It’s Official: Steven Spielberg is Remaking ’West Side Story’

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by JozefK, Jan 25, 2018.

  1. Speedmaster

    Speedmaster If you believe, they put a man on the moon?

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Great, another movie I’m not gonna watch
     
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  2. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    It's one of my favorite Spielberg movies ever. Saw it at least 3 times in the theater and another 15 at home. It truly captured the magic of his Amblin productions of the '80s. The pacing and storytelling in it was brilliant, it had non-stop imagination, and the action was complicated yet so cleanly directed that it really shows just how clueless other modern action directors are.
     
  3. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    The audience at the Broadway revival of West Side Story that was running in 2019 was at least a third young people, at least at the show I saw. They were loving every minute of it and cheering every chance they got.
    The acting thing is arguable (I love it) but do you really think the cinematography and dancing (of all things)need improvement?
     
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  4. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I'm sure if you're going to see a Broadway show, it's one of the biggest names out there and anyone would choose to see it over the competition. As a movie, I just get the impression it isn't as widely seen as some other classics. I would agree the story is still solid and would still work for all audiences. I just think there is modernization that can be done to the production to make it resonate better with modern audiences. A revival on Broadway probably has some modernization.

    There was one unusual poll that came out in 2016 (of British audiences) asking what the most watched movies of all time were. It may differ from Americans, certainly the Monty Python stuff would drop off the list, but I get the feeling a lot of it is accurate. West Side Story is not on the list and I do have the sense that most of these 50 movies are more seen and talked about than West Side, including the similar ones Grease, Dirty Dancing, Titanic, Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Casablanca, Singin' in the Rain...they list Romeo and Juliet too, but that may be more of a British thing.

    OnePoll | Top 50 most watched movies of all time | OnePoll research

    Comparing against IMDB votes, meaning how MANY people voted on a movie, the numbers seem to reinforce this poll:

    Titanic 1,062,483
    Casablanca 529,065
    Love Actually 440,801
    Wizard of Oz 373,792
    Gone with the Wind 293,787
    Grease 245,985
    Singin' in the Rain 222,392
    Sound of Music 210,018
    Dirty Dancing 207,669
    Mary Poppins 159,883
    West Side Story 98,492
    My Fair Lady 87,964
    Little Shop of Horrors 67,093
    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 41,937
    Love Story 31,735
    Romeo and Juliet 29,773

    West Side edges out My Fair Lady, but otherwise appears to lag behind a lot of other "classics," musicals and love stories. Personally, I think the IMDB vote count is a pretty good measure of who has seen a movie, especially for older movies that existed before the internet, since they never went through a surge of votes due to new release hype.

    The question should be, does Spielberg have to worry that the musical itself just doesn't interest a ton of people anymore? What's canny about his choice to remake this particular film is that it feels much more to me like a modernized execution is all the material needs to excite people again. I think people like the story but see the dated nature of parts of the original film. So a remake might really be welcomed and embraced by a big audience here. If people absolutely loved the original, they might not be interested in a remake. And if the original was something no one cared about AT ALL anymore, they also might not be interested. But this movie is in a sweet spot for remake potential. It's fairly popular and well-known, but not universally beloved as a top tier favorite.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  5. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
    The modernizations done to the Broadway revival amounted to everyone wearing the same clothes (tight jeans, hoodies) and everyone looking the same (which ones are Jets, which ones are Sharks?), which kind of defeated the whole point of the play. A couple of numbers were updated to reflect the racial problems this country has, the sexuality was beefed up and the dancing was less Jerome Robbins and more like an aerobics workout. The staging was horrific, huge screens to amplify the lack of action on stage, and though the cast was up for it they just didn't have the chops to pull it off. The night I went it was packed.
    Hope the movie (the original of which is considered one of the all time classic movie musicals despite what IMDB says) fares better.
     
  6. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Location:
    Daejeon
    The character of Ice is in the new movie. Ice wasn't in the Broadway musical but was developed for the movie to sing 'Cool,' which was sung by Riff on stage.

    I take this to mean the song order of the original movie will be used, with 'Krupke' before the murder and 'Cool' after.

    That revision makes so much sense I'm surprised that not all stage versions follow it. Glad the new movie apparently will, unless I'm reading it wrong.
     
  7. 40WattPhasedPlasmaRifle

    40WattPhasedPlasmaRifle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pineville, NC
    I worked on an amateur production of WSS. One of the iron-clad stipulations when you rent the charts is that you CANNOT flip "Cool" and "Krupke". Can't do it, wouldn't be prudent. Seriously, the prohibition of that change is explicitly spelled out in black ink.

    No doubt iron-clad stipulations melt under the heat that Stevie Spielberg brings to the table. There are also iconic moments from the film such as Anita ending up on Bernardo's shoulder at the end of "America" that aren't in the play. The trailer implies that "America" will be boys 'n' girls. But the words are different too! And the "chill-down-the-spine" moment of the second trailer was Rita singing a snippet of "Somewhere". Does she take over the part that the play assigns to "A Girl"?
     
  8. KevinP

    KevinP Forum introvert

    Location:
    Daejeon
    Interesting. Thanks!

    With Sondheim still around, they can negotiate a lot of changes. Lyric changes frequently accompany major revisions, so I'm sure they'll be some. And probably the last time we see any.
     
  9. 40WattPhasedPlasmaRifle

    40WattPhasedPlasmaRifle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pineville, NC
  10. Rich-n-Roll

    Rich-n-Roll Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington State
  11. JediJones

    JediJones Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Looks as great as I'm expecting it to be.

     
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  12. bob_32_116

    bob_32_116 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Perth Australia
    A remake is unnecessary, but I suppose it does no harm.
     
  13. 40WattPhasedPlasmaRifle

    40WattPhasedPlasmaRifle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pineville, NC
    Looking very good. Anyone else get the sense that the Maria opening was grafted on? Cut that and the next 90 seconds is a continuous thread from "this is my first time in NY" to the rumble. Studio suits trying to downplay Elgort and focus on Zegler?
     
  14. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    So it’s just a straight rendition with different camera shots ?
     
  15. SRC

    SRC That sums up Squatter for me

    Location:
    New York, NY
    ?

    Different actors, singers, choreography, dialogue...

    Looks great.
     
  16. ralphb

    ralphb "First they came for..."

    Location:
    Brooklyn, New York
  17. 40WattPhasedPlasmaRifle

    40WattPhasedPlasmaRifle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pineville, NC
    Nope, new screenplay (Tony Kushner), new choreography (Justin Peck, Tony winner for Carousel revival). There's a "20 questions" type post near the front of this thread about what SS might do: like are Krupke and Cool in the order they were in the play or the '61 movie.
     
  18. CraigBic

    CraigBic Forum Resident

    Location:
    New Zealand
    The movie is looking incredible based on what I've seen in the trailers, I'm really looking forward to seeing this one on the big screen.
     
  19. Spy Car

    Spy Car Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles
    I think it is terrific that a new generation is going to be exposed to one of the all-time great American musicals.

    Bill
     
  20. PhilBorder

    PhilBorder Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sheboygan, WI
    Looks better than I thought but not as good as I hoped.... but it's a trailer and might not be that representative.
     
  21. audiomixer

    audiomixer As Bald As The Beatles

    …or does it?!?
     
  22. SRC

    SRC That sums up Squatter for me

    Location:
    New York, NY
    Not sure what you are replying to, aren't we saying the same thing, yet you reply "nope"?
     
  23. 40WattPhasedPlasmaRifle

    40WattPhasedPlasmaRifle Forum Resident

    Location:
    Pineville, NC
    Oops I quoted the wrong post. Meant that to be a reply to alexpop: "So it’s just a straight rendition with different camera shots ?"
     
    SRC likes this.

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