HollywoodChicago.com On-Air Reviews of ‘The High Note,’ ’The Vast of Night’ & Bonus

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HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

CHICAGO – Patrick McDonald of HollywoodChicago.com appears on “The Morning Mess” with Scott Thompson on WBGR-FM (Monroe, Wisconsin) on May 29th, 2020, discussing new releases “The High Note” (VOD) and “The Vast of Night” (Amazon Prime) and BONUS review.

The High Note In a case of life imitating art, Tracie Ellis Ross (the Mom on TV’s “Blackish” and Diana Ross’s daughter) portrays a popular singer diva who became famous in the 1990s, with a boatload of hits but no music in ten years, and Dakota Johnson is her transitioning assistant Maggie. This brightly paced story makes the most of its music industry setting. It’s currently available on streaming platforms through Video-On-Demand. 3.5/5 stars.

The High Note
Photo credit: Focus Features

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

The Vast of Night is an indie film (streaming on Amazon Prime starting May 29th) that embraces the atmosphere and zeitgeist of late 1950s America, including Communism and the space race. This film loves dialogue, and there are three long stretches of it, but there also is enough mystery and strangeness to drive the story home. 3/5 stars

The Vast of Night
Photo credit: Amazon Prime

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 5.0/5.0
Rating: 5.0/5.0

BONUS: A Star is Born (1954) is a “quarantine classic” and the best of the four versions – 1937, 1954, 1976 and 2018 – of “A Star … “ It was the legendary Judy Garland who anchored this first musical version of the story, as a up-and-coming songstress who meets the man of her dreams (James Mason), who happens to be an alcoholic actor with his career on the way down. That clash of sensibilities is framed by iconic songs and a Judy Garland performance that garnered an Oscar nomination. A must see. Available for rental on Amazon, ITunes, Vudu and Google Play. 5/5 stars

A Star is Born (1954)
Photo credit: Warner Home Video

The reviews for all three films are as follows, on WBGR-FM

“The High Note” features Tracie Ellis Ross, Dakota Johnson, Kelvin Harrison Jr. and Ice Cube. Written by Flora Gresson. Directed by Nisha Ganatra. Rated “PG-13” “The Vast of Night” features Jake Horowitz, Sierra McCormick and Bruce Davis. Written by James Montague and Craig W. Sanger. Directed by Andrew Patterson. Rated “PG-13” “A Star is Born” features Judy Garland and James Mason. Screenplay by Moss Hart. Directed by George Cukor. Not Rated

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Editor and Film Writer

© 2020 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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