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  1. #1
    Senior Member David Vaughn's Avatar
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    Jul 2002
    Northern, CA

    La La Land (UHD Blu-ray) review

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    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.

    My Thoughts
    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.

    4K UHD
    Video 9/10 (HEVC)
    Audio 9/10 (Dolby Atmos)

    Video 4.5/5 (AVC)
    Audio 4.5/5 (DTS-HD MA 7.1)

    Special Features
    · 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

  2. #2
    Senior Member TrippleJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Thanks for the review. Will check it out.
    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.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    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.

  4. #4
    Owner-Publisher Jerry Del Colliano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    West Los Angeles, California
    Emma Stone is absolutely gorgeous.

    I don't think I can make it through this movie but she's easy on the eyes.

  5. #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.

  6. #6
    Senior Member NoUDont's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Another Best Picture checked off.

    I have to agree with David, after the first scene, i looked over at my wife (both of us love Moulin Rouge and think Chicago is absolute trash) and cringed. but yes, from there it gets much, much better.

    the rest of the musical scenes fit in nicely. i want to thank damien chazelle for bringing jazz into my life which i never thought i would like. whiplash and la la land both have fantastic music.

    the l.a. scenery was gorgeous. to capture that right time of day or sunset was beautiful to see.

    for some reason a lot of the best picture nominees had really downer themes or endings and la la land was no exception. wife was pissed. i was ok with it.

    still think Moonlight was best picture and had the best score with The Arrival a close second, in both categories. while emma was great and charming as she always is, i think amy adams was robbed.

    on two side notes, first, this is the second time stone and gosling are together on screen. if u havent seen Crazy, Stupid Love, do so immediately. second chazelle got a writing credit for 10 cloverfield lane, which if u havent seen it, do so immediately as well.
    Last edited by NoUDont; 06-09-2017 at 11:11 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member David Vaughn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Northern, CA
    NUD...have you seen Hacksaw Ridge? I'll have to check the thread and see!

    Thanks for your comments, although my wife and I LOVE Chicago. We like Moulin Rouge as well too as well as Phantom, which many don't like for some reason.
    David Vaughn
    Technical Writer/Blu-ray Reviewer
    Sound and Vision Magazine


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