Ricki: Two young people - one an actress and one a musician - meet and fall in love while pursuing their dreams, set against the backdrop of a classic musical. La La Land? No, Sing Street, a movie I found far superior to the overhyped Emma Stone/Ryan Gosling vehicle. I LIKED La La Land, I really did, but I found it far more overblown and pretentious than the unassuming, far more charming Sing Street. Plus, for the most part, the songs in "LLL" kinda sucked. And that opening production number on the freeway almost had me walking out of the theater to catch another movie at the multiplex in which I saw "LLL." For the most part I thought director Damien Chazelle couldn't make up his mind WHAT movie he wanted to make in the first 20 minutes or half-hour of La La Land, and that's NOT the best thing I can say about a movie nominated for Best Picture in the Oscars.
Rob: Almost to prove I still don't like musicals, I saw La La Land. After 20 minutes I thought, "Yep, I still don't like musicals." They make me anxious. When a song starts, I wonder how long it will be until it stops. Then, when there hasn't been a song for a while, I wonder how long it will be until one starts. But, it looked pretty, there was some nice camerawork, and I enjoyed listening to the random commentary from the girls I was sitting next to. ("I like that dress." "Aaaawwww." *gasp* "Slut.")
Here's a video that's germane to the discussion at hand...
Rob: My Top Ten Movies from 2016, in alphabetical order: A) Arrival D) Deadpool D) Don’t Breathe E) Evolution E) The Eyes of My Mother F) The Fits G) Green Room H) Hunt for the Wilderpeople L) The Lobster W) The Witch.
I'm a little self-conscious how "in the weeds" this list looks. There were a lot of great movies this year. I could come up with another list of ten movies that I'd be just as happy with. These ten, however, are ones I thought about for days after seeing them.
I debated which superhero movie to put on my list. Captain America: Civil War was great. I never would have guessed that the best Marvel series was going to be Cap's. Doctor Strange showed some originality in the all-too-familiar formula of the origin story. But Deadpool won the spot because it had me laughing too much to realize it was just another origin story. It also delivered on some genuine terror as Wade underwent the experimental treatments.
Ricki: My Top Ten 2016 movies, in order: 1) Manchester By The Sea 2) Captain America: Civil War 3) Sing Street 4) Moonlight 5) The Edge Of Seventeen 6) Hidden Figures 7) Dr. Strange 8) The Light Between Oceans 9) Ghostbusters (2016) 10) La La Land (just edging out Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates).
Okay, so even I admit that's not a very good list. I didn't see Arrival or Hell Or High Water, but hope to before the Oscars telecast February 26th. (Warning: bad puns coming.......) I'm on the fence about Fences and I'd be lyin' if I said I'm at all excited about catching Lion. Further, I have no intention of spending good money on Hacksaw Ridge, directed by hackmeister Mel Gibson, so there you go, those are my picks as of early February.
Rob: Mel Gibson might be a lot of things, but he ain't no hack. Hacksaw Ridge is structured really well and not nearly as righteous as the trailer made it seem. If you want to get your war on, then the last hour is for you.
There has been some really good understated horror that last couple of years. I'm not a big fan of slasher movies. I'm always down for a ghost story with its heart in the right place. I will always react more to atmosphere than cheap jump scares. The Eyes of My Mother is one of the most horrific movies I've ever seen. And The Witch might not seem like much, but there is an amazing story there.
Ricki: The last good movie I saw that Mel Gibson was involved in was "Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior" in 1981, when I still lived on the West Side, at the Westland Cinema, next to Funway Freeway.
Rob: [rolls eyes] See you in the next part, Ricki.