to dismiss, the movie's career-polarizing story is such a sturdy pile of Hollywood-style clichés that variations of it exist in other films including Streisand's own "Funny Girl". This time reset to the then-contemporary music scene, the timeworn plot follows self-destructive rock star John Norman Howard on his deep-dive career descent just as he meets club singer Esther Hoffman who is awaiting her big break.

Troubles dog their courtship from the outset, as John Norman (both names please) responds to grasping fans and bloodless DJs with random acts of violence (from which he inexplicably escapes prosecution). To John Norman, Esther represents his last shot at happiness, and in turn, she is drawn to the innately decent, creative musician underneath the façade. In the movie's most pivotal scene, he gives Esther her big break at a benefit concert, and her career takes off. Inevitably, he can't handle the failure of his career in light of her meteoric success, and if you are familiar with any version of this story, you know the rest. Directed by Frank Pierson (although Streisand's budding directorial talents are obviously on display), the film still manages to draw me in, even though I know it is shamelessly contrived and manipulative. It still has a certain emotional resonance despite its numerous flaws.

Although Streisand in her prime seems like the ideal choice to play a rising singing star, her screen persona is simply too strong and predefined to play Esther credibly. The same can be said for her performing style since the script seems to make allowances for her softer Adult Contemporary-oriented material to be accepted within the otherwise hardened world of arena rock. From the moment she pops her head up as the middle of the Oreos, she can't help but come across as an established star. I can forgive the lapse simply because she is an unparalleled vocal talent, but what becomes less forgiving is how she makes Esther more strident than poignant when John Norman's woes become overwhelming. This creates an oddly discomfiting dynamic in the last part of the film when it becomes less about what caused the climactic event than Esther's response to it. This is capped off by an uninterrupted eight-minute close-up of her memorial performance - great except when she regrettably mimics John Norman's style toward the end.

Kristofferson, on the other hand, gives a superb performance throughout, managing a level of honesty that grounds the film and makes palpable his concurrent feelings of love, pride and resentment toward Esther. He makes his vodka-soaked onstage growling work within this context. Otherwise, what always strikes me as strange about this version is how all the supporting characters are relegated to the background as if they didn't exist unless they were interacting with the two principals. The only ones who register are Paul Mazursky as John Norman's level-headed manager Brian and Gary Busey as his cynical band manager Bobbie. Veteran cameraman Robert Surtees provides a nice burnish to the cinematography though a level of graininess persists in the print. A big seller in its day, the soundtrack is a hodgepodge of different styles from the 1970's - some songs still quite good ("Everything", "Woman in the Moon", "Watch Closely Now"), some that have moved to kitsch ("Queen Bee", Kenny Loggins' "I Believe in Love") and of course, the inescapable "Evergreen".

The print transfer on the 2006 DVD is clean and the sound gratefully crisp thanks to digital remastering. Streisand's participation is the chief lure of the extras beginning with her feature-length commentary. She gives insightful information about the genesis of the film, the casting and the reportedly troubled production. She is also refreshingly candid about the megalomania of Jon Peters, her hairdresser boyfriend who became the movie's producer, and her dissatisfaction with Pierson as a director. I just wish she could have provided more scene-specific comments that directly relate to what is onscreen. She also tends to repeat the same anecdotes when the mood strikes her, e.g., it gets tiring to hear for the third time how the person playing the chauffeur was a friend of Peters. I think having a second commentator could have drawn out other nuggets from her.

There is a wardrobe test reel that shows some amusing 1970's clothes, especially Kristofferson's mixed-fabric poncho and orange polyester shirt. There are also twelve deleted scenes included with Streisand's optional commentary. One is a comic bread-baking scene which reminded me how much I like Streisand in farcical comedies. Another is an extended scene in which she plays "Evergreen" on the guitar in front of an awestruck Kristofferson who then falls asleep. The most interesting is an alternate take on the musical finale incorporating fast cuts, which I agree with Streisand should have been used. Fittingly, the theatrical trailers for all three versions of "A Star Is Born" are also included.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have the DVD. Where is the DVD., December 28, 2004
This review is from: A Star Is Born [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Can't believe there is no DVD. Have over 20 Streisand albums and this is my favourite. Those who do not like the songs have heard them less than a few times. The lady is a genius. I fell in love with her on hearing her "Butterfly" album when I was 14. Somebody over there in the States do something to get the DVD happening please.
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34 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something's Coming, Something Good, February 22, 2006
This review is from: A Star is Born (DVD)
Originally scheduled for a December 2005 release, A STAR IS BORN was delayed by Warner Home Video with no definite release date revealed. Streisand fans are well aware that, out of her film career, only A STAR IS BORN and YENTL remain unreleased on DVD. (YENTL will be released by Sony, which bought MGM/UA's library ... again, no official date set for that one).

On February 21, 2006, reps from Warner Home Video chatted online at hometheaterforum.com. Of the delayed STAR IS BORN disc, they said: "The approval process on the '76 STAR IS BORN is taking longer than we had anticipated, but it's happening and will be worth it."

So, there is still no official release date, but at least they acknowledge they're working on it! Warner Home Video always does an excellent job on their DVD releases -- A STAR IS BORN ('76) will certainly be no different. I am most excited to hear the 5.1 mix Dolby Digital mix of sound. (I reported alll of this over at my Streisand fan site, [...])

By the way, isn't this summer the 30th Anniversary of STAR IS BORN? It was released summer 1976 ... and this summer is 2006. That would certainly be a good selling point.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Memories!, September 27, 2001
This review is from: A Star Is Born [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Two people from different spectrums of the music industry. A Rock and Roller at the end of his career and trying to hang on falls in love with and helps an up and coming Pop Star Diva, who is willing to do anything for the man that she loves. Romantic.
Yes, a remake. This was based on a story done in two other versions, however the story line varies in each (Star is Born with Frederic March and Janet Gaynor; the other featuring Judy Garland and James Mason. But, how great that in a wonderful, but CRAZY time of the 70's that someone should remake this story in the view of the music industry (which was changing in all direction), instead of the movie industy as it had been in the past. Kris Kristofferson portraits Norman Main as character close to his own career and life. Barbra Streisand is fantastic with her wonderfully amazing voice that moves an suprises you in so many ways in her portrail of Ester. Both do a wonderful job. Barbra's waredrobe from her closet is fantastic. Only, if I had her closet.
I remember the first time I saw the movie; that New Years Eve so many years ago. Still enjoying it to this day. A wonderful time the 70's.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good film, September 13, 2008
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This review is from: A Star is Born (DVD)
I remember the first time I watched this film on cinema. A special feeling was inside my heart after watching it, perhaps love, emotion or sadness because of the story. This film was so famous in the 70s not only for the main actress B. Straisand but also for the main song "Evergreen". Don't miss it for your DVD private collection and enjoy it as I do.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 1976 time capsule, March 14, 2005
This review is from: A Star Is Born [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Each version of A Star is Born reflects its decade of production, and nowhere is that more evident than in this 1976 Streisand-Kristofferson spectacular. Here's the 1970s in all their embarrasing glory, from the decor of Streisand's apartment to her to-die-for clothes. Probably not the best version of the story, but a terrific guitly pleasure.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is just a movie, lighten up! But it is a great movie., September 3, 2004
This review is from: A Star Is Born [VHS] (VHS Tape)
I am reading all these awful reviews for "A Star is Born" and I can't believe that one would go so far to deconstruct a movie this much. It wasn't meant to be a serious charecter analogy, it was meant to be a love story, end of story. The writer and director needed to develop the chearecters enough for the viewer to like and feel like they knew them. Personally, that movie did all of that. I loved every minute of it. If I wanted a complicated movie, this isn't one I would watch, but I watch the charecters because they are fun, likable, and while there are many movies that have done that over the years, this has remained my favorite because the actors were believable, the music was great and has stayed with me, soundtrack is key in any movie, and with Barbra's jumpsuit's. it is like slipping into a more pleasant past. I check every couple of months for it to come out on DVD.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Romantic, November 23, 1999
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Laura Ruotsala (Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Star Is Born [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Kris K is most sexy in this movie and together with Barbra, they make a wonderful duo. I watch it over and over and over.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 3rd Version of A Star is Born, April 23, 2013
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This review is from: A Star Is Born [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
THIS BLU-RAY (DIGIBOOK) IS CODEFREE AND CONTAINS A GERMAN TRACK (INCL. SUBTITLES AND MENU)
German review see below!

ENGLISH I was just wondering about this version of "A Star is born" because Barbra Streisand is playing Judy Garlands "part" (and because she has a great voice) and the get the "first" Dolby Surround movie.

Well, both Versions are quite different. This 1976 versions isn't (for me) really a musical. Its more a music movie and I also don't like Rock/Pop-Songs. Its interesting, that Barbra Streisand has wanted to get Elvis Presley as Norman but his manager declined.

I wouldn't say that movie is terrible - its just not my kind. Sure, the story is so far interesting and Barbra Streisand is good in their part - so I give a neutral 3.5 rating.

Yes, its the first Dolby Surround movie... but technically it wasn't yet perfect. I guess we got here the best sound but for 5.1 Sound it wasn't really good enough in the concert Scenes (with thousand of people).

The picture quality looks really good.

The Bonus-Features contains a audio-Commentary with Babs.. but isnt really interesting and there are only 16 minutes of deleted scenes and wardrobe test of around 4 minutes and 3 trailers.

I would say.. for the 2nd biggest hit in 1976 - those extra are lousy. Also the booklet doesn't contains really great informations about making this movie (even this with the first Dolby Surround movie wans't mentioned).

FAZIT For those who likes 70s rockbands for those could be this movie interesting. Who likes more musical like West Side Story, Singin in the rain... it could be a dissapointing. For me it was OK.

GERMAN:

Diese Blu-Ray (Digibook) ist Codefrei und enthält auch deutsche Tonspur (allerdings in Mono) sowie deutsche Unteritel und Menu.

Ich habe eher aus neugierde zu dieser Blu-Ray gegriffen (habe den Film noch nie zuvor gesehen) da mir die Versionen von "A Star is born" von 1937 und 1954 bekannt waren. Anstelle von Judy Garland ist nun die grossartige Barbra Streisand zu sehen, die wirklich eine tolle Stimme hat und auch eine tolle Schauspielerin ist. Leider gefaellt mir der ganze Film bezüglich den Rocksongs nicht wirklich (ist nicht so mein Stil). Für Fans von 70er Rockmusik/band könnte der Film durchaus gefallen.

Die Grund-Story ist so weit die gleiche geblieben: der Superstar von einst faellt durch Drogen und Alkohol tief, trifft die Frau und Saengerin seines lebens, die dann ploetzlich selbst Superstar avanciert, in dessen Schatten ploetzlich der einstige Star steht.

Interessant ist zudem, dass nicht Kris Kristofferson für die Rolle vorgesehen war, sondern Streisand wollte ausschliesslich Elvis Presley (man, waere das zustande gekommen, dann wäre das ein echter Knaller gewesen). Jedoch lehnte dessen Manager das Angebot ab. Zudem ist dies der erste Film im neuen Tonformat, in Dolby Surround gedreht wurde. Da die Technik wohl noch nicht ganz ausgereift war, ist es nur dadurch zu erklaeren, dass die Räumlichkeit in den Konzertszenen nicht ganz so gut rueberkommen - was ich aber so in dieser Form gelten lasse.

Die Bildqualitaet sieht recht gut/scharf aus.

Was mir nicht so gut gefaellt ist diese Hand/Wackelkamera die zum Einsatz kamen, um Authentitaet/Realismus zu erhalten, als waere man live dabei.

Enttaeuschend an dieser Blu-Ray ist das Bonus-Material, welches, in anbetracht dass der Film 1976 ein Mega-hit war, doch ziemlich spärlich daher kommt. Immerhin gibt es ein Audio-Kommentar mit Streisand.

Ein eigentliches Making of gibt es nicht. Lediglich 16 minuten Deleted/Alternate scenes, 3 Trailer, und ein Wardrobe-Test von ca. 4 min.

Das Booklet selbst enthält mehr Fotos, Biography der Darsteller - aber nicht wirklich making-of Infermationen oder Trivias (mit Ausnahme von ein oder zwei Punkte).

FAZIT: Fuer Rockfans und Musikfilm-Lieber (ich wuerde diesen Film nicht als Musical bezeichnen) der 70er Jahre durchaus interessant und auch die Story ist aber meinerseits nicht wirklich mein Geschmack.
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A Star is Born
A Star is Born by Frank Pierson (DVD - 2006)
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