‘West Side Story’ (1961) directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise
Gobbledygeek episode 402, “West Side Story,” is available for listening or download right here and on iTunes here.
When you’re a geek, you’re a geek til ya die, from the stupid reviews to the heaviest sighs. And so, tonight, tonight, the geeks are out tonight–we’re talkin’ finger-snappin’, toe-tappin’ street gangs, daddy-o! Out of seemingly nowhere, Arlo pressures Paul into watching Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins’ 1961 adaptation of the 1957 Broadway show West Side Story by Arthur Laurents, Stephen Sondheim, and Leonard Bernstein. You might have heard of it! Somehow, though both of them love musicals–as documented extensively on this podcast–neither Arlo nor Paul had ever seen one of the most famous, and the most Oscar-adorned, musicals ever made. And so the boys discuss how, in true Romeo and Juliet fashion, Tony and Maria are kind of boring; George Chakiris and Rita Moreno being the film’s true stars; Robbins’ dynamic dance choreography; how you’ve just got to stay loose, boy, and accept the movie’s campy, colorful world; and more. Plus, a quarantine update and an exciting new behind-the-scenes development.
Total Run Time: 01:48:58
- 00:00:25 – Intro
- 00:17:20 – Main Topic
- 01:46:45 – Outro / Next
- “Cool” by Tucker Smith, West Side Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1961)
- “America” by Rita Moreno, West Side Story (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) (1961)
Gobbledygeek episode 146, “We Are the Only Love-Gods,” is available for listening or download right here, and on iTunes here.
This week, Paul and AJ discover that silence is perfectest herald of joy; if they were but little happy, they could say how much. You’re kidding yourself, though, if you thought that meant they would shut up. Nope, there’s plenty of talk about Joss Whedon’s delightful Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing, as the boys gush about the cast (Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof together again!), delight in the embellishments and grace notes Whedon has added to the text, and discuss how successfully the film blends Old English with 21st century trappings. Much ado, indeed.
Next: we’re making up for not taking the Fourth of July off by taking next week off, but when we return, we shall be discussing Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim.
(Show notes for “We Are the Only Love-Gods.”)
Welcome to week 7 of 9 in our discussion of Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon’s Preacher. For more, read weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
Paul: So this volume, Salvation, is kind of an intermission in the main story. We get to see what kind of man Jesse is removed from the quest and his group of friends. And as it turns out he’s just as much the Big Damn Hero in this smaller setting as when he’s hunting down God and facing off with saints and lunatics.
How did you feel about this step back from the bigger picture?
AJ: I loved it. It’s impressive how much I enjoyed Jesse’s exploits away from Cassidy, Tulip, Herr Starr, etc. It took me a second to realize that we weren’t going to see most of our old friends (excepting Jesse’s vision quest near the end), but once I adjusted to that, I found Salvation to be one of the most satisfying volumes yet.
You may have heard of The Avengers, the massive superhero blockbuster that Joss Whedon and his team of magicians have been feverishly working on for a year or two. However, like myself, you may not have known that when one is writing and directing one of the most anticipated comic book films ever made, one also has time to write and direct a totally unrelated film starring about half the people one has ever worked with. Because that’s just what Whedon has done.
The film, entitled Much Ado About Nothing and presumably an adaptation of the Shakespeare play, has completed principal photography without anyone having noticed. For years now, Whedonfolk have spoken of the man’s private Shakespeare readings in hushed tones, and it appears he has wrangled many of them into the movie: Alexis Denisof, Amy Acker, Nathan Fillion, Tom Lenk, Fran Kranz, Reed Diamond, and Clark Gregg have all worked with Whedon before. There’s no word on how the film will be distributed, be it conventionally or, like Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, as another Web venture.
Speaking of Dr. Horrible, this announcement reminds me of how it felt when we were all made aware of that Whedon project: like a beautiful, unexpected present had fallen from the heavens onto our collective doorstep. If you can’t tell, I am excited.