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In The Heights 4K Review

“In The Heights” is easily one of 2021’s best films.

Based on the Broadway musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Quiara Alegria Hudes (who also wrote the script for the film version), 2021’s “In The Heights” is set in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York. The story primarily revolves around a bodega owner named Usnavi who dreams of returning to the Dominican Republic, but really it’s an ensemble piece that also focuses on the lives and daily struggles of Abuela (the neighborhood mother), Nina (a college student returning home), Vanessa (a beauty salon employee who dreams of becoming a fashion designer), Benny (a dispatch worker who loves Nina), Kevin (Nina’s father who runs a taxi company), Sonny (a teen immigrant who works at the bodega) among others. 

Although there are certainly shades of “West Side Story” found in director Jon M. Chu’s film version of “In The Heights,” this instant classic movie musical stands on its own as a vibrant story about family, community, immigrants, love, and dreams. There may be fantastical dream-like moments ala the exquisite building dance between Nina and Benny, but at its core, this is an emotional, down-to-earth story about Latino and Latina experiences and immigrant families. Not only is it important to see that type of representation on screen, but it’s great to see a movie of this scope and size that celebrates the culture and community. All of it is wonderfully brought to love by Chu who makes bringing this Broadway show to the big screen look effortless.

Given that this is a musical, viewers can expect tons of catchy tunes and elaborately choreographed dance numbers. The titular song is obviously the real show stopper both audibly and visually. The aforementioned building dance for “When The Sun Goes Down” is also a visual treat. Other highlights include the short ear-worm “Piragua,” and Abuela’s heartfelt “Paciencia y Fe.” Really though, they’re all winners.

Cast wise, Anthony Ramos steals the show. He’s bound to be a big movie star. He’s charismatic, he can sing, he can dance, and he has a great screen presence. Olga Merediz is also brilliant as Abuela. In many ways she is the heart of the movie. Lin-Manuel Miranda (who starred in and created the music and lyrics for the original Broadway show) has a small but memorable role as the Piragua Man. Leslie Grace makes a big splash as Nina. I firmly believe she will be in many movies to come. Same goes for Melissa Barrera as Vanessa. Jimmy Smits (Kevin) and Corey Hawkins (Benny) are also superb in their respective roles.


Presentation: 2.39:1 2160p. How does it look? This is a pristine print.

Audio Track: Dolby Atmos. How does it sound? From the sounds of the city to the musical numbers, this track is nothing short of lively.

* Blu-ray copy
* Digital copy
* Jump to a musical number
* Sing-alongs for “In The Heights” and “96,000.”
* “Paciencia y Fe: Making In The Heights”- A 6 part making of that covers the story. adapting the show to the big screen, the music, casting, choreography, themes and more. Tons of behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew are included.

August 27, 2021 - Posted by | 4K UHD Review | , , , , ,

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