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a movie set in the 1950s
Riding the strange '50s nostalgia wave that swept through America during the late 1970s (caused by TV shows like Happy Days and films like American Graffiti), Grease became not only the word in 1978, but also a box-office smash and a cultural phenomenon. Twenty years later, this entertaining film adaptation of the Broadway musical received another successful theatrical release, which included visual remastering and a shiny new Dolby soundtrack. In this 2002 DVD release, Grease lovers can also now see it in the correct 2:35 to 1 Panavision aspect ratio, and see retrospective interviews with cast members and director Randal Kleiser. All these stylistic touches are essential to the film's success. Without the vibrant colors, unforgettably campy and catchy tunes (like "Greased Lightning," "Summer Nights," and "You're the One That I Want"), and fabulously choreographed, widescreen musical numbers, the film would have to rely on a silly, cliché-filled plot that we've seen hundreds of times. As it is, the episodic story about the romantic dilemmas experienced by a group of graduating high school seniors remains fresh, fun, and incredibly imaginative.
The young, animated cast also deserves a lot of credit, bringing chemistry and energy to otherwise bland material. John Travolta, straight from his success in Saturday Night Fever, knows his sexual star power and struts, swaggers, sings, and dances appropriately, while Olivia Newton-John's portrayal of virgin innocence is the only decent acting she's ever done. And then there's Stockard Channing, spouting sexual double-entendres as Rizzo, the bitchy, raunchy leader of the Pink Ladies, who steals the film from both of its stars. Ignore the sequel at all costs. --Dave McCoy
- Retrospective interviews with John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing, Jeff Conaway, Didi Conn, director Randall Kleiser, and producer Allan Carr
- Includes free songbook while supplies last
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The special features for this edition are decent and the picture looks fairly good for DVD. One day, I will compare with Blu-ray. Until then, I will enjoy Olivia, John and the rest of the gang in this musical smash from 1978, GREASE!
Special Features Included for this Edition ~
Dolby Digital 5.1
English Dolby Surround
French Dolby Surround
English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles
Original Theatrical Trailer
Retrospective Interviews from several of the cast in the movie
The overall picture is very good: colors are sharp, not overly saturated, good detail. No complaints -- the video transfer is pleasing.
The AUDIO, on the other hand, is awful. The soundtrack musical numbers are clear and actually improved upon in 5.1 surround. But the dialog track is astonishingly muddy. There is a noticeable difference between the audio quality of the dialog and that of the musical numbers. I thought it was just my imagination until, after viewing, my wife made a comment about how hard it was to hear the dialog. This was a major disappointment, and for that reason, I would not recommend the Blu-ray edition.
Haven't watched all of the extras yet, but they are as expected, fun but nothing you probably didn't already know if you are a fan of the film.