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Thread: La La Land (Damian Chazelle)

  1. #1
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    La La Land (Damian Chazelle)


    First Man - ***
    The Sisters Brothers - *** 1/2
    Mandy - ***


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  2. #2
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Well, this will certainly get some discussion on the Match Cut boards come December I think.

    For me, it's a delight from beginning to end. Expectations for many will be a modern Singing in the Rain. Instead, I'd say to look for a modern love story with the traditional approach. I don't want to spoil it, but there's a key scene that compares my expectation to the music of the movie.

    Many will be wowed by the first unbroken take, but it's the final montage that will stick with you.

    First Man - ***
    The Sisters Brothers - *** 1/2
    Mandy - ***


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  3. #3
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Jeeeeeeez Ezeee. I'd say slow down if I couldn't imagine how fun it must be seeing all these, and obviously enjoying hearing all your thoughts on 'em too.

    This is going to be one of the toughest things to see at TIFF, but I'm gonna try my darnedest.
    BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018) **** / 9.1
    Murder On The Orient Express (Branagh, 2017) *** / 8.3
    Mission: Impossible Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018) *** / 8.8
    Blindspotting (Estrada, 2018) *** / 8.4
    Leave No Trace (Granik, 2018) *** / 8.6
    Eighth Grade (Burnham, 2018) *** / 8.5
    Sorry To Bother You (Riley, 2018) **** / 9.2
    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Bayona, 2018) ** / 5.9
    2001: A Space Odyssey [in 70mm] (Kubrick, 1968) **** / 10

  4. #4
    unattainable Zac Efron's Avatar
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    Seeing this friday. can't wait!

  5. #5
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Well shit. It's just about perfect.

    Similar to Arrival, once you really start to see what it's up to, the things that might seem less-great about it become devastatingly perfect by design. Also, anecdotally, almost a touch too relatable for me at this point in my life for it to not be even more stunning and inspiring.

    [
    ]

    It's like all the best movies were not only saved until the end of the year, but all made it to TIFF. So grateful to have been able to see as much as I have.
    Last edited by Henry Gale; 09-16-2016 at 03:15 AM.
    BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018) **** / 9.1
    Murder On The Orient Express (Branagh, 2017) *** / 8.3
    Mission: Impossible Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018) *** / 8.8
    Blindspotting (Estrada, 2018) *** / 8.4
    Leave No Trace (Granik, 2018) *** / 8.6
    Eighth Grade (Burnham, 2018) *** / 8.5
    Sorry To Bother You (Riley, 2018) **** / 9.2
    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Bayona, 2018) ** / 5.9
    2001: A Space Odyssey [in 70mm] (Kubrick, 1968) **** / 10

  6. #6
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    I'm envious you two (and Zac Efron, according to Facebook) as well as two real life friends of mine get to see this already. That said, I'm already dreading the backlash this could get right before the Oscars.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm excited as hell for this, in love with every trailer for it, and happy that it's getting so much positive buzz. But as much as I hate to say it, if there's a feel-good movie about Hollywood receiving critical acclaim this year suspect to backlash the same way The Artist, Birdman, and Argo were, this is it. Maybe I'm just being too cynical...
    Last edited by Ivan Drago; 09-16-2016 at 03:43 AM.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    Life Itself (Fogelman, 2018) 2.5
    Widows (McQueen, 2018) 9.5
    Venom (Fleischer, 2018) 2.5
    First Man (Chazelle, 2018) 9
    Let The Corpses Tan (Cattet/Forzani, 2018) 8
    Assassination Nation (Levinson, 2018) 9

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  7. #7
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    I don't know how much to say but.. the movie hears you and even echoes your sentiment to some extent. It offers a lot more solace to the "movies are great!" sentiment than any of those. But maybe because of Stone and shots of people backstage I was reminded of Birdman a few times.
    BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018) **** / 9.1
    Murder On The Orient Express (Branagh, 2017) *** / 8.3
    Mission: Impossible Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018) *** / 8.8
    Blindspotting (Estrada, 2018) *** / 8.4
    Leave No Trace (Granik, 2018) *** / 8.6
    Eighth Grade (Burnham, 2018) *** / 8.5
    Sorry To Bother You (Riley, 2018) **** / 9.2
    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Bayona, 2018) ** / 5.9
    2001: A Space Odyssey [in 70mm] (Kubrick, 1968) **** / 10

  8. #8
    unattainable Zac Efron's Avatar
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    It's absolutely beautiful. Very charming and never too overdone. But I did feel like it needed more story.
    Even so, it's perfect for a big theater experience. I looove Gosling singing and seriously wish he'd do more (even dead man's bones). Emma Stone is also fabulous and her singing surprised me, she has the chops and could handle starring in any musical film.

    My favorite moment of the film involved [
    ]

  9. #9
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting Zac Efron (view post)
    It's absolutely beautiful. Very charming and never too overdone. But I did feel like it needed more story.
    Even so, it's perfect for a big theater experience.
    Whether you mean more plot points or overarching ideas/themes (or songs!), I kinda agree, since even though the stuff that's here works very, very well, I wish there was more. But that also generally plays into me wanting the whole thing to go on for ages.

    I cannot believe it's 2 hours and 6 minutes long, as it has the fluidity and pace of something you'd dream during a power nap.
    Last edited by Henry Gale; 09-17-2016 at 05:23 AM.
    BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018) **** / 9.1
    Murder On The Orient Express (Branagh, 2017) *** / 8.3
    Mission: Impossible Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018) *** / 8.8
    Blindspotting (Estrada, 2018) *** / 8.4
    Leave No Trace (Granik, 2018) *** / 8.6
    Eighth Grade (Burnham, 2018) *** / 8.5
    Sorry To Bother You (Riley, 2018) **** / 9.2
    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Bayona, 2018) ** / 5.9
    2001: A Space Odyssey [in 70mm] (Kubrick, 1968) **** / 10

  10. #10
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Welp, saw it again. Cried even more. Turned around to see and hear a couple of guys doing and saying the same, clarified with them and it was their second time too.

    For those who don't know, it won TIFF's People's Choice Award, which every year means they screen it for free at Roy Thomson Hall, a 2500+ seat venue. Could not pass up another opportunity to see it a second time before I can't again until December.

    It's really such a fantastic piece of work.
    BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018) **** / 9.1
    Murder On The Orient Express (Branagh, 2017) *** / 8.3
    Mission: Impossible Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018) *** / 8.8
    Blindspotting (Estrada, 2018) *** / 8.4
    Leave No Trace (Granik, 2018) *** / 8.6
    Eighth Grade (Burnham, 2018) *** / 8.5
    Sorry To Bother You (Riley, 2018) **** / 9.2
    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Bayona, 2018) ** / 5.9
    2001: A Space Odyssey [in 70mm] (Kubrick, 1968) **** / 10

  11. #11
    White Tiger Field Stay Puft's Avatar
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    Oh wow, I didn't know they changed the venue to RTH. I saw the Herzog doc yesterday afternoon and by the time I got out, I figured I wasn't going to make it to La La Land in time for the ticket handout. The free screening has always been at the Ryerson, though, and that seats like less than half that. I guess I might have actually had a chance? Oh well, scored a free ticket to the sold out Kelly Reichardt screening, so still had a damn good day.
    Making yet another effort again in 2018.

    Killing (Shinya Tsukamoto) **
    Green Book (Peter Farrelly) *
    Burning (Lee Chang-dong) ***
    Destroyer (Karyn Kusama) **
    Long Day's Journey into Night (Bi Gan) ***

  12. #12
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    For the few of us that were lucky enough to see it months back and have inevitably had it all stuck in our heads since....

    THE SOUNDTRACK IS FINALLY OUT.
    BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018) **** / 9.1
    Murder On The Orient Express (Branagh, 2017) *** / 8.3
    Mission: Impossible Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018) *** / 8.8
    Blindspotting (Estrada, 2018) *** / 8.4
    Leave No Trace (Granik, 2018) *** / 8.6
    Eighth Grade (Burnham, 2018) *** / 8.5
    Sorry To Bother You (Riley, 2018) **** / 9.2
    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Bayona, 2018) ** / 5.9
    2001: A Space Odyssey [in 70mm] (Kubrick, 1968) **** / 10

  13. #13
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Still need a night to process my feelings about this before writing them out . . .

    . . . but holy sweet goddamn, my emotions.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    Life Itself (Fogelman, 2018) 2.5
    Widows (McQueen, 2018) 9.5
    Venom (Fleischer, 2018) 2.5
    First Man (Chazelle, 2018) 9
    Let The Corpses Tan (Cattet/Forzani, 2018) 8
    Assassination Nation (Levinson, 2018) 9

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  14. #14
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    The songs are catchy and full of infectious energy, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone have great chemistry and give Oscar-worthy performances, and director Damien Chazelle’s passion for the musical genre shows in every frame through the dance choreography, as well as the cinematography and set designs, which are beautiful for their vibrance and color scheme. This movie left me grinning from ear to ear after every musical number, crying after its most dramatic moments, in awe of its amazing visuals, and wanting to see it again the minute it ended. It’s more than just one of the best movies of the year, or a celebration of Los Angeles and the classical Hollywood musical, it’s a celebration of those who pursue the life of an artist, and La La Land couldn’t have made me happier to be a filmmaker.

    Also, I need to revisit The Umbrellas of Cherbourg as soon as possible. Its influence in this film is EVERYWHERE.
    Last edited by Ivan Drago; 12-15-2016 at 02:58 AM.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    Life Itself (Fogelman, 2018) 2.5
    Widows (McQueen, 2018) 9.5
    Venom (Fleischer, 2018) 2.5
    First Man (Chazelle, 2018) 9
    Let The Corpses Tan (Cattet/Forzani, 2018) 8
    Assassination Nation (Levinson, 2018) 9

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  15. #15
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    I thought this was supposed to release wide this week, but it doesn't appear to be playing anywhere near me. Hmm, am I getting its release date wrong, or does anyone know when its wider release is supposed to be?

  16. #16
    unattainable Zac Efron's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting TGM (view post)
    I thought this was supposed to release wide this week, but it doesn't appear to be playing anywhere near me. Hmm, am I getting its release date wrong, or does anyone know when its wider release is supposed to be?
    Unfortunately I think its only expanding to 200+ theaters this weekend.
    I was too hoping to see it this weekend again... but alas...

  17. #17
    Seeing it on Saturday. Was very mezzo-mezzo on Whiplash, so am only cautiously optimistic based on the fact I'm a sucker for a good musical.
    Last 10 Movies Seen

    You Were Never Really Here
    (2018) 74
    A Quiet Place
    (2018) 65
    The Little Mermaid (1989) 59
    /The Lion King (1994) 55
    The Sheriff in Town
    (2017) 42
    /Pacific Heights (1990) 62

    Ready Player One
    (2018) 53

    /Deadpool
    (2016) 67
    Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017) 61
    The Death of Stalin (2017) 67

    Stuff at Letterboxd


  18. #18
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting transmogrifier (view post)
    Seeing it on Saturday. Was very mezzo-mezzo on Whiplash, so am only cautiously optimistic based on the fact I'm a sucker for a good musical.
    Well luckily (for me, anyway) it's significant improvement on Whiplash and even more than just a good musical!

    It's also so specifically designed as a movie-musical in ways very few are. Probably because most of the big ones that get made these days are adaptations from other mediums.
    BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018) **** / 9.1
    Murder On The Orient Express (Branagh, 2017) *** / 8.3
    Mission: Impossible Fallout (McQuarrie, 2018) *** / 8.8
    Blindspotting (Estrada, 2018) *** / 8.4
    Leave No Trace (Granik, 2018) *** / 8.6
    Eighth Grade (Burnham, 2018) *** / 8.5
    Sorry To Bother You (Riley, 2018) **** / 9.2
    Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Bayona, 2018) ** / 5.9
    2001: A Space Odyssey [in 70mm] (Kubrick, 1968) **** / 10

  19. #19
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    Just saw this. Early work tomorrow so maybe longer thought later. In short: some issues with the first two acts, mostly in the musical department, but GOD that third act is *heavenly*. My face hurts from trying not to spill so many emotions out all at once.

    Also delighted at the unexpected and welcome amount of The Nice Guys' Gosling we got here.
    Midnight Run (1988) - 9
    The Smiling Lieutenant (1931) - 8.5
    The Adventures of Robinhood (1938) - 8
    Sisters (1973) - 6.5
    Shin Godzilla (2016) - 7.5

  20. #20
    Cinematographer Idioteque Stalker's Avatar
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    Ultimately Emma Stone and Damien Chazelle's vision make the movie work, but this could've been a lot better. Its heart is in the right place: it feels sincere, joyful, fun-loving, ambitious, majestic... All the things that make the movies it references so special. The music itself is also good, but it falls flat in its execution. It's weird because the musicality of Whiplash was so believable, but here the singing is sub-par, the tap-dancing in particular is kind of a joke, and the main theme is overplayed to a ludicrous degree (I counted like five or six times? Come on--if it's good then two or maybe three times should be plenty). I'm not saying you have to get out there and be Gene Kelly or Astaire/Rogers, but I'll be damned if anyone besides Stone exhibited even a fraction of the electricity required to truly pay homage as intended. Gosling in particular was pretty stone cold. I know that's kind of his thing, but here he seemed miscast.

    It has some great moments. The planetarium sequence was stunning. The magical realism really fit the tone. It's a shame there were no other moments like that. Emma Stone has never been so arresting. She dominated every scene, and the movie dragged when she wasn't around. The opening number in particular is somewhat of a head-scratcher. The song is good but the long-take emphasis really does it (and other scenes) a disservice--it doesn't seem spontaneous or lively so much as something obviously labored over, the twentieth take where everyone is just a little exhausted and mostly concerned with not making mistakes. There's little doubt in my mind it will win the Oscar for best picture. I will not be upset. Like I said, its heart is in the right place. Emma Stone was fantastic, and I imagine it looked better in Chazelle's head than it does on film. But it feels a little like The Artist in how its pleasures are mostly referential rather than inventive.

  21. #21
    Guttenbergian Pop Trash's Avatar
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    This is so goddamn cinematic and inventive (case in point: the power slide from stood up date at Rebel, to blown dinner to meet future beau at Rebel, to seeing the planetarium sequence in Rebel, to Rebel burning out, to driving up to the actual planetarium from Rebel, to seeing the stars at the planetarium, to actually flying up and dancing in the 'real' stars -is some sort of crazy feat of cinema eating itself ad infinitum) that I can't help but wonder if people who don't like it might need some peanut butter with their jealous. To be fair, it's all a bit slick, but Chazelle has quite the command of verve and propulsion throughout the whole enterprise. Oh, and Emma Stone kills it.
    Last edited by Pop Trash; 12-18-2016 at 05:42 AM.
    Ratings on a 1-10 scale for your pleasure:

    A Star Is Born (2018) - 7
    Venom - 6
    Sixteen Candles - 7
    A Simple Favor - 7
    The Predator - 5
    The Godfather - 10
    Touch of Evil - 8
    BlacKkKlansman - 6
    Eighth Grade - 8
    Blindspotting - 7

  22. #22
    54/100

    Relentlessly artificial and horribly written (the story beats are so predictable - time for an argument, time for a crisis of confidence, time for a win! - and the mawkish finale completely unearned thanks to the cheap jump in time that completely glosses over who did what and thus lets the audience wallow in a hollow melancholy without having to question either of the main characters' decisions), this is basically saved by the relentlessly energy of the two leads, though they don't exactly have a great deal of chemistry in terms of romance, they sure know how to spark comedy off each other. Musical numbers are a mixed bag - mostly well composed, but poorly choreographed.

    Basically, it is celebrating the idea of what this type of movie looks like while forgetting to be much of a movie in itself.

    I should have just watched Cafe Society again. Same basic theme, much more going on in the margins.
    Last edited by transmogrifier; 12-17-2016 at 10:41 AM.
    Last 10 Movies Seen

    You Were Never Really Here
    (2018) 74
    A Quiet Place
    (2018) 65
    The Little Mermaid (1989) 59
    /The Lion King (1994) 55
    The Sheriff in Town
    (2017) 42
    /Pacific Heights (1990) 62

    Ready Player One
    (2018) 53

    /Deadpool
    (2016) 67
    Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017) 61
    The Death of Stalin (2017) 67

    Stuff at Letterboxd


  23. #23
    This was magical. I wasn't entirely feeling it for the first half of the film. The opening scene and the number with the girls (all in primary color dresses!) dancing in their apartment and the spinning camera in the pool - felt so showy and technical that I wasn't exactly swooning. During the "city of stars" number after the party I couldn't help but think, given the effortful movements and singing by Stone and Gosling, that if they were going to so fully recreate a classic musical of a film that they should have chosen stars that felt as natural in that setting as they do simply being on screen together if I'm to be convinced. But the third act changed everything. As much as I love classic Hollywood song and dance movies, they are all about falling in love and never about being in love (save, perhaps, the Umbrellas of Cherbourg), which is why they always felt insubstantial while being utterly charming. So I reject this notion that the film has nothing to itself except to be an extended homage to its predecessors. That dinner scene in the third act, where the leads go from head-over-heels to embittered argument, was honest and fluid and heartbreaking. I can't see where it needs any more plot when it carries the emotional weight of all the musicals that came before it that never explored the territory beyond their respective happy endings. I can't stop thinking about it this morning. What a powerhouse film.

  24. #24
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting amberlita (view post)
    This was magical. I wasn't entirely feeling it for the first half of the film. The opening scene and the number with the girls (all in primary color dresses!) dancing in their apartment and the spinning camera in the pool - felt so showy and technical that I wasn't exactly swooning. During the "city of stars" number after the party I couldn't help but think, given the effortful movements and singing by Stone and Gosling, that if they were going to so fully recreate a classic musical of a film that they should have chosen stars that felt as natural in that setting as they do simply being on screen together if I'm to be convinced. But the third act changed everything. As much as I love classic Hollywood song and dance movies, they are all about falling in love and never about being in love (save, perhaps, the Umbrellas of Cherbourg), which is why they always felt insubstantial while being utterly charming. So I reject this notion that the film has nothing to itself except to be an extended homage to its predecessors. That dinner scene in the third act, where the leads go from head-over-heels to embittered argument, was honest and fluid and heartbreaking. I can't see where it needs any more plot when it carries the emotional weight of all the musicals that came before it that never explored the territory beyond their respective happy endings. I can't stop thinking about it this morning. What a powerhouse film.
    Nicely written. Can't wait to watch this again.

    First Man - ***
    The Sisters Brothers - *** 1/2
    Mandy - ***


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  25. #25
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    Quote Quoting transmogrifier (view post)
    Basically, it is celebrating the idea of what this type of movie looks like while forgetting to be much of a movie in itself.
    You and I have had plenty of disagreements over the years, but you are absolutely right about this one. As I was watching, I found myself wondering, "Are people praising this movie because they like the idea of it? Or are they actually that excited about the movie?"

    Because what I saw was not a very good or compelling movie musical. The characters are thin. The plot is tired. The themes are empty. It's not performed particularly well, in terms of dancing and singing. The choreography is not very imaginative. What exactly are people in love with here?

    If you want a movie about the struggle involved in chasing the artistic dream, watch Don't Think Twice. It's much more rich.

    If you want a movie that fondly looks back at the classic age of Hollywood movie making, watch Hail Caesar!. It's much more knowing.

    If you want a movie about a struggling musician hoping to win the girl, watch Sing Street. It's got much more heart.

    I mean, a film in which we are expected to mourn about the death of free jazz? Seriously? When John Legend shows up in a supporting role, it's pretty much perfect because this is a movie for people who really get excited about John Legend music.

    I will give the film credit for ending with its strongest scenes. The audition song and the final montage are what the film should have been all the way through. But by then, it's far too late, because there's no compelling story here. No relationship that is worth shedding tears over. No musical numbers worth savoring on multiple viewings.

    Hugely, hugely underwhelming.
    A Star is Born (Cooper, 2018) ***
    A Simple Favor (Feig, 2018) **1/2
    Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018) **1/2
    The Three Musketeers (Niblo, 1921) **
    Chi-Raq (Lee, 2015) ***1/2
    The Headless Woman (Martel, 2008) ***
    Searching (Chaganty, 2018) **
    The Neon Demon (Refn, 2016) **
    BlacKkKlansman (Lee, 2018) ****
    Happy End (Haneke, 2017) ***1/2

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