Review of "La La Land (2016) (DVD)"

published 26/11/2017 | IzzyS
Member since : 27/07/2006
Reviews : 809
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About me :
Thanks for all the rates through the years. Its the end of an era - im thankful to all who talked to me. Apologies for the mass postings but I have a ton of film reviews in drafts! ill try to re-rate as many ppl as I can.
Pro Entertaining, uplifting, light hearted, stylish and subtle at different times, cast,
Cons Cheesiness/a little over the top at times perhaps (too stylish for some?), somewhat weak plot
very helpful
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Characters / Performances
Special Effects

"Slick Musical Fans Will Likely La La Love This!"

- Story -

An aspiring actress and a pianist find themselves falling in love while attempting to kick start their own careers in Los Angeles. Both career oriented, will their relationship last and what lies ahead for them in the famously showbusiness city of LA? you'll have to watch the film to find out.

- More Info., Thoughts & Opinions -

This is a comedy/drama musical film, with themes featured including auditions, fireworks, dancing and theatrical productions. The musical format of this film is made blatantly obvious within the first two minutes or so and I wouldn't say I'm a big fan specifically of musicals as such but I quite enjoyed it for the fun light hearted tone it carried and the entertaining choreography. At first I was thinking that it seemed a bit like an adult film version of Glee. I suppose the chirpy nature of some of the songs may wear a bit thin for some people but then I think its pretty fair to say that if your not at all keen on musicals, then you should know not to give this title your time. I thought it made for a refreshing piece of escapism but I can't say that there isn't any cheesiness present, which does, obviously, somewhat come with the territory.

It is quite stylish, with some bright and vivid colours coming through my TV screen well - it looked good in HD (I watched it in HD via my Netflix subscription) and there's no jerky camerawork to frustrate viewers here. Instead its quite seamless and smooth - like one long music video of sorts. Much like musicals on stage, from one scene to the next there's surprisingly little in the way of dialogue or plot development taking place - I say that as other part musical films I've seen have been more drama based and only ofeatured songs every so often but I would say that its more frequent in this title. It had the feel of a classic early 1900s 'Hollywood' film, around about the last few decades before colour films became the usual. Particularly reminiscent of that, from what little I know, was a scene featuring very well timed dance moves a la Gene Kelly 'Singing In The Rain', set in a quiet area in the Hollywood hills (although sans rain (without rain), ironically). In one particular scene, it very much appears that the 2 main characters are seemingly walking through a famous classic painting, with the vivid colours and indeed paintstrokes coming to life.

From a musical point of view, I quite liked some scenes which didn't feature all out songs being performed as such (it does slow down a bit 'song and dance' wise after a while) but which regardless featured people lightly playing music in the background, as if it were a low key jam session or something similar. At times it seems quite bright and 'loud and proud' in a sense, with people performing as if it were a life or death situation somehow, while at other moments it seeemed surprisingly subtle.

Cast wise, Ryan Gosling plays the piano player Sebastian. I presume he learnt to play the piano, whether before taking on this role or not and I found said piano playing really quite impressive. As an actor, he did well playing someone a little down on their luck and somewhat unsure where they may be headed. Meanwhile, of course Emma Stone plays the main female character, Mia. I liked her from the start as she seemed not too much of a 'dolly bird' type (if its ok to use such a term?), she seemed someone who is pretty relatable and young and aspirational, while she has a bit of a rebellious angle to her, I thought she was quite a likeable person generally. Other cast members include J.K. Simmons (who starred in the brilliant music based film Whiplash (although that isn't a musical as such, more a music centered drama), who plays Bill and Jason Fuchs (careful how you say that(!)) as Carlo. There's also a short performance from D.A. Wallach who plays a rather cheesy 1980s singer that performs at an event featured fairly early on, plot wise.

Content wise, the film contains very little likely to offend or upset, apart from an utterance of strong language and one or two rude gestures. There is a scene featuring some semi exotic (pole type) dancing and thus there is some partial nudity, although nothing exceedingly graphic as such. There is no violence or drug content, which may be a relief for some given how uncommon it can be nowadays to come across a film not featuring such elements. Its been given a 12 rating to reflect this.

Plot and genre wise, it had a bit of a feel of a Disney film, only (of course) its live action but with the almost exaggerated use of vivid colours and bright scenic settings, plus the plot to an extent, I found myself thinking of one or two optimistic type Disney films, such as perhaps Mary Poppins (although, of course, thats set in London). Also I did feel the plot was perhaps a little thin on the ground, or general - as I say this is primarily a music film, not a music based drama but a musical in and of itself really.

Weak plot aside, suffice to say its quite an atmospheric film but if you don't allow yourself to enjoy it, if you find sudden singing, cheesy plot elements and jazz music irritating or uninteresting then you'll no doubt not be much impressed with this but otherwise its certainly worth a watch and is a good bit of fun.

- Would I Recommend It? -

Overall, yes I'd recommend it as I found it to be entertaining, atmospheric, quite stylish and fun, plus with a decent cast. However, I pretty much know that it won't appeal to everyone and it does have its more negative aspects, such as the fact that it is quite cheesy, which may appeal to some but not everyone. It is certainly over the top in some respects, in as much as its definitely not under stated but I enjoyed the music and the general tone and feel of it and I'm not what some may call a big musical afficiando type, so for the most part yes, I would recommend it.

- Availability -

If your interested in seeing this, you can buy it on DVD for £6.99 at Amazon UK, at time of publishing this review. I watched this film via Netflix UK, where it was available to watch at the time of this review, although they can and do remove content every so often, so its worth double checking it is still available before registering for the service just in case its removed.

- Final Note / Thank You -

Thank you for reading my review, I hope you found it useful and thanks, as ever, for any and all rates and comments.

Community evaluation

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Comments on this review

  • kiss_me2070 published 27/11/2017
    Good review. Me and my boyfriend tried to watch this at the weekend but it wasn't for us.
  • danielclark691 published 27/11/2017
    very good
  • RICHADA published 27/11/2017
    Very good review, sadly not a film that attracts me at all. R.
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Product Information : La La Land (2016) (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Sub Sub Genre: Musicals & Other Music Films

DVD Region: DVD

Classification: 12 years and over

Actor(s): Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, J.K. Simmons, Finn Wittrock, Sonoya Mizuno

Production Year: 2016

Sound: Dolby Digital

Director(s): Damien Chazelle

EAN: 5055761909630


Listed on Ciao since: 14/06/2017