In the Heights appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this 4K UHD Disc. A true 4K product, this Dolby Vision presentation dazzled.
Overall definition looked positive. Softness never became a problem, as the film appeared consistently well-defined.
No issues with moiré effects or jaggies materialized, and I witnessed no signs of edge haloes or source flaws.
Despite a mild slant toward amber/teal, the film often opted for other hues as well, and these added vivacity to the proceedings. The colors boasted strong range and impact, and HDR added power to the tones.
Blacks seemed dark and dense, while low-light shots offered good smoothness and clarity. HDR gave whites and contrast extra energy. Ultimately, this turned into a simply stunning image.
In addition, the movie’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack suited the material. Downconverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, music dominated the proceedings, and the many songs used the various channels in an involving manner.
Effects had less to do, as they focused mainly on ambience. Given the emphasis on music, that was fine, and the sides/surrounds provided enough material to succeed.
Audio quality also pleased. Again, music became the most dominant aspect of the mix, and the songs/score boasted fine range and impact.
Speech came across as natural and concise, whereas effects seemed accurate and realistic. Nothing here dazzled, but the track worked for the movie.
How did the 4K UHD compare to the In the Heights? Audio remained identical, as both came with the same Dolby Atmos soundtrack.
On the other hand, the 4K’s Dolby Vision presentation made an attractive image even better, with superior colors, definition, and visual range. Shot with 7K cameras and finished 4K, this became a reference quality picture that stands among the small handful of the best UHDs on the market.
As we shift to extras, only one feature shows up on the 4K disc itself. Musical Numbers offers direct access to the film’s 17 tunes, and it also allows the viewer to watch them consecutively via “Play All”.
The remaining extras appear on the included Blu-ray copy, and the main attraction comes from Paciencia y Fe, a six-part documentary that spans a total of 43 minutes, 59 seconds.
It presents notes from composer/creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer Quiara Alegría Hudes, director Jon M. Chu, director of photography Alice Brooks, choreographer Christopher Scott, associate choreographers Dana Wilson, Ebony Williams, Eddie Torres Jr., Princess Serrano and Emilio Dosal, executive music producer Alex Lacamoire, music supervisor Steven Gizicki, and actors Stephanie Beatriz, Jimmy Smits, Corey Hawkins, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, Anthony Ramos, Dascha Polanco, Melissa Barrera, and Leslie Grace.
“Fe” looks at the project’s origins and move to the screen, the stage production’s adaptation and Chu’s approach, sets and locations, cast and performances, choreography, music, and related areas.
Though we get a decent overview of the production, “Fe” comes awfully heavy on happy talk, as we hear nearly relentless praise for the project and all involved. The documentary brings some good notes, but a lot of this material winds up buried beneath all the fluff.
Musical Numbers offers direct access to the film’s 17 tunes, and it also allows the viewer to watch them consecutively via “Play All”. Finally, we get Sing-Along versions of “In the Heights” and “96,000”. These just take the movie scenes and lay lyrics over the bottom of the screen.
For all the praise given to the musicals of Lin-Manual Miranda, I admit I don’t find much greatness from them, and In the Heights fails to change that view. While a competent and moderately engaging project, Heights lacks much real spark or impact. The 4K UHD boasts reference-quality visuals and very good audio as well as a documentary about the production. Miranda fans will likely enjoy Heights but I can’t claim it does much for me.
To rate this film visit the prior review of IN THE HEIGHTS