An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.An adaptation of the 1957 musical, West Side Story explores forbidden love and the rivalry between the Jets and the Sharks, two teenage street gangs of different ethnic backgrounds.
Rita Moreno Breaks Down 6 of Her Iconic Roles
Rita Moreno Breaks Down 6 of Her Iconic Roles
That was the only reason I wanted to see the film , because 'I wanted too.'
Not based on others or critics views, not based on anything except I honestly wanted to see the film and "if" Spielberg could do it. If it was good, great! ....if it had turned out disappointing, then it's disappointing. It's only a few bucks. (I never walk out on movies or ask for a refund, I take my chances) .
So what if it had been disappointing? Then it truly would have been an incredible surprise to me , because I know he's a very good director...but this was equal to (biblically speaking) David taking on Goliath.
This film cost $100 million to make and as i type this, it is still playing in theaters in January 2022 and still doing some fair box office. Regardless of where it was when it came out 12/10/2021. I'm guessing word of mouth may be helping here. Given time, it could more than make up for lost revenue.
The unfortunate thing here is how people who have yet to see this film , take those box office numbers , as meaning it's an all out failure. There's a great many classic films out there that didn't do great business on their release .... and are now classics.
People today, they seem to be almost "afraid" to see anything other than movies that have predictable outcomes. We know how this movie ends , yes, but that's not the point.
The point is, everyone rushing to judgements , without even seeing the film. I made no pre-judgements and in this case...I ended up seeing a wonderful film.(No, I'm not declaring this a classic , a film has to be around 25 years or more for that and it certainly isn't up to me.)
Even worse, the ones that haven't seen it but because they hear "REMAKE" they feel they KNOW it wont be good. Just like that! No justification other than, "I think so because of Hollywood's track record of remakes."
In the full sense of the what the film has to offer, as a remake & just being a movie, it's an artistic success. In choreography / dancing, musical numbers / singing (everyone does their own) , each and every actor in their character 100%. There isn't one scene in this film that slows it's momentum one bit.
I was naturally glad to see Rita Moreno here , likely my 3rd reason for wanting to see it. I had no idea she was 90 (89 when filmed). Her supporting part is great and it's a tribute to her to have her included. (I watched her on PBS's "The Electric Company" as a child / kid.)
The cinematography is dynamic and immediately attention grabbing, the song & dance numbers are plausible and fully energetic , entertaining and not cheesy in any sense.
The gangs are not cleaned up here and certainly the impending "rumble" isn't either. Nothing is "glossed over" to make more palatable. Since seeing this, I've read people saying "no generation or anyone could relate to this story.
To them, I say this ... racism still exists, social class as well, in that there are still economically dis-advantaged people where others have more.
Gangs exist but very different than this 1957 setting. Many families in that racism, still state today, "Stick to your own kind". How could anyone not relate to this? Only the look of the world is different since 1957 and while many things better now , the whole world has a long way to go before it can make peace with everything.
At the start of the film , we see "For Dad" on the screen. So, likely it was a favorite of Spielberg's and his father, for that dedication to work, he and everyone involved , had to do MORE than justice to it, a great amount of heart & spirit needed to be there as well.
In remaking movies, especially Best Picture winners yes , it's always a "Why?" factor. The fiasco a few years ago that was Jackie Chan's "Around The World in 80 Days" , was yes , abysmal. Was that really a movie people were greatly familiar with? I've seen the original 3 times, but it just doesn't stay with me in memory.
1961's West Side Story, I've seen it many times and yes, it lives up to it's history. Spielberg is not trying to "denounce" the original, he was not trying to "improve" it (often people's misconception of remakes) , he just 'wanted' to do it, nothing more or less about it.
For what I saw on Tuesday 01/11/2022 , I know he succeeded. Forget the box office numbers ladies and gentlemen, Steven Spielberg did a phenomenal job here as a filmmaker. He was true to the story, the setting, the songs and the starker realities within.
Everything was done right here because Spielberg too, loves the original. If he didn't love the 1961 version, he couldn't possibly have done this at all.
So, unless you just don't like musicals, I can "almost" guarantee all of you , if you went to see this, you'd be pleasantly surprised or maybe even love it .... Or , be the select few who don't get it, or just go into it "trying" to hate it , because they hate being proven wrong.
I urge you (for some challenge you) to go see this on the big screen. Otherwise, it's just not the same experience, if you watch it on TV at home. I don't care how spectacular someone's home entertainment center is, a movie with the production values this one has, comes across in full definition on the big screen.
You can't judge a book by it's cover and you can't judge and criticize a movie that you haven't even seen . My closing here : This is THE best remake of an Oscar winning film I've ever seen.....for that matter, best remake of ANY movie, I've seen remade.
I honestly love this movie. Because if it had been truly terrible, it would be a 1 star rating. I give my ratings for how I truly feel and what I experience when i see a movie.
Ten stars , I have and see, no reason to rate it less. (END)
- Jan 17, 2022