LOOKING FOR HOLIDAY GIFTS THEY'LL ENJOY?
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Available on Amazon.
THE BEST WEST SIDE STORY...AND THE WORST
Now, I'm all about relevant social issues. But I'm not about messing with "West Side Story," which, if you ask me, is hard enough to get right even when a production sticks to the original script.
Prior to the release of the 2021 movie, I'd seen five different iterations of "West Side Story": The sublime movie with Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, one of my favorite of favorite movies;
Still, all the high school "West Side Story" productions I saw were a sight better than that one Broadway production, which was by far the worst of the batch, mainly because Leslie Uggams was by far the worst Maria of the batch.
Hence I had no desire to sit through another excruciating "West Side Story," as I feared the Spielberg movie might be.
However I figured there was no harm in listening to the soundtrack. So I pulled up the "West Side Story" 2021 soundtrack on Youtube.
And so. because I loved the soundtrack, I decided to check out the movie. I went last Friday to an 11:25 am matinee with my sister Romaine. (We went at this early time in hopes of avoiding a COVID crowd. In fact there were only three other people in the theater besides us).
What did I think of this movie version of "West Side Story?" I loved it. that is to say, I love, love, LOVED it! It grabbed me from the opening scene of a slum neighborhood in the process of being demolished and held me, captivated me, transported me and gripped my heart for the next fleeting two-and-a-half hours.
So, I'm making the bold declaration: The new Steven Spielberg "West Side Story" is the best "West Side Story" of them all and, all due respect to Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, et al, this one is my new favorite. And I'll definitely be catching another matinee.