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Grease (SE)
DVD disk
09.26.2006 By: Jason Coleman
Grease (SE) order
Director:
Randal Kleiser

Actors:
John Travolta
Olivia Newton-John
Stockard Channing

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The famous stage musical about love, sex, and high school come to life, with the iconic film that made John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John stars. Add a little hicky from Kenickie (poor Jeff Conaway!), some pink ladies, and a vat of hair gel and you got GREASE!
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
To be candid, I’ve never been a fan of GREASE. For all the sexy Newton-John visuals and Travolta bravado, I just never got into it. All the singing and dancing always made me feel a like I wasn’t watching a movie, but merely a performance. But in this review (since this is a special edition and mostly only hard core fans will probably read this), I’m going to give GREASE (especially after lasting almost 30 years!) the respect is deserves. After all, the film has become an American classic for many reasons like its catchy songs, the sex and sizzle of its young and eager cast and re-creating a period when cars and food were served the same way – fast. There’s no denying that the songs, however schmaltzy, keep the audience singing and dancing, bringing a serious sense of nostalgia and well...dammit they're catchy tunes!

The casting is pitch perfect – Travolta as the hot and dark Danny, Newton-John as the innocent, and then super hot (and smoking!) Sandy, Jeff Conaway as the jerky Kenickie, Didi Conn as the effervescent Frenchy, and Stockard Channing (in a role I actually think is one of her best) as the feisty Rizzo. We love to love - and love to hate – these characters and frankly they all seem to be having a great time. Which from a fan’s perspective is what GREASE is really all aboutmusic, moans, and mojo. Forget GREASE being the word, as the real word here seems to be much simpler – fun. (Besides, you don’t need me to tell you if you like GREASE or not – make up your own mind!)
THE EXTRAS
Besides the fact that there is no commentary track by leads Travolta and Newton-John (what the fans “really want” !), this is a GREASE lovers dream. (Plus you can play the film with or without an intro by Director Randal Kleiser!) Chocked with every special feature under the sun – taking you from production to theatrical release, with DVD release highlights and retrospectives – this ROCKIN’ RYDELL EDITION even comes complete with a GREASE T-birds leather jacket case so you can properly cover your DVD and keep it in pristine condition! Trust me, for all fans, the new jacket cover will be “the word”!

Commentary (with Director Randal Kleiser and Choreographer Patricia Birch): Without a much needed commentary track by the leads, this is a fairly good substitute. Kleiser and Birch have fairly good memories and tell some interesting bits – like how Randall had to re-shoot the opening for Travolta to get his “good side”! They also talk about the film versus the stage play, giving a very nice history to this track – it’s worth the listen.

Rydell Sing-Along: This is a collection of 12 songs from the film, all available for selection with a karaoke style captioning on the bottom so the fan can sing along. (Yeah right, like you don’t already know the words!) You can even interject this into the film itself – but use caution, don’t use the function in front of company!

The Time, The Place, The Motion: Remembering Grease (22:26): A great retrospective, that covers all GREASE bases, from shooting to release and everyone is talking. Best moments – hearing about how Jeff Conaway demanded that he give the “hicky from Kenickie” to actress Stockard Channing personally and also Conaway (see a pattern here?!) describing how the emotional scene between him and Travolta was actually a…love scene?!?! Great stuff!

Deleted/Extended/Alternative Scenes (10:16): Some good some bad, but for fans, a further glimpse into all things GREASE is like eating a moon pie – tasty and nostalgic! Can be viewed Individually or as a Play All.

Introduction By Randal Kleiser (0:17): A quick intro by Kleiser, explaining how the “long lost footage from the Paramount Vaults” only exists in black and white.

T-Birds Harass Eugene (0:38): A rather sad and unfunny scene that makes John and the T-Birds look like a-holes, not a good thing for the film or their characters. Good decision to cut bro!

Classroom Announcements (2:36): A bit redundant for the film, but as en extra it’s rather fun to watch. Long shots of all the characters goofing off and doing what they do best, plus more Principal McGee stuff is always welcome!

Pink Ladies and Sandy At Lunch (0:46): Less is more, as this was extra not needed. (Although, I love hearing that shrill Rizzo scream again – not!)

She’s Too Pure To Be Pink (0:47): See above, minus the Rizzo scream!

Intro To Summer Nights (0:22): See the two previous, minus anything interesting!

Rydell Pep Rally (0:59): Again, love seeing any more Principal McGee and Sid Ceasar!

Kenickie And Danny Outside Frosty’s (0:37): Intro not needed, but funny to see a drink slid down the bar BACK TO THE FUTURE style! (And before the movie was ever made!)

The Stroll (0:24): A few extra quirky Rizzo and Frenchy lines for those who demand it, but it’s definitely an extra!

National Bandstand (1:15): More dancing scenes from the prom, fans rejoice!

At The Dance (1:22): A batch of quirky bits, from booze in the punch bowl, to a weird interview, this one’s a great watch!

Thunder Road (0:13): Is this an extra? What’s really creepy about this one is Jeff Conaway saying the line – “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have any luck at all. Chilling and foreshadowing.

Grease On DVD Lanch Party (15:13): From the 2002 DVD release party, this is almost as good as being there. Interviews, tons of hoopla, and the cast even takes to the stage to sing your favorite GREASE tunes – fans, this is your Graceland!

Grease Memories From John And Olivia (3:25): The same snippet interview from the previous featurette, in its entirety. Way too short, you guys!

The Moves Behind The Music (8:14): Talk with Randal and Birch giving a detailed history on bringing the moves to GREASE. Interesting, but there is a lot of re-used interviews and footage from all the previous mini-docs.

Thunder Roadsters (5:23): Car experts and collectors talk interestingly about the beautiful autos used in the flick and their history, go greased lighting!

John Travolta And Allan Carr “Grease Day” Interview (1:48): A very young and green Travolta gets interviewed by Carr, a real piece of history. (Love when Travolta explains how working in theatre was his big struggle to the top!)

Olivia Newton-John and Robert Stigwood “Grease Day” Interview (2:07): An almost creepy and slimy interview by Stigwood, who appears to be leering and lusting after a very young and wide-eyed Newton-John. Very weird stuff!

There is also a Theatrical Trailer, a Photo Galleries Section Featuring stills under the categories of Rydell High Year Book, Production, Premiere, and Grease Day. And if that isn’t enough, there are also some Previews for the films FAILURE TO LAUNCH, FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF: BUELLER…BUELLER…EDITION and TITANIC SPECIAL COLLECTOR’S EDITION, whew!
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
This ROCKIN’ RYDELL EDITION was made, designed and packaged for the uber-GREASE fan and it does not disappoint. A great looking flick with a plethora of extras, tracks and featurettes, it’s all in here. And with a new sing-along feature, fans may want to invest in that waterproof DVD player for the shower. (You know you croon Summer Nights when the water’s hot!) Any critical opinion aside, if you are an admirer of this flick, run like greased lighting and pick up a copy, as with its new DVD leather jacket, it will definitely be the coolest looking case on the shelf.
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