Screened Out – La La Land

By : Stephen Miller
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Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone

Do-It-Yourself indie films and high-polish Hollywood musicals don’t seem to fit together. And if fact, there are some brief points in La La Land that don’t quite sing. Yet, as a whole, this small, modern throwback to Hollywood’s heyday is delightful. It reminds us that miracles can still happen, even in the simplest films.

And it doesn’t hurt that La La Land has the imitable and immutable charm of Gosling and Stone together in another love story (after the cute Crazy Stupid Love and the duller Gangster Land). Their singing may be a little windy and wispy – no full-throated Merman-like belting here. However, their chemistry is undeniable.

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Screened Out – Whiplash

By : Stephen Miller
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J.K. Simmons, Miles Teller, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist

With a killer score, fierce editing, and electrifying performances, Whiplash has been landing on several “best of” lists. Five minutes into this tight, tense movie and you’ll understand why.

Simmons – an old-school character actor who you’ve seen everywhere (Spiderman, Juno, Up in the Air, and the Farmers Insurance commercials) – finally gets his due. He’s the clear front-runner for Best Supporting Actor this year, playing a manipulative, maniacal jazz teacher and conductor.

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