Reviewed September 21st, 2002 by John Randall
Danny: Oh, bite the weenie, Riz.
Rizzo: With relish.
Finally, after waiting a gazillion years (ok more like five years) – we finally get the infamous Grease on DVD! Is it worth the wait? Read on…
Grease is the second film I ever remember watching. The first was of course Star Wars. I cannot even begin to count the times I have watched Grease or listened to the soundtrack on CD. I guess I can never get enough of it – especially the songs.
Grease is basically about a group of rowdy boys called the T-Birds and the girls that date them called The Pink Ladies. Each group contains some of the most memorable characters in the history of film. During the summer, one of the T-Birds, Danny (John Travolta), meets an Australian goodie goodie named Sandy (Olivia-Newton John). After the summer, she supposedly goes back to Australia and Danny goes back to school – or so they thought. Actually, Sandy ends up at Danny’s high school and is confronted by his “image” which she does not like too much when they are reunited. From there the film is about good times, friends, love, heartache and more.
This film also has some rockin songs too. My personal favorite is of course ‘Summer Nights’ – it just rocks. And then you have others like “You're The One I Want”, “Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee”, “Greased Lightning” and more!
So, after a 5 year wait for Grease – did it live up to my expectations? Not exactly…
Grease is being released in two ways on DVD: 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen and a full-screen version. Do not be misled from the packaging of the widescreen version. On the front it says widescreen but the back says it is formatted to fit the screen. The video unfortunately really needed an overhaul. Lots of grain is still present, but on the other hand the image is still much better than VHS.
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and is a bit confusing to those who have enjoyed the film on VHS for so many years. When the studio reworked the soundtrack for its theatrical re-release a few years back, they really changed it a lot. The most obvious change in the soundtrack is during the song “We Go Together” at the end of the film. Besides those remix changes, the 5.1 soundtrack is rather good. Lots of bass which makes the soundtrack sound not so flat. There is a Dolby Digital 2.0 soundtrack in English and French as well.
I have to say that Paramount really failed on the extras on this one. What should have been a nice 2-disc special edition is less than a barebones disc. All we get is a 16-minute featurette of interviews and the theatrical trailer. A songbook is also provided in the DVD case. While we are on the subject of the DVD case – I personally hate the case that houses the DVD.
Everyone should want this film on DVD even if the presentation is sub-par. This is an exceptional film that should be enjoyed over and over. Very highly recommended.
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