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Random Thoughts: La La Land, or Stop Showing Off, Ryan Gosling!

*Random Thoughts is a new style of reviewing we're trying out, so this blog can release reviews faster. In case you don't know, reviewing films is time-consuming, and I don't get paid to do this.

"Let me show you how to dance the 'Asereje'."

•An alliterative title about L.A., a.k.a. the City of Angels. It sounds playful and whimsical, which actually helps set the tone for the entire picture. This is actually a modern throwback to old Hollywood. It's like Singin' in the Rain, but with smartphones.

•That opening sequence on the freeway flyover was brilliant. Very well-choreographed, not just with the dancing, but with the camerawork as well. I bet they had to shut the road down, which would have made that sequence quite expensive to shoot.

•This is not a proper musical per se. I mean, it's not a musical in the Broadway tradition. It's more of like a love story with some singing and dancing.

•Ryan Gosling has really great comic timing. I've already noticed this in The Nice Guys, and I'm so glad he gets to unleash some of his comedy here, for the benefit of those who haven't seen his movie with Russell Crowe.

•Okay, so Ryan Gosling plays the piano. Damn you and your good looks.

•Is Emma Stone a natural redhead? And is it just me, or do redheads look good in any colour? Okay, I googled it, and she's a natural blonde.

•Ryan Gosling dances, too? Fuck you. I am kidding. You are my new man-crush.

•Okay, the singing wasn't bad. But it wasn't great singing, either. It's like driving a car. Most people can get their vehicle from point A to point B, but that's not the sign of a good driver. A good driver can get to point A to point B with style and grace. Much like hitting the right notes doesn't necessarily make you a good singer. Yeah, Stone and Gosling may have hit the right notes, but come on.

•Remember that scene when they had a fight about achieving their dreams? Well, a true musical would've done that scene in song. If this were a true musical, it would've done a lot of exposition in song. Just saying.

•Why is John Legend here? Did he write all the songs and the score? Like what Pharrell did in Hidden Figures? Ah, no. Google says Justin Hurwitz wrote La La Land's score. Thanks, Google, for answering my rhetorical questions.

•I loved that scene towards the end when Emma Stone and her husband went into Seb's. There's something wonderful about "what could've been" scenes. You know why? Because they are alternate timelines. Parallel universes. That's fifth dimension stuff right there, man. And I always find that mind-blowing.

When the director says "Jump", you say "How high?"

La La Land. USA. 2016.

Original rating: 7.7/10
Cinematography: +0.1
Ryan Gosling's comic timing: +0.1
Dance sequences: +0.1
Opening sequence: +0.1
Ryan Gosling's musical talent: -0.1
Tap dancing sequence: +0.1
Not enough J.K. Simmons: -0.1
Damien Chazelle's directing: +0.1
Final rating: 8.1/10


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