WEST SIDE STORY MOVIE REVIEW
This second filmed adaptation of the classic 1957 stage musical by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim is helmed by Steven Spielberg, and apparently this has been on his wish-list to do since he saw it as a young man. A loose adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet”, the story follows love-struck teens Tony (Ansel Elgort) and Maria (Rachel Zegler) who are both affiliated with different and warring street gangs, the Jets and the Sharks respectively. Their instant, across-a-crowded-room, love at first sight is complicated by the battle for dominance over their crumbling and about to be torn down neighborhood between Maria’s brother (David Alvarez) and his Puerto Rican gang, and Tony’s pre-jail time allegiance to his friend Riff (Mike Faist) who heads the caucasian rumblers. Many questioned: why tinker with something that nailed it the first time in the triumphant 1961 filmed adaptation which won 10 Oscars? Chris, Ben, Frank, and Drew are here to address that question and to sing along to these unforgettable tunes that will likely be running on repeat on their heads for the next several weeks.
DIRECTED BY: Steven Spielberg
STARRING: Ansel Elgort, Rachel Zegler, Ariana DeBose, David Alvarez, Mike Faist, Rita Moreno, Brian d’Arcy James, Corey Stoll, Josh Andrés Rivera, Iris Menas, Mike Iveson, Jamila Velazquez, Annelise Cepero, Yassmin Alers, Jamie Harris, Curtiss Cook
Christopher Lawrence Cox (Founder, Da Boss)
Born in the wilds of northern Virginia, Chris managed to put all of his survival skills to use and barely escaped with his life to Austin Texas in 1992 where ever since he’s dabbled in everything from plumber’s assistant to sandwich maker, from band to bar management. An opportunity to see theatrical release films for free by becoming a critic on a local public access show called “The Reel Deal” turned into a full-time job when Chris and his friends decided to take it to the internet. They built the site Spill.com, adding multiple podcasts and animated features, to no small amount of success. During this time, a fortuitous friendship sprung up between Chris and young Brian Salisbury, who was also a local film critic, and they merged their forces of will, and their laundry list of ideas for shows, to eventually build this community of critics. While Brian eventually followed his heart to a new family, Chris continues on with a cast of colorful folks from all over the country (and a few others). You can also check out Chris in his videocast, along with Martin Thomas and Danni Danger, that One Of Us does with our friends at Bell of Lost Souls: Crossover Event. He also regularly guests on the video game website Rage Select. Follow Chris on Twitter and Facebook and check out his Amazon Wish List.
Ben Glasthal (Highly Suspect Review, Screener Squad, Breakfast Pub, Unstabletop Gamers, Video and Audio Editor, Assistant Site Manager)
Born in Boston, then ending up in Dallas, Texas in the early 2000s, Ben has always had a passion for film. He started in film school not long after where he launched MovieReelizations.com where he still writes reviews to this day. He’s since moved to Austin where he has been also hopping on podcasts and both editing and shooting videos for One of Us. A fan of films from almost all genres, and many that predate him more than makes sense, he is anything if not eclectic in what he’s watching at any point. For the rest of his free time, he can be found biking, drinking craft beer, being an amateur photographer, and playing video games by himself or on Twitch. He’s best found on Instagram or Twitter as @MovieReelBen.
Frank Calvillo (Highly Suspect Reviews, Screener Squad)
Born and raised in South Texas, Frank currently lives in Austin and has been in love with movies ever since his father showed him some Three Stooges shorts when he was five years old. Today he loves all kinds of film, regardless of era, country, budget or genre. He believes every film has an audience and is at least one person’s favorite movie. After writing for Sight & Sound and Slackerwood, he now writes for Cinapse where his increasingly random taste in all flavors of cinema (from Rashomon to Mars Attacks!) continues to thrive. His ultimate goal is to write a script for his boyhood crush, Michelle Pfeiffer.
Drew Tinnin (Screener Squad, Highly Suspect Reviews, Deliberations of Doom)
Drew Tinnin is a Rondo Award nominated interviewer and critic who has worked at SiriusXM’s Fangoria Radio and Fangoria magazine in NYC, as well as the London-based Dazed Digital. Currently a regular contributor to the Dread Central Network, he’s excited to join up with some old friends and other film fans on One of Us as a new contributor to Screener Squad.
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