I don’t know if I’d ever call “La La Land” a masterpiece. I wouldn’t even call it a great movie. But it at least gets an A for effort, anxiously trying to evoke the classic musicals of Hollywood’s yesteryear that has a lot of first year theater students salivating over. “La La Land” is a neat and charming little novelty, and one I was thoroughly invested in, mainly for the fantastic photography. “La La Land” looks gorgeous, especially when characters Mia and Sebastian are sitting on a park bench at dawn, dancing and singing. But that’s about the entirety of the film’s merits. The cinematography and special effects are fantastic, but don’t actually compensate for a weak storyline, and forgettable musical numbers.
There is nothing like a great movie musical – and La La Land is nothing like a great movie musical. This ambitious yet inert mess seems to grab a dozen different styles from classic musicals, but fails to find its own personality.
If you’ve ever seen a friend. A loved one. Or a confidant on a downhill slope in his or her life, then “Half Nelson” will surely hit home for you. It hit home for me, and that’s because what occurs here is all too real. Basically, the universal message, the entire message of “Half Nelson” is that our heroes are in fact human, and eventually the people we look up to, people we think are invincible, are in actuality human with flaws, vices, and even addictions, and we’ll discover that eventually, and we may never be able to understand it. But our heroes will in effect be just human, that can not escape their trappings regardless of what you do for them. For Mr. Dunn, his fate is inevitable, and it’s only a matter of time before he faces that.
“Elephant”, a truly disturbing film examined teen murder, the ability of a person to pick up a weapon and murder another person whether justified or not, and continue to do so, and it examined it where none of it made any sense. “United States of Leland” examines that same concept, and though it’s the same basic approach, it’s still a pretty damn good film in the end. Is it so hard to believe that many times there’s just no reason for something bad that happens? For many people, it is. There has to be a reason for everything these days, and what’s most disturbing about this film is that basically there’s just no reason for murder sometimes.