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4K Ultra HD Review: In the Heights

August 31, 2021

By John Corrado

This is a review of the 4K Ultra HD release. For my full thoughts on the film itself, including my star rating, please read my original review right here.

In the Heights, director Jon M. Chu’s big screen adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s pre-Hamilton musical, is receiving a physical media release this week following its limited run in theatres and on demand earlier this summer.

The film, which was a success with critics but a financial disappointment, is set in New York’s Washington Heights neighbourhood. It stars Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, who runs his family’s bodega but dreams of returning to the Dominican Republic. The loose story follows a variety of characters in the neighbourhood, and unfolds over several sweltering summer days around a power outage.

I liked the film with some reservations. It’s a little too long and has some story problems, including a general lack of conflict and a framing device with Usnavi telling the story to a bunch of kids on a beach that I wasn’t entirely sold on. But Ramos delivers a star turn in the leading role, and In the Heights offers enough energetic musical numbers to make it a pretty enjoyable watch.

Bonus Features (4K Ultra HD):

The 4K Ultra HD set, which I was sent for review, comes with a regular Blu-ray disc as well. There are no bonuses on the 4K disc, but several featurettes are included on the Blu-ray. A code for a digital copy is also included in the package. Finally, it comes with a shiny slipcover.

Paciencia y Fe: Making In the Heights (43 minutes, 59 seconds): This very good six-part feature looks at the cultural and familial themes of the story, as well as how playwright and screenwriter Quiara Alegría Hudes adapted it for the screen alongside Miranda and Chu. We also get discussion of the choreography, the songs, the bond that formed between the cast and crew, and the experience of shooting on location in Washington Heights. The chapters can be watched separately or as a whole, and play seamlessly together.

Paciencia y Fe: When You’re Home

Paciencia y Fe: Hundreds of Stories

Paciencia y Fe: Alza la Bandera/Raise the Flag

Paciencia y Fe: Wepa!

Paciencia y Fe: That Music in the Air

Paciencia y Fe: Who Keeps Our Legacies?

Sing-Alongs: We get sing-along’s for two of the film’s best musical numbers, with lyrics appearing as subtitles onscreen.

“In the Heights” Sing-Along (7 minutes, 44 seconds)

“96,000” Sing-Along (6 minutes, 6 seconds)

Musical Numbers: This feature gives us direct access to the film’s seventeen musical numbers, playable on their own or all together.

In the Heights is a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release. It’s 143 minutes and rated PG.

Street Date: August 31st, 2021

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