La la Land

Uncanny Saturday afternoon when Jean, Tish and I had to rush to Robinson’s Magnolia, to catch a screening of La la Land. I asked: What?

My two girls rattled about seven Golden Globe awards including Best Picture. I think.

I sort of thought, if it was Best Picture, why is no one swooning gaga over it on facebook? I would have noticed.

Anyways, I went along, wondering about the title. If it’s Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, it’s a treat.

Excitement hushed as I took a bite on my organic chicken burrito. Nah. It was the Los Angeles highway packed with traffic scene, and young people started hopping out of their cars, swaying to a rolling twenties(?) music. I remembered Jean and Tish saying this film garnered Best Music, too.

Okay, a musical. After enduring High School Musical for my two teens a decade ago, I swore I will not watch any teeny boppy flick.

But there goes the story, a man and a woman, Sebastian, a jazz pianist, and Mia, a talented actress auditioning for her place in the theater, accidentally meeting each other here and there, and because of one incidence too many, decided to be together. For four seasons.

It would have been a good love story, except for the part that both are in search of their dreams. As destiny would have it, Mia got her role in Broadway, and Sebastian, after a touring stint with a modern jazz band, built his own jazz bar.

Fast forward five years later, Mia comes back to Los Angeles, now a deemed theater artist, with her husband and a toddler of a daughter. And by some strange pull, she is led to Seb’s, Sebastian’s jazz nook.

And the two saw each other again. No hellos. No words. Just a look and an acknowledgement that, I suppose, they have reached their respective dreams.

Do I like it?

My daughters were disappointed. I had my reservations. Will hold my comments until further feelings arise from reviewing the film in my mind.

And now, after two days, here I am, trying to find the satisfaction one expects from watching a movie.

If this was Best Picture, surely it would have a great impact on me. There was none. Sadly.

And so I had to think more. Those Golden Globe judges must have seen something that would have impacted the viewers.

And so I came up with credits for this movie, even if in my view it is a tragedy.

First, it is a story of the ordinary people. The dreamers, specifically.
Which brings me to the title that I googled for meaning, La la Land, meaning “Los Angeles or Hollywood, especially with regard to the lifestyle and attitudes of those living there or associated with it; a fanciful state or dreamworld.”

These ordinary people have this illusion that their lives will only have meaning if they attain their dreams. And, more often, they miss out on one important thing: LOVE. These dreamers mistake that success and happiness can only be achieved after realizing their dreams. And love can be set at bay. These dreamers, unbeknownst to themselves, have been reduced to a mechanical existence, mere robots, or even slaves of their own passion. Thus, the tragedy.

Second, this movie brought isms for revaluation. The idealist and the realist, for one, comes in conflict. Holding on to tradition, as sustaining the art form of original jazz, for another, as against reinventing the music to fit in to the new techno-aided sound.

Third, the slow, or rather seemingly unhurried presentation of events, as contrasted to the quick flashback of what could have been, allowed the audience to create misgivings, hoping, as I did, that I could have my happy ending. Nah, again. It was a ploy utilized to make the viewer own the tragedy. For who amongst us did not miss on true love, and lived with what we bargained for.

Fourth, the music was jazzy, and it brought the audience, including the juvenile, to a time melancholic, like dream time.

There are many other things worth commenting about, such as the acting, remarkable, and the costumes, appropriate and nice, ha ha, and the dancing, and the museums, and the stars. Oh, well. But I leave that for others to see.

Bourne Again

I was asking Jean and Tish what the title of the sequel to the Bourne series was, and they simply said Jason Bourne. Oh well, being a Ludlum fan, I was particular about those titles:The Bourne Identity, Bourne Ultimatum (film), The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Legacy. I was thinking about a word with a letter Y at the end that would be appropriate for the latest Bourne movie, one that came rather long from the last Matt Damon starrer. I was hoping, after Erin Cross with Jeremy Renner, the two assets would team up for a spectacular revenge against the covert CIA program that used and abused government special forces for their self-serving purposes. Thus, there was much excitement on my part to see Jason Bourne, even if I Knew Matt Damon would not be dashingly slim nor young anymore.

So it was a date, yours being truly thankful Tish got a Sunday to spare, and Jean willing to shoulder the tickets, the buko juice and the steaming dimsum and mami later,

Oh it was Jason Bourne all right, and after several years, he still has not remembered his own identity fully, has gone to physical brawls, as if it is the only solution by which he could deal with an elusive past, and it took an original character, Nicky Parsons, a CIA clerk, who hacked on the program files and saw the David Webb file, Bourne’s real identity, to prompt Jason to be who he really was.

Thus, the movie Jason Bourne,

It was all right, as I said. All the Bourne trademarks are there: the plot, the sound effects, the script, an all original Bourne, including the deception and the betrayal, the chase,the fast action, and all the super Bourne intelligences: driving cars and motorbikes, natural intuition on impending danger, map reading, direction, wire skills on creating sirens for diversion, etecera.

It was a good movie, our cup of tea. But over cups of tea at Hap Chan, for lack of more things to talk about, just sad on losing Nicky, and agreeing her character needs to go, the movie was simply all over, a Bourne again.