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'West Side Story' Debuts in Glorious Hi-Def

George Thomas
Cleveland Movie Examiner

When the great Mikhail Baryshnikov deems it necessary to offer commentary on a film’s legacy, then you must pay attention.

But when it comes to West Side Story (No rating, MGM, $16.99-$44.99 depending on version, 5-of-5 stars), no one ever had to get me to pay attention. Baryshnikov’s presence is still welcome, however.

The film – quite simply – is one of the top three musicals to ever grace Broadway and, without a doubt, it’s the best adaptation of a Broadway musical for the screen.
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I bought the meat-and-potato three-disc set that includes the movie, a remastered version for DVD and the disc with the blu-ray.

The extras here are captivating from beginning to end. Of particular interest: A Place for Us: West Side Story’s Legacy, which takes us through the inception of the play to the film’s adaptation and how the latter impacted popular culture.

In the process, the producers give us interviews with legendary lyricist Stephen Sondheim, and composer Leonard Bernstein’s daughter.

On the blu-ray itself there’s an in-movie experience that allows the viewer to dissect the film’s dance sequences. The movie’s music fans will particularly enjoy the individual commentary that Sondheim provides.

A piece of fun that the producers added: a way to share comments via social networking sites while watching the film. Necessary? No. But it’s definitely an entertaining enhancement.

There’s little to quibble with respect to how they’ve assembled this this package, doing justice to one of the iconic films in cinema’s history.

That being the case, the movie is the perfect addition to a blu-ray library. However, films such as this scream for the silver screen. Clevelanders get their shot to celebrate the 50th anniversary West Side Story over the next five days when it playing at the Capitol Theatre at W. 65th St. in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood.

http://www.examiner.com/movie-in-cleveland/video-stream-west-side-story-debuts-glorious-hi-def#.TsVbPlWrCy0.tumblr#ixzz1e03LpLQE

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