From the global smash hit “Hamilton” to the other global smash hit “Moana,” you’ve heard of Lin-Manuel Miranda one way or another. But until this summer, not nearly as many fans were as familiar with Miranda’s origins from “In the Heights” – until it got a big screen adaptation of course.
No slight to the theater community who has adored “In the Heights” since it first opened on Broadway in 2008, but Miranda’s rise to international stardom combined with the success of his other projects certainly paved the way for his debut to finally take centerstage. After opening to rave reviews in theaters and on HBO Max back in June, director Jon M. Chu’s film adaptation is now coming home on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital.
Set over the course of three days in the New York City neighborhood of Washington Heights, “In the Heights” tells the story of a people in search of a better life, all narrated by Usnavi de la Vega (Anthony Ramos) telling the story from 10 years in the future. Ramos, one of Miranda’s stars in “Hamilton,” leads the way here, alongside other breakout stars in Leslie Grace, Melissa Barrera and Corey Hawkins.
“In the Heights” is a beautiful, colorful film, and the stunning 4K Ultra HD transfer on the home release only heightens that. There’s a significant difference between the quality of the 4K release and its 1080p HD companion on the Blu-ray disc, so fans who want the best experience possible need to opt for the former. The Dolby Atmos sound design is incredibly immersive – an important aspect of any musical, of course – and perfectly balances musical numbers and dialogue without needing to constantly adjust the volume.
The bonus features here are not necessarily extensive in number, however there is one sizable featurette that will make the purchase worthwhile for fans. Let’s take a look.
Special Features on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and Digital
- Paciencia y Fe: Making “In the Heights” – This is the only real bonus feature that feels worthwhile here, but it’s big enough to justify the purchase. The 44-minute “Making of” featurette dives into all aspects of production, from casting and filming to the creation of the soundtrack in the studio. You’ll get a chance to hear from Chu, Miranda and the entirety of the cast as they reveal plenty of extras about the film.
- Sing-a-longs – Relive two of the film’s biggest musical numbers with animated subtitles below, just in case you don’t already know all the words.
- “In the Heights”
- Musical Numbers – While the home release comes with a Scene Selection, as all discs do, it also has this option to rewatch just the musical numbers on a whim.
- “When You’re Home”
- “Hundreds of Stories”
- “Alza La Bandera/Raise the Flag”
- “That Music in the Air”
- “Who Keeps our Legacies”
Zach Goins is a member of the North Carolina Film Critics Association based in Raleigh, N.C. Zach co-founded Inside The Film Room in 2018 and serves as Editor-in-Chief of the website and co-host of the podcast. Zach also serves as a film critic for CLTure.org.