‘La La Land’ is a Dazzling Love Letter to Los Angeles

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

La La Land

Once an indelible part of the cinematic landscape, the musical has kind of fallen by the wayside over the past few decades. Only a handful of Broadway hits seem to be destined to grace the silver screen, and typically long after their popularity has peaked. Rarer are the original musicals crafted solely for the cinema. For his second feature as director, Damien Chazelle is set to revive the musical with La La Land, an homage to the city of Los Angeles told in dazzling visuals and song. La La Land is a very good movie but simply just an okay musical, with a dazzling kaleidoscope of color and movement yet lacking in songs that hook you. As much as you’ll be stunned at the choreography and style on display, you won’t be humming any of these songs on the way out the theater.

La La Land tells the story of two people struggling to make their way in Los Angeles. Mia (Emma Stone) is an actress that is having trouble securing a role. She works as a barista on the Warner Bros. studio lot, pouring coffee for those who have tapped into the success that eludes her. Some evening Mia attends glamourous parties with her multiple roommates in the hopes that somebody might notice them. Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) is a musician that really, really loves jazz. He’s a purist when it comes to his passion for jazz and dreams of opening a jazz club all his own. After a few brief encounters, Mia and Sebastian start dating and fall for each other in the City of Angels. Soon Sebastian finds some success playing piano with Keith (John Legend), an old friend who doesn’t subscribe to Sebastian’s purist views on jazz, and his hectic schedule starts to wear on his relationship with Mia. It’s not long before both Mia and Sebastian must realize that success comes with compromises and those very same compromises could undo their relationship.

The look of La La Land is unmistakably vibrant on every level, from production and costume design to the cinematography by Linus Sandgren. The colors on the screen just pop with a stunning clarity that is without peers in modern filmmaking. Sandgren’s camera is often like another dancer in the fray, swooping in and out of the intricate choreography with style and grace. Chazelle’s movie fully embraces the artifice of dream-like musicals and this comes across in a majestic sequence that feature the Griffith Observatory, the characters floating together as they fall in love. From a purely visceral level, few films of 2016 are as intoxicating as the lush beauty of La La Land.

If there’s one thing that prevents La La Land from being a truly great musical it’s the songs by Chazelle and Justin Hurwitz. There is a beauty to the melancholy song “City of Stars” but it isn’t a catchy number that drives a fantastically staged dance sequence as much as it captures the sad heart of the story. And “City of Stars” is the one real standout number that is even the slightest bit memorable. The rest of the songs are upbeat and bombastic but lack that hook to make it stick with you past the conclusion of the number. Leaving the theater there’s little to take away with you, nothing to whistle or tap your toes to.

La La Land is also a sweeping love letter to Los Angeles, warts and all. The opening dance number takes place on a gridlocked freeway and the cavalcade of dancer twist and tap alongside and on top of their stationary vehicles. Damien Chazelle doesn’t just stick to the obvious. His movie pays homage to the winding roads of the hills, the history of the studios and the old movie houses, and all the assorted nooks and crannies of the greater Los Angeles area. More so, La La Land also is about the compromises that people must take to find success in the highly competitive region – be it playing a commercial version of the music you love or letting a relationship wilt away in order to realize your dreams. There’s a beauty and a tragedy anywhere you look in Los Angeles, and Damien Chazelle encapsulates with his sprawling musical.

As a piece of visual storytelling, La La Land is simply dazzling, a gorgeous mixture of color and motion that jumps off the screen. But as a musical, La La Land is simply okay. The film is a very good movie that is always flirting with greatness yet its songs fail impress on the same level as the intricate imagery on display. Despite the shortcomings of its song, La La Land is a dazzling delight that blends nostalgia with a modernist take on the musical genre, a melancholy love story of romance under the stars in the city of stars.

La La Land
  • Overall Score
4

Summary

A visual feast of color and motion, La La Land dazzles the eyes but falls just short of greatness due to its collection of songs that just don’t stick with you when the credits roll.

YogaOutlet.com

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Review
‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ Loses the Magic

Even though the Harry Potter saga ended seven years ago, there...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Review
A Robust Sense of Humor Makes ‘Ralph Breaks the Internet’ a Superior Sequel

2012’s Wreck-It Ralph was a brazen nostalgia play. Granted, it was...

Aaron Wolf Talks about His Movie ‘Restoring Tomorrow’

Filmmaker, Aaron Wolf spoke with us about his Oscar nominated documentary,...

Event News Event Reviews
Alt 98.7 Presents Big Adventure: Music, Comedy & Comic Con Festival, Nov 3-4 in Orange County

In less than a month, Alt 98.7 Presents Big Adventure makes its debut,...

The 9th Annual Brew HA HA Craft Beer Photo Gallery

Photos by FanboyNation Craft Beer Expert, Dave Warner. Related

Long Beach Comic Con Photo Gallery

Related

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Taco Bell Xbox
The Newest Taco Bell Box is an Xbox – Your Chance to Win a Taco Bell Xbox

Taco Bell and Xbox are partnering up to give fans a chance...

Exclusive Track Premiere from Madden NFL 19!

(July 26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records today...

Star Ocean Anamnesis
8.0/10
The Most Intuitively Fun Gameplay of Any Mobile RPG – Star Ocean Anamnesis Review

Star Ocean Anamnesis is hands down the most fun and intuitive gameplay...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Stan Lee, the Co-Creator of the Marvel Universe, Dead at 95

According to reports earlier today, Stanley Martin Lieber aka Stan the...

Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

Gary Morgenstein is a journalist, public relations expert and author with...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Eagle Eyes
Protect Your Eyes with Eagle Eyes Glasses – Eagle Eyes TV Kit Review

Eagle Eyes TV Kit review – Feel the difference and get...

Nooligan Talks About His New DC Collectibles Batman Family Line

Visual Artist Nooligan uses the influences of his First Nation ancestry along...

DC Collectibles Brings Batman Dark Nights: Metal to Life

Straight from the pages of the bestselling DARK NIGHTS: METAL comics series comes...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Lion Fight Promotions Logo
Lion Fight 50 Full Results

November 3, 2018 – Los Angeles – Lion Fight Promotions presents...

PFL 9 Lightweight and Light Heavyweight Semi-Final Results From Long Beach

Saturday, October 13, 2018 – Professional Fighters League (PFL) 9 took...

NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleased Results

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) continues its West Coast domination with...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics presents: Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring/Behold Tacocat!/Harry potter and the web of lies!

The next senses shattering episode of the increasingly subtitled Harry Potter...

Comics on the Can – Super Dinosaur

Comics on the can   Super Dinosaur   Writer – Robert...

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the Cat Conjuring/Behold Tacocat!/Harry Potter and the world wide web of lies!

The next exciting chapter in the seemingly endless Hrry Potter and...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Coastal Commoners Ep 8 – Saying Farewell to Stan Lee

This week the commoner’s say farewell to Marvel Comics legend, Stan...

Coastal Commoners Ep 7 Mid-Term Elections!

Oh the headaches of elections and what can go wrong. We...

Coastal Commoners Ep 6 Synagogue Shooting and Antisemitism

This week on Coastal Commoners, Gary and R.C. discuss the Synagogue...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Deadpool 2 Vinyl Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Deadpool 2 Score Soundtrack on...

Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...

Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

%d bloggers like this: