I have to be honest, unless it’s really good and moving, I’m not a big fan of musicals. So I was a bit skeptical about taking a look at the highly coveted, multi-award winning musical La La Land at first, but came to fall under its spell like most who have seen it. It also didn’t hurt that it’s from director Damien Chazelle who made one of my favorite recent movies, Whiplash. If you’re looking for something fun and different to watch, you’ll want to get lost in the magic of this film.
Fellow editor Chris Pandolfi saw this when it was in theaters and has all the plot details and more in his review of the theatrical release you can take a look at, leaving me free to give my two cents on this release. Like Chris, I too enjoyed this movie very much as the acting, singing and dancing was great and fun to watch. I also liked how the story is a simple one that viewers can relate to and often think about, which is one of the main things that make movies pull people in and feel magical in the first place.
If that wasn’t enough, I was able to view this in 4K UHD with HDR, which made the visuals and musical numbers really come to life. The picture looks amazing thanks to the super details and rich colors, and the audio surrounds you and keeps you into the film even as the credits roll. There’s also a load of special features starting with the audio commentary with writer/director Damien Chazelle and Composer Justin Hurwitz who talk about how they enjoy working with each other and how they work their magic to bring this movie to life.
“Another Day of Sun: They Close Down A Freeway” is an interesting extra that goes into how they made the film’s opening musical number. Even more interesting is how they shut down a freeway and shot this during some days where a heat advisory was in effect. “Ryan Gosling: Piano Student” is a fun feature that shows Gosling learning to play piano for the film, and how it came together with the help of his instructor. “Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle’s Passion Project” shows how the director wanted to make this movie happen quite some time ago and even shares how this movie supposedly takes place in the same universe as Whiplash. There’s also a ton more of extras to check out such as behind scenes stuff on the making of the film, dance numbers, music pieces and more, but these are some of the few that stood out for me.
If you enjoy romantic films and musicals, you’ll have a good time getting yourself lost in the magic that is La La Land. A great cast, cool songs and fun dance numbers highlight a tried and true story people can relate to on finding your place in the world that more than earns its numerous Academy Awards, and is sure to have you dancing in no time.