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Not withstanding the fact that I'm very anti-re-make/re-boot, on the part of anybody, when it comes to great, golden oldie-but-keeper classic movies generally, I firmly believe that the original 1961 film version of West Side Story, especially, falls into that category.

As I have pointed out before, I do not share in all the optimism and excitement over Steven Speilberg's upcoming re-boot of the 1961 film version of West Side Story. Nor, I believe, should I be expected to....

Since I have already written one or two essays on here stating why I don't believe that a re-make of the film West Side Story would work, I won't go into a long schpiel about that on this post. The original 1961 movie version of West Side Story is a beautiful film on its own, and it should remain standing that way. It's far too special and way too much in a class by itself, in so far as movie-musicals, or even movies in general go, I think, to justify a re-make/reboot of it by anybody, including Steven Spielberg.

The role that Rita Moreno is slated to play in Spielberg's reboot of the film West Side Story (i. e. Valentina, the female version of the Candy Store owner, Doc), imho, seems entirely inappropriate and wrong for her, given her looks and her overall personality, and for the overall story behind West Side Story, in itself.

I feel that the upcoming re-boot of the 1961 film version of West Side Story will undermine the story in itself. First of all, New York City's Upper West Side, which is now all gentrified, is not the way it was in the past.

Secondly, as a number of people have pointed out, there's no topping the late Jerome Robbins' choreography of the dancing in West Side Story. Having seen a video sample of Justin Peck's choreograhic dancing, it's too hyperkinetic, and too much like hip-hop or rap dancing for my tastes.

Thirdly, The two cast members that Spielberg has added as Officer Krupke and Lt. Schrank don't look nearly rough-and-tough enough to be cops who are assigned to rein in gang activity in a rough-and-rundown part of a large American city.

Fourth, Ansel Elgort doesn't seem to have enough charm, personality or believability to play the part of Tony, nor does he have that good a voice, either.

Fifth: I believe that the 1961 film West Side Story, in itself, has withstood the test of time, beautifully. It's a timeless masterpiece of a movie-musical in itself, which, in reality, cannot be topped, no matter what many people say or think.

Sixth: Steven Spielberg claims that the reboot of the 1961 film version of West Side Story will be based on the 1957 Broadway stage version of it, and will be going back to basics. Given today's Hollywood standards, and the fact that Hollywood has been doing tons of sequels, re-makes and reboots of various older classic films these days strongly indicates that they've run out of creative ideas. That being said, I'd say that either Spielberg's reboot of the film West Side Story will either be extremely hyper and overly emotive, and more explicitly graphic and sexual in the romance scenes, especially between Tony and Maria, and Bernardo and Anita, or it will be extremely dull, drab, and stagey. There seems to be no room for moderation these days.

Seventh: Having said all of the above, since Spielberg's reboot of the film West Side Story will definitely be coming, I believe that fans of West Side Story (myself included), should be given a choice of whether they wish to view the original 1961 film version of West Side Story or the re-boot of it, in movie theatres. A good way to do that, however, would be for the studios to at least issue more frequent periodic national re-releases into movie theatres (both independent and mainstream) throughout the United States, thus showing the original film version of West Side Story along with the re-boot, and enabling fans of WSS (myself included), to make that choice.

Making it so that the original 1961 film version of West Side Story is only available for home viewing on TV, DVD, video, Blu-Ray, or Netflix is a totally unfair way to do it, imho. The search engines should also be configured in such a way that much more weight is given to the original film version of West Side Story, and so that the re-make won't wind up keeping the upper hand at the top of the list, if one gets the drift, because that could be frustrating to many people who are fans of the original film version of WSS.

All of the above having been said, as I've also pointed out, since I really don't care for the way Spielberg's reboot of the 1961 film version of West Side Story is shaping up so far, including the casting of Rachel Kegler as Maria, due to the overly shrill, immature voice, which strains a lot on the higher notes, and goes flat on other higher notes, and the fact that I don't think she particularly has the looks for Maria, I plan on boycotting Spielberg's re-make of the film West Side Story--and not going to see it when it hits the movie theatres sometime next year.


wss crazy cool by dallowayward
West Side Story

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