La La Land Reviews
Worth the magnificent Stone's talents
I have just viewed this film again and it is still as impressive as anything in 2016, absolutely incredible filmmaking and storytelling. Gosling is in fine form but it's Stone's film and she is just incredible. The incoming directors are paving the way for a bright future that isn't built on growing budgets and studio interference. This is old fashioned storytelling but with gigantic heart. A must see film. 13-08-2017.
Regal Perimeter Pointe Stadium 10- Dunwoody with Heather
It's a nice romance story and a feel good theme of chasing your dreams, but the whole thing being a musical seems to fall flat in some parts where they burst into song in scenes that seem forced.
Overall, it was good, but didn't live up to the hype.
The genre's attempted revival arrived last year via Damien Chazelle in the form of alleged crowd-pleaser La La Land, a weakly conceived project whose disappointing first act flows into a second that achieves striking depths of dullness. The film's only truly magnificent scene is it's very last, meaning that the credits start rolling as soon as you've become truly engaged.
"Another Day of Sun" kicks the film off. Rather inelegantly. The song is a sprightly, uplifting ditty that ultimately has no lasting effect because it's wasted on an idiotic, messily choreographed and haphazard dance number that features nameless, curiously uncharacterized folk clumsily clamoring over traffic-halted cars in one moment and a blonde proudly flashing her undergarments in the next. It's an incredibly rough start to a dishearteningly mediocre movie.
Soon after comes the introduction of wannabe actress Mia. Her first interaction with Sebastian is an egregious, unabashed raise of the middle finger, immediately establishing her petulant, whiny, puerile mess of a character. It also doubles as a gesture to viewers who are anticipating a film that is innovative and intelligent. Mia is played laboriously by the otherwise insanely likable Emma Stone, whose inherent charms are one of La La Land's few saving graces. Ryan Gosling's performance as pianist Sebastian (or "Seb," as he's most commonly referred to as) isn't much better, and the popular actor goes on to prove through the movie's flurry of songs that he, for the life of him, can't sing or carry a tune. The only likable characters, Mia's delightful roommates, are stranded in extremely minor roles. The horribly overrated John Legend also appears, and he's forced to perform as a character even more dull and obnoxious than the two protagonists combined. He's also tasked with carrying the weight of the worst song in the entire film.
The majority of the music mostly goes to waste, which, needless to say, is a deadly mistake for a musical to make. Each song is undermined by awkward camerawork, uninspired visuals, and a general lack of inspiration. There's a nagging sense of familiarity that can't be shaken. The aptly named "Epilogue" is the only tune that avoids those four fatal attributes and it truly succeeds in making a lasting impression, along with the scene it accompanies. The conclusion is moving, well-filmed, and evocative- three things the rest of the film only wishes it was.
Perhaps the picture's greatest sin is its utter inability to deliver on it's lofty promise. La La Land is widely praised as a pure delight and return to glory for the musical genre, when it fails to qualify as either of those things. The film is not intellectually inclined and is content to deliver an unbelievably cliched and overused message: follow your dreams. Countless other movies and works of fiction have made the pursuit of one's dreams it's central theme with rocky results, and it's crystal clear that Damien Chazelle and the screenwriters did not learn from them.
The poorly drawn characters, weak writing, and the lack of a brain to go with its beating heart render La La Land a mostly unspectacular dud, unworthy of its effusive acclaim and glowing reputation. The film has noble intentions, but they never come to fruition. It's more a celebration of insecure brats that don't know how to pursue their dreams in a rational fashion than a loving homage to the Hollywood of old. A better title for this misfire would be "Blah Blah Bland."