Welcome back to my Home Movies! Today, the musical In the Heights leads the new release train, bringing some song and dance numbers to the column. This week also includes an inspirational sports tale among its ranks in 12 Mighty Orphans, as well as a great Criterion release in Beasts of No Nation. Read on for more…
In the Heights
Even if I wasn’t as over the moon for In the Heights as most, I can still recognize its importance. Plus, let’s not forget this…I still think it’s a really fun and well made musical. My small issues take very little away from its success. Others just happen to love it a bit more than I do, and that’s fine. This was a bit from our rave review here on the site, proving one such example:
Overall, In the Heights is the new blueprint for any musical going forward. With this impeccable work of art, Warner Brothers have not just the film of the summer but a movie that could set a new standard for Latin excellence at the cinema. It can inspire a generation to carry the torch and make more content for the whole world to see. And by doing this, they can see themselves highlighted on the big screen for all to see. It’s a special experience in which all dreams come true.
12 Mighty Orphans
Formula, especially when it comes to a sports drama, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As long as you tackle it effectively, you can even make use of cliches. 12 Mighty Orphans is a movie that more than capably does just that. I spoke to the legend Martin Sheen (here) as well as Luke Wilson (here) about just that. Here is a bit from my Tribeca Film Festival review:
12 Mighty Orphans may not be particularly original in many ways, but the execution proves its effectiveness and worthiness. You want to care about the characters, root for their success, and feel the story was worth depicting. In all three regards, this one is stirringly successful.
Blue Bloods: The Eleventh Season (TV)
Fear the Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season (TV)
The Good Doctor: Season Four (4K)
NCIS: New Orleans – The Complete Series (TV)
NCIS: New Orleans – The Final Season (TV)
Summer of 85
Beasts of No Nation
From The Criterion Collection: “The nightmare of war is seen through the eyes of one of its most tragic casualties—a child soldier—in this harrowing vision of innocence lost from Cary Joji Fukunaga. Based on the acclaimed novel by Uzodinma Iweala, Beasts of No Nation unfolds in an unnamed, civil-war-torn West African country, where the young Agu (Abraham Attah, in a haunting debut performance) witnesses carnage in his village before falling captive to a band of rebel soldiers led by a ruthless commander (an explosive Idris Elba), who molds the boy into a hardened killer. Fukunaga’s relentlessly roving camera work and stunning visuals—realism so intensely visceral it borders on the surreal—immerse the viewer in a world of unimaginable horror without ever losing sight of the powerful human story at its center.”
Stay tuned for more next week…