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Steven Spielberg remaking West Side Story

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Allaby's Avatar
Guy who likes movies
Probably, yeah. Maybe not during the first week. But definitely will. I love going to the movies.
How many movies have you seen at the movies this year? I've seen 16 (so far).



The trick is not minding
How many movies have you seen at the movies this year? I've seen 16 (so far).
Hmmm. Somewhere between 15-20 I think. I want to say 18 for sure. But I may be forgetting a few.



I don't go to theaters anymore, but I'll probably check it out on the small screen (my TV). Are you going to go and see it?
For the number of reasons that I've posted above, I will not be going to see the reboot/remake of the film West Side Story. I've always had a gut reaction against reboots/remakes of great older classic films, generally, especially something such as the old, original 1961 film version of West Side Story.
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"It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brush fires of freedom in the minds of men." -- Samuel Adams (1722-1803)



Thanks for the information, but as much as I would love to see the original West Side Story on the big screen, I'm not ready to go back to the movie theaters yet, and I doubt that I'll be ready in December.
I went to both evening screenings of the original 1961 film versions of West Side Story, on Sunday, November 28th, which I attended with friends, and on Wednesday, December 1st, which I went to by myself.

The screenings of the 60th Anniversary screening of the old, original 1961 film version of West Side Story were absolutely and totally pristine, both in the film itself, and the sound track/musical score. It was so wonderful to see such a great golden oldie-but-keeper of a classic movie-musical on such a huge, wide screen, with the lights down low, and to share the whole experience with other people, both with friends and with other people.

I had decided that when the tickets went on sale courtesy of fathom events.come, back in early May of 2021, that I was going to attend those 60th Anniversary screenings of the original 1961 film version of West Side Story, come hell or high-water, and I'm ore than glad that I did!

It was so worth it, and so refreshing1



Read some very positive early reviews, for whatever that's worth.
I've read a number of reviews, and they don't mean a thing to me. I'm simply not interested in seeing Spielberg's reboot/remake of the film West Side Story.



Welcome to the human race...
"WSS2021lover" could've been a moderately amusing Sexy Celebrity alt.
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I really just want you all angry and confused the whole time.



I wish Spielberg would just make another WWII movie.

Bloody west side story in this miserable ass time, I don’t like musicals, yawn.



Read some very positive early reviews, for whatever that's worth.
Made the AFI top ten so it's getting a watch from me...not happy about it

AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR
“Coda”
“Don’t Look Up”
“Dune”
“King Richard”
“Licorice Pizza”
“Nightmare Alley”
“The Power of the Dog”
“Tick Tick Boom”
“The Tragedy of Macbeth”
“West Side Story”



Read some very positive early reviews, for whatever that's worth.
I'll try to remember to post my mini-review of Spielberg's West Side Story when I watch it. Actually I had forgot about it until I seen this thread bumped.



I want to see Spielberg's version, and I've heard some great reviews of it, but I'm not going back to the movie theater anytime soon, so I'll have to wait for it to come to streaming or DVDs.
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Thursday Next's Avatar
I never could get the hang of Thursdays.
I went to see this yesterday. I was pretty sceptical about the whole idea of this being made - why remake a five star, best picture winning film? But seeing it as a new screen adaptation of the original musical rather than a remake of the previous film makes it more sensible - although I still think it would have been better to make something new. It is in many ways of its time and the original film was made at that time - where are the new musicals about now?

Still, these concerns aside it was actually really quite good. It's clearly been done as a labour of love and respect for the musical, not a cash in. I have loved the musical West Side Story since I was about nine, so there was no question over whether I would enjoy the songs or the story, just about the new presentation of them. The songs are great, really well done. I had some concerns over Spielberg directing this because although he's obviously a good director, that doesn't necessarily match up with being a good director of a musical, but he nailed it. I liked that he kept some of the ideas of colour theming but in a slightly different way - the Sharks wear yellows and reds while the Jets are mostly in blues and greys, for example. And there are some nice shots with water, shadows and reflections.

This isn't a shot for shot remake of the 1961 film. Some choices are successful, others less so. It feels like this film expands the world so we get a little bit more information about some of the characters (Bernardo is a boxer, for example), see them in new locations; there are more Jets and more Sharks and more cops. It feels bigger. Which is nice, but it also loses a little of the enclosed feeling of the 1961 version. The characters say they are stuck on this little patch of land but when Tony and Maria can just meet up during the day and ride the subway somewhere else, it doesn't feel like it. The feeling of time ticking down is lost a little too. The whole subway date sapped a bit of energy from the story.

Some of the changes of locations, order and characters singing the songs work well, others less so - Gee, Officer Krupke in the police station is ideal, Anita singing her bit of Tonight in church, really not so much. I'm on the fence about Valentina singing Somewhere. I get it, but then you lose it from the ending between Maria and Tony which is a shame. And the tacit approval Anita gives to Maria and Tony when Tony arrives in the shop in the original is lost too.

Rachel Zegler as Maria is perfect casting. A lot of the supporting cast is good, some of them clearly straight from musical theatre like Mike Faist who plays Riff. Could Rita Moreno get an Oscar for best supporting actress for the same film twice? She's probably in it more than Judi Dench in Shakespeare in Love.

However, I'm not sure what they were thinking casting Ansel Elgort as Tony. Of all the attributes they could have gone for when casting - a good musical theatre actor, someone good looking enough that you believe Maria could fall in love with him at first sight, a big name or a popular heartthrob - they decided to go for someone with precisely none of these. His singing is fine, but he just doesn't have the presence, and his chemistry with Maria and with Riff is minimal. The songs are doing a lot of work to make you believe he and Maria are star-crossed lovers and he and Riff are best friends.

Overall though it's a good film, and a big screen spectacle. I enjoyed it, I felt teary at the end, I recommend it.



I just rewatched the original about a week ago. It's one of those movies that just gets better every time I watch it.
As a devout fan of the old, original 1961 film version of West Side Story who saw a TV program not long ago that emphasized the comparisons of the old, original 1961 film version of West Side Story and Spielberg's new West Side Story film version, who's also seen a couple of the trailers and afew extra photographs and, who, just out of curiosity, listened to the entire soundtrack of Spielberg's new West Side Story film version on youtube, I stand by my preference for the old, original 1961 film version of West Side Story.

The new West Side Story seems way overdone, the dancing too hyped up, the colors too jarring in some places, and way too dark in others, and the backdrop scenes in the new West Side Story, imho, look far more like the tonier, wealthier parts of the city, rather than the impoverished, rough-and-rundown parts of the city.

The soundtrack of the new West Side Story is very metallic-sounding, and flat in a lot of places, and the singing in both the leads are overrated, imho; Ansel Elgort doesn't have such a great singing voice, nor does he have the looks, charm or the personality of an ex-gangmember. Rachel Zegler's voice is also quite nasal in a lot of places, as well.

The Jets and Sharks in the new West Side Story, themselves, look too much like the newsie boys, and their girls look far more like wealthy suburban prep-school girls who are dressed to the nines for partying all over town than a bunch of gangsters' girlfriends.

The part of Rita Moreno as Doc's widow seems kind of out of her league, given Rita Moreno's overall looks and personality, plus I really don't think that she looks very attractive in this film. Her singing of "Somewhere" seems rather off, too, as it was meant to be sung by Tony and Maria.

I really do think that changing the story of Tony--i. e. making him into a thug who was on parole from prison for assault and attempted murder, and for making the Sharks more upstanding and better behaved than the white European-American Jets was kind of far-fetched as well, because imho, in reality, since the violence between two gangs claimed lives on both sides, both the Jets and the Sharks do bear responsibility.

I have admittedly always had a gut reaction against remakes of good older classic films, generally, especially something such as West Side Story, by anybody, including Steven Spielberg.

Given the stuff that's come out about Ansel Elgort (i. e. the grooming and sexual assault of underaged girls), and being a woman, I'm inclined to believe the women who came forward after being sexually assaulted and groomed by Ansel Elgort. One more thing I've also got to say is that the new West Side Story feels forced, totally unnatural and wrong to me, and not at all like West Side Story.

I like the fact that in the old, original 1961 film version of West Side Story, the "America" scene was done on a tenement rooftop, and that the "Cool" scene was done in a garage, after the rumble and the killings.

The fact that Anybodys was made into a transgender person in the new West Side Story feels all wrong to me, too. I prefer the Anybodys, who was a girl, but just a tomboy who proved that she was a girl who could take care of herself to the Jets, hereby ultimately winning acceptance among the Jets. After all, in real life, there are plenty of straight tough girls who are able to take care of themselves, and have proved it. I've known a few girls/women like that. I loved it, when in the original West Side Story film version, Anybodys got all dreamy-eyed when Ice, who'd taken over the Jet gang leadership after Riff's death during the Rumble, said to her, "Hey--ya done good, buddy-boy!, and that Anybody's, who got all dreamy-eyed said in response to Ice "Thanks, Daddy-o!"

I can get a good idea of whether or not I'll want to see a movie by seeing trailers and previews of a given move and/or listening to the soundtrack, as well. The stuff that came out about Ansel Elgort also stiffened my resolve to vote my pocketbook snd take a hard pass on Spielberg's West Side Story, and not go to see it, under any circumstances.

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