Posts tagged ‘Movies’

Movie Review: La La Land


We saw La La Land last night, and it was great, if…

…if you like musicals. This is not deep drama. It’s a musical. With people out of their cars and dancing during rush hour, with people breaking into song. You know, the things that make the old-fashioned musical fun. I was told that this movie was about song and dance, that the plot was unnecessary, and I have, in the past, condemned stories with no deepness, no real artistic value. That is not the case, here (but it IS a musical). To me, the music pervaded the story, rather than the story being a flimsy vessel for the music. I left inspired. And sad. Too bad I don’t do spoilers, or I would explain what it is that bothered me about the story but yet I wouldn’t change.

…if you like a sweet love story. There is no deep conflict between the two lovers, but rather between their love story and their dreams. They live in Los Angeles, the city of dreams, after all. That’s the feel-good, inspirational portion of the story; each of them was encouraging the other to be the hero of his/her own life story. When I think about it, that makes each of them a hero in the other’s story. See? Feel-good. Such an interesting and difficult-to-pull-off concept that their love and their dreams are the enemies of each other, while also motivating the other. What’s more important? Romantic love or dreams? (Christian note and perhaps spoiler: There is no sex in this story at all—again, it is the characters’ La La Land dreams that is the story’s focus—however, the couple does live together.)

…if you like jazz, or would like to learn to understand its musicians.

…if you ever had a dream you feared was only a pipe dream.

Otherwise, you won’t like it. 😉 The secondary characters are kind of placeholders, not bringing much to the story. And there is the odd part I wouldn’t change (no spoilers). BUT it is a musical. Some of these things take a back seat or happen because of the music. Which was enjoyable.

So enjoy.



When the arts make you angry


I have to tell the truth. I’ve seen ads, and I watched a trailer for the movie Sausage Party. That’s it. That’s all I needed. Some of the obvious imagery I won’t mention here, but really, food saying the f-word?

Let me back up…


The other night was date night. Rich and I really wanted to see Collateral Beauty, so that’s what we did. Pizza and a movie.

It is rare to leave a movie touched to the core the way we left that movie.

Tears were shed. We clung to each other’s hands.

It should win an Oscar. Hopefully Will Smith, too, though Naomie Harris and Helen Mirren were standouts…the whole cast, really.

DON’T—I repeat do not—read a synopsis or review before you see it. You do not want spoilers for Collateral Beauty. And that’s not what this is. Let me continue.

So, anyway, on our way out of the theater (the Billiken on base at Kodiak, which has some of the most honest people around—but that’s another story), Rich picked up a printed movie schedule for next week to show me in case I wanted to see any of them.

My eyes stopped at Sausage Party. Yes. Sausage Party.

That’s when I got angry.

Movies like Collateral Beauty are possible.

     Movies that make us cry.

     Movies that make us laugh.

     Or take a new look at history.

     Or leave us breathless like a fun, crazy roller coaster ride.

     Movies that make us think about life.

     Or take a deep look at ourselves.

     Movies that touch our hearts.

     Movies (like Collateral Beauty) that touch our souls.

All that is possible.


And then there is Sausage Party.  The makers obviously had the talent, time, and money to make a well-marketed feature movie.

And they wasted—wasted—it all on Sausage Party.


I am not against fun movies. Sausage Party had the potential to make us laugh, make silly family memories. But the writers and producers and actors and animators and all the people involved did not go down that path. No. The makers aimed not at fun and humor, but at titillation. A low aim.

How pitiful.


Why did God give us the arts?

To draw our eyes upward. To inspire. To help us to really see the world. Collateral Beauty is not a sweet, safe movie. (Read, boring, right?) Nor is it out to teach a lesson (Read, boring, again!) It is not even a Christian movie per se. But it is raw. It is real. It is authentic. It aimed high.

Why did God give us the arts?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8

God, may I follow You as my creator in this, no matter whether I’m creating a home, an afghan, a novel, or a text. In Jesus’ name!