Forgot the tutus

The opening - a static black abstract line drawing with various colors of light splashed on it to orchestral music, lasting several minutes. Eventually we pull out and see a title, and the drawing inverts itself into a medium-high shot of the island of Manhattan, which then fades into the same shot filmed from that actual perspective. This leads to a series of helicopter shots pointed straight down over the city. Then we see people, who have strange obsession for walking around, randomly twirling, thinking they're cool, all the while snapping their fingers.

Oh, but if I could pop a cap in these... no wait. Yes, these guys come off as very effeminate. Perhaps it's not their fault. What we have is a highly stylized musical adapatation from 1961. In 2002 (and much earlier than that, I assure you), it comes off as pretty pansy-assed. But then, maybe I haven't been exposed to enough musical theater. I wonder what Fight Club would look like as a musical...

It's not just telling a gang story with bouncy singing and dancing that seems dated. The picture at times is something of a badly aged episode of the original Star Trek.

But is that important? The plot is lifted directly from Romeo and Juliet, modified appropriately for the new setting, but with the situations left pretty much intact. And that plot is still compelling.

There's a few things to watch for - a mix of outside location shoots and sets, the use of the color red, people prancing around without their tutus...

This review is based off the DVD, which doesn't really offer much in terms of extras, just a relatively lame trailer, which did not actually predate the original release of the film. [NOTE: I wrote this review before the more recent Collector's Edition came out - I'm sure there's plenty of extras in that version]

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