Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The Best Musical Based in Los Angeles Since Cop Rock

Now I know technically Cop Rock wasn't a movie and was just a television program.  But the style of the show is very similar to the film that is the subject of this blog post, La La Land.  Nominated for fourteen categories, tying Titanic and All About Eve, it won seven awards.  It won for Director, Actress, Cinematography, Original Score, Original Song and Production Design.  Oops, that's only six, it didn't win Best Picture.  Take that Faye Dunaway! 

Besides a very surreal Oscar ceremony, La La Land was expected to win Best Picture and was even considered possibly pulling off a sweep which has only happened three times.  And it was a musical too boot.  There is so much to point out about this film before reviewing it so I decided to hire a Quiz Master to challenge me and educate you about La La Land.  He should be arriving at any moment.  Oh, perfect timing, he's here.

Quiz Master
The first question is, how many films have won Best Picture that were musicals.  No peaking!

Wow, this will be tough, but I guess I can try and go off the top of my head.  There weren't that many had won, but if you count the 1960's and not The Great Ziegfeld which I'll consider as a bio pic and not a musical, so my guess is ten.

Quiz Master
WRONG!  The correct answer was Chicago.  Next question.  What as the last musical that won Best Picture?

Wait a moment, how can the answer be Chicago?  In fact that would be the answer for this question.  Fine, looks like you may have your answers mixed up, but I will say Chicago.

Quiz Master
WRONG!  The correct answer was Oliver.  Next question.  What was the previous Best Picture that was a musical that won before Chicago starting a thirty five year drought?

Time out.  It is clearly obvious that you are one off on each of your questions.  You are giving the answer of the next question you are asking.

Quiz Master
Is that your final answer?

I haven't answered anything.  You gave the answer, then asked the question!  This is turning to be out to be a bad idea.

Quiz Master
WRONG!  The correct answer was ten movies.  Let's total up your score, zero plus zero plus zero, hold on, carry the zero, and done.  Your final score is zero.  You're not very knowledgeable about movie musicals.

Actually, I got all of them right.  Doesn't matter, I'm not paying you for your services.  Hey, where are you going?  That doesn't belong to you.  Put it down.  I said put it down.  No, don't drop it!  I don't believe this, just leave.

Sorry about that readers, the Quiz Master was recommended to me by a reliable source so I though it would make the post more interesting.  I mean we're talking about La La Land so it needs all the help it can get.  Although it was a popular movie because Hollywood loves movies about themselves.

The film is a romantic comedy, but not that funny, but not that dramatic, and then doesn't seem to be a musical for awhile, and then someone starts singing.  Man meets woman, they don't get along, then they do, then their careers take off and they drift apart.  Add a few dance scenes and a super obnoxious musical opening that made me want to leave the theater.  And there you have La La Land.

But going into the Oscars, it was the front runner.  Why?  Three of the films from the decade, The Artist, Argo and Birdman, all about actors, had won Best Picture.  So going in it seemed obvious it would win and probably sweep.  Why it lost?  I think I'll cover that at a later time when I blog on the actual Best Picture winner.

Personally I am not a big fan of musicals and as such I wasn't too big of a fan of the movie.  But I will admit that it was done well.  Just as there are many classic musicals I wouldn't consider in my top films, but they are done perfectly and that makes it easier to watch.  La La Land is one of those films.  It's a musical but done in the style of the 1950's.

Being the first picture I am reviewing for 2016, obviously it is in first place. Ironically it's also in last place.  This will change as I review more of the films nominated.

And while you watch these clips of Cop Rock and the opening freeway dance scene from La La Land, I want to you take a moment and curb your initial thoughts of violence and any threats you may want to make towards me.  I want to encourage you to clear you mind and be at one with the stupid as these two over here have done.


  1. I am one who loves musicals including Chicago which has received a lot of backlash as of late. American in Paris won BP and Gigi also and they are great musicals which La La Land is not. I just watched it actually and it's.....good but I am not sure it deserves all these accolades. It is a more old fashioned musical with a modern twist which is why I think it was so popular but something is missing. First, Ryan Gosling can't sing and his dancing is meh. People made so much fun of Russell Crowe's singing from Les Mis but he was much stronger and better than Ryan Gosling. Ryan is just younger and hotter looking in the eyes of the studios and teen girls. I am not sure why Emma Stone won an Oscar for her role...again, it's nice but no big deal and she can hold a better note but she can't compare to so many much better female singers and dancers.

    1. Films are generally compared to the others that are made in the same genre. For example it's easy to compare Wonder Woman to other superhero films since so many of them have been made in recent history. But when Batman came out about thirty years ago, there weren't many films at the time being made about superheroes.

      The same is with musicals. Not since the 1960's has there been a flurry of Hollywood musicals. So when they are made, they get a lot of accolades whether they deserve them or not.

      And even though I don't generally like musicals, there are some very good ones out there and I recognize that. But An American in Paris? That film is the reason why I started this project and blog, I still can't understand how that won Best Picture. And from what I read, so did everyone else at the ceremony in 1952. And the less said about Gigi, the better. Sorry, but that film seriously creeps me out :-(.

  2. I've found people either love or hate La La Land. I'm someone who loves it. It is not a typical musical, and was not intended to showcase brilliant singers and dancers. Casting Emma and Ryan in their roles is deliberate; they played the average, so-so talent that ends up in Hollywood going for the dream very well. The story is more realistic that way.

    It's a love letter to Hollywood, and I wish it had won Best Picture. Although that whole scene at the Awards was entertaining in itself! I like Emma Stone and thought she gave a great nuanced performance and deserved her award. Mandy Moore is one of my favorite choreographers from So You Think You Can Dance, so I was really pleased to see this body of work from her all in one place.

    Thanks for the clip! I too wondered if I'd like it at first, but as it went along, and I got my first a-ha moment, I was hooked.