Entertainment

The Trailer For ‘In The Heights’ Is Finally Here And It Looks Like A Latino Fairytale

In the final weeks at the end of a decade that began with promises of a film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first Broadway musical, “In The Heights.” Well, the full trailer is finally here and it’s more rico than we could have imagined. Fans have been waiting for the movie since 2008 when Universal Pictures announced their plans to adapt the musical for theaters by 2011. Universal canceled the project. Big mistake. Huge. Then, The Weinstein Company gained rights to the film. After Harvey Weinstein was canceled due to heinous sexual misconduct, Lin-Manuel Miranda removed Weinstein from the credits in 2017. Finally, Warner Bros won the rights to the movie in 2018 and finally, finally, a decade later, the trailer is here, and it’s delicious. It’s no accident that the trailer begins with the voice of a young girl asking, “What does suenito mean?” Each frame and verse will inflate your heart with the immense weight of hope that our immigrant parents and many of us carry to this day in America. Anthony Ramos answers la niña’s question: “Suenito? It means “little dream.” 

“That’s it? No story?” another little boy asks Ramos’ character, Usnavi de la Vega. 

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“Alright, alright everybody sit down,” Usnavi tells the children on what seems like the beaches of the Dominican Republic. “It’s a story of a block that was disappearing,” he tells the children, “En un barrio called Washington Heights. The streets were made of music.” 

As the music begins to play, the trailer swells to fast cuts, showing countless scenes and characters.

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We see Usnavi, named after the first thing his Dominican parents saw as they arrived in America – a ship with the sign US Navy open up his bodega and lock eyes with beautiful Vanessa, played by Starz’s Vida, Melissa Barrera. “These blocks, you can’t walk two steps without walking into someone’s big plan,” Corey Hawkins, who plays Benny, says. The trailer promises to be a story of a neighborhood full of dreams. “A dream isn’t a sparkly diamond. There’s no shortcuts. Sometimes, it’s rough,” Ramos tells the children.

Olga Merediz powerfully reprises her role of Abuela Claudia.

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“We have to assert our dignity in small ways. Little details that tell the world we are not invisible,” Claudia softly touches a traditionally embroidered tea towel as she confides in another woman. If you’ve had the privilege of watching the musical, you know how Claudia’s story goes. For the rest of you, we won’t spoil it. Rest assured that the massive production of the film does Abuela Claudia justice, as we see velas lighting the streets as neighbors raise their hands and march in her honor.

Miranda’s America in the early 2000s is far different from 2019 America, and it seems that Abuela Claudia may face a different fate in the film adaptation.

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“They’re talking about kicking out all the dreamers. It’s time to make some noise,” Gregory Diaz, who plays Usnavi’s cousin, Sonny de la Vega, calls his neighborhood to action. “This is going to be an emotional rollercoaster. The odds are against you,” we hear a lawyer tell Usnavi and Sonny. “But there’s a chance right?” Usnavi asks. From there, the trailer erupts into dance and song as we hear Ramos rap, “We came to work and to live here. We got a lot in common. DR, PR, we are not stopping until the day we go from poverty to stock options.” Intermingled we hear Merediz belt, “Every day, paciencia y fe” Usnavi and Vanessa dance in a club, a group of dancers perform in a classic Washington Heights fountain at the heat of summer, and the trailer’s final words: “Today’s all we got so we cannot stop, this is our block!” 

Fans are actually weeping at the release of the long-awaited trailer.

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NPR Latino’s head journalist Maria Hinojosa tweeted, “I AM WATCHING ON REPEAT stuck on my plane and I can’t stop CRYING ????❤️✊????!!!!” Another fan asks, “Why am I crying at a trailer??” while another says, “I might be full on bawling right now I can’t wait for this.” “Hydrants are open!!!!” tweets another knowing Washington Heights resident. This daughter of a Nuyorican is right there with y’all. 

“In the Heights” comes to theaters on June 26, 2020.

You’ll have to hold onto more paciencia y fe as we count the days until we can sneak mofongo and arroz con gandules into the theaters and watch Lin-Manuel Miranda’s student project come to life on the big screen. When Miranda makes it, we all make it.

READ: We Finally Got A Peek At Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Casting Picks For ‘In The Heights’ The Play That Made Him Famous

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Ricky Martin Is Part Of A Netflix Christmas Musical That Is Making History

Entertainment

Ricky Martin Is Part Of A Netflix Christmas Musical That Is Making History

jinglejanglenetflixfilm / Instagram

Ricky Martin is joining an all-star cast for Netflix’s newest holiday film. “Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” is going to be the streaming giants’ next leap into the holiday film market and the cast of color is giving us so much to look forward to. The technology is helping to make it historic.

Netflix’s next Christmas movie is the POC magic we all deserve.

Forest Whitaker, Keegan-Michael Key, Phylicia Rashad, Anika Noni-Rose, and Ricky Martin are bringing the movie to life. The movie follows a toymaker and his granddaughter, played by Madalen Mills, on an epic Christmas adventure. Like any good Christmas movie, there is drama when an invention that could change their lives lands in the wrong hands.

Ricky Martin plays an evil toy called Don Juan Diego.

Don Juan Diego is a key part of Jeronicus Jangle’s woes as the invention is stolen from his workshop. In fact, Diego convinces Jangle’s protege (Keegan-Michael Key) to betray him. Diego is such a strong force that Key’s character betrays his mentor and spends his time finding ways to continue to make Jangle’s life harder. Martin took a lot of time to really perfect Diego to make sure that he was more than a one-dimensional evil Latino toy.

“This was a green light to be whoever you want to be and be vicious and Machiavellian and be mean,” Martin told NBC News. “I was running the lines in my house, and my kids would be like, ‘That’s not evil.’ And I would say, ‘Because you’re looking at me and I’m still your father.’ And they were like, ‘Yes, but you need to try harder and to be meaner.’ It took me seven, eight weeks to polish this character because is Don Juan Diego Castilian? Is he Colombian? Is he Mexican? We played with all the accents. We had to keep it very neutral. I hope this is the first movie of Don Juan Diego. Did I just say that?”

People have had it with the quarantine and can’t wait for holiday movies to fill the screen.

We have spent almost eight months confined to our homes and apartments. The least every streaming platform can do is have new holiday content already in their queue to make the season more festive. We all need things to look forward to right now so let’s do this, Netflix.

The movie is integrating new technology with Orbital Audio. The tech software allows for any pair of headphones to become surround sound. Orbital Audio is the first product launched with the Martin Music Lab. The first project for Orbital Audio was Martin’s latest album “Pausa.”

“When the lockdown started, I told my team, ‘Listen, we have to create something that is of impact. Let’s create something that will heal people. I don’t know what this is. I have no idea if it’s a vitamin we are going to invent. I don’t know if it’s a new kind of food. But let’s be open,’” Martin said on the Variety/iHeart podcast “The Big Ticket.”

Oh, not to mention that John Legend is behind the music.

That’s right. The music that will fill the movie, and your ears, comes from the talented and beloved John Legend. There really isn’t anything better than music from one of the greats, especially when it is Christmas music.

“Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey” will be streaming on Netflix starting Nov. 13.

READ: Mariah Carey Officially Declares It Christmas Season And Who Are We To Argue

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‘Siempre, Luis’ Is A Touching Love Letter From Lin-Manuel Miranda To His Father

Entertainment

‘Siempre, Luis’ Is A Touching Love Letter From Lin-Manuel Miranda To His Father

Mat Hayward / Getty Images for The Latinx House

We all have that one person who has changed the world for us. For Lin-Manuel Miranda, that person is his dad. The Puerto Rican entertainer created a documentary to tell his father’s story and it is a love letter to his father.

“Siempre, Luis” is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s love letter to his father.

The trailer for the HBO Documentary is a moving testament to the indomitable spirit of Luis Miranda. The Puerto Rican powerhouse helped lead a movement to get Latinos involved in and interested in politics focusing on Puerto Ricans who had left the island.

Lin-Manuel’s documentary is a deep dive into the life of the man who raised the creator of “In The Heights” and “Hamilton.” Luis was Lin-Manuel’s inspiration when playing Alexander Hamilton in his wildly popular and famous musical.

“He’s just a relentless motherf*cker,” Lin-Manuel says in the documentary.

The documentary takes people on a ride covering decades of Luis’ life. The main focus is his political activism and how one man helped create a movement to get Latinos involved in politics. Luis leveraged the hate and pushback against the Latino community as a way to energize and mobilize Latinos to get them involved like never before.

Then, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Luis’ home and magical escape. The island endured a direct hit from Hurricane Maria, which knocked out power to millions of Americans for months. Many Puerto Ricans fled the island for the mainland giving them a chance to vote for president in 2020.

“For me, Puerto Rico is this perfect place that all of a sudden doesn’t exist anymore,” Luis says through tears in the documentary. “I immediately saw it as my responsibility to rebuild the island.”

He added: “Doing everything we can becomes the job.

“I told him, ‘I don’t want to be a widow. There isn’t another you to replace you,’” Luz Towns-Miranda recalls to the camera about her husband’s mission to fix Puerto Rico.

Luis’ time talking about his work in Puerto Rico is accompanied by videos images of the “Hamilton” stage being constructed for the show on the island. There are shots of Luis offering aid to people and preparing meals for those impacted by the hurricane.

Luis’ activism has grown over the years and he is ready to keep making change.

“Siempre, Luis” is now available on HBO and HBOmax for your viewing pleasure. People have praised the film’s insightfulness into one of the Latinos who got his community activated and politically engaged.

READ: Lin-Manuel Wants To Keep Lots Of Ticket Prices Down To $10 When He Brings ‘Hamilton’ To Puerto Rico

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