Musings & Thoughts for Tuesday, February 15, 2022, or, Pre-Order Jitters in the Shadow of the Russia-Ukraine Crisis

Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s early afternoon here in Lithia, Florida, on Tuesday, February 15, 2022. It is a chilly winter day in the Tampa Bay area. Currently, the temperature is 72˚F (23˚C) under sunny skies. With humidity at 49% and the wind blowing from the east-northeast at 14 MPH (23 KM/H), the feels-like temperature is 71˚F (22˚C). The forecast for today calls for mostly cloudy skies and a high of 76˚F (24˚C). Tonight, skies will be partly cloudy. The low will be 58˚F (14˚C).

Since today is Tuesday, the day on which most new books, movies, or music albums hit stores or are made available to online shoppers, I stopped by this morning to see, if by some miracle, Disney-owned 20th Century Studios – formerly known as 20th Century Fox – had revealed the pre-order date for the home media version of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.

The movie, which premiered on December 10, 2021 after being put on hold from its original 2020 release due to the COVID-19 pandemic, was recently nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Apparently, West Side Story is still screening in a few locations in the Tampa Bay area – as well as Sarasota – so maybe the studio and The Walt Disney Company still want people to see it on the silver screen before the March 15 release date for the 4K UHD/2K HD Blu-rays.

I can understand that the studio wants to squeeze every cent it can get from paid admissions to West Side Story in its intended “home” of the movie theater. And believe me, if it wasn’t for the COVID-19 pandemic – which sadly is persisting as the virus mutates and people continue to resist vaccination and mandatory masks in public venues – I would prefer to see West Side Story on the silver screen with a large audience and not on a 50-inch TV either alone or with two less-than-enthusiastic housemates who might or might not appreciate the artistry of Spielberg’s take on a Broadway classic from 1957.

Alas, but I do live in the time of COVID-19, so I will have to wait till March 2 – the date that Disney+ adds West Side Story to its streaming service for a while – to see it. And, of course, I want my own Blu-ray copy…the one that’s due on March 15. But I would like to pre-order it online, since I have no easy way to go to a Best Buy or Target store on my own to grab a Collector’s Edition set with the 4K UHD/2K HD Blu-ray, and a Movies Anywhere code for a digital copy.

You’d think that Disney, the parent company of 20th Century Studios, would want to earn my goodwill (and my money!) by letting movie buffs and physical media collectors know when they can pre-order a movie they have been waiting for since West Side Story was announced in 2019 as a December 2020 release.

Alas and alack. No.

I know, I know. It’s essentially a First World problem, and it pales in comparison with the prospect that if Russia invades Ukraine in the near future, we will be witnessing the bloodiest European war in decades. Hell, NATO and Russia might even find themselves in a hot war straight out of a Tom Clancy or Harold Coyle technothriller. I should consider myself lucky that all I have to worry about, really, are trivial concerns, while many families who have siblings, sons, daughters, spouses, or friends in the military are worried about a clash of arms that, if Putin’s Russia doesn’t immediately pull back from, could have serious consequences. Not just for the Russians and Ukrainians, but also for many countries, including the United States and her NATO allies.

Still, since my life here is a shadow of what it used to be before 2020, and even a pale carbon copy of my previous life in Miami, any setback, no matter how trivial, looms large in my mind’s eye.

Well, Dear Reader, I don’t have anything to add to this post, so ciao for now. Until next time, stay safe, stay healthy, and I’ll catch you on the sunny side of things.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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