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A good movie

Posted : 11 months, 2 weeks ago on 9 June 2017 05:36

Since this movie was a huge critical and commercial success, of course, I was really eager to check it out. Well, unfortunately, pretty much as I expected, even though I did like it, I can't say it really blew me away. Basically, it mostly had to do with the fact that I never been a fan of musicals and even though this movie was probably one of the most interesting musicals I have seen, it still didn't manage to make me fall in love with this genre. On the other hand, my wife, who is a die-hard fan of classic musicals, liked it even less than me. In fact, when you read the comments and reviews about this movie on this website, most Listal members seem to think that it was cute at best but nothing really amazing after all. Anyway, from a technical point of view, it was a very well made and beautiful movie and Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone both once again delivered some strong performances. However, like in most musicals, the story was just too generic, especially for a running time above the 2 hours, and even though Gosling and Stone were fine, I can't say I really cared for their characters. Maybe I should give it a 2nd chance at some point but, for now, I think it is rather overrated and I'm actually glad the vastly superior 'Moonlight' managed to win the Academy Award for the Best Picture instead of this movie.

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La La Land (2016) review

Posted : 1 year, 1 month ago on 19 April 2017 03:39

Después de 5 meses, finalmente me pude ver La la land, y aunque mis expectativas no estaban tan altas con esta película, me impresiono a final de cuentas es sus mayores aspectos técnicos, y hasta argumentales, no tanto en estos últimos, porque quizás los personajes no sean los favoritos de muchas espectadores que se vean la pelicula. Pero hay una cosa que no se puede negar, la musica de esta obra, llego para quedarse, siendo mis favoritas Another Day Of Sun, Someone In The Crowd y City of Stars, son totalmente memorables y hasta uno le da una buenas energías al momento de escucharlas. Y pues claro, que se puede esperar del mismo que dirigió Whiplash, que ahora va a estar a boca de muchos en esta nueva era de cine como lo esta siendo como Iñárritu o Guillermo del Toro que esta volviendo a sacar relevancia en estos tiempos.

Quizás no sea la película que va a cambiar la industria, pero es una que deben apreciar a los que les gusta de buen cine y de aprender a analizar las características que conforman una película para los estudiantes o críticos que estudian cine.

Aunque mi favorita para los Oscares seguirá siendo Arrival.

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La La Land (2016) review

Posted : 1 year, 1 month ago on 7 April 2017 01:45

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"La La Land" (2016)

Posted : 1 year, 1 month ago on 28 March 2017 07:43


In Los Angeles, jazz pianist Sebastian falls for aspiring actress Mia, and they soon end up having to cope with the pressures of success.

This has to be one of the most critically lauded films of 2016, hailed as a return of the classic musicals of old. Unfortunately, what impressed everyone else so much, I felt was the film's weakest aspect. The musical sequences often involve choreographed dances that I couldn't help but feel looked very unnatural. On stage, it would look fine, but in the naturalistic setting depicted on film, it just looks out of place.

One thing that did impress me, though, was the film's use of colour. I think every colour on the spectrum is visible bright and clear in this movie, which makes a welcome change from the washed-out, monochrome colour palate I'm seeing so often.

But it was the second half that really stuck with me, where the songs become less frequent and it becomes clear that the overall theme is dreams and aspirations, particularly of being successful as a performer. It's a very profound and hard-hitting message: success in the entertainment industry is just pure luck.

So I really enjoyed this movie, but maybe not for the same reason as everyone else.

My rating: 80%

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La La Land (2016) review

Posted : 1 year, 3 months ago on 7 February 2017 05:19

*I really adore musicals especially when they introduce people singing that I didn't see sing before.
*I like the cast with a few surprises here and there.
*My wife wanted to see this so that's why I finally made the way to see it.
*Another reason is to see what all the fuss and nominations were all about.
*Damien Chazelle also directed Whiplash so that is definitely a plus.
*A crazy thing is this guy also wrote 10 Cloverfield Lane and the unfortunate Last Exorcism Part II.
*Anyways I have heard someone say that it is great if you liked Singin In The Rain.
*So let us see what it has to offer.

*The music is fun, unique, and different.
*Some of the musical numbers were fun.
*The story was nice and cute.
*The acting was great.
*The characters were likable and interesting.
*I thought Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling had great chemistry.

*It felt a little too long.
*Some of the songs didn't work for me.
*Singin In The Rain is loads better.
*Some characters just seem to get left behind.

It's a refreshing and different new musical. I wouldn't say it's on top tier or deserves so many awards, but it is still pretty good. I don't think it is something I would seek to watch more than once to be honest. Still check it out as it does have a nice story that makes you care.

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La La Land

Posted : 1 year, 3 months ago on 25 January 2017 03:11

If La La Land were a person, it would be an eager-to-please, bright sunny person with very little going on behind the eyes. There’s loving nods and references to your idols and objects of obsession, and then there’s pure pastiche stitched together from the better parts of several famous movie musicals but without their emotional context. La La Land is a prime example of a charming time waster, an adequate movie musical that lacks any sense of depth that keeps something like Singin’ in the Rain vibrantly alive.


La La Land steals proudly from Jacques Demy’s musical output, but all of this referencing is missing the melancholy and depth of feeling in its characters. Writer-director Damien Chazelle sure does know how to signify exuberance, but he can’t seem to make us care about any of it. It’s wonderfully sweet, happy, and cute in the moment, but it fades nearly instantly from your memory.


If I sound contrarian to this movie, know that I enjoyed La La Land in the moment, but find its near full frontal assault on awards season slightly baffling. I suppose given the dark temper of 2016 something this light feels like a blissful oasis. There’s several positives to this film, but the strength of other films like Moonlight or Kubo and the Two Strings is how they linger in the mind and heart. La La Land is a sugar rush that’s immediately pleasing before fading from the mind.


At least there’s a few moments of heightened movie-making that are clearly trying for something greater. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling bring their chemistry once more, and their fun repartee as actors does a lot of the heavy lifting for the material. Not that there’s much to lift here. Stone plays an actress who dreams of hitting it big, Gosling plays another of Chazelle’s white jazz savior proxies, and their characters are fun to watch romance and spar together. But this is the extent of what La La Land asks of them.


Stone can carry a tune, and is a pleasing dancer, while Gosling is a gifted actor who should probably lead with his other talents, because musical star is not one of them. Think of how good he is in Lars & the Real Girl, Crazy Stupid Love, or Half Nelson, then watch how adequate he is here. Any number of fellow actors in Gosling’s generation could have given this performance; it lacks his trademark wit and self-effacing charm. His warbling lacks soul, while Stone mugs up a few of her musical moments like a theater kid making good. God, do they try valiantly to bring their characters some soul, but there’s no major arch for them to play, no memorable song for them to belt.


La La Land comes roaring out the gate with an impassioned free-for-all dance number on a Los Angeles freeway, and nothing will top this sequence. The solid colors, almost eye bleeding vibrant and bright, and acrobatic choreography are an adrenaline shot that perk you up immediately. Then the vague sense of fealty creeps in and we’re left with a nagging sense that everything is a flimsy bubble ready to pop at a moment’s notice. Strange considering the depth of feeling Chazelle brought to Whiplash, which had actual thoughts in its brain and characters for its actors to play.


I think it’s because nothing happens in this movie that you can’t see coming from three scenes before. The romance follows the projection of A Star is Born without the tragedy and romance. There’s an extended dream sequence in the end that steals outright from the “Broadway Melody” in Singin’ in the Rain and An American in Paris’ impressionistic ballet, and a scene where a date starts off with a repertory screening of Rebel Without a Cause and ends with a late night trip to the Griffith Observatory. La La Land is obsessed with proving its bonafides as a prodigal child of movie musicals but forgets to invest some heart, soul, or real feeling while it’s at it. I enjoyed it in the moment, but the second the credits rolled all I could muster as I turned to my friend was an noncommittal, “It was cute.” Naturally, this will probably dominate the Oscars.  

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