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Damien Chazelle’s Land of Palm Trees, Streetlights and Song

If I’m honest with you, I don’t quite know how to write about this movie. It’s a musical and it’s awesome so I’m completely out of my element. I’m far more comfortable ripping into mediocre action flicks at present but if Ryan Gosling agreed to sing on camera I’ll give this a whirl. La La Land is a musical-comedy-romance-drama shindig directed by Damien Chazelle, who brought us Whiplash in late 2014. As awesome as Whiplash was I don’t feel bad saying his new work is a step up.

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Honor Among Rogues

When Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in December 2015, to say that it had to live up to high expectations would be a tremendous understatement. A decade had passed since the last live-action Star Wars movie was released, and the trailers had promoted the film as an exciting new take on the galaxy far, far away while also promising plenty of nostalgic moments, evidenced by the inclusion of John William’s iconic soundtrack and appearances from Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2. Although The Force Awakens was by no means a bad film, time and nostalgia made audiences and critics willing to forgive its more egregious flaws: mainly that it was a recapitulation of the Star Wars: A New Hope’s storyline albeit with superior special effects. However, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story does not benefit from the same circumstances that surrounded The Force Awakens. The familiar glow of a lightsaber or an incredulous rendition of “I’ve got bad feeling about this” are not enough to satisfy fans anymore.