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Blu-ray Review: WEST SIDE STORY 50th Anniversary Edition

The classic movie musical West Side Story finally hit Blu-Ray and it’s got a full list of extras to keep any Leonard Bernstein fanatic happy. The film has been beautifully restored to bring the now iconic song and dance numbers to life like never available before.

I could review the film, but with such a classic American film, there’s really no need for yet another rehashing on its highs and lows. This Blu-Ray is a must-own for fans of the film as it allows a peek into the minds of those behind it.

The new featurettes included on the Blu-Ray, Pow! The Dances of West Side Story and A Place for US: West Side Story’s Legacy, allow fans a deeper look into West Side Story. Especially enjoyable was A Place for Us which takes the classic into the modern age and explores how it has influenced and left it’s mark on today’s culture and all over the world.

But for me, the most interesting thing is probably the most mundane of them all. Included on the blu-ray is a bunch of trailers for the film. As a fan of modern film marketing, I’ve seen a fair share of trailers. Today is all about the flash - quick cuts, voice overs, a flash in the pan to get you hooked in to seeing the whole flick. The trailers here cater to a different era when things were slower then. No need for flash and pomp, the trailers relish in the music of the film. In an age where there was no “media clutter” to have to cut through to grab the viewers’ attention, the trailers are slow and deliberate, without any hyperbole needed to make it shine.

See the full list of extra features:

  • ALL-NEW:  Pow! The Dances of West Side Story - cast members, contemporary filmmakers, dancers and choreographers analyze and illuminate the film’s famous dance sequences.
  • ALL-NEW: A Place for Us: West Side Story’s Legacy – a look back at the iconic film and the impact it has had all over the world
  • Song Specific Commentary by Lyricist Stephen Sondheim
  • Music Machine –allows viewers to go straight to their favorite musical numbers
  • West Side Memories
  • Storyboard to Film Comparison Montage
  • Trailers
    • Original Theatrical Trailer
    • Original Issue Trailer
    • Reissue Trailer
    • Animated Trailer

It’s already out, and would make for an excellent holiday gift. This is a must own for any musical fan!

Rating: 9/10

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