GREASE 40th Anniversary Edition on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD is available to own on April 24, 2018 from Paramount Home Media Distribution. Here’s my review:
*Featuring an explosion of song and dance, as well as star-making performances from John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, GREASE made an indelible impact on popular culture. 40 years later, the film remains an enduring favorite as legions of new fans discover the memorable moments, sensational soundtrack and classic love story. Boasting unforgettable songs including “Greased Lightnin,” “Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee,” “Summer Nights,” “Hopelessly Devoted To You,” “Beauty School Drop Out” and, of course, “Grease,” the film is a timeless feel-good celebration. Paramount worked with director Randal Kleiser to restore GREASE to its original vibrancy with the highest quality sound, picture resolution and color. The original negative was scanned and received extensive clean up and color correction using previously unavailable digital restoration tools such as high dynamic range technology. In addition, the audio was enhanced from a six-track mix created for an original 70mm release, giving the music more clarity. The resulting picture and sound create an exceptional home viewing experience. *From Press Release*
Back in my day, I was watching Grease on VHS BETA MAX, son. So to see the most famous musical of all time in stunning 4K UHD, was quite surreal to me. The picture quality is what I can only describe as flawless and the audio transfer and enhancement was pulled off very successfully. The film looks and sounds stunning in this 40th Anniversary Edition. As I was re-watching a movie that I hadn’t seen fully since I was a child, I was kind of floored at how pervy everybody was. These sexed up 30 year-olds pretending to be highschool kids were the horniest bunch of delinquents I’ve ever seen and I’ve watched Riverdale. We all know the story – John Travolta’s character falls for Oliva Newton-John over summer break but when they hit school and meet under different circumstances — shenanigans ensue when we realise she’s a stuck up weirdo snob and he’s a leather-jacket-wearin Bro douche.
The music holds up – there’s something timeless about that 50’s rockabilly crap that although cheesy as it can be, just works and works quite well. I’m also surprised how good Travolta and cast were at singing. They hit some high-ass notes – and I’m talking glass-shattering high. ‘Summer Nights’ could probably crack your windows depending how loud your sound system is. This is another testament to the 4K transfer. The film has pretty damn good pacing and I’m surprised there wasn’t MORE music really. Some musicals today, like The Greatest Showman, I think have more songs than Grease had for this adaptation. I also don’t remember Olivia Newton-John being so terrible as an actress, but she was horrid. She plays this innocent stereotype but it’s so over-the-top that she actually manages to come across as more annoying than the “cool kids” who are SO cool that they’re just one wink to the camera away from exploding into gorey ropes of 30 year-old teenage leftovers.
Grease holds up in terms of pacing, writing and singing – especially the musical performances. My god – the sound quality was phenomenal here. But the story and acting from a few of the stars does NOT stand the test of time. It happens. Not every classic can transcend in every single way possible, but Grease still manages to become timeless because of what it did and still does well – the music. If you were a fan back in the day and maybe don’t own a high-def copy, this is easily the one to get.
There are a ton of bonus features included here, some good, some looking like they were ripped from a cam copy online of someone watching my old VHS BETA MAX tape. It’s hard to get through all of them, because of the poor quality, but I did find the alternate ending to be interesting (even if it’s nothing revolutionary — nobody dies or gets hit by the Greased Lightning car much to my shagrin, but it’s a nice and NEW inclusion). The alternate opening with a different song during the animated credits was pretty cool too, but I’m happy they went with that they did for the theatrical and standard release. Honestly, bad quality aside from several of the bonus segments, there’s a lot of stuff here for Grease die-hard fans and I’m happy they included more of it than nothing at all.
- Feature film in high definition
- Commentary by director Randal Kleiser and choreographer Patricia Birch
- Introduction by Randal Kleiser
- Rydell Sing-Along
- The Time, The Place, The Motion: Remembering Grease
- Grease: A Chicago Story—NEW!
- Alternate Animated Main Titles—NEW!
- Alternate Ending—NEW!
- Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes with Introduction by Randal Kleiser
- Grease Reunion 2002 – DVD Launch Party
- Grease Memories from John & Olivia
- The Moves Behind the Music
- Thunder Roadsters
- John Travolta and Allan Carr “Grease Day” interview
- Olivia Newton-John and Robert Stigwood “Grease Day” interview
- Photo Galleries
- Theatrical Trailer