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Grease 40th Anniversary Edition (UHD Blu-ray) review

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Plot

After a wonderful summer romance, Danny (John Travolta) and Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) must end their relationship when she has to return to her native Australia. When her trip is extended and she attends Rydell High, she discovers that Danny isn't the boy she fell in love with; he's the leader of the T-Birds, a leather-clad greaser gang.

My Thoughts

The chemistry between Travolta and Newton-John is electrifying and helped make Grease a box-office smash in 1978. To date, it's one of the best adaptations of a Broadway musical to hit the silver screen with its look at the simpler times of the '50s and its musical homage to the age of rock 'n' roll. The supporting cast is fantastic, with Stockard Channing as Rizzo, Jeff Conway as Danny's sidekick Kinnickie, and Eve Arden as the uptight Principal McGee. Grease definitely is the word!

This is one of those movies that will never get old to me. I saw it when I was nine and fell in love with Olivia Newton-John, who to this day is quite attractive, even as she approaches 70 years-old. It’s hard to believe that it was 40 years ago that I watched this at least three times in the theater and it was one of the only movies we owned as kids on VHS and we must have watched it at least 100 times—and I’m not exaggerating!

It’s rare that I’ll sit through ever bonus feature these days, but my wife spent an entire afternoon watching all of the features, some of which are ported over from the 2009 Blu-ray release.

Paramount worked with director Randal Kleiser to restore the film to its original vibrancy using the original negative that was scanned and received extensive clean up and color correction tools. In the process, they were able to add HDR to the image and the results are breathtaking, especially compared to the 2009 Blu-ray release. Reds are much more vibrant, the blue skies more vivid, and flesh tones are more revealing. In fact, I never noticed Stockard Channing’s freckles until viewing the film in 4K.

The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track is exhilarating, especially the music. The track was taken from a six-track mix created for an original 70mmrelease of the film and it gives it additional clarity over the 2009 release. The bass track is more refined in the musical numbers as a result.

Video 9.5/10 (MVC)

Audio 8/10 (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)

Special Features:

- 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

- UV Digital Copy + Blu-ray

Conclusion

Grease is still one of my all-time favorite films and to this day, I still have a crush on Olivia Newton-John. The music is fantastic, the screenplay is a lot of fun, and best yet, it stands the test of time. Furthermore, it’s has never looked better than this 4K release and the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track gives the movie justice. Highly recommended.


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