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Thread: La La Land (UHD Blu-ray) review
04-21-2017, 08:28 AM #1
La La Land (UHD Blu-ray) review
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star as Mia and Sebastian, an actress and a jazz musician pursuing their Hollywood dreams — and finding each other — in a vibrant celebration of hope, dreams, and love.
The hype regarding this movie was off the charts and the buzz got so great that my wife dragged me to the theaters to watch it. In fact, it was so popular, it took us 3 attempts to actually see it because our first two attempts ran into a sold-out show! So expectations were quite high when we finally grabbed our bucket of popcorn and settled into our reclining seats at our local Cineplex. Then the first scene pops up and I’m saying to myself “WTF?” Wow, what a horrible way to start a movie!
Fortunately, after the opening number—which seems forced and out of place even on the second viewing—the movie finds its groove. The music is quite good and the chemistry between Stone and Gosling is extremely good. Emma Watson backed out of this production to do Beauty and The Beast, and I’m not sure it would have been as good with her as the lead character, so thank you Disney!
Many think this was the Best Picture of 2016 and deserved the Oscar over Moonlight, but I’m not one of them. Frankly, I didn’t think Moonlight should have won either, but that’s a story for another day. I truly believe the only reason this film received the buzz it did is that it harkens back to the golden days of Hollywood when the musical reigned supreme and the story itself is about making it in Hollywood, so the sycophants in the entertainment media couldn’t gush enough about their own industry.
The A/V presentation is solid all around and improves on what I saw and heard from my local cinema. I love that Dolby Atmos is on the track, although it’s rather front loaded and doesn’t necessarily hit you from above, but the score bleed does offer some sort of envelopment in the room. The video encode’s highlight is the WCG, which really sizzles with primary colors, but the bump to 4K over the 1080p Blu-ray isn’t massive unless one is sitting very close to their display.
Video 9/10 (HEVC)
Audio 9/10 (Dolby Atmos)
Video 4.5/5 (AVC)
Audio 4.5/5 (DTS-HD MA 7.1)
· Audio Commentary
· “Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down a Freeway” Featurette
· “La La Land's Great Party” Featurette
· “Ryan Gosling: Piano Student” Featurette
· “Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle's Passion Project” Featurette
· “La La Land's Love Letter to Los Angeles” Featurette
· “The Music of La La Land” Featurette
· “John Legend's Acting Debut” Featurette
· “The Look of Love: Designing La La Land” Featurette
· “Ryan and Emma: Third Time’s the Charm” Featurette
· “Epilogue: The Romance of the Dream” Featurette
· Damien & Justin Sing: The Demos
· Song Selection
· UHD, Blu-ray, + UV Digital Copy
I liked this film a lot more the second time through mainly because my expectations were already set and I wasn’t looking to see the best movie of the year—per the critic’s calls. Regardless, it’s a fun movie with some decent—yet forgettable—music. What makes it work is stone and Gosling along with some wonderful cinematography of Los Angeles. Definitely check this one out though because it’s worth watching—even more than once. Recommended.David Vaughn
Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer
Sound and Vision Magazine
04-21-2017, 08:40 AM #2
Thanks for the review. Will check it out.Main:
Samsung UN75F8000 LED TV, NAD T-777 (7.2 Receiver), Oppo 103 Blu Ray Player, Sony PS4 Gaming Console, Panamax MR-5100 Surge Protection, 7 Paradigm Reference series 8" in ceiling speakers (AMS-150R) - 30 degree tilting speakers, 2 Paradigm SE Subs. Pictures here.
04-21-2017, 09:17 AM #3
- Join Date
- Feb 2013
- Upstate NY
I agree with your description of the opening number. I looked around the theater and some folks had a huh? look on their faces, including me. Very good review Dave, I agree the movie will get better with a second look.
04-21-2017, 11:51 AM #4
04-21-2017, 12:39 PM #5
There's no doubt in my mind that the visuals and production of this film are off the charts. However, a film about Hollywood doing Hollywood seems a bit too much for me. It wouldn't be the musical aspect of the film that turned me off.
Might be worth a rent. Thanks, David.