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In the Heights

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Is it Lin-Manuel Miranda’s original show or Jon M. Chu’s direction that makes this film come to life in such a magical way? Is it enough to get past a fairly basic story? How great is Anthony Ramos as our lead with the rest of the fantastic New York cast? And what was our favorite song? There are a lot. Tune in to The Film Board because we’ve got a lot to say about this one.

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“Vanessa, forget about what coulda been. Dance with me one last night in the hood again.”

Is the magic in the new film In the Heights from Jon M. Chu’s direction or from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s original Broadway show? We definitely think it’s Chu working wonders here to bring this show to vibrant life. Andy Nelson is joined in The Film Board this week by Mandy Kaplan and Justin Jaeger along with special guest Brian Rowe from the Film at Fifty Podcast to form our own artistic opinions of this film. The story doesn’t wow any of us as much as we were hoping, but Chu creates a film that just oozes personality. He also casts the film with people that feel authentic and we love them all – Anthony Ramos, Melissa Barrera, Leslie Grace, Corey Hawkins, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Olga Merediz, Gregory Diaz IV, and Jimmy Smits. That’s right, Jimmy Smits holds his own here with the singing and dancing! This is definitely one we recommend seeing on the big screen because Christopher Scott’s choreography, the production design, and the rest of Chu’s team made something epic. We have a lively conversation about it, so check out the movie and join us!

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Join Andy and the gang of thugs as we pull apart one new-release movie each month. From the big-budget popcorn events to art house indies, the board uncovers what works, what doesn't, and more.