Tag Archives: Lin-Manuel Miranda

‘Encanto’ and ‘Marvel’s What If…?’ Finally Have Trailers

Disney and Marvel Studios have certainly provided a Thursday surprise with trailers for both Encanto, a Disney movie with songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and the long-awaited trailer for What If…? which is actually quite exciting looking. Here’s the trailer for Encanto.

In just one minute and thirty seconds, this teaser trailer is everything I hoped and thought In The Heights was going to be. It’s vibrant, the music covers me in chills, the characters are so beautiful and unique, and it looks like another Disney win that I will definitely be seeing in theaters this fall.

What a teaser!

Continue reading ‘Encanto’ and ‘Marvel’s What If…?’ Finally Have Trailers

‘In The Heights’ Is a Disappointment

When I first saw the trailer for In The Heights last year I watched 30 seconds and wasn’t interested. When I learned it was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first major and critically-acclaimed Broadway play I was super excited to see this film adaptation of this movie. And so I did…and it did not make me happy.

As an avid musical fan, I know how great a musical can be. I’ve seen the likes of An American in Paris, The Sound of Music, and Singin’ In the Rain, and they were magnificent! But I also understand that musicals are some of the hardest films to make.

They’ve recently begun to surge back into the cinema with recent hits like The Greatest Showman and multi-Oscar winning La La Land and now this year we’re getting two musicals; In The Heights and West Side Story.

In The Heights movie review & film summary (2021) | Roger Ebert

In The Heights, directed by John M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), is basically a latino version of Do The Right Thing. The story takes place in Washington Heights at the height of summer and it follows a few characters who are simply trying to make their dreams come true. It sounds like a decent plot for an inspiring musical but it was overshadowed by a weak remake of a Broadway play.

Like Hamilton, there is a lot of singing! I mean, a lot. But while the singing helped move the story along for the critically-acclaimed Broadway play about our country’s fore fathers in a movie that much singing just feels like a bunch of nonsensical noise. I wanted to get invested in the characters but the first hour lost my interest completely.

To try to seem like an epic musical there were bunch of unnecessarily huge musical numbers with a bunch of dancers that just felt out of place. When a couple of characters in love are singing about how they want to be together you don’t want to see twenty people dancing happily around them. It’s distracting.

None of the songs were memorable, the lyrics were boring, and there was nothing truly rewarding about this movie. The only part that made me smile and want to dance was a sequence when the characters went to a club. Now that part was fun. Oh, and a little moment with Miranda playing the part of a beloved popsicle man and his brief moment to shine. But besides that, I was annoyed by something I couldn’t get a chance to enjoy.

I wish I could say In the Heights is the best movie of the year so far but unfortunately, I can’t.

Now I’m just hoping Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story is more enjoyable.

I’ll give this movie 70 out of 100 and 2 out of 5 stars.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.

Revisiting ‘Hamilton’

Oh my gosh, I forgot just how much I love this musical. Before yesterday I had seen the Broadway work of art a total of four times in the span of about two weeks and then I decided to take a break…a break that finally ended last night and once again, I was lost.

This Broadway masterpiece is truly one of the greatest things I have ever seen. Its attention to detail is staggering, its lyrics tell a story that is both complex and mostly accurate, the actors are simply outstanding, specifically Leslie Odom Jr. who does such a tremendous job breathing life into Aaron Burr’s side of the story, and of course, by the end, I was crying again. (Five times in a row and I haven’t been able to contain my tears.)

I cannot fully express in words how moving and inspiring Hamilton is to someone like me. Lin-Manuel Miranda provided the world something that feels poignant, powerful, and feels like a glimpse at what movies, television shows, and Broadway shows will and should look like in the coming decades. The idea that people of color can’t hold a show, aren’t as talented as other actors, and aren’t smart enough to produce the type of mediocre content that dominates our entertainment is laughable and Hamilton proves that point.

I love it, love it, love it so much and I can’t wait to see more Broadway shows in the future.

I thank you for reading my gush post about Hamilton and I hope you have a lovely day.

‘His Dark Materials’: A New Show to Binge-Watch

Oh man, this is just the type of entertainment I was looking for. Fantasy is a near-impossible genre to pull off on the big or little screen because the worlds and characters can be so fantastical that it’s hard to translate or the stories can be dumbed down and turned into utter disasters.

Just look at films like Warcraft, Eragon, or The Chronicles of Narnia sequels (I happened to like the first one.) Each of these movies could’ve been great but they lacked heart, good storytelling, and great world building.

And then there’s those two great series like The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter movies which are absolutely breathtaking in scale, storytelling, and casting. Even their sequels, The Hobbit/Fantastic Beasts, were disappointments.

After enjoying the heck out of Sherlock I’ve been looking for a new show to sink my teeth into and ran into His Dark Materials, a show on HBO that swept me away in two days. (I happened to watch the last five episodes of the first season yesterday alone!)

Now, I have to let you know, I’ve no knowledge of the Philip Pullman trilogy this series is based on other than the film The Golden Compass which my father and I watched a few years ago and didn’t finish.

There are some who are loyal to the books and don’t like the casting for the series or the way the story is being handled but dang! I enjoyed this show so much.

Continue reading ‘His Dark Materials’: A New Show to Binge-Watch

Movie Review Flashback: ‘Moana’ Is a Beautiful Movie For the Empowerment of Young Girls

I watched Moana because I’ve been wanting to see it for two years straight. I had, for a while, lost interest in Disney movies but Frozen reawakened that excitement. I literally own Frozen, I enjoyed it that much. I know most of the songs by heart and the story was superbly told as it was unlike any Disney princess movie I had seen. So, since then I watched Zootopia, which I loved, and Inside Out, which I actually didn’t like that much if I’m being honest but I had never gotten around to watching Moana. Well, I’ve finally seen it and I can honestly say, it’s a beautiful movie.

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There is a lot of heart to this story and what made it such a fantastic film for young girls to see is the fact that it truly stayed front and center on Moana through the entirety of the movie. The story never deferred from her, she was always the hero through the vast majority of the film, and it showed that girls can be just as heroic as the boys any day. Whenever she found herself in tough situations she used her wit and determination to get out of it and whenever she was at her lowest she found the inner strength to keep going. Moana isn’t a story about a princess falling in love with a prince but rather a young woman wanting to save the world and that is a powerful change to the narrative of girls in Disney movies. Continue reading Movie Review Flashback: ‘Moana’ Is a Beautiful Movie For the Empowerment of Young Girls

‘Hamilton’ Is the Proof of How a Story Should Be Made

Ever since I watched Hamilton for the first last Friday I have not been able to get the film out of my very being. I’ve seen it three times since and I just can’t get enough of this story. The detail is insane, the talent is utterly incredible and really rewarding to see when entertainment can be so artificial these days, but with my latest viewing on Thursday night I couldn’t help noticing how spot on this story is.

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The play heavily features the stories of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, friends turned political foes over the course of twenty-four years, who are played brilliantly by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Leslie Odom Jr.

With basic storytelling, Hamilton could’ve easily been the clear protagonist while Burr should’ve been the easy villain. Instead, Miranda provides a story that sees Burr as a victim to Hamilton’s relentless pursuit of greatness and after a while, we can’t help but understand why Burr is so angry.

It’s the perfect example of writing a more realistic story that features characters who have good and bad in them, for every person has a light and a dark side, so to speak. Continue reading ‘Hamilton’ Is the Proof of How a Story Should Be Made