Tag Archives: lady gaga

Movie Review – House of Gucci (2021)

Boof, 3.5 readers. Very boof indeed.

BQB here with a review of the very underrated House of Gucci. (BEWARE SPOILERS)

Always know the difference between chocolate and shit, 3.5 readers. They both look alike but when you bite into the wrong one and get that terrible taste in your mouth, it’s too late. Disgusting yet wise words and I would say this movie is very much a tasty chocolate treat.

Money is the root of all evil, and when it comes in the form of a family business, it can turn people who are supposed to love each other into bitter rivals. Such is the case when Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) charms her way into the House of Gucci as a loving wife to son Maurizio (Adam Driver) only to become a cancer that spreads destruction and catastrophe to everyone and everything she touches.

The first third of the film is a sweet love story. Maurizio, a shy law student, meets Patrizia at a party. Her love brings him out of a self-induced shell and allows him to experience the world. Alas, father Rodolfo (Jeremy Irons) fears Patrizia, a commoner, is just after the family fortune and will leave his son penniless and broken. Estrangement between Maurizio and the Gucci clan ensues until Patrizia eventually charms the pants off everyone, wrapping them around her little finger.

If this were a 1990s rom com, the story would end there with M and P living happily ever after, having proven their love is strong enough to set aside resentments and the Guccis ride off into the sunset as one great big happy family. Ah, but this is a film based on real life, so naturally, in the second act, Patrizia proves that the fam’s fears were very much valid indeed. One by one, she takes the various and sundry Guccis out, separating them from their fortunes through power plays, trickery, deception, blackmail and so on, all in the name of putting her husband at the top of the game.

In the third act, P, having tromped over the heads of all the other Guccis, realizes her husband is the last obstacle in her way to having it all and well, since this is based on a true story you can just google to find out what happens or just watch the movie.

This movie got a lot of lampooning, especially because of the bad Italian accents. Problem is I’m not sure what the actors/actresses could have done differently. I’ve noticed a trend in some movies based overseas for actors to speak in their regular English speaking accents, or in movies like Valkyrie, British actors are utilized to at least provide an air of foreign speaking to the American ear. I don’t think any of that would have worked in a movie set against beautiful high society Italian backdrops.

At first, I found myself offended by Jerod Leto’s portrayal of Paolo Gucci, the so-called most useless of the Guccis, a portly, bald, naive, almost child-like man baby easily duped by Patrizia into bringing about the demise of himself and everyone he loves. My initial thought is putting Leto in a fat suit and heavy facial prosthetics comes across as “fat face” and “bald face” and honestly, aren’t there chubby, bald actors who ignored all the people who told them they’d never make it in Hollywood because they are chubby and bald whose ship would have come in with this role? Why just ugly up a handsome guy? It just comes across as a mean-spirited, lampooning of chubby bald men.

But as the movie progressed, I did warm up to Leto’s portrayal. At first, he’s a fool but as we learn more info, we see how his overbearing, money holding over his head family set him up over the years so that he could have never grown up to become anything other than a fool. Don’t be fooled into thinking that money buys happiness. It just buys you into a new set of high-class problems.

Al Pacino stars in the best role he’s had in a long time, that as Aldo, the seemingly tough family patriarch who turned the Gucci brand into an international empire only to be rooked by his conniving niece-in-law.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. Unfairly snubbed by the Oscars. An interesting study into how money can rip a family apart, how family businesses often don’t last when passed down from one generation to the next because a successful business needs one decision maker at the top ruling with an iron fist, not rule by committee formed of people who bitterly resent one another. Even so, sometimes these powder keg type situations can be safely stored away for many years until an outsider like Patrizia comes in and lights a match.

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Movie Review – A Star is Born (2018)

Fame can’t fix all your problems.

BQB here with a review of A Star is Born.

Every man dreams of having a trick to win a woman’s heart.  Maybe it’s a card trick or a magic trick or that special pickup line.  For troubled alcoholic rock star Jackson Mane (Bradley Cooper), a chance meeting leads to him dating aspiring singer Ally (Lady Gaga).  When he calls Ally on stage to achieve her dream of singing before a large audience, a star (wait for it) is born.

You’d think this would all lead to a great, happy life but alas, a lifetime of addiction has its claws sunk into Jackson.  While his help leads Ally to find super stardom in the pop world, he sees his own star start to dim.  Years of abusing his body with drugs and alcohol lead to hearing loss which spells trouble for his career.  Unable to think straight or even hold himself up, he becomes the joke of Tinsel Town, while Ally becomes the toast.

Will true love prevail or will jealousy and bitterness take control?  I won’t answer that and spoil the movie for you.

Overall, the film is boring and drones on.  There’s a lot of talking.  A lot.  It’s almost like a scripted documentary.  Cameos from comedians Andrew Dice Clay, Dave Chappelle and Eddie Griffin break up the monotony but ultimately you end up wanting to yell at the screen for this couple to either fix it or break up because holy crap, it’s getting late and the theater isn’t going to stay open all night.

Bradley Cooper does an impression of the surly voiced Sam Shepard, ironic since Sam plays Jackson’s brother/manager.  Gaga shines in her singing abilities but other than the part where a man builds her career, her character is basically a copy of herself.

Bonus points for a brief, very brief (don’t blink or you’ll miss it) gratuitous shot of Gaga’s boobs and vag.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy.  Boring.  Depressing.  It is emotional and does have some heart.  It wins as a warning about how one should never submit to addiction as it is nearly impossible to escape.  It also has a good message about how there are many people who can sing, dance, act or have some kind of talent but only the most talented performers find fame because they have something to say through their art that people want to hear.  Also, a message about how fame is fickle and how stars suffer when the public loses interest.

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Where Can I Watch the Lady Gaga Half Time Super Bowl Performance?

Hey 3.5 readers.

Video Game Rack Fighter here.  Did you miss Lady Gaga’s Halftime show at the Super Bowl?

Don’t worry.  The fine folks at Pepsi have posted the entire thing on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.

My thoughts:

She did a great job.  I can’t imagine all the time, money and effort that goes along with putting on a show that has that moving parts.  I mean, literally, there are so many moving parts.  The crew had to assemble a stage and break it down all in time for the Super Bowl to continue.

I give her applause, applause, applause (get it?) for being willing to leap off of the stadium and then fly down to the platform using wires.  I’m not sure I’d trust those wires myself.  I worry a little that all these pop stars are being put in danger for our visual pleasure.  I mean, they had Katy Perry riding some kind of giant animal contraption at the 2015 Super Bowl.

Good on Gaga, I don’t think I’m even in good enough shape to be transported by wires.  I’d be too heavy for the wires and they’d snap and I’d land on a dancer and crush him/her.

The best part was that I didn’t have to watch it with BQB and be interrupted by his various gaseous emissions.

What say you, 3.5?

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Pop Culture Mini Mysteries with Informant Zero – Mr. T’s Real Name Revealed/What Does Lady Gaga Live For?

Salutations 3.5 readers.

Informant Zero

Informant Zero

Informant Zero here, returning once again with another pop culture mini mystery.

LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: What is Mr. T’s real name?

ANSWER: Lawrence Tureaud.  Word has it that Lawrence began wearing gold chains and jewelry while working as a bouncer. Unruly patrons would get into fights, cause trouble, and be ejected. Whenever they accidentally left jewelry behind, Mr. T would wear the items so he could give them to said difficult patrons when they’d inevitably return for them, thus preventing them from entering the club where they would most likely cause trouble again.

See Mr. T’s Wikipedia Page for more info.

Next week’s question:  Lady Gaga lives for something.  What is it?

Tweet your guesses to @bookshelfbattle or leave them in the comments.

And remember, 3.5.

A lost truth can always be found.

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