"The movie business is macabre. Grotesque.
It is a combination of a football game
and a brothel."
-- Federico Fellini
Apr 252017

photo for La La Land
“La La Land” was the exhilarating widescreen musical that set hearts thumping in the latter part of 2016, just in time to ameliorate (somewhat) a presidential election that tore the country apart. From the original and creative opening dance number staged on a freeway overpass during Los Angeles rush hour traffic to the alternative, dreamlike film ending, this original, post-modern musical was a breath of fresh air with gorgeous visuals, flashy dance sequences, catchy songs, and jazzy score — not to mention terrific performances by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling (who woulda thought he could be so cute AND sing and dance). The storyline — kind of “New York, New York” meets “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” — follows Stone and Gosling as Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts; it’s an uplifting movie about everyday life that explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams. Winner of six Academy Awards (Stone won for Best Actress) and a record-breaking seven Golden Globes.
Vitals: Director: Damien Chazelle. Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons. 2016, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 128 min., Musical, Box office gross: $148.644 million, Lionsgate.
Extras: Audio Commentary with writer-director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz; “Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down a Freeway” featurette; “La La Land’s Love Letter To Los Angeles” featurette; “Ryan and Emma: Third Time’s the Charm” featurette; song selection. Blu-ray adds “La La Land’s Great Party” featurette; “Ryan Gosling: Piano Student” featurette; “Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle’s Passion Project” featurette; “The Music of La La Land” featurette; “John Legend’s Acting Debut” featurette; “The Look of Love: Designing La La Land” featurette; “Epilogue: The Romance of the Dream” featurette that explores the unusual ending to the film; “Damien & Justin Sing: The Demo.” 4 stars

All DVDs and Blu-rays are screened on a reference system consisting of an Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center), and 50 (rear) speakers, and Power 10 subwoofer.

 Posted by on April 25, 2017  Add comments

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