MOVIE REVIEW: The Movie Musical Is Back

Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Carolyn MacKenzie, Managing Editor for Bonfire Thoughts.

Movie: La La Land

Bonfire Rating: 5/5

You don’t need to live in Los Angeles or like musicals to love this film. (Minor spoilers ahead.)

It’s the movie that pulled a clean sweep at the Golden Globes last weekend. 7 for 7. It’s the movie that was nominated for 11 BAFTAs. And it’ll most likely be the movie to beat at the Oscars next month.

Is it worth all the hype? Hands down.

Writer and director Damien Chazelle does what any good artist would do: draw from tradition. Evoking moments from classic films such as Singin’ in the Rain and Rebel Without a Cause, La La Land presents a story that is deeply resonant and visually exhilarating.

The film opens on a Los Angeles highway, unsurprisingly gridlocked. What follows is a creatively choreographed scene shot in what appears to be a single take on a massive highway ramp. Aside from the logistics of the scene, which are impressive even if you don’t like singing and dancing, this opening number traces a narrative that the movie goes on to deliver: in the pursuit of various entertainment careers, people have to make sacrifices and compromises, painful even though they occur beneath blue skies and palm trees.

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling show themselves to be dedicated to their art. Even if the rest of the film was terrible (which it wasn’t), it would still be worth seeing for Stone’s performance alone. Gosling does Sebastian’s piano pieces with his own hands, and is astounding. Stone’s vocals in her final song, Audition, are excellent. Both bring enthusiasm that shows in the many dance numbers throughout the film.

Though some musical scenes are more seamlessly integrated into the story than others, the film does a good job at not being overtaken by its music. There’s a handful of original songs as opposed to songs that account for 98% percent of the film’s dialogue. Even if you don’t like musicals, you can enjoy this movie.

There are a lot of beautiful things about La La Land, music and story aside. There’s a starry dance sequence at the Griffith Observatory that looks like it’s plucked from a dream. Another dance takes place on a hill overlooking the city at sunset. The film’s final sequence, perhaps a touch too long, makes up for it with its fast-paced run through of several Parisian and Old Hollywood-esque scenes.

And when the film reaches its close, you feel the characters with you even after you leave. That, to me, is the mark of a good story.

Long story short: La La Land’s seven Golden Globes were well-earned. Let’s see it if rides this wave of acclaim all the way through awards season to the Oscars.

On the radio program this week, Glenn Beck and Pat Gray discussed a series of recent polls that suggest presidential nominee Joe Biden's expected lead may be slipping with traditionally Democratic voters.

A new poll conducted by the Jewish Electorate Institute shows that two-thirds of Jewish voters still plan to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket in November. However, President Donald Trump's support within the Jewish community is also the highest among any Republican candidate in recent history.

In more bad news for Biden, a CNN poll (yes, CNN) released last month showed growing support for President Trump among black voters in swing states. Meanwhile, his support among Latino voters remains at roughly 33%.

"I don't think it's going to go the way the Democrats hope that it will," Glenn said of the election. "If you look at the groups that the Democrats have carefully fostered ... that's falling apart. If Donald Trump can grow that by 5%, and hurt the Democrats by 5% ... that alone could swing the election."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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We're being set up for a civil war. The Left is grooming us for an Eastern European-style revolution this election, and they're not even trying to hide it any more. The playbook for Mainstreet USA is the exact same that has been used in places like Ukraine, initiated by the same people in order to completely upend the American system.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck takes us through a tale of three chalkboards that will connect the dots: the Obama admin in Ukraine, the State Department's relationship with George Soros, Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots, the Great Reset, public school indoctrination, mail-in voting. It all points to something dangerous happening in November if we don't act now.

Watch the full video below:


The only way to watch the extended episode of tonight's show is on BlazeTV. Start your free trial and get $20 off a one-year subscription with code BANTHIS.

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The left has already determined that the wildfires raging across the West Coast were definitely caused by climate change and Big Tech is determined to silence anyone who dares suggest otherwise. Facebook even announced a sweeping policy on Saturday to remove posts that claim the fires were caused by arson from far-left activists.

But on his radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck revealed multiple arrest records for suspected arsonists in California, Oregon, and Washington — and several of those charged and arrested were also instigators in Black Lives Matter rallies, violent protests, and Antifa riots. He also called out the "news gods" in Big Tech, daring them to try to censor his video.

"I asked my staff, to see if there was any evidence [of arson] on the fires. And I don't mean evidence from Twitter. I mean evidence. Is there anybody who has been arrested for arson?" Glenn said. "Well, here they are. And YouTube and Facebook, go ahead. I want you to demonetize this clip. I want you to somehow or another say that we're lying. I want you to throttle this. Go ahead. Because then you're going to have to explain what we got wrong. And I happen to have all the documents right here. So my attorney is really ready for that throttling or demonetization. You say you're a protector of the truth? Great, here it is."

Glenn read off the first 10 arrest records, which combined allege the destruction of more than 120,000 acres and 700 structures, as well as tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes.

"You want to tell us, PolitiFact, how you came to the conclusion ... that there was no arson in these fires?" Glenn asked. "Can you tell me how you came to that conclusion? Because your fact-check seems to be entirely false."

Watch the video below for more details:


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Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined Glenn Beck on this week's podcast to share her unique perspective as a trusted adviser and confidante to President Donald Trump for two and a half years, which she also details in her new book, "Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House."

Sarah described the unprecedented levels of corruption she saw firsthand during the Russia probe and shocking lengths to which Democratic leaders and the mainstream media would go to "take the president down."

Sarah said she often saw sides of Donald Trump that the media never covered. Recently, she went on the record denying the Atlantic's claims that the president mocked our military during a 2018 trip to France. She was on that trip, she told Glenn, and her account of what really happened paints a very different picture.

"The people who are making this outrageous charge are such cowards for doing so in an anonymous way. If you really believed this, and believed it was wrong, one, why did it take you so long? And, two, put your name on it the way the rest of us have," Sarah said.

"He didn't say those things. Not only was I there that day, Glenn, I spent two and a half years traveling all over the world with the president, watching him interact with men and women of our armed forces almost every single day during that two-and-a-half year period," she added.

"This is a person who loves America and loves the people who allow the rest of us to live in America, free, and have prosperity. And I got to see that a lot. I think it is shameful that people are trying to distort who he is and what he has done, particularly when it comes to the men and women in the military."

Watch a clip from the full interview with Sarah Huckabee Sanders below:

Find the full podcast below, on Glenn's YouTube channel or on Blaze Media's podcast network.


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