#InTheHeightsMovie and #HitmansWifesBodyguard – Movie Reviews

Table of Reviews

In the Heights – Review

In the Heights – Budget of $55 million – 2 hours and 23 minutes

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The neighborhood of Washington Heights has people with dreams in every home.  Usnavi runs the bodega and plans to go to Puerto Rico to re-open his father’s bar.  He saves every penny he has to make that dream come true.  Every morning, Usnavi greets Abuela Claudia.  With no kids, Claudia helped raise every kid in Washington Heights.  She is the matriarch for the entire block.  In his bodega, Usnavi sells coffee, food, and lotto tickets to his neighbors, like Kevin, Nina, Benny, and his crush, Vanessa.  Kevin owns a car service and anxiously awaits the arrival of his daughter, Nina, after selling half of his store to send her to Stanford.  Nina is happy to be back on her block, but she worries that her news will disappoint the neighborhood.  Sonny, Usnavi’s cousin, works in the bodega and dreams of going to college, but he is too young to understand the obstacle in his way.  Benny works for Kevin and has a crush on Nina.  Benny hopes to take over the car service by proving himself with hard work and dedication.  Vanessa wants to move out of Washington Heights and start a fashion label, but she needs to wait for a credit approval to get her dream apartment downtown.  Whether their dream is on the A-train, in the neighborhood, or on another island, they will not stop until they reach it.  Good thing someone has a winning $96,000 lotto ticket in their hands.

Dare you to watch this movie without a tear in your eye.  Based on the award-winning play, someone in this movie will resonate with you (FTC Affiliate Disclaimer).  Their passion, strength, and pride will pull you into each character’s story while seeing them dance and sing about their struggles and joy.  Told before, during, and after a blackout, the community bands together to celebrate and uplift each other.  The music and lyrics will have you dancing and singing along.  Likewise, the sounds of kids playing and subway trains will create nostalgia for some of the viewers.  With catchy, heartfelt songs, the characters’ costumes, hair, and make up help define their different personalities.  Like their dreams, each subject is complex and unique.  While they all grew up in the same neighborhood, they are not the same people.  But they have one connection, dreams.  If musicals aren’t your style, you should still give this one a try.  It will open you to an experience and mindset that many ignore.  The director stayed true to the play’s beauty in this film’s adaptation, and it will be added to your movie repertoire.  

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

No you didn’t.  No you did not – Usnavi

Paciencia y fe – Abuela Claudia

I got searched – Nina

You owe me a bottle of champagne – Vanessa

You’re staying on this corner like a street light – Benny

I wanted to be you – Sonny

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The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard – Review

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard – Budget Unknown – 1 hour and 40 minutes

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After graduating from therapy, Michael takes a much-needed vacation from bodyguarding and goes to Italy.  As he sits and listens to music, Sonia Kincaid rips off his headphones and pulls him out of the line of fire.  She tells Michael that her husband, Darius, took a job on their honeymoon, and thugs kidnapped Darius.  Before the kidnapping, Darius told Sonia to get help from Michael.  When Michael tries to explain that he is on sabbatical, Sonia slaps him across the face.  Michael and Sonia go on a bloody mission and find Darius with mobster Carlos.  But seeing Michael shocks Darius.  Sonia misunderstood his instructions; he wanted her to get anyone but Michael.  The group fights their way out of Carlos’s headquarters, but they are ambushed and dragged into a van.  Agent Bobby pulls the bag off their heads and tells Sonia, Michael, and Darius that they messed up his mission.  Carlos was Bobby’s informant against Aristotle.  Aristotle is a Greek national who hates the EU’s financial sanctions against his country, so he bought a computer virus.  With one upload to a power grid, Aristotle can take out an area of any size he chooses.  Carlos’s job was to buy the case and give it to INTERPOL instead of giving it to Aristotle.  With Carlos’s death, Bobby has to go to plan B: Michael, Sonia, and Darius.  Sonia will play Carlos’s mistress, and Michael will be her bodyguard.  Darius will maintain a safe distance and watch over them.  If they get the virus, Darius and Sonia can get some of their crimes forgiven, and Michael can get his bodyguard license back.  The thought of working together pisses off both Michael and Darius.  But no one is angrier than Sonia.  With no time to make love, Sonia will never get the family she wants.  This mission should be easy for the murderous triad, but an exploding bracelet, amnesia, and gelato will make it difficult.

A sequel can rarely be better than the first, but The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard gets it right.  It gives you wit and action from beginning to end.  There is no pointless conversation or gratuitous violence; the writers did everything with a purpose.  Whether it was for jokes or fights, it had meaning.  In the first movie, viewers got an introspective look into Darius’s life.  This time, we get a look at Sonia’s beginnings as a con-woman and Michael’s beginning as a bodyguard.  While Michael is on a mission to get his license back, Sonia focuses on creating the family of her dreams.  These ambitions help broaden the future of this franchise.  With nods to Overboard, Tim McGraw, and Armageddon, you don’t have to see the first movie to enjoy the sequel.  But it helps.  This movie is a funny sabbatical for the adults in your family.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars

Say my age – Sonia

Can I keep my pen knife though – Michael

Not enough – Darius

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