the great, venerable golden oldie-but-goody movie musical classic film, West Side Story has withstood the test of time beautifully and is a good, clear indication of one thing: The more things change, the more they stay the same. Imho, anybody who says that WSS is passe, dated, obsolete, just for older pre-teens and starry-eyed adolescents, or too "white-bread" is wrong. West Side Story is a beautiful movie-musical classic modeled somewhat on Romeo and Juliet, which is about realities that take place even today: racial & ethnic tensions, urban gang warfare, and people crossing the racial/ethnic/color/religion barrier to date, fall in love and even marry, sometimes even amid conflict. WSS is a classic for people of virtually all ages and of all walks of life. No matter who becomes POTUS, the above-mentioned things will always exist.
Hey...I know that in real life, street gangs don't dance through the streets. I know that in real life, people don't generally fall in love at first sight, or even if they do, it still takes time for it to develop into something really, really substantial, if one gets the drift, and sometimes it doesn't happen at all. I'm also aware that in real life, today's street gangs are far more violent and far deadlier than they were back then, frequently resorting to the use of high-tpowered, high-tech assault rifles and handguns, rather than fisticuffs or switchblades.
In my eyes, the only shortcoming of the film West Side Story was the casting of Richard Beymer as Tony, and the fact that he and Natalie Wood got along extremely poorly off-screen and in real life (Natalie Wood had, in fact, tried to get Richard Beymer kicked off the set on several occasions) really didn't help. In fact, Beymer's being bothered by it was somewhat obvious. Yet, that has not stopped me from going to see a screening of WSS virtually everytime it comes to town (I only missed one screening in our area--March 2001, when an afternoon screenng in town conflicted directly with my late dad's memorial, so I didn't go that day. ) and loving every minute of it, as always.
As a neighbor put it, West Side Story is fiction, and yet closer to reality in some respects. I'm still waiting for some decent movies to come up, and for WSS to reappear. As a devout fan of this great film who has also seen a half dozen stage productions of this great musical and owns the CD soundtracks to both the film and the original Broadway stage play, I fully savor this great classic and hope that, regardless of who comes into the White House this fall, or what else happens, that this great classic never, ever becomes obsolete. The MGM adage "Unlike other classics, West Side Story grows younger" has a strong element of truth to it. I call it "The Classic that Never Grows Old".
For starters, I saw the film No Country for Old Men, which was well done, and definitely not for the faint of heart!!
Secondly, my alltime favorite film, West Side Story made the number two spot, between Wizard of Oz and Singin' in the Rain in this issue of Entertainment Weekly's 26 Best movie musicals! Woohoo!! I'm heartened because I believe that the time for WSS to take the numero Uno spot is approaching. Can't wait for that day of reckoning. LOL.
Here's the link
This spring, I plan to take a road trip (driving) to Albany, NY for another screening of my alltime favorite film, , in early April. Since the WSS screening is in the evening, I plan to make a day of it by also viewing the great outdoor sculpture garden that Albany also has. I've already bought a ticket for the movie, which will be playing at the beautifully-renovated Palace Theatre in Albany. Woohoo!
is one of the few Dennis Lehane books I haven't read. Great movie, who knew Ben Affleck could direct.
Lehane also wrote Mystic River and a whole bunch of detective novels set in Boston that you'll particularly enjoy if you know the area. For non-detective stuff, his Shutter Island is a good read, very hard to put down.
Come, my friends. 'Tis not too late to seek a newer world -- Tennyson
It was a good, well-done movie, and it played to a totally packed house!! I've got to read the book. The night before, I'd had dinner with a friend who'd read the book and seen the movie Gone Baby Gone, and said that Casey Affleck's rendition of the detective who'd been hired to help with the investigation of the mission girl was much softer and somewhat mushier than the detective in the book, who'd been a harder, tougher guy.
Anyway, I have to read the book to find out, which I plan on doing.
One of the "must see" films on my list.
I saw two movies this weekend: The Golden Door and Shrek the Third
Both were good movies. Golden Door was a movie about Italians who emigrated to America after living an almost-medeval existence in their old country, and the prejudices and ugly experiences, including the marriage market, and determination of who could and could not enter the United States, upon arrival. This movie showed the universal immigrant experience, and how it's still going on right now, today.
Although I'd never seen either Shrek I or Shrek II, my sister, my 6 y/old nephew and I all enjoyed Shrek III immensely.
came out with a new list today (1st since 1998) of the top 100 films of all time.
The biggest surprises were the addition of a few movies (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Sixth Sense) and the removal of several movies (including Doctor Zhivago and Close Encounters of the Third Kind).
We are all mediators, translators. - Derrida
West Side Story got bounced down ten notches--from #41 to #51. I was hoping that this great golden oldie but goody keeper of a classic film would make furthur progress towards the very top by this point. Oh, well, it's still my alltime favorite film, and at least it's still on the list.
with lists like that, I suppose. My biggest is the disappearance of Fargo, which is easily one of the best American films since I've been alive: it's certainly better than LOTR, The Sixth Sense, Forrest Gump, and Saving Private Ryan.
I don't regret the loss of Zhivago, which is mediocre, but Close Encounters - still the most intelligent film ever made about human-alien contact, and the high-water mark of Spielberg's filmmaking?
Then again, my top list would include movies like Dawn of the Dead (1978), so who am I kidding? :)
Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce
The first was Ousmane Sembene, the granddaddy of African cinema. I missed the obit when he passed away last week, but a dkos diary alerted me to it. His Moolaadé should be required viewing for the human race: he covers an enormous amount of ground (tradition v. change, men v. women, social law v. natural law, religion v. science) with an equally enormous amount of sophistication, but manages to keep it funny, warm, and human.
The second was Rudolf Arnheim, the graddaddy of film theory. Arnheim was living here in Ann Arbor, at the ripe old age of a hundred and two. The essays collected in his Film as Art were among the the first to consider the nuts and bolts of treating cinema as its own independent medium (rather than as an inferior nephew to theatre or photography). A comprehensive obit is here .
is pretty sweet, a lot more mellow than their previous stuff, but rich melodies and hard-hitting lyrics.
coming out this weekend. Time review here . Most interesting part for me:
His attempt at gangsta swagger doesn't cut it either. There's a weird racial aspect to the goo-suit: it gives Peter not just black impulses but a black (Afro-American) attitude. Bopping down the street to a hip-hop rhythm, he's laughably gauche — a white kid playing at soul man, a good kid who's not very good at being baaad.
Kind of a little bit of a let-down, maybe. Frankly, it might've been wiser just to let it go at Spiderman 2, imo.
from the otherwise positive Onion review :
So Spider-Man 3's action is superb and its theme fairly weighty. Then why does it feel a letdown from its predecessor? Nearly all the blame rests with director Sam Raimi, who's taken the success of some light slapstick moments in Spider-Man 2 as a cue to get even sillier. The result is a handful of sequences—most notably a "Dark Tobey" routine—that send the movie into a tailspin right in the middle. Even worse are any scenes in which Maguire's friends and relations try to have An Important Conversation, and immediately stop the movie cold.
That latter comment is why I hated the first Spiderman, and wanted to gouge my eyes out every time his dear Uncle Ben wanted to have a "talk". The second one had just the right balance of slightly camp exaggeration to make it palatable, which is why I much much much preferred that installment.
from what I've read/heard about Spiderman III, it sounds like they've kind of overstepped their boundaries in creating yet another sequal to this story.
Riff and the Jets, Bernardo and the Sharks, as well as Tony, Maria and all the rest, are coming here to town in mid-August.
Here is my list for the top five campiest/strangest videos:
1) "Knights of Cydonia " by Muse
Not so strange, but kind of campy. The song grew on me (kind of like a Queen song), but the video contains a great bricolage of a lot of your favorite cult-classic favorites genres (everything from sci-fi to kung-fu to spaghetti westerns). Political too!
2) "Rock and Roll McDonalds " (by Wesley Willis) Any Wesley Willis is good stuff, but this video does it a little justice, though Quafshizzle does a bit too much self-advertising. (You say you want more Wesley Willis ?)
3) "I Wanna Love You Tender " The Swedes, you gotta love 'em.
4) "Lose You " Poor Jan Terri. She alone proves that the American Dream is a sham. (Another Jan Terri classic for any fans.)
5) "Spirit of Truth " Not officially a music video, though the background soundtrack is some funky stuff from Parliament. This guy gives the most enlightening and inspirational sermons ever.
Sorry. Can't help it. Rush fan on a roll. . . .
What's a good bummer without this one too
Big Shots try to hold it back
Fools try to wish it away
The Hopeful depend on a world without end
Whatever the Hopeless may say
I'd add, because I have no idea what they were trying to accomplish with this, Bowie/Queen's Under Pressure , for splicing together stock footage of the "rat race" and explosions with... B horror movies? Unemployment, weapons testing... giant insects. Lovely.
Or how about Annie Lennox meets the Moulin Rouge, and everybody cross-dresses! Yep, No More I Love You's ! When she descends on the swing and bugs her eyes out with "I used to be a lunatic", you're thinking... Yep. Yes you were.
I love music videos, though. Gondry is a genius, if you've caught any of his.
There are three tests on the site: pitch, tone, and rhythm. I suggest you do this only when you can concentrate becaue the tone test doesn't allow you to repeat the string.
I am obviously musically challenged. Good thing I only sing in the shower.
I recently saw the early-1970's film, Dirty Harry, at the Brattle Theatre, in Cambridge, MA. Although I'd seen it a couple of times when it first came out, I was more impressed with how well Clint Eastwood played the part, how well done the film was, and...the rather disturbing, 2-edged message that the movie Dirty Harry carried: That it's OK for cops to go above the law and do whatever they want, and deny suspects due process, but that this kind of actions and behaviours also have consequences, the latter of which was indicated when Dirty Harry threw away his badge and resigned from the S. F. Police Force after having shot the suspect to death, and realizing that he'd completely gone way overboard and botched up the case, hereby resulting in an acquittal of a serial murder who could've/would've ordinarily been brought to justice. Although fiction, Dirty Harry is based on a true story.
was very funny if you like Will Ferrell.
I like him and was encouraged by the decent reviews. Now I am looking forward to seeing the movie :)
"To discuss evil in a manner implying neutrality, is to sanction it." AR
God I love that show :) There is some real talent among the girls - I thought Lakisha, Jordin, and Melinda were awesome (in that order) while there is barely any talent on the men's side this season.
I like Haley Scarnato (decent voice too), and Jordin Sparks is very cute. Gina Glocksen is alright :)
I've lost all respect for you.
you probably secretly watch it :)
because I knew someone on there this year - one of my old college classmates (he got nixed a week or so ago, the internet tells me). And I still didn't watch. Does that make me a bad person?
ah well he was just a classmate... I think there is plenty of good talent on there, so people who dismiss the show are missing out :)
due out in May: "Snakes and Arrows"
very well done movie and extremely moving. I recommend you all see it if you haven't yet.
It was a very well-done movie, very gripping (was on the edge of my seat most of the time). It's like a fairy-tale for grown-ups.
came out this morning, and you can catch the list here .
Reactions? Surprises? Disappointments?
I'm thrilled to see Pan's Labyrinth, easily the best film of the year, with 6 nominations. That's not so common for foreign-language films, especially when they're as unmarketable as this one. A win in the foriegn film category is the closest thing to a done deal this year.
Also very pleased to see Children of Men picking up a nod for cinematography, since it's arguably one of the most technically accomplished pieces of camerawork i've ever seen.
The documentary category is extremely leftist this year, with global warming, Christianism, child-molesting priests, and Iraq dominating the field.
Everything else - I'm feeling pretty blah. Not a shining year in movies, in my opinion.
I know how you feel there. I, too, am inclined to agree with you about many, if not most movies not being so great these days, because it's true, even though I've seen some good newer ones that I've even liked well enough to see more than once. I've seen some good documentaries, which I've liked a lot, and I thought that An Inconvenient Truth, Fahrenheit 9/11, and
Ground Truth were very, very good, as was the new Ralph Nader documentary, Unreasonable Man. I also saw The Departed twice, and Pan's Labyrinth once, which were also quite good. Recently, I saw the film Zodiac, which was also very, very good, and I saw
Munich when it first came out. Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon were also quite good.
Nonetheless, I still gravitate towards a lot of the older films, as I've pointed out before, and, my alltime favorite film is.....believe it or not...West Side Story, which I admittedly go to see every screening that comes to or nearby my area, be it on TV, or in a revival theatre. Believe it or not, I've even driven out of state several times, including a couple of road trips to the Big Apple in order to see this great, golden-oldie-but-goody of a classic film.
On that note, I intend to eventually enclose a separate diary about this great film here on SwordsCrossed.
I vote Departed for best picture. I heard Letters from Iwo Jima was quite good, still need to see that one.
The early favorite for dark horse was Dreamgirls, which didn't even land a nod. One critic from the Onion thinks Little Miss Sunshine may win , but otherwise I think you have a solid pick.
.. in my opinion at least:
3. Engineering an Empire (History Channel).
Other than that, I don't watch much TV. Oh, and Family Guy of course. I also saw the new 24 preview. Anybody excited?
http://wealthweekly.blogspot.com Wii FC:2805-8311-8040-2678 Brawl: 2277-7051-2186
but I am always excited about new 24. I love that show.
I also watch House MD... I like Family Guy, but haven't been watching it lately.
Forgot about House. Also a very important part of my (small) TV watching experience.
If you know the episode guide titles, you should be able to catch the last few weeks' eps on YouTube. They've been pretty darn funny so far.
As for 24. You can go to www.24trailer.com; it seems as if they're starting off with chaos, and of course Fox News Channel gets the requisite product placements, heh.
...and of course Fox News Channel gets the requisite product placements, heh.
Of course :) Thanks, I'll check out that trailer.
I saw the new James Bond on Friday night, and it was excellent. Definitely one of the better in the series.
Also has anyone seen the Andromeda sci fi tv show? Is it any good? I am looking to buy another dvd series, now that I've finished House MD.
Just curious, because I hadn't heard anything about it.
I did see The Andromeda Strain when it first came out, as a full-length feature film when it first came out. Is that what the TV series of Andromeda sci fi tv is based on? Just curious--not really up on the latest TV shows, especially nowadays.
Casino Royale - great movie - it actually just came out on DVD recently. Check it out if you haven't.
I am not sure about the Andromeda Strain... I still haven't watched the Andromeda tv show but I did check out Battlestar Galactica and that one is good if you are into sci fi. Well made!
I, too am into the James Bond movies, as I tend to like movies with some action in them. Although I didn't see the remake of Casino Royale, I did see the original version of this film, with Sean Connery, back in the mid-1960's, when I was a kid growing up, and liked that very much. Sometimes I like science fiction also. When did Battlestar Galectica come out? Just curious. Although I have a good Hi-Def TV, I don't have a DVD player, since I don't watch too, too much TV, and I'm still inclined to want to see films in the movie theatre, as they're meant to be.
Again, I saw the Andromeda Strain back in the early 1970's, when it first came out, which was very, very good.
Battlestar Galactica is also a remake of a 70s show, but I don't know anything about the original. This one came out just a few years ago as it is only in its 3rd season.
I don't watch much TV either - not much time for it between work, here and my barely functioning social life, but I do like my 24, House, and American Idol :)
Battlestar Galactica sounds like an interesting show.
I've heard of the TV program, American Idol, but not 34 or House.
...so it depends on what you like in your sci-fi.
If you like cheesy then go for it. If you want to edge away from the cheesy then maybe try Farscape (which I personally love). Be warned the show is not a homeostatic plot (back where you started at the end of every episode) so if you don't watch it from fairly early on you are not going to get a lot of the references.
Firefly was much better than the movie. Too bad you saw the movie first, it might kind of ruin things for you. Basically the movie was an attempt to wrap up what had obviously been planned to be at least three seasons of plot lines in two hours and it shows. I'm sort of uncomfortable with certain aspects of firefly (namely that it is a western allegory and the main heroes, one of whom is black, fought for the south, which just doesn't sit well with me). Still the show had a lot going for it.
Battlestar Galactica is a very different beast. Other than the setting it is basically near future and much more realistic. And dark. Did I mention it is dark? Yeah dark. I like dark, but some people don't. Edward james Olmos is very good as Adama but I keep expecting to see Apollo and Starbuck as Crockett and Tubbs, damn it. Again you need to see it from the beginning.
Babylon 5 has a great story arc and an amazing mix of good and terrible actors (hello Bruce Boxleitner, AKA Tron).
Star Trek is of course a classic. I think DS9 was the best series overall but they all had something to recommend (except Enterprise, I loath Captain Quantum Leap).
If you aren't set on sci fi then I very much liked Oz from HBO. It is set in a high security men's prison. Pretty realistic and again dark. Not a good one if you are uncomfortable with some homosexual content.
I came. I saw. I posted.
Veni, Vidi, Bitchy.
battlestar galactica first season and started watching the initial miniseries... It's not bad so far, but that woman "president" is rather pathetic. :)
Grace Park (who plays Sharon/Boomer) is brutally hot.
she is brutally hot but she is definitely cute. Especially in the pictures I just found through google images.
"Sizzling hot" is more like it - at least according some lingerie images of hers I googled:)
Sic semper tyrannis
those lingerie images were hot :)
...but this one we will have words over. Specifically me screaming "Say she's brutally hot" while forcing your head into a new york subway bathroom toilet over and over again.
Or you could just agree now.
a lot more - she is definitely my favorite female character on the show. I hate the president - she is stupid and annoying. Commander Adama is my favorite character in the show period. I am in the early stages of the 2nd season now. Good stuff.
...I guess I'll take what I can get.
to be fair I've only seen less than 2 hours of the initial miniseries so I have only seen a few minutes of her :) I might grow to think of her as brutally hot!
for a good overview. I am heading to the mall so maybe I'll pick up one of these. I've been watching the first season of "The Dead Zone" that I picked up and it's ok. I am undecided on whether I will get the 2nd season.
I might get Battlestar Galactica to check it out. It looks interesting. I like dark too.
I like this site for sci fi reviews:
covers most of the star trek series, BSG, Andromeda. No Firefly, B5, or Farscape as of yet.
Quite possibly the best Sci-Fi show on TV - Battlestar Galactica
"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777
and wasn't sure about it. What makes it so good?
...from the writing to the cinematography, the acting and overall feel... extremely well done imo.
I've not seen Andromeda, but Firefly is excellent.
because I saw the Firefly movie (without seeing any of the tv shows) and I did not like it.
Did the movie make much sense? I saw it, but having the background of the series skewed my perception. They did try to wrap up all the lose ends which may have contributed to a contrived feeling.
The series is excellent. Quirky. Could have been the next Star Trek, IMHO, had Fox kept it going.
As the writer said, the folks on Firefly are the ones the Enterprise would have just flown on by.
and was just unrealistic. One part was kinda laughable where they said they were going to be traversing through a long field full of asteroids (I think, I don't remember clearly), which would take a while, and then they showed a couple of rocks and 30 seconds later they were through...
Anyways, I was not impressed, but I'd probably have a different impression if I watched the series and liked the characters.
the people who fall for it tend to cite the character development, playful language, and overall quirky attitude of the series. And I'll admit, I enjoy it, too. I haven't seen the movie, though.
Lexx: although production values might qualify as a bit cheesy, too. Hard to follow unless you start at the beginning.
Odd juxtoposition of old west (guns in outer space?) and Brave New World/Orwellian future.
The movie....Well, I'm a SciFi person so I liked it. I wish they hadn't killed off the preacher because I liked him alot. Fox was shortsignted. They should have sold the package to SciFi Network. It would never have been the next Star Trek though. Too small.
Farscape?!? Just watch the new Stargate series. They took the best folks. (not the Atlantis version, which is fun but with stupid lead characters)
Of course who am I to judge, I liked Babylon 5 and that was really cheezy.
seems a little slow sometimes but I'm glad they gave "Crichton" and "Aeryn" a shot in another series. Ben Browder has a great face for television.
I liked the comedic undertones in Farscape (and Firefly, for that matter). But then again, I'm a Doctor Who fan from wayback so cheesy humor and cheap sets are just part of the experience to me! Never got into Babylon 5 much but it had a huge following; I probably just never gave it a chance.
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