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OFFICIAL: Steven Spielberg is remaking "West Side Story"

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  • Eddy Q
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    #1203174790

    It’s a daring move remaking such an iconic musical. It’s like remaking Citizen Kane and not expecting comparisons.

    I don’t think that comparison is completely apt as Citizen Kane was an original screenplay while West Side Story is first and foremost a Broadway musical ripe for reinvention. While the original movie is great, there were compromises, such as a few watered-down lyrics (which were pretty mild to begin with) and a non-Hispanic Maria in Natalie Wood whose singing, along with Richard Beymer’s, ended up not being used in the final film anyway, which wasn’t the original plan. And as necessary as her dubbing was, I find Marni Nixon’s vocal quality rather unsuited to Maria. Jmho

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    thatnerdgreg
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    #1203174897

    I agree that remaking West Side Story doesn’t seem like too huge a deal since it’s originally a stage show, and those get revived all the time. It is indeed daring to remake such a classic and successful film, but West Side Story is something that feels like it could truly benefit from a remake. I love the original, but there’s a few things that could be improved, such as having all the actors doing their own singing, casting people who are the correct ethnicity, and updating the language, all of which this version seems to be doing. Interestingly, the slang used in the original was created exclusively for the story so that it wouldn’t date the show to any specific time period. Unfortunately, having people say “cracko jacko” certainly makes it seem dated. Another reason why West Side Story could be remade is because the original movie made a few different changes to the stage version, so this film has the chance to provide a different cinematic take that’s a bit closer to the original libretto, which it seems this version aims to do. This is something I’m actually apprehensive about. I want them to do stuff that’ll be different from the classic movie, but some of the changes that were made there feel like they were for the better, like how they moved around a few songs so that some would be in spots in the narrative where they were more appropriate. The biggest change that I really hope they don’t undo is the men being involved in the song America. Almost everyone I’ve talked to seems to prefer the movie’s version, and I really don’t want to see them do the stage version, which I believe is nowhere near as good. I’ll guess we’ll see just how much is changed when the film gets released.

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    babypook
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    #1203174934

    I don’t think that comparison is completely apt as Citizen Kane was an original screenplay while West Side Story is first and foremost a Broadway musical ripe for reinvention. While the original movie is great, there were compromises, such as a few watered-down lyrics (which were pretty mild to begin with) and a non-Hispanic Maria in Natalie Wood whose singing, along with Richard Beymer’s, ended up not being used in the final film anyway, which wasn’t the original plan. And as necessary as her dubbing was, I find Marni Nixon’s vocal quality rather unsuited to Maria. Jmho

    Yes it wasn’t the best analogy I could have used. There’s no disagreement.

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    Philip K Dick Blade Runner

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    Cordelia
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    #1203174974

    My biggest fear is that Spielberg will have less energetic and amazing cinematography than the original movie. Spielberg hasn’t really been exciting with his cinematography choices in a while, and the vivid choices of the movie made a flawed adaptation of the source material into a widely regarded film classic.

    Still, I think with the right casting and adaptational choices, this could be great.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Cordelia.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  Cordelia.

    For Your Consideration:

    Best Picture: Parasite

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1203175000

    I know a lot of people on the internet hasn’t been the biggest fans of Spielberg’s more recent work, but I think he’s had such an underrated slate of films from this past decade. I thought The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, and Ready Player One all had very energetic cinematography.

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    babypook
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    #1203175008

    When I originally found out about this I thought Whaat? But then I thought well, it’s Spielberg. Maybe give him credit for going there.
    But I still find it jarring. My biggest fear is that it’ll turn into a mockery of the first.

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    Philip K Dick Blade Runner

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    Cordelia
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    #1203175010

    I thought The Adventures of Tintin had very energetic cinematography.

    I keep forgetting that’s a Spielberg because I keep thinking it’s Peter Jackson. That movie’s highlight was the cinematography.

    For Your Consideration:

    Best Picture: Parasite

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    babypook
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    #1203175020

    I know a lot of people on the internet hasn’t been the biggest fans of Spielberg’s more recent work, but I think he’s had such an underrated slate of films from this past decade. I thought The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, and Ready Player One all had very energetic cinematography.

    I haven’t felt this way about Spielberg. Bridge of Spies is a study in art. And BFG gets a lot of grief but I enjoyed it. Same with Tin Tin.
    The one film I’m never going to watch is War Horse. But I’ve seen enough to know it’s visually stunning, like most of his films.
    I’m not waiting around for him to make another blockbuster and he’s far from done as a Director.

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  teri.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 3 weeks ago by  teri.

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
    Philip K Dick Blade Runner

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    Mr. Tintin
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    #1203175061

    I know a lot of people on the internet hasn’t been the biggest fans of Spielberg’s more recent work, but I think he’s had such an underrated slate of films from this past decade. I thought The Adventures of Tintin, War Horse, and Ready Player One all had very energetic cinematography.

    I LOVED Tintin. It’s a real shame it didn’t get at least a nomination for Best Animated Feature. And I wish they would start work on the sequel. I thought Ready Player One was also really good- some of the best visuals I’ve seen that year. So, yeah, I agree- while Spielberg hasn’t exactly had more creativity recently, I do excited whenever he announces a new movie.

    Oscars 2020: I stan Joaquin Phoenix, Willem Dafoe, Alan Silvestri, and Dean Deblois.

    Emmys 2020: I stan Logan Lerman, Olivia Colman, and David Harbour.

    Tom Hanks and Amy Adams stan in general.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1203233349

    I recently had the great pleasure of interviewing Tony nominated actress Ariana DeBose, who will be returning home to Raleigh, North Carolina to perform at Kennedy Theatre on December 22nd. We also got to talk about her experience of getting to work with Steven Spielberg on West Side Story.

    Ariana DeBose on HAMILTON, WEST SIDE STORY, & THE PROM

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    thatnerdgreg
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    #1203274624

    No matter how this film turns out, it’s definitely gonna be better than the current Broadway revival. Don’t know if anyone else here knows what’s going on with it, but it’s a frigging mess. First of all, they ran into controversy when they casted the notoriously problematic and perverted ballet dancer/dick pic sender Amar Ramasar as Bernardo. Then they get into even more trouble when it was revealed that this production would be completely removing I Feel Pretty and the Somewhere Ballet from the show. And now they’ve  had several actors getting injured because of the artificial rain that’s present during The Rumble until the end. There’s several choreographed slips and falls, but the actors are actually getting hurt doing them, including Issac Cole Powell who was starring as Tony, but has been out of commission for awhile to the point that there’s rumors he may not return, and Ben Cook who played Riff (and also played a smaller role in Spielberg’s film), but got injured so bad that he’s officially dropped out from the production. The show’s opening night has also been pushed back, with most people agreeing that it’s because of the rain related injuries. This new movie may have a tough act to follow when it comes to cinematic versions of West Side Story, but it’s not the same story when it comes to recent productions.

    Anyway, while I don’t know if it’s true, I heard a rumor that the new movie’s version of America will be closer to the film’s take on it rather than the stage show’s version, specifically that it will include Bernardo and the other Sharks rather than only women (ironically, despite it’s other less than well received elements, this new revival was smart enough to include the men in the song as well, being the first time this has happened on Broadway). I really hope this is true because I find the film version to be better in every way, and I know I’m not alone in that thought. Given how iconic the cinematic version of America is, it’s crazy to me that it’s taken so many years for it to finally be included in other versions of this story (apparently the second most recent revival was going to include it, but for reasons I either don’t know or just don’t remember, they didn’t go through with it). I’ve recently been reading Stephen Sondheim’s book, and he talks about how it was originally gonna be the version we saw in the movie, but Jerome Robbins forced him to change it to only women so he could choreograph an all female number. Sondheim talks about how the original version seen in the movie is better, specifically saying “This lyric is sharper and easier to understand than the version I came up with for Jerry, maybe because I resented having to change it, but more likely because it’s rooted in real character conflict rather than in an artificial argument set up by an ad hoc straight man (woman, in this case). In fact, because Rosalia is a nonentity, the stage version makes Anita something of a smart as.”

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1203274640

    I’ve actually read some reactions from the first preview of the current Broadway revival. From what I’ve gathered, the people who liked the new production really liked it. They felt the show worked very well without an intermission and the stuff that was cut didn’t feel missing. Though the reactions have acknowledged that this revival is definitely going to be divisive among audiences as it is much more violent than previous productions.

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    thatnerdgreg
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    #1203274700

    I’ve actually read some reactions from the first preview of the current Broadway revival. From what I’ve gathered, the people who liked the new production really liked it. They felt the show worked very well without an intermission and the stuff that was cut didn’t feel missing. Though the reactions have acknowledged that this revival is definitely going to be divisive among audiences as it is much more violent than previous productions.

    I’ve heard that too. It’s definitely a situation where the people like it love it and the people who dislike it hate it. But it’s been getting some particularly bad press now due to so many injuries which is overshadowing everything else about the production, both good and bad.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1203289829

    No matter how this film turns out, it’s definitely gonna be better than the current Broadway revival. Don’t know if anyone else here knows what’s going on with it, but it’s a frigging mess. They’ve had several actors getting injured because of the artificial rain that’s present during The Rumble until the end. There’s several choreographed slips and falls, but the actors are actually getting hurt doing them, including Issac Cole Powell who was starring as Tony, but has been out of commission for awhile to the point that there’s rumors he may not return.

    Isaac Powell has recovered from his injury, so he’ll be back in the Broadway production tonight.
    https://www.broadway.com/buzz/198159/tonight-recovered-from-injury-isaac-powell-returns-to-broadways-west-side-story/

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by  Jeffrey Kare.
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    thatnerdgreg
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    #1203289836

    Isaac Powell has recovered from his injury, so he’ll be back in the Broadway production tonight. https://www.broadway.com/buzz/198159/tonight-recovered-from-injury-isaac-powell-returns-to-broadways-west-side-story/

    I heard that before. Good news. He’s seemingly the one thing everybody agrees that they liked about this production.

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