08/28/2015  
Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1The Goldbergs: The Complete Season Two on DVD Sep 8Catching Faith on DVD Aug 181931 The Front Page on Blu-ray & DVD Aug 11Madama Bovary on DVD & Blu-ray Aug 4Rookie Blue: Season Five, Volume One on DVD Aug 18The Erotic Rites of Frankenstein on Blu-ray & DVD Jul 28

follow us on twitter

dOc on facebook

NE News Editor

You have to see BFFs JLaw and Amy Schumer dance on top ...
Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani Shine Together on Red Carpe...
VMAs producer: Miley Cyrus has 'free rein,' no rules fo...
Taylor Swift's 'musical crush' Justin Timberlake helps ...
Taylor Swift and Alanis Morissette slayed 'You Oughta K...
Amy Schumer's advice for the new 'Bachelor'...
Jared Fogle reaches plea agreement in porn case ...
Shannen Doherty reveals breast cancer diagnosis in laws...
Love me Tinder! Kelly Clarkson sings and saves these ho...
Good Kill on Blu-ray & DVD Sep 1...





Microsoft Store

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, jennifer lawrence, amy schumer, billy joel, uptown girls, chicago, television, gwen stefani, blake shelton, the voice, adam levine, pharrell williams, music, los angeles microsoft theater, vma awards, miley cyrus, garrit english, staples center, concert, taylor swift, 1989 tour, lisa kudrow, selena gomez, justin timberlake, alanis morissette, you oughta know, natalie maines, ellen degeneres, bachelor, jared fogle, subway pitchman, sex with minors, shannen doherty, beverly hills, 90210, breast cancer, law suit, tanner, mainstain, glynn & johnson, steven d. blatt, kelly clarkson, tinder, heartbeat song, jimmy kimmel, celine dion, drama, family, comedy, faith.drama, fresh prince of bel-air, will smith, fuller house, the x-files, twin peaks, gunsmoke, burt reynolds, bruce boxleitner, buck taylor, jess walton, lane bradbury, merry florene, the man from u.n.c.l.e., robert vaughn, david mccallum, guy ritchie, henry cavill, armie hammer, anna faris, mom, chris pratt, jurassic world, redbook, john landgraf, mr. robot, ray donovan, the strain, difficult people, news late night, jon stewart, peter jennings, the daily show, coco, ice t, conan, keith richards, beatles, rolling stones, crosseyed heart, norah jones, paris hilton, emily ratajkowski, stella maxwell, jada pinkett smith, jaden, willow, howard stern, classic, foo fighters, learn to fly, fabio zaffagnini, betty white, walt palmer, cecil the lion, mia farrow, valerie harper, nice work if you can get it, ogunquit playhouse, mary tyler moore show, movie, mission: impossible -- rogue nation, tom cruise, simon pegg, ving rhames, jeremy remmer, alec baldwin, late night, ted cruz, david mccullough, ant-man, disney, marvel, pixels, adam sandler, jurassic, inside out, minions, trainwreck, southpaw, jake gyllenhaal, october sky, donnie darko, bubbly boy, brokeback mountain, prisoners

On Facebook!
digitallyOBSESSED!
digitallyOBSESSED!
Promote Your Page Too

Visit:

Zarabesque.com

Original Magic Dress.com

Susti Heaven

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