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West Side Story. A Film 100 Stories High
17 May 2022
Warning: Spoilers
Superb performances by all. Especially Anita, Maria and Tony and Bernardo plus supporting characters. Astounding choreography, delightful singing, beyond professional direction as well.

The CGI is unbelievably seamless! Steven Spielberg is never 2nd rate where giving a film it's own unique style and here, a true high level of sophistication.

Rita Moreno was a welcome guest in this movie. Her version of "Somewhere" is gentle and very emotionally moving, as her version is a sadness at not just the present situations but also a pining for a better future.

Ansel Elgort - Rachel Zegler · Ariana DeBose · David Alvarez · Brian d'Arcy James · Corey Stoll · Mike Faist all play their parts to a level that kept me riveted to my theater seat. All the required leads are filled to truly personified level with these actors.

Spielberg, with a an A plus choreographer like Justin Peck, lacks nothing, also, in presenting the dancing and musical material in his dynamic visual concept. The dancers here were completely synced in their movements and practically floated or, in the case of Jets and Sharks, looked tough while still in the movements of jazz-style.

The 'America' number was such incredible fun to see, as it was presented in daylight, as opposed to a tenement rooftop. The rooftop just as fun, but different.

I know songs were rearranged and there were additions but, it took nothing away from the 1961 film. Seen the stage play, it's also wonderful.

The players and Spielberg, together, helped make every song & dance literally unforgettable. This adaptation (as well as the original) prevents the material from being dated. The non-musical scenes are where these young actors get to show their range. In emotions, expressions and overall ability. It can't be easy to play a person easily driven to violence.

On the more serious elements in the film, the same criminal acts found in the first one are here but , simply, more realistically portrayed, plus the addition of the vandalism of the Puerto Rican flag mural.

It's not just about two rival gangs, it's about 2 rivaling cultures clashing over an alleged 'possession' of a neighborhood, owned financially by neither one. It's their wanting to be victorious, where the reason is actually meaningless in the end.

Such is the case in the senseless killings at the rumble / fight.

Tony and Maria , a couple who fall in love at first sight. ...and yes, having experienced that myself, I can tell you truly , it does exist. The chemistry and looks of love were very genuine looking, sounding and came through in their reactions to each other.

However, in this case, having it happen within the dangerous situation at hand, may have lead them to make irrational decisions they felt were right, because they wish to be together.

Maria, showing her youthful naive' mindset, wants Tony to talk to the Jets and convince them to stop the rumble. Tony, in his love for her, actually promises he will. Ansel Elgort's Tony (much like Tony in the 1961 version) , is a guy being pulled in many directions and in a state of confusion as well.

He wants to stay straight (commit no crimes), his old gang wants him to do the opposite and falling for Maria, he wants to run away with her but at the same time, try to make things happen that are practically impossible.

Ansel's expression comes across clearly , reflecting every bit of this. Tony just has too much happening too fast, right out of prison. His reason for having been there explode at the rumble.

No one should have expected anything less, in terms of how violent a gang fight can be or how violent one man can get when pushed over the limit. Same as, none can say what two people in love might do , when trapped in a hopeless situation in a virtually hopeless place. (Yes, even going to bed together.)

We know the ending here so I wont go over it but , that's my summation of, the 21st century version, of West Side Story . I loved it so it's simple, 10 stars from me. It's only one man's opinion , everyone is entitled to their own as well.

The film is out of theaters now , so the box office no longer matters in a review, so I wont cover that here. Well, that covers it, thanks for reading.
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Utopian Point of View
7 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
It has been a number of years since I reviewed a movie on this website. I signed up sometime ago,wrote a few but just never got back to it.

I have a great reason to come back now. I went to see this movie on opening day because I do really like the acting of Mr. Duvall. Almost 80 he's still got the knack for doing great acting and giving his characters "character".

I have noticed some here feel this is either a bland movie or lacks any kind of drive for keeping one's attention. I feel kind of bad for them that they've missed the overall point here.

Not just that this is a movie with the surprise rate of 'G' but that the story is meant to simply give one example of a situation where a young man is wrapped up in the idea that if he fails at this sport,he fails at life itself.

This does not just apply to one thing we do in life but everything. Even when we fail at something,do we abandon it entirely and say "If I can't do this or be great at it,then my life is over?" Of course not.

What Duvall shows the young man is that the game is good but it's not the be all and end all of his existence. The fact that God is mentioned here,well that's just one person's point of view.

It doesn't mean that they're trying to be bible thumpers and try to convert us to Christianity. It is just one way of saying that what ever reason we are here,we have to find that,become that but remember that we are only human beings.

If one loses sight of that,then you end up thinking trivial things are important,instead of remembering that your life and life itself are what matters. As well as those who share it with you.

10 all the way. Not only a good golf score but a fitting score for this film.
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Cop & ½ (1993)
Even 15 years doesn't improve this bomb with time.
2 March 2008
I'm watching this movie on Superstation WGN right now,with my kids and it's just as bad,if not even worse than when I first saw it. You can defend it as kiddie fare,which is why I give it 2 stars instead of 1,but back then,it wasn't even advertised as a kids movie. My kids like it of course and that's fine.

It was put together in promos in 1993 like it was an action-comedy and that was just misleading advertising. That is why so many people give it such low ratings. Hollywood has a history of making you think a movie is one thing,then you go to see it and it's something else altogether.

I hate,and I mean hate wasting my money on a movie when given high expectations. If it weren't aimed at kids,I'd aim my rating lower.

Oh...and Joey Lawrence's "Nuthin' My Love Can't Fix" as the closing song?? Ick!
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Funny? Woo-hoo! Pefect movie? D'OH!!
11 August 2007
A long time now since I wrote up anything on here about a movie. I saw this with my wife and teen-age kids last night and well,no surprise here they loved it as if it were the stuff Oscars are made of. My better 1/2 and I laughed at most of it,blushed at certain moments and cringed in others. Cringing at the sight of Otto and his paraphinelia and Marge taking God's name in vain and other moments that made me feel like donning a big hat,trench-coat and dark glasses!

No trouble with Bart's nude skateboard ride,happy to say. I and my familyhave had healthy discussions about body acceptance. We're all Simpsonswatchers here and for a feature length film it was good. maybe were I closer to my kids' age,I might rank it higher. Such is the price ofbeing an adult and parent.

We discussed it after we went home,then all was right again. my rating is seven because of those blushing-cringing moments. I'd still see it again though.
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They shoot tigers don't they?
17 January 2007
Seems as if I am in agreeance with most of the positive reviews here. Looks like we're in the majority. I think this film while not the greatest Jack Lemmon film ever is somewhere in the top 20 out of his,say,fifty best.

I liked the idea of watching this character struggle to remain sane while all around him seem quite the opposite. He fails of course and it seems like any hopes,dreams or something resembling a happy life for him are totally shot.

I'm not much for down-beat endings nor am I fond of obvious things put in a movie to try and make them contemporary. Referring to the hippie-girl,already out of date at the time this was made. So in all 5 out of 10. Lemmon's acting,great as always but I think much better things could have been done here.

That's all I have to say on that.
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The Toy (1982)
Don't Toy With Me
2 June 2006
Richard Pryor's early 80s running down the street on fire incident must have affected him somehow. In his stand up,he jokes about it getting great laughs. It seemed to have done something involving the projects he chose. The Toy is about the lamest he ever chose,aside from I guess Another You.

A movie where a white man buys his son a black man? Nice little bit of underlying political incorrectness before thee was such a thing. It's seeing Richard getting all sentimental that made me finally walk out before the end. I wanted to see Pryor get even with this brat,instead it becomes the misunderstood kid nauseum! At least Gleason had his moments. Ignore this and watch Pryor with Gene Wilder or any of his '70s stuff. This is a waste of any movie watcher's time!
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Prophecy (1979)
Will All All Mindless Campers Please Exit The Woods?
20 May 2006
I like a good scare just as much as the next horror fan but one kind of fright film has never done anything for me. The kind where unsuspecting campers get killed. We know they're alone,we know that's risky and we know they're gonna get it! Yet people went and saw this and those other ridiculous terror flicks! A mutant bear like monster?! C'mon! Can filmmakers say,"Movie patrons have no brains" any more than when they drop this off at a local cinema? I watched and was not just disappointed but really annoyed! I can get into an idea like "save the planet or it will devour us" but there had to be a better way to say it on film. Zilch,zero and no stars is what I really want to say! Since i have no choice,1 will have to do. Someone please burn the original prints!
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