La La Land, the move that cleaned house at the Oscars and was even best picture for about five minutes. It’s out on Blu-ray and 4K UHD now and today we’re going to take a look at the 4K release. Let’s dive in.
I’d be a bit surprised if anyone reading this doesn’t know the plot synopsis to La La Land. Even if you don’t know specific details you know the greater points – Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling fall in love in grand Hollywood style with some song and dance thrown in. It’s basically the perfect Hollywood movie, in that it’s a film about Hollywood, made in Hollywood, featuring songs about Hollywood. So if that leaves distaste in your mouth, you can move right along. However, if you want a perfectly suitable musical love story, then stick around.
The opening to La La Land serves two purposes: it sets the scene — Las Angeles, and it gives us a tone for the film — a somewhat upbeat song taking place in a less than ideal situation (a traffic jam). This is basically a boiled down foreshadowing for the greater story as a whole. Just a heads up, there’s going to be spoilers in this review. So if you don’t want anything spoiled, answer this simple question: Do you want to see Emma Stone and Ryan Stone sing and dance while they fall in love? If you answered yes, go get this film. You’re welcome.
For those who wanting some more details and don’t mind a spoiler, thanks for sticking around.
So the real story here is about two young and very talented people who are just sort of getting by in Las Angeles. Mia (played by Emma Stone) is trying to kick start a career in acting while struggling to get her one woman show off the ground. Sebastion (played by the baby goose) has a passion for Jazz piano and strives to open his own club.
On their own, each has failed to get a real start on their goals (sort of like a traffic jam, see what I’m sayin’?). However, a few chance encounters puts these two in each other’s path, and they soon fall in love. Together, they each succeed and as their careers take off, their connection begins to dwindle. While the love doesn’t leave, their situations simply take them down different paths. Ultimately, they go on their own ways (the traffic has cleared up and they have both driven off in different directions; BOOM called it).
What makes La La Land so successful (apart from the casting and the setting) is it’s songs. Two main songs were given credit at the Oscars and for a pretty good reason. Even if you aren’t big on musicals, it is hard to deny that the songs in this film are catchy and well written. Similarly, the dancing is fairly satisfying to watch.
I may not be a huge fan of the film, but I definitely enjoyed it and can see why so many people are raving about it. As I’ve said previously, most people will know if they will like this one before pushing play. The premise is easy to get and is well executed upon, so if it sounds up your alley, it most likely is.
I will also give a nod to this film for not having the most cliche happily ever after. Even though I’m bummed that the two main characters don’t end up together (which by itself is saying something, that I was invested by the film’s end), I’m happy that this wasn’t just another perfect ending for the sake of making people happy.
La La Land has a lot of great visuals. Throughout the film the characters transition from the real world into a visually stunning fantasy version of real life as they shift into the musical pieces. The colors (of which the film already beautifully represented) become much more vibrant, and in 4K the textures and detail almost comes off the screen.
Of course, being a musical, the audio quality is of utmost importance, and this release certainly succeeds here, with a Dolby Atmos track. The songs are incredibly clear and fill the surround. Fans of this film and it’s music will not be disappointed in the slightest.
- Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down a Freeway
- La La Land’s Great Party
- Ryan Gosling: Piano Student
- Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle’s Passion Project
- The Music of La La Land
- John Legend’s Acting Debut
- The Look of Love: Designing La La Land
- Epilogue: The Romance of the Dream
- Damien & Justin Sing: The Demos
- La La Land’s Love Letter to Los Angeles
- Ryan and Emma: Third Time’s a Charm
- Marketing Gallery
- Song Selection
- Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Damien Chazelle and Composer Justin Hurwitz
Hell yea Summit Entertainment! It’s not all that common that a release from a major studio comes with anywhere near this many extras. Fans of this show will no doubt enjoy watching these special features which give more insight into many aspects of the making of this one. I’m always 100% in favor of including more features.
The packaging for this 4K release is fairly standard, with a couple of nice touches. First, while the slip and sleeve having matching art, the slipcover has some very attractive foiling, giving it a bit of shine that definitely stands out. Also, both the Blu-ray and 4K UHD discs feature full color artwork. Interestingly enough, they are the same art, with different coloring. I’m not sure if this is a nod to HDR on the 4K or not.
Also included is a UV copy of the film.
I know that musicals aren’t for everyone, but if you don’t have a distain for them, I can definitely say that La La Land is very well made, has some good songs and dancing, and is a pretty damn good film.
Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this proces