West Side Story
Overall, I really liked the music and the choreography of the film. That is the part that really shines the most for me. Rachel Ziegler who plays Maria is an amazing singer and she was really well cast in this role. I think Maria and Anita were the perfect casting choices. I can’t say the same for her co-star Ansel Elgort, who I honestly can’t separate from the sexual assault allegations that came out after the movie was made. Whether they are true or not that is yet to be seen in a court. The court of public opinion doesn’t really like him too much right now and I hope that didn’t have too much of an impact on the box office for the film because that would be unfortunate for everyone else who worked on this film. That being said that's not something I take lightly and while watching him on screen, it is all I could really think about. It's hard to watch a movie when you can clearly separate the actor from the character. Additionally, their chemistry in the film feels very forced, unnatural and all happens very quickly. It's like you looked at each other once from across the room and spoke for less than five minutes and now you are in love and would die for each other. Doesn't make any sense.
Otherwise, I do really like this cast and think they did a good job in their roles. I think the overall flow of the story was really well done. I liked the sets, they did a good job reflecting the situation, the characters, and where they all came from. Something I did really like was that it looked like it was on a set, and not in a street. I assume this was on purpose, but the sets look like they came off of a staged live performance. It makes it feel like you are watching a performance in front of you, rather than a movie, creating a different atmosphere to the film.
I am kind of bored with Spielberg. This may be the most stupidly pretentious thing I have ever typed, but he just doesn’t push the boundaries anymore like he used to. His movies are all done in the same style and when you are watching this you know it is a Spielberg movie. The opening is like shot after shot of just rocks and rubble to the point where you are like I get it there are rocks. It's not really setting the scene it is like a minute and a half of silence and rocks. The thing about Speilberg is he has had success and he does everything in this one way he does all his movies. In general, I also don’t really like him as much as I used to. He used to push the boundaries on what cinema could be with special effects and messaging, like Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List. Now he complains about where the industry is going - streaming and Netflix, and hates remakes and sequels. Yet he just made a deal with Netflix to make a movie for them and just made the remake of all remakes. If he wants to stay in Hollywood he has to move with the times. Has this become a rant on Speilberg… maybe and honestly it probably has an impact on my view of the film. It just isn’t interesting to me and he isn’t as amazing as he once was.
I didn’t love this movie but it wasn’t a bad movie, it just didn’t bring anything new to the story. I think with Spielberg we expect him to do more with a classic story like this one. I just didn't find that this is a story that needed retelling. If you are just doing the same thing that already exists, what’s the point of a remake? There are no new ideas, and especially in today’s society and what’s going on in the world, I feel like he could have connected it to literally anything else. Also, why was this movie three hours long, what was the reason. Literally an hour and a half maybe two hours, but we are really pushing it at three. To wrap up, I didn't love this movie but I am sure there are people who do. If you like musicals, I would recommend seeing this, but I would also recommend seeing it in its other forms. I think the sole purpose of this movie is to introduce it to a new audience, which yes fair but it's already out there.