Yes, Steven Spielberg’s attempt at recreating one of the most iconic and beloved musicals of all time, West Side Story, is finally coming to Disney+ on Wednesday. I have to admit, I’m kind of excited.
After recently watching E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the first time (which was one of the most magical movie experiences I’ve ever had, I couldn’t stop crying for the last thirty minutes by the way) and seeing the last hour of The Color Purple on AMC today I was once again reminded about the incredible filmmaker that Steven Spielberg is.
He is a magician, deftly using his incredible genius to make some of the greatest movies of all time. And now I get to see how he handles a musical. That’s a fascinating thought.
Thankfully I’ve only seen West Side Story once so I’ve honestly forgotten most of the story. I’m very excited to share my review with you all and hopefully, I’ll enjoy it more than I did the original.
And then two days after that, I get to see The Batman. Oh my goodness, I’m so excited!
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a tremendous day.
There are great movies, plenty of them, but there are those particular films that puncture our hearts and makes us emotional just thinking about them. The Sound of Music is one of those movies for me.
I saw it for the first time last year in an Airbnb when I was bored and looking for a film to watch. That was when Disney+ was still relatively new so I was browsing its vast collection of movies and I came across The Sound of Music. I had vaguely heard of the movie but I had no idea what it was about or that it featured some of the most iconic songs created for any musical in history.
As I sat back on the couch under some covers watching the film I was instantly pierced by the magic of this movie from the film’s iconic opening number, “The Sound of Music” sung so beautifully by the legend Julie Andrews. It was that opening number that made me realize I was about to watch something truly special and sure enough the rest of the movie had me just as enthralled.
I smiled quite a lot and yes, I cried quite a lot too. And the final twenty minutes of the film filled me with so much anxiety that I felt like I was going to burst! After that initial viewing that utterly destroyed my emotions on a level most films can’t I went on to watch the film a subsequent four times and each viewing was as magical as the last. But I decided to take a break from the musical and I hadn’t watched it again…until last night.
When I first saw the trailer for In The Heights last year I watched 30 seconds and wasn’t interested. When I learned it was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first major and critically-acclaimed Broadway play I was super excited to see this film adaptation of this movie. And so I did…and it did not make me happy.
As an avid musical fan, I know how great a musical can be. I’ve seen the likes of An American in Paris, The Sound of Music, and Singin’ In the Rain, and they were magnificent! But I also understand that musicals are some of the hardest films to make.
They’ve recently begun to surge back into the cinema with recent hits like The Greatest Showman and multi-Oscar winning La La Land and now this year we’re getting two musicals; In The Heights and West Side Story.
In The Heights, directed by John M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), is basically a latino version of Do The Right Thing. The story takes place in Washington Heights at the height of summer and it follows a few characters who are simply trying to make their dreams come true. It sounds like a decent plot for an inspiring musical but it was overshadowed by a weak remake of a Broadway play.
Like Hamilton, there is a lot of singing! I mean, a lot. But while the singing helped move the story along for the critically-acclaimed Broadway play about our country’s fore fathers in a movie that much singing just feels like a bunch of nonsensical noise. I wanted to get invested in the characters but the first hour lost my interest completely.
To try to seem like an epic musical there were bunch of unnecessarily huge musical numbers with a bunch of dancers that just felt out of place. When a couple of characters in love are singing about how they want to be together you don’t want to see twenty people dancing happily around them. It’s distracting.
None of the songs were memorable, the lyrics were boring, and there was nothing truly rewarding about this movie. The only part that made me smile and want to dance was a sequence when the characters went to a club. Now that part was fun. Oh, and a little moment with Miranda playing the part of a beloved popsicle man and his brief moment to shine. But besides that, I was annoyed by something I couldn’t get a chance to enjoy.
I wish I could say In the Heights is the best movie of the year so far but unfortunately, I can’t.
Now I’m just hoping Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story is more enjoyable.
I’ll give this movie 70 out of 100 and 2 out of 5 stars.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.
I had never heard of the famous musical A Star Is Born until Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper recreated the film for the fourth time back in 2018 to critical acclaim. I didn’t watch that version because I wasn’t interested in seeing a movie that had been remade yet the umpteenth time. But today I did to decide to watch the 1954 version starring Judy Garland and James Mason and wow.
Wow, wow, wow. I was blown away, sucked into this beautiful love story featuring Garland and all of her talents. The fact that she didn’t win Best Actress for this movie is truly shameful because oh my goodness, she was amazing.
And yeah…I didn’t expect that ending…but it happened and I was crying my eyes out. I’m not very used to musicals that end on a somber note so this one surprised me, and wrecked me emotionally.
It was also really nice seeing Garland in something other than The Wizard of Oz which is the only other movie I had ever watched with her. She is such an incredible singer. I mean, top-notch. It was wonderful listening to her singing.
(Oh, and is just me, or do James Mason and 80s’ Chris Sarandon look a lot alike?)
All in all, if you’ve never seen A Star Is Born please do. It’s an amazing movie.
I’ll give this film 5 out of 5 stars and 100 out of 100. It was perfect.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day.
I. Love. Musicals. There’s something incredibly magical about watching a bunch of people dancing and singing through a movie in a way that you can’t get from average films. And there are so many of them!
Today, I decided to watch Hello, Dolly! on Disney+, a film directed by the musical genius himself, Gene Kelly, and starring Barbra Streisand and I’ve got to say, I loved it! It’s musical numbers had me swayin’ and smiling and its dancing numbers had me wide-eyed with awe.
I’m kind of ashamed to say that this is the first movie I’ve seen with Barbra Streisand but what an enjoyable film it was. And boy, can that lady sing!
All in all, I really, really enjoyed this movie and now my quest for musicals continues.
I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.
I love musicals. Musicals can be so cheery, depressing, lovely, magical, oh they can bring out all of my emotions and now I’ve watched another iconic musical; My Fair Lady.
I finally watched My Fair Lady, another one of the few musicals that has garnered a Best picture, and there were things that I really liked about the film, mainly Rex Harrison’s Oscar-winning performance as Professor Henry Higgins who I thought was hilarious. He was unlike any character I’ve seen in any other movie and he’s the most memorable thing about the film undoubtedly. If anything, I’m glad I watched the movie for him alone.
I also really appreciated the costume designs. The flamboyance and elaborate styles of the English elite was utterly enthralling, specifically the scene where Higgins takes Eliza Dolittle to the races. Wow, were those dresses worn by all of those fancy ladies utterly breathtaking.