Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
JessePinkman

In The Heights (2020)

Recommended Posts

Trailer dropped an hour ago:

I've seen the musical twice and listened to the soundtrack countless times. The shot of Benny and Nina (I think) dancing on the side of the building is the type of magical realism I was hoping for!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

It's amazing what the movie "Chicago" has brought about--the movie musical was dead before it came out.

I'd really like to see a production of "Miss Saigon."

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I am so hyped for In the Heights. I saw the show on Broadway back in the day and I still adore the cast album. The movie looks incredible. Dancing in the streets, in the salon, on the side of a building - I'm here for all of it! Summer can't come fast enough!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I didn't love In The Heights when I saw it.  I felt it was good music with a story that was too simplistic/sleight for me so I was kind of meh on the idea of a movie.

But that trailer is phenomenal and made me excited.   Even if the story is still sleight (although there were hints in the trailer that they might have beefed it up a bit to reflect current times) it looks like it'll be a visual feast and I'm here for it.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Christopher Jackson! Lol, is he Mr. Softee?

So pumped. I'm glad we got Hamilton last summer, but I really missed not getting this movie. Can't wait to see some of these sequences in full!

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I realize that he wrote "In the Heights" before "Hamilton", but it's interesting to me how some of the songs in the trailer sound so much like they could be in "Hamilton".  The cadence and the rapping are very familiar.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Melissa Barrera and Leslie Grace performing What You Own from Rent at Miscast 21 (and introduced by Lin-Manuel Miranda!)

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

While we're counting down the days until the movie is out, here's a video of the original Broadway cast doing a parody of One Day More from Les Misérables at the 2008 Easter Bonnet competition (which raises money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS every year).

 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

This was my first time watching a movie in a theater with other people since 2019.  It was so worth it.  It deserves to be seen on the big screen with no diversions.  Anthony Ramos is adorkable as Usnavi.  The movie feels lived in while also having fantastical moments.

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post

Glad I got to see this tonight.  Outside of a few minor quibbles (which I'll get to later), I thought this was phenomenal and probably one of my favorite musical movies ever.  Between this and Hamilton, I'm definitely buying what Lin-Manuel Miranda is selling.

For someone who started out with the likes of G.I. Joe and the Step Up sequels (not to mention Jem and the Holograms, heh), Jon M. Chu is impressing me more and more.  I really liked his direction in Crazy Rich Asians, but he truly pulled off some beautiful and remarkable scenes here, and really did a great job transitioning everything from stage to film here in a way that avoided some of the pitfalls that tend to happen with other films like these.  But while he truly shines with creating amazing spectacles, I do think he never loses sight of the emotional beats either, and allows those scenes to shine as well.  In short, for someone who wasn't really all that much on my radar at first, I'm starting to think Chu is someone to look out for as a director (heard he's going to be adapting Wicked as well.  That should be interesting!)

The cast was top notch as well.  I heard many saying this could (should) be Anthony Ramos' breakout role, and I'm all for that.  I thought he was great in A Star is Born and, of course, Hamilton, but he really was perfection as Usnavi and already oozes charisma and confidence in a way that is rare.  He truly is leading man material and I hope he continues to rise up in the industry.  Always great seeing Corey Hawkins as well and I loved him as Benny.  Wasn't familiar with either with Leslie Grace or Melissa Barrera before this (from what I can tell, Grace is a relative newcomer, while Barrera has mainly done work in Mexico and that Vida show I've heard about somewhere), but I thought they bother were excellent as Nina and Vanessa, and I can't wait to see more of them going forward.

Got a kick out of the salon ladies and all of their songs were hilarious.  Can't remember the last time I saw Daphne Rubin-Vega in something, so that was great.  And, of course, Stephanie Beatriz playing someone the complete opposite of her Rosa Diaz on Brooklyn Nine-Nine was a wonder to behold!  Olga Merediz was perfect (and heartbreaking in her final scene) as Abuela.  And Jimmy Smits is always welcomed!

Loved that they still got Lin himself in the film as Piragüero.  With an added bonus of Chris Jackson as Mr. Sofee, which was fun since I heard that he played Benny in the Broadway production.

Obvious thought all of the songs were great, and I'm still debated on which one is my favorite.  "In the Heights" itself was a great introduction, and both "When the Sun Goes Down" and "Carnaval Del Barrio" left major impressions.  But if I was really forced to pick, I will probably go with "96,000", which truly was the definition of a show stopping number that really brings down the house: especially with the way it was filmed at the pool and the big dance numbers (and, admittedly, I certainly didn't mind seeing Melissa Barrera in that bikini either...)

Why, yes, I heard King George's theme from Hamilton as the "waiting song" when Kevin was on the phone, and giggled like an idiot about it.

Only issues I had was that I definitely suspect some stuff had to be cut for time and I did feel like it was somewhat noticeable: especially with Benny and Nina.  While the actors were great together, I just felt like it was underdeveloped compared to Usnavi and Vanessa (granted, it kind of makes sense due to Usnavi being the lead), and I suspect there was probably more of them in the stage version.  Speaking of which, while I understood the reasonings behind it, I did feel like Usnavi and Vanessa's conflict at the club felt like an atypical "need to have them at odds for reasons" thing that felt a little half-baked.  But even then, these quibbles just make me want to learn more about the stage version, which is a good thing (from what I heard, the major change is that Nina's mother was actually a character, but got cut.  I also heard that Usnavi/Vanessa's ending was a bit more ambiguous, but I'm fine with just giving them a flat-out happy ending here.)

All in all, definitely an early contender for my favorite film of 2021.  To got full cheesy on this joint, it really did have me grinning from ear to ear for most of it (outside the few sadder moments), and was just a wonderful time at the theaters.  Congrats to everyone involved. 

  • Like 13

Share this post


Link to post

I thought this was great overall.  It reminded me more than a little of R.E.N.T., but was far superior in its songs, story, and overall execution.  The one quibble I have is that it felt like the songs were front-loaded in the first half, while the second half had few songs.  The difference was noticeable.  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I thought it was a lot of fun. So many movies right now are so dark or desaturated, it’s nice to see one so colorful and vibrant. Anthony Ramos was great, as way the young actor playing Sonny. I also really liked Benny and Nina, and feel they got lost on the cutting room floor. I’d watch a sequel of them figuring things out in California. 

Lin Manuel Miranda and Chris Jackson’s piragua/Mr Softee rivalry stole the movie. 

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, absnow54 said:

 

Lin Manuel Miranda and Chris Jackson’s piragua/Mr Softee rivalry stole the movie. 

This part made me laugh so hard.

I really loved this movie. Jon M Chu did a great job directing this. The music was wonderful and Anthony Ramos is a superstar. He was adorabke and has charisma to spare. Olga Merediz was wonderful as Abuela Claudia . It's no wonder that she is reprising her role from Broadway. I dont even know what my favorite song was. 96,000 staging was awesome and Carnival de Barrio was so much fun. Paciencia Y Fe and Alabanza left me sobbing. So Good. I watched on HBO Max but now I want to watch it in a movie theater.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post

A lot of movie adaptations of stage musicals feel, well, stagey. This did not at all. This movie popped off the big screen. The songs stay in your head and you leave with a smile on your face, that's all you can ask really.

Speaking as a very casual musical theater guy, this may be a hot take, but....I think this Lin-Manuel Miranda guy's going places.

  • Like 10

Share this post


Link to post

25 minutes ago, AheadofStraight said:

I was just about to post that.

I'm seeing it tomorrow.

I have mixed feelings on when movie adaptations change things. Some changes are good, others suck. There's another BuzzFeed article which I'm looking for which discusses this. I had to laugh at the entry "Adding Songs", which declared, "Let's admit it, we all skip "Suddenly" when listening to the "Les Miserables" soundtrack.", because. . .yes.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

 

What year is this supposed to be?

Stanford is basically free for families making 75K and less.

 

I don't think musical-wise this was my cup of tea and I am not sure why.

Edited by Megan · Reason: (ugh typo! I know Stanford doesn't have a second D )

Share this post


Link to post
46 minutes ago, Megan said:

 

What year is this supposed to be?

Standford is basically free for families making 75K and less.

 

It felt present-day. I’m guessing her dad made more than 75k as a business owner in NYC, but still not enough to afford Stanford. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
20 hours ago, Brn2bwild said:

I thought this was great overall.  It reminded me more than a little of R.E.N.T., but was far superior in its songs, story, and overall execution.  The one quibble I have is that it felt like the songs were front-loaded in the first half, while the second half had few songs.  The difference was noticeable.  

Speaking of which, the trailer for Lin Manuel Miranda’s directorial debut Tick Tick Boom just dropped. It was Rent’s Jonathan Larsen’s semi-autobiographical musical. 
 

I saw this today at the theater and I’m so so glad I saw it on the big screen. I cried way more than I thought I would. The movie is so good and it was an emotional experience to be back in a theater again. I’m planning to watch again on HBO Max because I missed the after credit scene. I loved the staging for 96,000. The water scenes reminded me of some of the ones I’ve seen in old Hollywood movies with Esther Williams. It was visually stunning. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
16 minutes ago, Angeleyes said:

I’m planning to watch again on HBO Max because I missed the after credit scene.

I missed it as well. The last 25 minutes were....challenging, physically.

Share this post


Link to post

I liked this a lot- in many ways it has a fairytale quality that’s very endearing.  Like, I’m a 43 year old single Midwesterner, and the last time I knew basically all my neighbors was when my family moved out of our townhouse when I was ten.  So it even feels magical just to see a place where everyone seems to actually know each other.  Of course the music is great, and I’m glad that it seems like everyone here got their happy endings.

And, as someone who has watched a ton of Law & Order in lockdown, it’s refreshing to see a New York neighborhood that feels vibrant and joyful (even with the changes).  Although, I couldn’t help but think of that one L&O stakeout where Lenny drops some Langston Hughes on Van Buren- he says “it used to work pretty good on the Jewish girls from Riverdale;” she says it works on girls from Washington Heights too.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Having been a fan of the original Broadway show, which I saw three times, I liked this well enough but still prefer the stage production/soundtrack. This felt a little slow for what I am used to listening to. Maybe they were trying to enunciate to be understood. But the pace of the songs felt a little... boring. 

Loved: 

Anthony Ramos as Usnavi, even from the moment his walk to work is timed to the music beats/clave. Sonny's quips to Usnavi, complete with facial expressions. The big production numbers, like the salon, the pool, the club. Nina and Benny on the side of the building. Nina's "Breathe" including childhood memories. I will never not love that song, especially the Spanish chorus. And a million bonus points to HBO for including a "Spanish" version, which is really "Spanglish". Some words/phrases just don't translate as well, so I was fine with them leaving some English in there. 

Piragua guy and Mr. Softee. That is all I need to say.

Least liked:

Unpopular opinion alert: I loved Andrea Burns as Daniela. And this is going to sound really mean, but whoever this new actress is, she went waaay overboard with the plastic surgery. My husband mentioned something about the joker, and that is all I saw after that comment. It was distracting. And her voice was just not as good as the og--for me it was at its worst in "Carnaval del barrio". Too breathy in certain spots, almost like if she was trying to sound like Marilyn Monroe. Ok, end of rant.

Other than that, I really liked it.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
13 hours ago, AimingforYoko said:

I missed it as well. The last 25 minutes were....challenging, physically.

How so? Just curious.

Share this post


Link to post
2 minutes ago, Awesome said:

How so? Just curious.

Let's just say, that it's a 2 hour 25 minute movie, and unless I plan ahead, 2 hours is about my limit.

Share this post


Link to post
26 minutes ago, AimingforYoko said:

Let's just say, that it's a 2 hour 25 minute movie, and unless I plan ahead, 2 hours is about my limit.

Thank you for the reply, I am sending best wishes your way for more strength for your days.

Share this post


Link to post
39 minutes ago, Awesome said:

Unpopular opinion alert: I loved Andrea Burns as Daniela. And this is going to sound really mean, but whoever this new actress is, she went waaay overboard with the plastic surgery. My husband mentioned something about the joker, and that is all I saw after that comment. It was distracting. And her voice was just not as good as the og--for me it was at its worst in "Carnaval del barrio". Too breathy in certain spots, almost like if she was trying to sound like Marilyn Monroe. Ok, end of rant.

Other than that, I really liked it.

That was Daphne Rubin-Vega.  She's... an acquired taste, who has been in roles that don't always seem well-suited to her vocals (Mimi in R.E.N.T., Fantine in Les Miz).  This was actually the first production where I didn't mind her voice.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I saw it on HBO Max Friday might and I loved it! So glad to have this option because I was two days post surgery, coming home unexpectedly with a catheter definitely meant no movie theater for me.  This movie was just so joyous and had me smiling from ear to ear.  I was moved by Abuela's death and the Alabanza song following. Such a beautiful movie, can't wait to see it again.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

What exactly are the ages of the characters here?  Because Nina is supposed to be finishing her first year of undergrad, but she apparently has a romantic history with Benny, who seems to be much older (same with Usnavi and Vanessa).

I liked it a lot, even if the narrative is rickety in places (partly as a result of the source material, and partly as a result of changes to the source material).

Share this post


Link to post

We saw it last night in the theatre; with only one other couple six rows ahead of us, it felt like a private viewing.

What a beautiful love letter to the memory of a vibrant neighborhood!  I have never seen the stage version, though I had read a synopsis, so I wasn’t completely sure what to expect.  Just lovely!  We didn’t stay through the credits, which gives us a good excuse to watch it again at home.

Any quibbles?  The double-jointed guy doing weird things with his shoulder in 96,000 was distracting, and I think I liked Nina’s story a bit better in the stage version.  Otherwise I thought it was just about perfect.


It was a great reintroduction to the movie theatre!

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

I just finished seeing it.

SPECTACULAR.

I've only seen the stage show twice, so I don't remember every detail to be annoyed at the changes made. And I LIKED them upgrading Benny and Nina's relationship.

I'm not from Washington Heights, but I've been there a few times and the show and the movie captured the character of the neighborhood perfectly.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I loved Nina and Benny’s relationship!  The only thing I liked better, based on the play’s synopsis, is that 

Spoiler

I thought Nina left Stanford because she was still having to work two jobs, even with the scholarship, and her grades suffered as a result and she didn’t think she could hack it academically.  I thought that was more compelling.  (My sister-in-law works with kids who are first generation college students, and this is a big issue.)  When she told the story of her stuff being searched, though, I cried.

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I have been looking so forward to seeing this and then even restrained myself from watching it on HBOMax- I wanted the “full experience.” It was definitely worth it!

I thought they adapted it really well for the big screen even if they cut one of my favorite songs from the stage version. Some of the changes were not my cup of tea. I loved the little LMM Easter eggs even though my husband didn’t understand why I was laughing (the hold music, the battle between LMM and Chris Jackson). 

I liked the casting as well. I did laugh when Kevin said to Nina about accomplishing what he couldn’t - as a West Wing fan, I thought to myself “hey, you made President! That’s not too shabby.”

I’ll definitely be rewatching on HBO max!

  • Like 5
  • Laugh 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/13/2021 at 10:51 AM, Awesome said:

And a million bonus points to HBO for including a "Spanish" version, which is really "Spanglish".

Yay! Love it!

Needless to say, I loved this. This was the musical that introduced me to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work, and have been a big fan of this as well as Hamilton, of course. I loved the humor woven in with the sentimental moments. And so many things were relatable to me when I first saw it and now. The nostalgia and longing  for the good things left behind back home, but also building new memories here, and a great sense of community that comes with it. I still have the soundtrack running in the back of my brain (ok, that is mostly the cast recording from the original Broadway production) but still. So good. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

I am really glad that I waited to see this in theaters instead of on HBO Max, it was absolutely a movie that is best enjoyed on the big screen. One of my first movies back at the theater and it was a perfect movie to welcome us back! I thought it was great, the directing, the performances, the music, it was just a delight throughout. Jon M. Chu really has a gift for making stories that feel both fantastical and true to life, fairytales but with a very modern twist, most obviously in Crazy Rich Asians, which makes him a great fit for adopting musicals, which can be tough to do. Some things that work on stage just don't translate to the screen, so while I have not seen the show live, it seems like from what I have read that he did a good job at adapting the show to become a movie. It never felt too stage-y the way some adaptations can feel, like its basically a filmed version of the play and they're afraid to change too much, but this felt very much alive and very cinematic while also very much being a musical that revels in being a musical. It was so visually bright with its colors, and the little bits of magical realism fit into the atmosphere really well. I would definitely be watching this one in next years Oscar nominations. 

They had an excellent cast, it was fun seeing actors like Melissa Barrera from Vida and Stephanie Beatriz from Brooklyn Nine Nine in really different roles then what I am used to see them do, plus the always awesome Jimmy Smits, and Anthony Ramos is an excellent leading man to anchor the whole ensemble cast. We even had Lin-Manuel Miranda himself showing up as the Piragua Guy. 

The brief snippet of Hamilton I heard made me smile. Don't forget to watch until after the credits! 

Edited by tennisgurl
  • Like 12

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/13/2021 at 11:01 AM, AimingforYoko said:

Let's just say, that it's a 2 hour 25 minute movie, and unless I plan ahead, 2 hours is about my limit.

LOL.  I'm assuming "planning ahead" involves limiting liquid consumption.  Big screen is great but watching at home does have some advantages.

Share this post


Link to post

I saw this in the theater yesterday (with four other humans, total) and loved it. I was surprised at how empty the theater was - I live in a highly vaccinated area - and then surprised again today when I saw the box office totals and how much lower they were than projected. Tough to know what impact HBO Max has, but obviously a bit of a bummer coming out of the weekend after all the rave reviews.

Without any real knowledge of the original musical, I felt like I was immersed in the world of this block easily and quickly. (I also think the criticism about the real Washington Heights being much more Dominican and much less light skinned than the movie is 100% valid.)

The only thing that surprised me was that the ending piece really didn't give any window into what happened with characters besides Usnavi and Vanessa. I'm so used to every plot line being tied up in a bow, it's probably not a bad thing. A+ casting on their kid, by the way. She was adorable and a great find.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, hendersonrocks said:

(I also think the criticism about the real Washington Heights being much more Dominican and much less light skinned than the movie is 100% valid.)

Agreed. And just saw Lin’s response to some of the criticism:

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/13/2021 at 9:00 PM, Crs97 said:

I loved Nina and Benny’s relationship!  The only thing I liked better, based on the play’s synopsis, is that 

That's interesting, I didn't see the play.  Are you saying they changed the reason for her leaving Stanford?  I kind of thought that the reason given in the movie felt a little tacked on to refer to current events, it kind of took me out of the movie.  Anyway, I enjoyed it.

By the way, if you watch the movie there's an entertaining scene at the end of the credits, worth sitting through them for IMO. 

Share this post


Link to post

There's some tut-tutting about this movie's performance at the box office due to the fact that In the Heights wasn't a very well-known musical, but I'm wondering if this will be the type of movie that benefits from steady word of mouth.

Share this post


Link to post

Either Lin or John Chu clearly likes the MCU, putting in a post-credit sequence. 

10 hours ago, hendersonrocks said:

A+ casting on their kid

Good enough that it was pretty clear what woman's daughter she was supposed to be. I mean at least as an educated guess as soon as we learned who Usnavi's love interest was, but even before the girl identified Usnavi as her father. 

10 hours ago, hendersonrocks said:

I also think the criticism about the real Washington Heights being much more Dominican and much less light skinned than the movie is 100% valid.

While never living in the Heights, I visited it for various reasons many times, even before full gentrification mode, and that's definitely true.  It struck me a little watching the film, but I had the advantage of knowing the neighborhood a bit.  I am thinking they only have four leads though (I'm being generous since Usnavi is the only true lead, but three others control the narrative at times, plus Abuela, but I'm not counting her because she's mainly a plot driver for the other characters). 

I DO get it. The very Puerto Rican Ramos doesn't look Dominican.  The Puerto Rican/Mexican Miranda didn't either, and he played that role once. 

Benny wasn't supposed to be even partially Hispanic, so Corey Hawkins couldn't represent what a Dominican typically looks like anyway. 

I know Melissa Barrera is Mexican. Not sure what her character Vanessa is supposed to be.  It didn't feel like she was meant to be a Dominan character though, the way Usnavi and Nina were. 

So yeah.  It's up to Nina, right? Leslie Grace (Martínez) actually being (and looking) Dominican. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
11 hours ago, SoMuchTV said:

LOL.  I'm assuming "planning ahead" involves limiting liquid consumption.  Big screen is great but watching at home does have some advantages.

While not painful to wade though at any point, it would be wrong to pretend that in the middle it doesn't get a bit slow. I'm glad they didn't cut it down, because it would have lost subplots I liked, but you definitely gotta plan liquids around this. 

I dunno.  Maybe the little drag in the middle demanded a bigger musical number we didn't get to see.  I dunno. I didn't see the original play either.  But even if it added let's say ANOTHER 5-7 minutes, it's definitely like the energy dropped for a certain patch. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size