Movie Review Roundup: La La Land & Freaky

La La Land

La la land is a stunning musical with bright colors, fantastic cinematography and great music. The story is set in LA and focuses on a jazz pianist named Sebastian and an actress named Mia. Emma Stone plays Mia and Sebastian is played by Ryan Gosling. They have previously worked together in other movies.

They both have similar lifestyles but different, as Mia and Sebastian try to make a name for themselves with their careers. Mia works in a movie studio set in a cafe while also trying to get auditions for films. Sebastian works at a restaurant and plays music for the customers on the piano. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have freedom with what he wants to play and Because of this, one day leads to him getting fired.

Sebastian’s dream is to open his jazz club. Sebastian and Mia both cross paths and fall in love, and the story follows their journey together.

The musical numbers, songs and cinematography all have different styles but are also performed in clever ways. The very first scene is a long traffic jam. The camera pans down the highway, and you hear each person tuned into their music. Then everyone jumps out of their car and unite to start dancing and singing. It’s such a lively scene that sets the tone for the film, but it snaps you back into reality very quickly after the song ends. It tricks you.

The dance choreography to all the songs is very energetic and fun to watch. Although the film is set in modern times, you get a certain feeling of old-fashioned early 1950s era vibes. La La land pays homage to movies and musicals such as Singin’ in the Rain, West Side Story, Moulin Rouge, and more.

Ryan and Emma spent months training before filming. Ryan also learned the piano and spent a long time training. The filmmakers did have a hand double for him, but Ryan wanted to be true to his character. So all the times you see Ryan playing the piano, it’s him.

The film was directed by Damien Chazelle, who previously directed Whiplash. Whiplash went on to win three bafta and three Oscars. Damien Chazelle had always wanted to make La La Land but made Whiplash first. As a la land was a bigger budget. Due to the success of Whiplash, Damien was then allowed to make La La Land. La la Land was another massive success for Damien and won 5 Baftas, including best film and six academy awards that included the best director.

Everything in this film is beautiful, from lighting to colors, sets and music. It truly highlights all the creative and artistic ways of filmmaking, from start to finish. All the cast and crew did a fantastic job putting such a beautiful film together. La La land is worth a watch even if you don’t like musicals and will leave you thinking about the movie long after you have seen it!

Freaky

Freaky is a comedy/horror body swap movie about a shy girl named Millie, who is played by Kathryn Newton, who swaps bodies with a serial killer called the Blissfield Butcher, played by Vince Vaughn. It makes for an amusing concept as Vince, a grown man, acts like a teenage girl. Millie’s life is not going great. She is dealing with losing her father, being bullied at school, and her mum is not coping well with the loss either. One day she is at school by herself, and the bliss field butcher attacks her and stabs her with a magic dagger. The next day they have both switched bodies.

Freaky is directed by Christopher Landon, who made Happy Death Day and written by co-writer Michael Kennedy who does a fantastic job at creating a fun story with heart and extremely gory. When I first saw this movie, I expected it to be like the deaths from Happy Death Day with little to no blood, and I was wrong. This film took kills next level but sometimes in funny, creative bloody ways.

From the start, Vince plays both characters exceptionally well when he’s a killer to the expressionless look on his face to transform into Millie’s character. Vince gives a compelling performance as Millie. For example, there are times when he brushes his hair back with his hand, bites his nails and does an awkward but funny run. As Millie is in a man’s body makes it even more enjoyable to watch. Also, Millie sometimes forgets she is in a man’s body and does things because of habit.

Vince is not just silly, as there are many times when he portrays Millie’s character in a surprisingly impactful and, at times, moving way. Millie, as a man, gains confidence and finally stands up to her bullies and eventually asks the boy she likes out. This scene is another hilarious scene, but I can’t give spoilers.

Kathryn Newton plays the killer, and it’s very cool seeing her at the start of the movie as this shy girl who then swaps bodies and becomes this confident badass killer. She is another talented actress who pulls it off well and seeing the two sides shows her unique acting ability.

The supporting cast from the friends also are great and very lively energetic actors who Celeste O’Connor and Misha Osherovich play. You can tell when watching that all the cast had a fantastic fun time filming. Even with the more minor roles such as extras, for example, the students and cheerleaders.

If you are looking for a film that’s fun, funny with heart, and want to see some gore, this film is definitely for you.

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