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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

La La Land [Blu-ray]


(Damien Chazelle, 2016)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Summit Entertainment

Video: Lionsgate



Region: 'A' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 2:08:48.178

Disc Size: 49,391,065,371 bytes

Feature Size: 35,563,689,984 bytes

Video Bitrate: 27.73 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: April 25th, 2017



Aspect ratio: 2.55 : 1 (Cinemascope)

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Dolby TrueHD Audio (Dolby ATMOS) English 4291 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 4291 kbps / 24-bit

Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround

Descriptive Audio:

Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround



English, Englsih (SDH), French, Spanish, none



• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Damien Chazelle and Composer Justin Hurwitz

Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down A Freeway
LA LA LAND's Great Party
Ryan Gosling: Piano Student
Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle's Passion Project (total
- 1:19:58))

The Music of LA LA LAND
John Legend's Acting Debut (1:19:58)
The Look of Love: Designing LA LA LAND
Epilogue: The Romance of the Dream
Damien and Justin Sing: The Demos (What a Waste of Lovely Night - 1:55, City o Stars 3:13)
LA LA LAND's Love Letter to Los Angeles
Ryan and Emma: Third Time's the Charm
Marketing Gallery (3 Trailers and Posters)
Song Selection (3 songs - total - 3:43 + 4:37 + 0:19)





Description: Winner of 6 Academy Awards® including Best Director for writer/director Damien Chazelle, and winner of a record-breaking 7 Golden Globe® Awards, LA LA LAND is more than the most acclaimed movie of the year - it's a cinematic treasure for the ages that you'll fall in love with again and again. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star as Mia and Sebastian, an actress and a jazz musician pursuing their Hollywood dreams - and finding each other - in a vibrant celebration of hope, dreams, and love.



The Film:

Mia and Seb are throwbacks — if not quite to Ginger and Fred then surely to Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney or Cyd Charisse and Gene Kelly — but they are also citizens of the present. They are better at acting than the other stuff, able to express emotion in nonmusical scenes with candor and conviction, but a little stiff-limbed and wobbly-voiced when the moment arrives for hoofing and chirping. In this, they’re pretty much the opposite of those earlier performers, who were vaudevillian troupers before they were thespians.

Seb’s fussy jazzman antiquarianism is, in any case, an entirely plausible millennial affectation. His vintage car has a cassette deck in the dashboard, and he lives in a shabby apartment amid stacks of vinyl records and old concert posters. His prized possession is a piano stool that supposedly once belonged to Hoagy Carmichael, and he’s upset when his unsentimental sister (the great, all-too-briefly seen Rosemarie DeWitt) sits on it.

Excerpt from NYTimes located HERE


People say the movie musical is dead. Tell that that to your tapping toes while watching the enchantment of La La Land, one of the year’s best films.

Writer/director Damien Chazelle plunges us straight into his song-and-dance mindset from the film’s opening frames. On a traffic-clogged freeway in Los Angeles, bright young things exit their cars and begin to strut their stuff to composer Justin Hurwitz’s peppy original tune “Another Day of Sun.”

So far, so Broadway — but slow down for a second. Chazelle’s candy-coloured salute to L.A., the movies and chasing your dreams isn’t your standard Tinseltown tuner, where production numbers erupt every five minutes.

Excerpt from TheTorontoStar located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

La La Land, from Lionsgate, is such a joy and looks as pristine as you might expect on modern-film-to-Blu-ray. It is such a beautiful film with the excellent art direction and vibrant, lush, colors.  This is dual-layered with a healthy bitrate for the 2-hour+ film. Certain colors are bolder and detail is pleasing in the massively desirable widescreen 2.55:1. It looks all-encompassing in-motion. Contrast is at the higher end with the vibrant cinematography of Linus Sandgren. I could watch this image all day... luscious and gorgeous - a shade of, unobtrusive, teal leaning. Magnificent - it's a reason to get a 4K TV and UHD BD player.
















Audio :

Dolby ATMOS. Extremely robust, 7.1 and the apex of current audio. It's as pristine as the video - maybe more so. Justin Hurwitz (Whiplash, Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench) is credited with the score which includes Mia & Sebastian’s Theme, Herman’s Habit, Planetarium, Summer Montage / Madeline, Engagement Party, City Of Stars etc. but we also have Someone In The Crowd, A Lovely Night and the Ryan Gosling & Emma Stone 'City Of Stars' version with more exquisite musical numbers.  There are DUBS and optional subtitles on the region 'A' Blu-ray disc, the 4K - UHDs are always region FREE.


NOTE: This is Atmos. My software recognizes this as TrueHD, but from Wikipedia: "Because of limited bandwidth and lack of processing power, Atmos in home theaters is not a real-time mix rendered the same way as in cinemas. The substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. This substream only represents a losslessly encoded fully object-based mix. This substream does not include all 128 objects separated. This is not a matrix-encoded channel, but a spatially-encoded digital channel. Atmos in home theaters can support 24.1.10 channel, but it is not an object-based real-time rendering. Filmmakers need to remix and render the TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks with Dolby Media Producer."


Extras :

I haven't had the opportunity to indulge in all the extensive extras (over 13 GIG worth!) but it comes out, this, Tuesday. We get an audio commentary with writer/director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz and it's very educational on the minute details adhered to in creating this masterpiece. There are over 1 hour 20-minutes worth of featurettes including Another Day of Sun: They Closed Down A Freeway, LA LA LAND's Great Party, Ryan Gosling: Piano Student, Before Whiplash: Damien Chazelle's Passion Project etc. - and they are detailed. There is so much more including three song selections and I look forward to wading through them when I have time. Suffice to say they are extensive.



What a beautiful film. La La Land is amazing - pure fantasy joy where we dance anyway and sing our pain, anxiety, fear and love with bursts of rhythmic, choreographed, positive energy. The only reason those old musicals have not been 'rehashed' is laziness. There is a ton of work involved in creating a film of this nature
. It's all about time....and money. Where to best allocate your resources - your filmmakers and actors. Bravo for La La Land to challenge that... and win.  The Lionsgate Blu-ray produces a brilliant presentation of an achingly beautiful film - don't hesitate - get the best quality version (DVD, Blu-ray, UHD) that your system can sustain - you will never regret it. When you want to escape your world, for a couple of hours, watch this. 

Gary Tooze

April 22nd, 2017



About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze





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