1:30 PM, 22nd July, 2001
The third "classic cast" Muppet movie, and the last with Jim Henson involved, Muppets take Manhattan has the Muppets, fresh out of Uni (yup, these are higher-educated Muppets), taking their college show, "Manhattan Melodies", to New York to hit the big time on Broadway. Our heroes suffer knock backs, a lot of the events take place in a diner staffed largely by rats, and everybody sings a fair bit before the finale, in which well, that would be telling. Suffice it to say possibly the most significant event in Muppet history takes place. Is that enough to get you in the theatre?
For Muppetology students, this film has the first extended appearance of Rizzo the Rat and the Muppet Babies, plus the directorial debut of Muppet superstar Frank Oz (who later directed Little Shop of Horrors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and In and Out). For people who've never seen the original Muppets, this is a chance to catch Kermit, Rolf, the Swedish Chef and Doctor Teeth as they were originally voiced and performed by the late, great, Jim Henson. Plus Piggy, Gonzo, Fozzie, Scooter, Animal and the rest of the gang in an adventure that takes the gang where they've never gone before - to Broadway!
3:04 PM, 22nd July, 2001
West Side Story is an energetic, widely-acclaimed, melodramatic musical - a modern-day, loose re-telling of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet tragedy, although the setting is the Upper West Side of New York City in the late 1950s. Like many other musicals of its time, Hollywood again looked to this successful Broadway stage play for its source material and West Side Story is still one of the best film adaptations of a musical ever created, and the finest musical film of the 60s. It also won ten Oscars.
Based on the successful Broadway hit, it reworked the traditional love story material (of lovers that crossed racial/ethnic barriers) and translated it, in a radical, novel and revolutionary style for a musical, to include racial strife between rival New York street gangs (newly-arrived Puerto Ricans and second-generation Americans from white European immigrant families), juvenile delinquency and inner-city problems of the mid-twentieth century - in musical and dance form.
The film is fantastic and a must see for anyone who likes a good story, good characters, dancing, singing or anything else that should be in a movie. Highly recommended.