The new movie called IN THE HEIGHTS is the film version of a hit Broadway musical created by Lin Manuel Miranda seven years before he wrote and starred in HAMILTON, the most popular musical of this century so far. Well directed by John M. Chu who made CRAZY RICH ASIANS, IN THE HEIGHTS gives us a mostly Latino cast of likable characters with great singing voices plus lots of exuberant dancing in the streets. The title of this rousing entertainment refers to Washington Heights, a Latino neighborhood in upper Manhattan. It’s a tight knit community where people with big dreams struggle just to get by. IN THE HEIGHTS isn’t a masterpiece like HAMILTON, but it’s good summer fun. This movie looks great on a big screen but if you aren’t yet ready to go inside a theater, it will be streaming on HBO max until July 11th.
Oscar winning filmmaker Jordan Peele and Oscar winning actor Daniel Kaluuya team up for their second movie together since the popular horror film, GET OUT. This one is a big budget spectacle called NOPE. Peele says his new film is for people who don’t think they like horror movies. It’s about a brother and sister (Hollywood horse trainers) who own a ranch that is attacked by a UFO that behaves like a hungry monster. Shot in Imax, NOPE is a creative and entertaining blockbuster, full of tension, suspense, and some truly wicked humor. It’s not all that scary. But it is a weird movie that should keep you on the edge of your seat, and it has an ingenious, crowd pleasing ending. (Only in theaters)
Veteran actor John Cho and newcomer Mia Issac co-star in a new comedy/drama called DON’T MAKE ME GO. If you have Amazon Prime, it’s worth checking out. The movie is a well acted, well directed bittersweet film about the troubled relationship of a middle aged single father and his 15 year old daughter. At the beginning, in voice over, the daughter says, “You’re not gonna like the way this story ends, but I think you’re going to like the story.” And that’s pretty much how I felt. I enjoyed watching this film, but I was disappointed by the surprise twist at the end. (Amazon Prime only)