La La Land (Sidenote: Alice Through the Looking Glass)

A man and a woman dancing beside a rather bright streetlight, a city view stretches out behind them. The woman is wearing a bright yellow dress, her partner is wearing a with shirt and tie with dark pants.

(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)

La La Land is a very artistically visual musical, even though I’m not a fan of musicals, it does have my respect on the creativity, the acting, and the musical performances!!!

Rating: 4 Stars

I don’t know what it is, but Ryan Gosling is a talented actor. It’s not just his good looks, but he does bring in an extra charm in his roles. I believe The Notebook really was his breakout role in showing what his acting is all about. As for Emma Stone, she is definitely a sweetheart in her acting roles. Her first movie I saw with her was the comedy, Superbad, but role after role, she got better and better. I loved her in Zombieland, The Amazing Spider-Man, and I especially loved her intensity in Birdman. She also brings a sweet charm in everything that she does. When I saw Crazy Stupid Love, one thing that really stood out for was the chemistry between Gosling and Stone. They were awesome with a nice touch of comedy. So when I heard they’re together again for a musical, I was intrigued to see how both of them will come out of their comfort zone to deliver. I can say they delivered well to get all the Oscar buzz.

What I Like: I have to give my props to director Damian Chazelle. I really enjoyed his artistic visuals making the movie very colorful. I also liked how he utilized every landmark in the city of Los Angeles making the city a part of the characters in this film. The cinematography was spot on, and I really enjoyed the sunsets that were captured in many scenes. My favorite part is that Chazelle took a page out of 2 time Oscar winning director, Alejandro G. Inarritu, in making all the musical performances all in one take. To me, that makes this musical very worthwhile and fun to watch. The story is pretty basic, but I liked how this musical was set in today, but yet paid homage to the classic musicals of the past. Some songs were really catchy, especially “City of Stars,’ which had me singing it after the movie was over. What I also liked about is how grounded this musical is for the most part. Once you think it was going to be a typical eye rolling love story, it’s not. They were dating, realized it wasn’t going to work out, and moved on. What’s genius about it is that they both achieved their dreams, but didn’t get each other. I really loved the irony in that, and made the story very unique in the end. I do give my acting props to Emma Stone. You can tell she really worked hard to be great in this role. Her singing, dancing, and acting was awesome and fun to watch. It was expected that she would have great chemistry with Ryan Gosling, but this pair really took it to another level where you see not only creativity and wittiness, you can see some genuineness between them that made it really authentic.

The So So: For the most part, Ryan Gosling was awesome. He brought his cool charm in his acting. It also showed how hard he worked for the role. He played the piano like a true Jazz musician. The only thing is his singing wasn’t that good to me. It’s not as bad as Russell Crowe in Les Miserable, but it certainly wasn’t no Tony Award performance. It was almost an ear sore for me. I mean, even Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was awesome in his singing in Moana. At least he didn’t do too much singing and more piano playing which bodes him well. With that said, for a musical, you have to bring your A game, and he brought his B game.

What I Didn’t Like: I mentioned in past articles how much I’m not a fan of musicals. Just the fact that they act out a scene, and then all of a sudden they burst into a song is just plain weird for me. La La Land was kind of like that which really made my eyes roll. It is not my cup of tea.

Overall: Even though I don’t like musicals, for this one it has my out most respect on the visual creativity and hard work it was put into this. It’s definitely worth the Oscar hype and I believe Damian Chazelle will get Best Director, Emma Stone for Best Actress, and Best Cinematography. That’s my early prediction, but until then, we’ll see how great this film really is!!!

Rating: 4 Stars


(Sidenote: Alice Through the Looking Glass- My expectations were greatly lowered for this film after how I was genuinely disappointed with Alice in Wonderland. You still get the great graphics, but that is expected. The sotyr was very subpar, but at least the action scenes were pretty enjoyable where you don’t get bored. Since my expectations were low, I ended up enjoying it more than the first film. Just don’t expect any real magic here, because you will be greatly disappointed!!!
Rating: 3 Stars)


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