08/22/2014  
Welcome Back, Kotter: The Complete Series on DVD Aug 26The Twilight Zone: The Complete '80s Series on DVD Aug 26Trust Me on DVD Aug 26The Midnight Special Collector's Edition on DVD Sep 9Revelation Trail on DVD Aug 26Portlandia: Season 4 on DVD Aug 26Varsity Blood on DVD Aug 19

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

Miley Cyrus is banned from performing in the Dominican ...
Mo'ne Davis strikes out six, allows three runs against ...
Billy Crystal will honor Robin Williams at the Emmy Awa...
Murder, revenge, lust and rampage take over 'Sin City' ...
Nicki Minaj’s “Anaconda” Video: Review Revue ...

JB Joseph Burke

The Answer to American Idol's Problems Is......
CONCRETE BLONDES...
CREAM FAREWELL CONCERT...
JACK REACHER...
MANBORG...

CA Chuck Aliaga

CORRUPTION (BLU-RAY)...
THE ATTACK (BLU-RAY)...
TANK GIRL (BLU-RAY)...
HORROR STORIES...
THE UNINVITED (BLU-RAY)...

RR Rich Rosell

THE GIRL...
THE HORDE...
LIFE IS SWEET (BLU-RAY)...
SHOUT AT THE DEVIL (BLU-RAY/DVD COMBO)...
THE BLUE ANGEL (BLU-RAY)...

MZ Mark Zimmer

BABY PEGGY: THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM...
STORAGE WARS: VOLUME THREE...
Take Part in a Film Restoration...
THE 39 STEPS (BLU-RAY)...
DARK SHADOWS: THE BEST OF BARNABAS...

JS Jesse Shanks

2 BROKE GIRLS...
DOWNTON ABBEY SEASONS ONE & TWO LIMITED EDITION...
FLORENCE AND THE SPIRIT OF THE RENAISSANCE...
NAZI COLLABORATORS...
KATT WILLIAMS: KATTPACALYPSE...

RJ Ross Johnson

THE LIFE AND DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (BLU-RAY)...
PURPLE NOON (BLU-RAY)...
WEEKEND (BLU-RAY)...
JUAN OF THE DEAD...
THE DEVIL'S NEEDLE AND OTHER TALES OF VICE AND REDEMPTI...

JD Jon Danziger

SUNSET BOULEVARD...
SALO, OR THE 120 DAYS OF SODOM...
TABLOID...
CUL-DE-SAC...
3 WOMEN...

JC Joel Cunningham

YOJIMBO/SANJURO...
SUMMER HOURS (L'heure d'ÈtÈ)...
WIZARD OF OZ...
WINGS OF DESIRE...
HORTON HEARS A WHO!...

DH Dan Heaton

REVANCHE...
LAST DAYS OF DISCO...
NIGHTS AND WEEKENDS...
STARGATE SG-1: CHILDREN OF THE GODS...
STARGATE ATLANTIS: THE COMPLETE FIFTH SEASON...

MS Matt Serafini

THE STEPFATHER...
THE HILLS RUN RED...
MANAGEMENT...
NIGHT OF DEATH...
GNAW...

KC Kevin Clemons

Freddy Got Fingered...

JU Jeff Ulmer

Secure The Second Season of The Border on DVD August 25...
THE WALTONS: THE COMPLETE 9TH SEASON...
Dance Me Outside kicks onto DVD May 6, 2008...

DD Dale Dobson

Film-Fest 4: Sundance 2000 & Hawaii...

RM Robert Mandel

Saving Private Ryan...

Share: email   Print      Technorati.gif   StumbleUpon.gif   MySpace   digg.gif delicious.gif   google.gif   magnolia.gif   facebook.gif
Permalink: Permalink.gif



Buy from Amazon

Buy from Amazon.com

Paramount Studios presents
Grease (1978)

"Oh that's cool baby. You know how it is, rockin' an' rollin' an' what not."
- Danny (John Travolta)

Review By: Joel Cunningham   
Published: September 23, 2002

Stars: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John
Other Stars: Eve Arden, Frankie Avalon, Joan Blondell, Edd Byrnes, Sid Ceaser, Alice Ghostley, Dody Goodman, Sha-Na-Na, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Didi Conn
Director: Randal Kleiser

Manufacturer: PDSC
MPAA Rating: PG for (suggestive lyrics, sexuality, some language)
Run Time: 01h:50m:25s
Release Date: September 24, 2002
UPC: 097361557441
Genre: musical


Style
Grade
Substance
Grade
Image Transfer
Grade
Audio Transfer
Grade
Extras
Grade
A- B+B-B C-

DVD Review

Grease is one of those movies that is more or less review-proof. It was a huge hit in 1978, propelled forward by a chart-topping soundtrack, John Travolta's famous dancing feet, Olivia Newton-John's winsome charms, and 1950s nostalgia. And its fan-base continues to grow even today, spanning the generations—the 1998 theatrical re-release was a huge deal for a large percentage of my high school class, none of whom could probably name more than one member of the cast of Happy Days, but who nevertheless could not get enough of the gang from Rydell High.

It's not hard to understand the lasting appeal. John Travolta is as iconic as Danny Zuko as he was as Saturday Night Fever's Tony Manero. On the surface, Danny's the typical tough guy, head of the T-Birds and an automotive expert. But underneath, he's sensitive—over the summer, he met, and fell for, Sandy (Newton-John), cute-as-a-button goody-goody who's moving back to Australia. When the two unexpectedly attend the same high school, though, Danny has trouble shedding his tough-guy veneer. Will the two reunite? Will they sing various love laments in the general direction of their object of affection? Has anyone not seen this movie before?

Grease is a good movie, not a great one. Danny and Sandy's story is pretty typical for a musical, and it's developed in fits and starts, particularly towards the end. The colorful supporting cast, including Rizzo (Channing), Kenickie (Conaway), and "beauty school drop-out" Frenchie (Conn), provides a lot of entertainment, but not a lot of depth. In fact, only Rizzo is given even cursory character development as she deals with facing life as a mother out-of-wedlock. That's not to slam the performances, as the actors are top-notch, particularly Channing, who steals every scene she's in. Even under-written characters can be marvelously entertaining.

So the plot isn't great. That's ok. Grease is so much more than that. There's the music, for one. The rock score is full of infectious tunes, with not a dud among them. Hey, if they weren't great songs, we wouldn't be forced to sing them at weddings, would we? The period setting is totally charming, even if it is utterly manufactured. It's the '50s remembered through the gauze of two intervening decades, like American Graffiti with singing and dancing. If you've seen the movie, undoubtedly you'll appreciate its charms (I've met very few who can say they hate it). If you haven't, "there are worse things I could do" than give it a hearty recommendation.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: B+

 

Image Transfer

 One
Aspect Ratio2.35:1 - Widescreen
Original Aspect Ratioyes
Anamorphicyes


Image Transfer Review: Paramount originally planned to release Grease to DVD in 1998, but legal troubles put the kibosh on that, and now, it seems we've gotten the transfer that was mastered in '98 and released on VHS and laserdisc (albeit with anamorphic enhancement). It looks ok (better than it would've were it released on-time, I imagine, as compression technology has improved since), but there's obvious room for improvement. A digital restoration to remove some of the obvious print flaws, for starters.

But as to the transfer that's actually on the disc. Colors are generally quite nice, with no bleeding and nice, stable reds. Blacks are solid, and shadow delineation is generally very good, though the bonfire scene looks a bit muddy. The biggest problem is an overall lack of fine detail, with faces in many of the wider shots coming out rather indistinct. Edge enhancement is also a big problem—it's frequently obvious, especially in brighter scenes. Print flaws are plentiful as well. Aside from an overall graininess (which isn't always a negative, as grain is a part of film), there are quite a few scratches on the print, and some visible dirt as well. Also, scenes using superimpositions (particularly the end of Summer Nights) exhibit an odd pulsing effect, as the colors in the background seem to fade in and out.

Really, overall, it's not a terrible transfer. Undoubtedly, it's the best Grease has looked in years. But it's not up to the standards of most "classic" catalog titles being released these days.

Image Transfer Grade: B-

 

Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access
DS 2.0English, Frenchyes
Dolby Digital
5.1
Englishyes


Audio Transfer Review: Grease includes both the original DD 2.0 mix and a remastered 5.1 track. Both sound fine, although the remix seems to be one of those that adds surround enhancement where it isn't really needed. Dynamic range on the remixed track is very good, handling the highs and lows of the music without ever sounding shrill. Dialogue is clear, anchored in the center channel (as are the vocals during songs), and the front soundstage provides good directionality for dialogue and effects. The music has a somewhat dated sound, and the unnatural qualities of the original mix (when the characters begin to sing, it sounds as if someone just turned on the radio or something) remain, though that can be blamed on the original elements. Fixing it would probably require that the songs be re-recorded (horror!). Surround use is limited, except perhaps for scant support for the score, and the LFE channel, though limited, adds a bit of kick to the songs.

Audio Transfer Grade: B

 

Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 17 cues and remote access
Subtitles/Captions in English, Spanish with remote access
1 Original Trailer(s)
1 Documentaries
Packaging: custom cardboard cover with sl
Picture Disc
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: RSDL

Extra Extras:
  1. Songbook
Extras Review: It would've been nice if Paramount used the legal delays to their advantage and produced some nice supplements for this release. As it is, we get only a 16-minute retrospective featurette, created in 1998 for the 20th anniversary re-release (this same piece appeared on the '98 VHS and laserdisc releases). It's not a bad piece, with fond remembrances from Travolta, Newton-John, the director, and other cast members. Most welcome is some behind-the-scenes footage, and a look at the hoopla surrounding the Mann Chinese premiere, but this is all material that true fans will have seen before. A missed opportunity for sure, though it probably won't hurt sales of the disc any.

Also included is the theatrical trailer, looking rather dingy, and a nifty 16-page songbook with lyrics. Packaging is a bit odd for Paramount, a thin cardboard digipack with a slipcover. It looks nice, but the thin cardboard feels flimsy.

Extras Grade: C-

 

Final Comments

Grease is finally on DVD, and that's something to celebrate. Yes, the transfer could be better, and yes, I'd like more extras, but at least it's finally here, and in widescreen to boot. Until the re-release comes around, this is the one that I want. Oo-oo honey.

 


Back to top

Search 10,000+ titles:

or Advanced Search

DVD REVIEW ARCHIVE


Get FREE Shipping on all orders at TimeLife.com! - 120x90

 



Microsoft Store

Keywords

celebrity, miley cyrus, dominican republic, banned, moral grounds, wrecking ball, television, sports, little league baseball, mo'ne davis, taney dragons, las vegas team, 2014 emmy awards, billy crystal, father's day, don mischer, movie, sin city: a dame to kill for, mickey rourke, josh brolin, jessica alba, music, nicki minaj, anaconda video, drake, twerking, lapdance, comedy, box office, movies, teenage mutant ninja turtles, guardians of the galaxy, megan fox, will arnett, whoopi goldberg, beyonce knowles, jay-z, hbo, on the run tour, clip, bang bang (my baby shot me down), sonny bono, 1966, horror, tiburon ca, mara buxbaum, susan schneider, robin williams, hazelden addiction treatment center, aladdin, happy feet, robots, fern gully., 2014 teen choice awards, sarah hyland, tyler posey, ansel elgort, jennifer lopez, selena gomez, kylie jenner, drama, basketball, san antonio spurs, kari gallegos-doering, colorado state, greg popovich, the big bang theory, kaley cuoco, haircut, johnny galecki, jim parsons, ruam sweeting, documentary, victoria beckham, south africa, mothers2mothers, 600 items, auction

On Kindle!
On Facbook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

earth mosaics

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

Become a Reviewer | Search | Review Vault | Reviewers
Readers | Webmasters | Privacy | Contact