This week in Film — HAMILTON and Laurel & Hardy

The past sparkles on screens this holiday weekend. From a look at the life of America’s first Secretary of the Treasury to a duo that’s back and better than ever. First, let’s start with the with the show that won’t be stopped, Hamilton:

Filmed June 26-28, 2016, at New York’s Richard Rodgers Theatre, Hamilton on Disney+ isn’t just the cheapest way to see Hamilton; it’s the only way to see it with the original cast of Daveed Diggs, Leslie Odom Jr., Okieriete Onaodowan, Phillipa Soo, Renée Elise Goldsberry and Miranda.

And if you’ve never seen the show, here’s your chance to see how Miranda and company employ cinematic tricks to tell a stage story. Music may carry the weight, but staging drives the point home, from the use of montage to punctuate Angelica (Goldsberry) introducing Hamilton (Miranda) to her sister, Eliza (Soo), in “Helpless” to the freeze-frame that allows for Hamilton’s final monologue.

Boulder Weekly, Vol. 27, No. 46, “Who lives, who dies, who tells your story

Staging is everything to Laurel & Hardy. Need proof? Look no further than Kit Parker Film’s stunning new Blu-ray set, Laurel & Hard: The Definitive Restorations:

It’s a hefty set: four discs, two features, 17 shorts and over eight hours of interviews, commentaries and still galleries to peruse. For Laurel & Hardy enthusiasts, it’s manna from the Blu-ray gods. For the newly inducted, it’s a full day of cinematic comedy that is just as funny now as it was then.
It’s also an excellent resource for historians of comic cinema. The interviews come courtesy Randy Skretvedt (a die-hard if there ever was one), who filmed them with Laurel & Hardy coworkers in the early 1980s, and the commentaries are from Skredtvedt and Richard W. Bann. Both are well versed in these films, their production schedules, and the various tweaks the scripts underwent.

Home viewing: Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations

Pick up a copy of Laurel & Hardy: The Definitive Restorations wherever you find Blu-rays and DVDs and stream Hamilton at Disney+.