“La La Land” Sells Half the Dream: A Review

In an extremely roundabout way, this is where I’ve come to with director Damien Chazelle and his new film La La Land. It too is filled to burst with passion, expressing as it does a love for things from a bygone era. It’s clear Chazelle cares a great deal about the subject matter and wants very much to tell you about it. Despite his earnest belief in the film, I’m not sure that’s enough of a reason to care.

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Far From Last Place: “The Nice Guys” Reviewed

It’s easy to forget sometimes that Ryan Gosling got his start in the comedic foreground. If you were a teenager in the late 90s in Canada, there’s a good chance you saw him as Sean in Breaker High, that inexplicable teen show about students on a boat. He wasn’t the strong silent type, or the cool jock — no, Gosling was the needling friend, the schemer, the joke. Now, after The Notebook and his Oscar nomination and forays into music and auteurism, Gosling is generally thought of differently. What writer/director Shane Black suggests with Gosling in his new film The Nice Guys is: go back and think again. There are far worse conceits on which to hang a movie.

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