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Old 07-05-2011, 02:11 PM   #1
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Default West Side Story 50th Anniversary Blu-ray 11/15/11 Review up

West Side Story Blu-ray Review



West Side Story 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Blu-ray



West Side Story 50th Anniversary Collector's Edition Blu-ray

The LA Times is reporting "West Side Story" is due out in November in Blu-ray. The high-def version of the movie has its world premiere at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend, with live accompaniment by the LA Philharmonic. Cool story about how they accomplish that:

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jul...story-20110703

http://www.blu-ray.com/news/?id=6826

Last edited by Deciazulado; 11-08-2011 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:48 PM   #2
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Default West Side Story 50th Anniversary Blu-ray 11/15/11



Quote:
'West Side Story' dances to Blu-Ray

After successfully hyping the 45th anni of "The Sound of Music" last year, 20th Century Fox is taking the promo stage again to sell MGM musical "West Side Story" 50 years following its bow in theaters and marking its first time on Blu-ray.
In April, MGM renewed its deal with Fox to handle the release of its homevideo titles through 2016, a relationship that began in 2006. Fox has considerably more marketing resources to bring to bear on behalf of the MGM titles,especially as the latter has been working over the past year and half to maximize its assets after its latest reorganization.

Now, with the Lion ready to roar again, MGM will release a collector's box set for "West Side Story" on Nov. 15, and is turning to Fox to push the pic through a variety of high-profile events leading up to the launch.

Push marks the first in a series of homevid launches to promote MGM's extensive film library, which includes the James Bond franchise, "The Pink Panther" comedies and "Rocky," all of which will also get anniversary relaunches starting in 2012.

"This film is to MGM what 'Sound of Music' is to Fox," said Mary Daily, exec VP of marketing in North America for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. "It's a perennial classic."

The limited-edition "West Side Story" box will include a two-disc Blu-ray set, a restored DVD and tribute CD that includes covers of "I Feel Pretty," by Julie Andrews, along with a 40-page hardcover photo book and other collectibles, such as the original animated title sequence and one-sheet created by Saul Bass ("Psycho," "Vertigo").

MGM previously released "West Side Story" on DVD in 2003, and has sold 4 million units since.

New gift set will retail for $49.99 while individual Blu-ray will be priced at $19.99.

A series of promo efforts will take place now through November, including this weekend's screening of "West Side Story" at the Hollywood Bowl, and live perf of Leonard Bernstein's score, with David Newman conducting the L.A. Philharmonic. It'll mark the first time the score has been played by an orchestra since it was recorded in 1961.

That event will be followed by similar screenings and perfs in New York City in September and Chicago in November. Additional screenings in theaters are also planned.

"When you have a property like 'West Side Story' and 'Sound of Music,' where the music is so important and the spectacle is so important it just makes a lot of sense (to have screenings) where the audience can have a collective experience," Daily said.

Promo push will see cast members, including Rita Moreno, making appearances. The film and some of its songs, including "Maria," "America," "Tonight," and "I Feel Pretty," will be integrated into various TV shows that air on Fox, similar to how "Glee" themed an episode around "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" when that musical had its Blu-ray debut. That effort aimed to court younger audiences who may not have been familiar with the 1975 pic.

Similar effort around "The Sound of Music," which included most of the cast reuniting on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," helped make the box set the top live-action catalog seller in 2010.

With DVD sales declining and Blu-ray still growing, studios are looking for every reason to get consumers excited about a home-video launch, even if it's an older catalog title. An anniversary certainly helps.

Launches of older pics on Blu-ray come as 27 million households now have a player for the format in their homes.

"We're seeing many people revisiting their favorite films or experiencing them for the first time," Daily said.

And with the box sets, "What people want is something that's collectible and meaningful and a complete compendium, as possible, to that title. We try to look for things that people haven't seen before or haven't seen the light of day in a long time. That's our jumping-off point."
http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118039525
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:54 PM   #3
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I'm very happy to hear they're releasing a single-disc for this!
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:56 PM   #4
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I am very interested in this release
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:06 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by bookcase View Post
I'm very happy to hear they're releasing a single-disc for this!
Me too--just gimme the movie for $19.99, please!
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:11 PM   #6
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This sounds like good news for fans of the movie and BD in general.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:33 PM   #7
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Would have loved some technical details. Was this scanned from the 35mm negative, 65 negative or 70mm print?

Did they use the 70mm 6-track soundtrack as the source?

When I saw this in the original roadshow reserved-seat release at New York's Rivoli Theatre (I was probably 12 or 13), I thought it was by far, the best movie sound that I ever heard. The only other film that came close (before the Dolby era which began in '77) was the Cinerama release of "How The West Was Won".

Frankly, and even though it won 10 Academy Awards, I don't think the film holds up all that well dramatically. It's hard to accept most of these pro dancers as gang members and the censored lyrics (as compared with the original Broadway show) are quite silly: "Dear Officer Krpuke, Krup You" !??? The relatively recent Broadway revival gave the show back its hard edge. But what is fun is seeing old New York City (many parts of the movie were filmed on blocks destined for destruction in order to build Lincoln Center and other scenes were filmed under the old elevated West Side Drive).

But if the BD release was technically superior and contained all the intro music, etc., I'd probably still purchase it.
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:37 PM   #8
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I wish they wouldn't cram everything into this huge collector's set and then offer just a single blu-ray to anyone whose not interested in the kitchen sink box. I'd LOVE that tribute CD, and whatever else is on the other discs, but you can keep your books and pictures. I don't need or want all this chotchkie nonsense; I love the MOVIE and the MUSIC. You can keep the rest!
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Old 07-07-2011, 10:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoetMB View Post
It's hard to accept most of these pro dancers as gang members and the censored lyrics (as compared with the original Broadway show) are quite silly: "Dear Officer Krpuke, Krup You" !???
"Gee, Officer Krupke" has always said "Krup you" on stage, at least in the original production.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:32 PM   #10
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cannot wait for this!
what a great looking package from one of the all time great studios, thankfully back from the dead--MGM!
loving all the recent MGM releases.
along with warner, they are now keeping bd US studio catalog alive.
thank god.
More American studio classics need to be on blu-ray.

Last edited by Arkadin; 07-07-2011 at 11:34 PM.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:32 AM   #11
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YES, THAT'S COOL DADDY-O! DAY ONE FOR ME! Single version that is.
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Old 07-08-2011, 03:44 AM   #12
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also hoping this got a decent scan from 65mm source negatives and original multi-channel audio stems. I'd like to see Fox's treatment with Sound of Music become the standard for all studios/musicals from this era.

Hello Dolly... sigh...
LOSSLESS audio... something that belongs on EVERY Blu-ray Disc. Every one. Warner and Paramount: take a lesson.

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Old 07-08-2011, 04:29 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoetMB View Post
Would have loved some technical details. Was this scanned from the 35mm negative, 65 negative or 70mm print?

Did they use the 70mm 6-track soundtrack as the source?
The Blu-ray.com announcement says it'll be 2.20:1 AR and DTS-HD MA 7.1; the AR almost certainly means it was transferred from 70mm. (35mm prints of 70mm films are usually cropped to 1.85:1.) Though they probably started with the original soundtrack, that alone as an option seems doubtful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Toasterlad View Post
I wish they wouldn't cram everything into this huge collector's set and then offer just a single blu-ray to anyone whose not interested in the kitchen sink box. I'd LOVE that tribute CD, and whatever else is on the other discs, but you can keep your books and pictures. I don't need or want all this chotchkie nonsense; I love the MOVIE and the MUSIC. You can keep the rest!
The stand-alone release is 2 BDs, without the DVD copy or tribute CD. At least be happy MGM/Fox allows you to get all the BD extras without the box'o'swag from day one, just as with TSoM last year (and unlike WB).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkadin View Post
cannot wait for this!
what a great looking package from one of the all time great studios, thankfully back from the dead--MGM!
loving all the recent MGM releases.
along with warner, they are now keeping bd US studio catalog alive.
thank god.
More American studio classics need to be on blu-ray.
Though MGM has certainly ramped up its catalog BD releases--WSS will be their fifth Best Picture winner to hit BD this year (vs. only Rocky and Silence of the Lambs before 2011)--I'd thank Fox more than MGM for this restoration. Leo's legs are still too wobbly from his trip thru Chapter 11 to handle major restorations; the best that can be said about many of MGM's 2011 catalog BDs (Rain Man, Midnight Cowboy, the spoof Casino Royale, etc.) is they weren't screwed up by DNR. However, with its MGM video deal now locked in for another 5 years, Fox can afford to apply its considerable experience restoring 70mm musicals of the '50's & '60's for BD to WSS; that's clear from the Fox exec saying WSS is to MGM what TSoM is to Fox.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:32 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneWayFilms View Post
YES, THAT'S COOL DADDY-O! DAY ONE FOR ME! Single version that is.
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:35 AM   #15
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This needs to be remade. The Broadway Tour had better sets than the movie does. I liked Natalie Wood tho.

Last edited by Falaskan; 07-08-2011 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:10 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Falaskan View Post
This needs to be remade. The Broadway Tour had better sets than the movie does. I liked Natalie Wood tho.
Where's the on this post?

Sorry, but they just don't make movie musicals like that anymore. Even if the stage version had better sets than the movie, any remake of the movie would be even worse. (Just look at MGM's 2009 remake of Fame--and the original wasn't exactly of WSS caliber to begin with.)
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:09 PM   #17
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Been following this expected release of WEST SIDE STORY for quite some time. Exceptional care has been taken as was done with THE SOUND OF MUSIC. Expect a phenomenal experience at home on Blu-Ray. Hope this encourages more exposure of our classic movie musicals to reach Blu-Ray. 70mm 6-Track - a knock out experience in the cinema of the 50s, 60s and early 70s - really shines on Blu-Ray. If only it were used today... Oh, well - let's hope HELLO, DOLLY and MY FAIR LADY (both 70mm) are being considered for this TLC restoration as well, and soon.

We sure need to see more focus given to the musical genre as a whole, but if the attention is given to careful restoration of this calibre it is worth waiting for. There's a goldmine out there for music lovers.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoetMB View Post

Frankly, and even though it won 10 Academy Awards, I don't think the film holds up all that well dramatically. It's hard to accept most of these pro dancers as gang members and the censored lyrics (as compared with the original Broadway show) are quite silly: "Dear Officer Krpuke, Krup You" !??? The relatively recent Broadway revival gave the show back its hard edge. But what is fun is seeing old New York City (many parts of the movie were filmed on blocks destined for destruction in order to build Lincoln Center and other scenes were filmed under the old elevated West Side Drive).

But if the BD release was technically superior and contained all the intro music, etc., I'd probably still purchase it.
It wont hold up dramatically. I watched it on TCM a few years back and it was basically like a Disney production of The Outsiders. Is it a bad film? Not at all - some good musical numbers and a solid story overall but like you mention.... gangs dont dance. Just isnt gonna fly. The true fans of the film will be into it but it wont do well with modern audiences that simply wont accept the "softness" of it. There isnt anything at stake and its hard to feel any tension.

Its too bad the film wasnt grittier and more realistic - it would be a "standing the test of time" classic. Oh well.

Either way - seeing these older flicks get out on blu-ray means that films like Lawrence of Arabia are hopefully close behind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RBBrittain View Post
Where's the on this post?

Sorry, but they just don't make movie musicals like that anymore. Even if the stage version had better sets than the movie, any remake of the movie would be even worse. (Just look at MGM's 2009 remake of Fame--and the original wasn't exactly of WSS caliber to begin with.)
I know, it seems crazy to remake this but guess what? I wouldnt put it past Hollywood. They are on a serious reboot/remake kick since they've run out of ideas. Nothing is sacred. In this case, I hate to say it but there is a great story here that might reach more audiences if they modernized it a bit. As it stands, its just too innocent and many people will shrug it off.
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Last edited by s2mikey; 07-08-2011 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:54 PM   #19
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I might get the single disc since its cheaper. Can't wait to get it, its like my favorite version of Romeo and Juliet.
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Old 07-08-2011, 02:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s2mikey View Post
I know, it seems crazy to remake this but guess what? I wouldnt put it past Hollywood. They are on a serious reboot/remake kick since they've run out of ideas. Nothing is sacred. In this case, I hate to say it but there is a great story here that might reach more audiences if they modernized it a bit. As it stands, its just too innocent and many people will shrug it off.
Yeah, and even when I haven't seen any of the Step Up movies, imagine it as West Side Story 3D...
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