"In The Heights" lights up on Washington Heights in New York City. The scent of a cafecito caliente hangs in the air just outside of the 181st Street subway stop, where a kaleidoscope of dreams rallies this vibrant and tight-knit community. At the intersection of it all is the likeable, magnetic bodega owner Usnavi (Anthony Ramos), who saves every penny from his daily grind as he hopes, imagines and sings about a better life. (Gary Reber)
Special features include seven featurettes: "Making In The Heights" (HD 43:59), "When You're Home" (HD 05:32), "Hundreds Of Stories" (HD 08:22), "Alza La Bandera/Raise The Flag" (HD 06:45), "Wepa!" (HD 07:30), "That Music In The Air" (HD 10:00) and "Who Keeps Our Legacies?" (HD 06:15); a Sing-a-Long (HD 07:44); the 96000 Sing-a-Long (HD 06:06); Musical Numbers and a Movies Anywhere digital code.
The 2.39:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10/Dolby Vision picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally in anamorphic Panavision® using the Panavision Millennium DXL2 camera system and sourced from a 4K master Digital Intermediate format. Picture quality is superb. The imagery is very colorful and textured throughout. The color gamut exhibits rich and warm hues that often pop. Nuanced hue shadings enhance the beautiful imagery. Fleshtones are perfectly natural in all lighting conditions. HDR contrast is excellent with naturally deep black levels, revealing shadow delineation, and visually beautiful lighting effects. Resolution is revealing of nuanced detail, whether in facial features such as skin complexions and hair, clothing or object textures. This is an impressively well-crafted motion picture with a powerful message. The imagery is engaging and reference quality throughout. (Gary Reber)
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack is full of exciting Cuban music and wonderful dance numbers. The music and dance choreography is a highlight and supports the wonderful Latin cultures depicted. Fidelity is excellent. Atmospherics are realistic of the inner city and the Dominican Republic beach scenes. Sound effects accent the proceedings with natural deep bass support. Dialogue is remarkably well integrated spatially and perfectly intelligible. The singing is wonderful and dynamically powerful. Dynamics throughout are natural without the feel of compression.
The Immersive Sound element is comprised of touches of atmospherics and sound effects, here and there, and the music, though, not the entire musicians involved. The music is at times nuanced or absent entirely (even though there is dancing and music on display), and a more stronger volume would better enhance the sense of dimensionality. Also, there are some voices in the height layer. The sound design generally lacks the energy there could have been in the height layer.
This is a wonderful holosonic® surround soundtrack that sings throughout. The music is foot tapping and emotionally engaging. (Gary Reber)