La La Land appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.55:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became an appealing presentation.
Overall definition looked positive. A sliver of softness crept into some wider shots, but the majority of the movie offered nice delineation and accuracy. No issues with moiré effects or jaggies materialized, and I witnessed no signs of edge haloes or source flaws.
Though not to an extreme, Land opted for a mix of teal, amber and orange. Despite the limitations of these choices, they boasted pretty good vivacity and represented the intended hues. Occasional other colors emerged as well, so those added some variety.
Blacks seemed dark and dense, while low-light shots offered good smoothness and clarity. Ultimately, the image was more than satisfactory.
In addition, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack suited the material. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, music dominated the proceedings, and the many songs used the various channels in an involving manner.
Effects had less to do, as they focused mainly on ambience. Given the emphasis on music, that was fine, and the sides/surrounds provided enough material to succeed.
Audio quality also pleased. Again, music became the most dominant aspect of the mix, and the songs/score boasted fine range and impact.
Speech came across as natural and concise, whereas effects seemed accurate and realistic. Nothing here dazzled, but the track worked for the movie.
As we shift to extras, we open with an audio commentary from writer/director Damien Chazelle and composer Justin Hurwitz. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific look at the project's origins and development, story/characters, influences and inspirations, songs and score, cast and performances, editing, cinematography and design choices, and related areas.
Old pals, Chazelle and Hurvitz enjoy a nice banter/chemistry, and that helps make this a lively chat. They cover the various production areas well and turn this into an entertaining and informative discussion.
10 segments appear under Featurettes. Via “Play All”, these run a total of one hour, 19 minutes, 58 seconds and offer notes from Chazelle, Hurwitz, producers Fred Berger, Jordan Horowitz and Marc Platt, location manager Robert Foulkes, choreographer Mandy Moore, director of photography Linus Sandgren, costume designer Mary Zophres, production designer David Wasco, set dresser Sandy Wasco, piano teacher Liz Cannon, executive music producer Marius De Vries, lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, and actors Reshima Gajjar, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend, JK Simmons, and Finn Wittrock.
These featurettes look at the opening musical scene, the party sequence, Gosling’s piano lessons, the film’s origins and development, influences, story/characters, cast and performances, sets and locations, music, and various design choices.
Inevitably, some of the info in the featurettes repeats from the commentary. Still, we get a nice mix of perspectives and behind the scenes footage, all of which help make this a good collection of programs.
With Damien and Justin Sing, we find demo versions of two songs: “What a Waste of a Lovely Night” (1:55) and “City of Stars” (3:13). As implied by the title, these offer early renditions from Chazelle and Hurwitz. They’re a nice addition.
Under “Marketing”, we get three trailers as well as a Poster Gallery. It shows 7 images, some of which offer interesting twists for the promotional art.
The disc opens with ads for Dirty Dancing and Lion.
A second disc delivers a DVD copy of La La Land. It includes the commentary and two of the featurettes but it omits the other extras.
An homage to classic Hollywood musicals, La La Land keeps us moderately engaged via the charm of its stars. However, the movie seems too derivative, and it falters in too many other ways to become a strong musical in its own right. The Blu-ray brings very good picture and audio as well as a selection of bonus materials. Land lacks the originality it needs.