A Star is Born (2018): Special Encore Edition [Blu-Ray/DVD/Digital]

I’d almost be willing to bet money that Warner is planning a big deluxe boxed edition of “A Star is Born” for Christmas or perhaps the new year. Until then, fans of “A Star is Born” can double dip or opt for either edition that’s been released. While the original release is very good with some interesting extras, The “Encore Edition” is an okay release if you want the extended edition and a lot more material with what is an already great film. You can’t go wrong with “A Star is Born,” a wonderful remake that managed to be the best musical of 2018, bar none.

In “A Star Is Born,” Bradley Cooper, makes his directorial debut, and also stars alongside multiple award-winning, Oscar-nominated music superstar Lady Gaga in her first leading role in a major motion picture. Cooper portrays seasoned musician Jackson Maine, a drunken, jaded musician who is facing the end of his career. When he discovers Ally singing at a local club, he jump starts her career as a singer and musician. Ally, who has given up on her dream to become a successful singer, immediately sees her natural talent when Jack encourages her. But as she rises to fame, the pair fall in love, and she has to figure out if her career can survive her whirlwind romance with her self-destructive lover.

Bradley Cooper’s radical remake of “A Star is Born” is a wonderful meshing of drama, romance, and music that teams together two strong forces of nature for what is one of the most soul crushing romances films in years. Cooper digs deep as the warbling and numb singer Jackson who can barely make it through a musical set, and grasps with a career that is on the way out. When he meets Ally, she restores a sense of enthusiasm for the music that he likely hadn’t had in years. The two shockingly excellent performances of “A Star is Born” come from Lady Gaga and Andrew Dice Clay.

Both reveal an immense on screen presence and ability to convey the weight of these emotional conflicts. No insult to Dice Clay, but I had no idea he had it in him. His role as Ally’s father, also a failed musician in his own right, is a highlight of an already beautifully cast film, and he compliments Lady Gaga’s down to Earth turn as a brilliant singer who is about to call it quits and accept defeat. Speaking as someone that’s never fancied themselves a fan of Gaga’s, her performance here promises to be immortal. She’s raw, she’s complex, and her singing is gut wrenching. “A Star is Born” is a fantastic musical drama that warrants a watch if you’ve yet to give it a chance.

The re-release from Warner is just twelve minutes more than the original run time, and it merely just adds on to the musical numbers and performances. That’s about it, but if you’re one who is obsessed with the soundtrack, this will definitely be up your alley. The supplements from the original release are gone. You can have one or the other, or just wait for a final box set edition I’m sure is being planned very soon. Featured is the usual “Musical Moments” playlist where you can pick and choose which performances from the film you want to watch as a single track.

“Maybe It’s Time” is listed twice as it’s performed in different points in the narrative. Among the tracks, there is “Black Eyes,” “La Via en Rose,” “Maybe it’s Time,” “Shallow (Dialogue),” “Alibi,” “Shallow,” “Digging My Grave/Clover/Midnight Special,” “Maybe It’s Time,” “Always Remember Us This Way,” “Is That Alright?”, “Why Did You Do That?,” “Oh, Pretty Woman,” and “I’ll Never Love Again.” There’s also the Digital copy for streamers.