Film Review: La La Land

La La Land

La La Land written and directed by Damien Chazelle (Black Label Media, Gilbert Films, Impostor Pictures, PG-13, 128 min) Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. Make Hollywood Great Again We live in an era of nostalgia. The largest television phenomenon of 2016 focused on 1980s synths, hairstyles, and sci-fi horror. Beyond cultural nostalgia, we saw an election where a clear motivation at the polls focused on policies pushing America toward the past, toward a time where the nation was considered “great,” at least for a certain kind of American. Trends ebb and flow. Beliefs move in and out of season as if they are fashion chic. While many rightly criticize much of the policies bringing fear to certain groups of… Read More →

Album Review: The Last Ship

The Last Ship by Sting (Cherry Tree, A&M. 66 minutes) Gordon Sumner, better known as Sting, was born in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on October 2, 1951. He is best known for his singing career, both with the 1980s band The Police and as a solo artist. Sting is also a distinguished songwriter and actor, as well as an active philanthropist in causes from environmentalism to human rights. Telling the Story in Music Arguably, it’s been since 1999 since the venerated former frontman of The Police came out with a good solo album. But, with The Last Ship, Sting has joined the elite circle of 80’s musicians who have joined Broadway. Of course, Elton John is in the circle as well… Read More →

Film Review: Les Misérables

Les Misérables written by Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil, directed by Tom Hooper (Working Title Films, Cameron Mackintosh Ltd., PG-13, 157 minutes) Starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway. The Airing of Grievances Before I go into the general plot summary and the merits of this particular musical, I need to air my grievances Seinfeld style. I love music, but I don’t like musicals. Music is very genuine, raw, and emotion-filled by its very nature. To me (I realize most don’t feel this way), it feels very disingenuous and hollow-hearted when someone randomly bursts into song whilst talking the rest of the time. Musicals usually create a new kind of world where reality doesn’t permeate, where song is the standard,… Read More →