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Forum Home > General Discussion > On Re-making the film West Side Story--Opinions of a Naysayer:

Posts: 43

I'm fully aware that Steve Spielberg is planning a re-make of the film West Side Story.  Frankly, I believe that this is a really, really bad idea.  West Side Story, as a movie, is an iconic, award-winning Classic that should definitely be left alone for the following reasons:

A)   West  Side Story,  as a film combines so many things that make it into the intensely dynamic little package that it is:  A powerful story behind it, an intensely brilliant Leonard Bernstein musical score, the intensely colorful and richly created photography and cinematography, the great costumes, the creative scenery combining both on-location and sound-stage scenes seamless together, the beautifully-choreographed dancing by the late Jerome Robbins, the overall cast, and everything that went into it seemed just right for making thie great movie-musical.

B)   The upper West Side of New York City is no longer a run-down slum of an area, but one that is totally re-stored and gentrified.  Things would never, ever be what the original was.

C)  The police here in the United States, as a whole, have become extremely militarized, and that would definitely be evident in the way in which the police in West Side Story acted towards both the Jets and the Sharks;  much rougher, much harsher language, and even rougher treatment and more overt prejudice and hatred of both gangs, especially the newly-arrived Puerto Rican Sharks.

D)  Bernstein's brilliant musical score would be rendered into a score that was more consistant with rap and hip-hop music, which would never, ever go well in such a film.

E)  The language would be way "bluer".  Although I'm no stranger to "blue" language, the use of "blue" language would not be appropriate for a film such as West Side Story.

F)  The romances between Bernardo and Anita, as well as Tony and Maria would be even more explicitly sexual and more graphic.

G)  The playground skirmishes between the Jets and Sharks would be even more graphic, as well.  

F)  The prejudices and hatred expressed by the Jets and the Sharks towards each other would also be much more evident, as well.

G)  There would be many more racial and/or ethnic epitats uttered, not only among the Jets and Sharks, but among the cops, as well.

F)  The Rumble itself would be much more graphic, and the use of guns, rather than fisticuffs and switchblade knives, would prevail, with many more people killed, and the deaths of everybody, including Riff, Tony and Bernardo far bloodier.

G)  A re-make of the film West Side Story would cut the heart and soul out of a wonderful classic movie-musical, destroying all that is great about this film.

H)  The dancing at the gym would be much wilder, more primative, and more devious, plus the Sharks and the Jets would be even less gentle towards the girls they date.

I)  A re-make of West SIde Story could not possibly work out, even with someone like Steve Spielberg, who has done a number of awesome films.  West SIde Story, as the iconic classic movie-musical that it really and truly is, should definitely be left alone.  

J)  Hollywood has run out of creative ideas, which is why so many sequels and re-makes of films are coming out.  There's only one reason that Spielberg wants to re-make West Side Story;  to get money out of it.  

K)  West Side Story is a very special film, it's in a class by itself, and the people who said that there'd never be a film like West Side Story again were 100% right on their money.  Mr. Spielberg, if you're listening in;  If you've got as much affection for this great, golden oldie-but-keeper of a movie-musical as you claim to have, you'll leave this iconic classic alone and go onto something else.  

L)  Having said all of the above, I believe that nobody, including Steve Spielberg, can be trusted not to re-make West Side Story into a piece of campy, hip-hop and rap-filled piece of junk.  

M)  There'd more than likely be overtly sexual and graphic romance scenes, which would include nudity and actual sexual intercourse, and more goriness all around.  Mr. Spielberg, please:  Leave this classic alone!  You've done many awesome films, but I suggest that you keep away from West Side Story altogether.  Thanks.

March 22, 2018 at 9:30 PM Flag Quote & Reply

Posts: 43

Although it's been slightly over a year since I posted this forum, and Steven Spielberg has chosen most of the cast for his re-boot of the 1961 film version of West Side  Story, I admittedly do not like the way that it's shaping up so far.  

Rita Moreno, who played Anita in the original 1961 film version of  West Side Story, is slated to play the role of Valentina, a female version of  the Candy Store owner, ,"Doc", a role that seems totally inappropriate and wrong for her, imo.  

So does Ansel Elgort, the young man selected to play Tony, and Rachel Zegler, the young 17 year old high school Senior from New Jersey, who's been selected to play the part of Maria.  Ansel Elgort, imo, doesn't have that great a voice, and Rachel Zegler's voice seems very constricted, forced and strained, especially on the high notes.  She also went quite flat on a number of the high notes, which was quite startling, and not in a good way.

The two people selected to play Schrank and Krupke didn't seem so hot, either.  

All of the above having been said, I will more than likely not go to see this re-boot of West Side Story.  Hollywood has run out of creative ideas, and, unlike many, if not most people, I am not exactly agog with excitement over the upcoming re-boot of this great, golden oldie-but-keeper of a classic movie-musical.

March 27, 2019 at 10:03 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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