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Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story (2021)


mrbellamy
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I think, La La Land works better for people who are not necessarily big fans of the great musical dance movies with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly from the 50s. If you have a crush on those minutes long cut-less brillant dance scenes, you are of course dissapointed. Wouldn't be an issue, if La La Land wouldn't have been advertised as a movie in that tradition. But it was. In that regard they could only lose.

Apart from that, sure, it is nice to watch.

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11 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

I think, La La Land works better for people who are not necessarily big fans of the great musical dance movies with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly from the 50s. If you have a crush on those minutes long cut-less brillant dance scenes, you are of course dissapointed. Wouldn't be an issue, if La La Land wouldn't have been advertised as a movie in that tradition. But it was. In that regard they could only lose.

Apart from that, sure, it is nice to watch.

 

Weird, I stopped watching La La Land because I didn't feel like watching a typical conventional Hollywood musical. Maybe it only like that in the beginning? 

 

 

BTW, as for the modern ones, I forgot to mention Von Trier's Dancer In The Dark

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32 minutes ago, GerateWohl said:

 

I was impressed by Into the Woods. 

And speaking of Sondheim, there was Sweeny Todd as well, which I didn't like.

Into the Woods was great. Sweeney Todd is a great show but the two leads didn’t work in the movie version. It needs proper singers. 

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19 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

It is almost parodic the way they are cutting around Ansel. He's the lead and yet his friend gets more lines in the trailer. The trailer makes it seem like he's incidental to the plot rather than the main focus along with Rachel Zegler. It is bizarre. 

 

 

 

He features a lot in the trailer, but he's a man of few words.

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1 hour ago, GerateWohl said:

 

I was impressed by Into the Woods. 

And speaking of Sondheim, there was Sweeny Todd as well, which I didn't like.

 

The other way around for me. Much more than a musical, Sweeney is an exceptional beautiful movie, a visually expressive showpiece.

 

 

1 hour ago, Tom Guernsey said:

It needs proper singers. 

 

Maybe it's because I'm not a musical fan, but that didn't bother me at all. That they are not professional highly trained singers makes sense in a movie that is the opposite of the Hollywood musical. 

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19 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

It is almost parodic the way they are cutting around Ansel. He's the lead and yet his friend gets more lines in the trailer. The trailer makes it seem like he's incidental to the plot rather than the main focus along with Rachel Zegler. It is bizarre. 

 

 

I'm sure they ran the numbers and realised it was cheaper to leave Ansel in the film and market around him, rather than reshoot with a new lead.

 

The 12 month COVID delay was probably a blessing in disguise. The scandal has faded somewhat.

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5 hours ago, GerateWohl said:

I think, La La Land works better for people who are not necessarily big fans of the great musical dance movies with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly from the 50s. If you have a crush on those minutes long cut-less brillant dance scenes, you are of course dissapointed. Wouldn't be an issue, if La La Land wouldn't have been advertised as a movie in that tradition. But it was. In that regard they could only lose.

Apart from that, sure, it is nice to watch.

 

On the contrary, I'm a huge fan of Top Hat, Swing Time, Shall We Dance, Love Me Tonight and many others.  The period when we were getting film musicals by Kern, Gershwin, Berlin, Rodgers (pre-Hammerstein) is one of the peaks of American pop culture.  But I thought LLL was great!  The throwback musical elements are just one aspect of that movie that I think very much suited the particular story it had to tell.

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44 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

On the contrary, I'm a huge fan of Top Hat, Swing Time, Shall We Dance, Love Me Tonight and many others.  The period when we were getting film musicals by Kern, Gershwin, Berlin, Rodgers (pre-Hammerstein) is one of the peaks of American pop culture.  But I thought LLL was great!  The throwback musical elements are just one aspect of that movie that I think very much suited the particular story it had to tell.

I can agree to that. IT was actually a good story and the chemestry between the lead actors was good. And I was quite impressed by Rian Goslin's piano skills as I heard before that he actually had started learning that for the movie. (probably he fell into some timeloop like in Groundhog Day).

The movie had a story to tell. But the musical scenes were (apart from the music itself) the weakest of the movie in my oppinion.

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2 hours ago, TheUlyssesian said:

We won’t talk about it here but Hollywood baffles me. Who survives and who goes down seems completely arbitrary.

 

I think it's a legitimate discussion for this film, if only for the intrigue around how a family-friendly company like Disney works around a complex situation like this (for a high-profile Spielberg film no less).

 

One thing I can almost guarantee is that Spielberg will be the face of the publicity tour come December, and maybe the lead actress and Rita Moreno. They'll probably cite "COVID scheduling difficulities" as reasons why more of the cast won't be available for interviews.

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Spielberg might be too busy with post-production of The Fabelmans to do much promotion for West Side Story

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37 minutes ago, Jay said:

Spielberg might be too busy with post-production of The Fabelmans to do much promotion for West Side Story

 

They'll probably pre-record a fluffy, PR-supervised interview with Spielberg and the lead actress (so no need to worry about journalists veering into other topics) then distribute it with a stack of B-Roll in an EPK. As you point out, Spielberg will probably be too busy editing TF to spend an entire day doing interviews for WSS.

 

The traditional media interviews seem risky with COVID anyway. Seems like those are conducted over Zoom/Skype nowadays.

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44 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

I wonder what the last movie Disney releases that was greenlit under the old Fox regime will be.  I assume this isn't it?

 

West Side Story is still a 20th Century Studios film, not a "Disney" film.  20th Century Studios continues to operate as its own thing, while reporting to Disney overlords.

 

The last film released as a "20th Century Fox" film was Underwater on Jan 10 2020; "20th Century Fox" became "20th Century Studios" on Jan 17 2020

 

The first film that began life as a "20th Century Fox" film, but was released as a "20th Century Studios" film, was Call of the Wild on Feb 21 2020

 

20th Century Studios has films set to be released as far into the future as Avatar 5 in 2028:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_20th_Century_Studios_films

 

So, since all the Avatar sequels were greenlit before the Disney purchase, I guess that's your answer.

 

Ignoring Avatar, there's also The King's Man and Death on the Nile coming soon that began life before the Disney purchase.

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Just now, Jay said:

 

West Side Story is still a 20th Century Studios film, not a "Disney" film.  20th Century Studios continues to operate as its own thing, while reporting to Disney overlords.

 

The last film released as a "20th Century Fox" film was Underwater on Jan 10 2010; "20th Century Fox" became "20th Century Studios" on Jan 17 2020

 

The first film that began life as a "20th Century Fox" film, but was released as a "20th Century Studios" film, was Call of the Wild on Feb 21 2020

 

20th Century Studios has films set to be released as far into the future as Avatar 5 in 2028:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_20th_Century_Studios_films

 

So, since all the Avatar sequels were greenlit before the Disney purchase, I guess that's your answer.

 

I was aware of all of this, but anyway you're splitting hairs.  20th Century is just a Disney production label.  West Side Story is just as much a "Disney film" as any Touchstone movie of the 90s (which I would call all of them Disney films).  But yeah, I can't imagine there being anything after the 3rd Avatar that was greenlit pre 2019.

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Are 4-5 technically greenlit yet?

 

I know the scripts are complete and they shot a couple of scenes for 4, but I didn't think they were proceeding to full production unless 2-3 turned a decent profit (and who knows how the world will look in 15 months). A bit like the situation on Dune 2.

 

I thought greenlight meant they could proceed into production.

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32 minutes ago, Jay said:

The last film released as a "20th Century Fox" film was Underwater on Jan 10 2020; "20th Century Fox" became "20th Century Studios" on Jan 17 2020

 

Yeah, I remember when I saw that (one of last year's highlights, btw), I knew it was the last time for Fox, so I was struck by a sense of nostalgia and melancholy over the credits.

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5 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

He's starting to get new roles so I'm guessing his career will survive the scandal.

 

https://variety.com/2021/global/asia/japanese-cast-ansel-elgort-tokyo-vice-1235065241/

It's a scandal, it's a scandal, such a scandal.

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27 minutes ago, mrbellamy said:

I like most musicals, I like La La Land, I will probably like this. It's everlasting material of course and the music is A+ as we already know and Newman/Dudamel will hardly fuck it up. I'm sure Spielberg will find stunning things to do with the camera and choreography and so I'm excited to see that and I also think Tony Kushner is a great writer who will probably find some interesting perspective to this story. 

 

But I also think this has always seemed like a lame idea from the outset and I feel like Spielberg's definitely gotten himself in that grandpa zone which many masters have found themselves in where he makes perfectly sophisticated and literate cinema that somehow just has like...no relevance lol. Even when he's responding very directly to current events like The Post, that movie tried so hard to say something and came and went like a wisp, it's weird. Scorsese has at least gone back and forth where he thinks he's making Hugo for kids lol (a movie I loved) but then he comes out with Wolf of Wall Street and it's like oh fuck, this guy still knows what's up. You kinda wanna see Spielberg make one of those, in his own way. I'm pleased he can still have a reasonably big hit like Lincoln and Ready Player One, the former I think is actually a great movie and the latter is pretty solid and entertaining garbage, but I'd love to see him make something that can really strike a vein. What's interesting is that probably Spielberg's most notable contribution to cinema in the 2010s was Daniel Day-Lewis's performance in Lincoln, one of his major performances and a pretty big reference point now, and Spielberg's really taking a backseat. Rylance, Hanks, Streep all did very beautiful understated work in the last ten years of Spielberg too, that's what defines it for me.

 

But so I don't know, I feel like he's doing something with this one about cultural/racial disputes and it's just not gonna resonate, and I say this as someone who thinks he's still got the most brilliant eye and finds all of his movies human and worthwhile to some degree. Kushner's adaptation could be brilliant, who knows. Maybe Moreno will join the above actors as a great Spielberg performance. 

 

And obviously I wish Spielberg were putting out literally anything else that would include a John Williams score and that's frustrating. So you know, whatever.

Perfectly summarised! I’ve enjoyed most recent Spielberg films of the last decade or two but they just don’t set the world on fire like they used to somehow. Finely crafted and always worth watching but without that spark that made his classic movies sound great. I have to say that the original West Side Story movie never did much for me. Always feels a bit long and quite long gaps without any songs (same in the original show to be fair) but I’ll see this out of duty and maybe it’ll be great but meh. 

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9 hours ago, Tom Guernsey said:

I’ve enjoyed most recent Spielberg films of the last decade or two but they just don’t set the world on fire like they used to somehow. Finely crafted and always worth watching but without that spark that made his classic movies sound great.

 

Yeah, when you start making movies as a public duty you are in deep trouble. 

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1 hour ago, AC1 said:

Spielberg says his own movie is great!

Hmm, it must be good then!

He's not fond of 1941, ...TEMPLE OF DOOM or A.I.

Does that mean that they are bad?

One of those films is in my all-time top 10, so...(blows a raspberry, and gives two-fingered salute) jog on, Steve :lol:

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59 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

He's not fond of 1941, ...TEMPLE OF DOOM or A.I.

Does that mean that they are bad?

 

 

Stil waiting for him to admit that he overdid the 'I could have done more' scene in Schindler's List

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Didn't he say that the "I could have done more" schtick, was meant to represent what everyone could have/should have done? If so, what unimaginable arrogance!

Anyway, Mrs. S. said that it categorically did not happen, that way. He thanked people, politely, got in his car, and drove away, and that was that: no bawling like a baby, no collapsing on the car, no crap like that, just "Thank you, and good night".

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On 17/09/2021 at 7:26 AM, publicist said:

 

Yeah, when you start making movies as a public duty you are in deep trouble. 

 

He's been picking boring projects for a good while.

 

Was he still involved with the Moctezuma series that was cancelled? I have no idea, but it was like the only interesting thing anyways (to be shot in period-adequate languages and everything! I follow the guy who translated the script on twitter). And suddenly it was no more.

 

On 16/09/2021 at 9:33 PM, mrbellamy said:

But I also think this has always seemed like a lame idea from the outset and I feel like Spielberg's definitely gotten himself in that grandpa zone which many masters have found themselves in where he makes perfectly sophisticated and literate cinema that somehow just has like...no relevance lol.

 

I generally expect social or artistic relevance from younger and newer artists instead, even though every now and then I'm proven wrong.

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Montezuma was the last project I was genuinely excited about Spielberg doing. Naturally he abandoned it (wasn't Zaillian writing the script? What a waste!) 

 

The guy hasn't challenged himself since Munich. That was his last truly great film. I can appreciate the technical mastery of the films that followed but Munich was the last time it felt like he had something meaningful to say.

 

Clearly the personal blowback he got for that film hurt him because he's refused to leave his comfort zone ever since. Other than War Horse, has he even left the US to shoot a movie since 2005?

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Munich was SS trashiest film. 

West Side Story looks so great. lets hope?

 

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1 minute ago, JoeinAR said:

West Side Story looks so great. lets hope?

 

Yeah, the trailer does look great. I don't know what people are complaining for.

 

2 minutes ago, Naïve Old Fart said:

Parts of READY PLAYER ONE were shot in Birmingham.

 

To show the death of society as we know it?

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6 minutes ago, crumbs said:

 

I just think it's a waste of his time and talent, and it's dumbfounding that he waited his whole life to direct a musical only to adapt an existing work (especially when he has a 50 year partnership with one of the greatest film composers of all time!)

 

Just seems a huge missed opportunity to me. Shrug

 

The same goes for John Williams. 

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1 hour ago, crumbs said:

 

I just think it's a waste of his time and talent, and it's dumbfounding that he waited his whole life to direct a musical only to adapt an existing work (especially when he has a 50 year partnership with one of the greatest film composers of all time!)

 

Just seems a huge missed opportunity to me. Shrug

 

Tintin was also an adaptation. So was Jaws. And SL and JP and... Do you think he shouldn't have done these?

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It's a very Broadway mentality, actually.  Big name theater directors often revive classic musicals to put their stamp on them, as a way of expressing their creative voice.

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3 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

It's racist, I've heard.

Its about racial divide. But it is true Americana.

If any director can improve on this, or at least put his own stamp of it, its SS.

 

There's a place Somewhere....

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