“La La Land” Lands With A Thud; It’s A Dud!

Here we go again.

It must be remembered that Hollywood is a world unto itself – a hubbub of a bubble; the ultimate echo chamber.

And this year the cries bouncing off that bubble and echoing around in that chamber is that Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” is the musical masterpiece of the year.

We beg to differ.

After a recent viewing of “La La Land” with an average audience – not an “industry” audience, mind you – the crowd upon exiting was left muttering “what were all those critics talking about?”

What we saw was a mumbling, disjointed mish-mash with not one memorable song or performance. Ryan Gosling did his best with the material he was given but playing against Emma Stone he might as well have been hitting tennis balls against a brick wall. Stone’s acting goes from A to Z with nothing in between. No shading. We get the tearing, blurting bits that we saw so well in, well, “Birdman,” for example. And she keeps throwing that back at us.

As musicals go, this one didn’t. Go.

From the opening sequence, once the actors open their mouths to sing the words got lost and we knew we were in the hands of a second-rate director. The composition within the frame was crowded and without perspective, not unlike a smartphone user who’s never sure where the action is so they just point where the movement goes. Cinematography is an art. A cinematographer has a grand vision that encompasses light, composition, movement, depth, color all in a complex language that conveys a dramatic purpose to a film.

In “La La Land” the cinematography was non-existent.

And don’t give any credence to those critics who cite the beauty of the “shots” such as Griffith Park. A camera held still and rolling “film” on an object is not cinematography.

Most of the scenes in “La La Land” were so underlit that Stone and Gosling’s faces were in shadow. And when they are supposed to be singing, audiences want to SEE the mouths of the actors.

Dramatic tension. As in Chazelle’s “Whiplash” this film has a tacked-on, fake dramatic turning point that comes out of nowhere and appears in one scene at a dining table. Coming from left field, audiences are blind-sided. “Well, guess we’re going in that direction.”

Chazelle is still an immature filmmaker. Here he’s not unlike a trolley car driver who’s got his passengers on a trip then decides to jump the track. Passengers – except for gullible Hollywood-ites – don’t enjoy bumpy rides.

The most egregious example of a director who is clueless over what to do with a musical bit is Stone’s little audition song toward the end. It’s meant to be powerful yet, Chazelle has Stone frozen in place, not moving a muscle, under a hard spot, for the entire song. We’ve never seen someone sing a song as if they were standing in front of a firing squad, but this bit would surely qualify.

The film’s ending is an example of what happens when you give a director final cut. They always find a way to make it longer and confusing and waste any goodwill they might have garnered from the audience up until that point.

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There’s more. Much, much more.

And we’ll write about that when we find the time.

At this point we’ll remind everyone to rush out and see Hollywood’s fav flick from last year – “The Revenant.”

Oh, you don’t want to waste your time on that boring slogfest, either.

Tina Fey Thinks Afghanistan’s Tragedy Is Funny

Not since John Wayne paraded through 1968’s “The Green Berets” has a Hollywood star fired off such a tone deaf, sickening film as Tina Fey’s “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.”

In Tina Fey’s Beverly Hills perspective the atrocities of the Afghan War are just ripe for her to go romping through in a self-realization comedy – Oh, all those kids blown up? Women raped, burned for attempting to go to school? Massive deaths from car bombs STILL taking place nearly every day?

Tina Fey, from her comfortable mansion, thinks she can joke about that because heck, laughs make the world go round.

Go to some to funerals in Kabul, Fey, and crack some jokes. See if that makes the surviving family members feel better. We know it’ll break up your filthy rich insulated Hollywood friends.

For some outrageous quotes from the out-of-touch Hollywood types read the LA Times piece:

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-whiskey-tango-foxtrot-tina-fey-movie-theaters-war-comedy-20160304-story.html

Example:

Fey: “If you look back at an earlier generation…it would be okay to laugh at this experience.” Hey, Fey. Afghans are dying every day right now. Is THAT funny?

The writers have the gall to compare “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” to such “comedies” as Joseph Heller’s “Catch-22.” Even Kurt Vonnegut’s “Slaughterhouse-Five.”

Vonnegut, if you don’t know, was a young prisoner of war in Dresden during WWII. Taken underground into “Slaughterhouse-Five” with other prisoners during an Allied incendiary bombing raid on Dresden they came out to find the city burned down and 25,ooo citizens burned along with it. Vonnegut and his fellow US prisoners of war were forced by their German captors into the stench of a city of burned human flesh to bury the corpses.

Yes, he wrote a powerful novel from these experiences. And it was novel that came from a place of such personal horrors of the war experience that Vonnegut mastered an absurdist humor that can only come from deep loss.

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Clueless, pretentious people like Tina Fey are crap on soles of those who have truly walked and suffered through the horrors of war.

 

Why We’re Gloating Over The Oscars

No, it has nothing to do with that whole media hubbub about the nomination process.

Like we’ve mentioned before: The President of The Academy is a black woman. How racist can they be?

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This is about how wrong the media can be. And how we made money from it.

Like many in the world, we enjoy a good wager. And when we saw that the odds for Best Supporting Actor were screaming that Sylvester Stallone was a sure winner, well…we knew better. We took the long odds and went with the best acting job we’d seen all year: Mark Rylance in “Bridge Of Spies.”

Rylance got the Oscar. We cleaned up.

Rylance’s wasn’t a showy performance. In fact, he practically disappeared into his character. So much so that you couldn’t keep your eyes off him.

Rylance is British, from the stage and well known for his chops. He’s currently onstage in New York now. When “Bridge Of Spies” came out his performance was singled out in most reviews.

Yet, somehow, in the media’s “we-only-care-for-what’s-in-front-of-us-not-what’s-in-our-rear-view-mirror” attitude, every article prior to the Oscars touted Stallone as the overwhelming favorite.

Why? Because he’s a sympathetic old white guy? Because like lots of old Hollywood types he’s hyped on steroids and HGH (except Sly got busted for bringing HGH into Australia back in 2007)?

http://www.foxnews.com/story/2007/05/15/sylvester-stallone-pleads-guilty-to-bringing-human-growth-hormone-into.html

You can only speculate on why the media got this particular Oscar thing wrong. Because they were all so sure about it.

Now, if we could all make money every time we knew the press was wrong…

Hollywood’s Silent Conspiracy On “The Martian”

A mission to Mars where a crew is sent down to the surface, where disaster strikes. One crew member, by use of ingenuity is able to survive. He communicates with the orbiting ship by salvaging parts from an old Mars Rover. The orbiting ship, captained by a spunky female astronaut, tells him he can launch himself back into orbit by using an old Russian landing craft still on the surface.

After a dramatic launch back into orbit “The Martian” is then pulled back into the orbiting ship by the female captain and the film comes to a rousing end.

Ridley Scott’s blockbuster 2015 film starring Oscar nominee Matt Damon?

No.

2000’s “Red Planet” starring Val Kilmer and Carrie-Anne Moss.

WTF!?

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0199753/

How did this happen?

There’s a Hollywood saying: Stealing is the sincerest form of flattery. But this is ridiculous.

“The Martian” is based on the book written by Andy Weir and published in 2011. You think Andy ever saw “Red Planet?”

Yeah, we think.

And what’s worse, we came across NOT ONE review in ANY major publication that made ANY mention of the plot similarities between “The Martian” and “Red Planet.”

Sure, “Red Planet” bombed at the box office. Sure, it’s got a subplot about underground bugs.

But theft is theft.

Except in Hollywood.

And when every major critic misses thefts from a previous film that is not that old, well…Hollywood is an industry where actors disappear for a month or two and come back looking like a completely different (usually freakier) version of themselves.

So now we guess they’re okaying plastic surgery on other people’s films.