Director(s): Thomas Kail, Alex Rudzinski
Cast: Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, Vanessa Hudgens
Release Date: Available on DVD March 8, 2016
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Featuring a young ensemble cast, GREASE LIVE! reintroduces and reimagines some of the show’s most memorable moments, great music and timeless love story to an entirely new generation. The production draws upon both the original 1971 musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey and Paramount’s 1978 feature film adaptation to create a never-before-seen version with many modern surprises.
Get ready to revisit the classic story like you’ve never seen it before, featuring a fresh new cast and taking inspiration from both the original musical and the beloved film in addition to being performed before a live studio audience, ‘Grease Live!’ features a collection of talented young individuals stepping into the iconic roles, a number of which many will surely be familiar with, while others somewhat less so. The cast includes Julianne Hough (TV’s Dancing with the Stars), Vanessa Hudgens (Sucker Punch), Aaron Tveit (TV’s Graceland), Carlos PenaVega (TV’s Big Time Rush), Keke Palmer (TV’s Scream Queens) and more, each delivering generally impressive performances, especially when taking into consideration the enormous shoes in which they each have to fill.
‘Grease Live!’ is a fun, well acted and generally impressive live performance of the infamous story that so many know and love. This latest adaptation of Grease provides a fresh look at the beloved story that finds a perfect balance borrowing influence from the original musical as well as the iconic film, while also contributing its own fresh and unique touch. It may not contain all of the charm and vigor that the film had en masse, yet it’s certainly a well done and more than competent adaption that also expands on the story and brings some enjoyable new touches to the fold. Fans of both the musical and the cult classic film will almost surely want to at least check this one out. While some may be understandably hesitant to make a blind purchase, it might be worth the cost of a rental if you missed the initial TV broadcast, while many of those who did catch it and thoroughly enjoyed it will likely want to pick up a copy of the DVD release to add to their collection.
Overall, ‘Grease Live!’ is an enjoyable and capably handled remake of the classic musical and film performed in front of a live audience. It contains plenty of charm and some more than capable if not impressive performances by some of today’s younger talent who do an admirable job in their portrayals of these iconic roles. Fans of the musical as well as the film will likely want to give this one a whirl when you have the opportunity to do so, while it may not be truly outstanding, fans of Grease should undoubtedly have some fun with it.
The DVD release of ‘Grease Live!’ is presented in a 16×9 enhanced Widescreen presentation utilizing the original 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio in which it was initially broadcast. The video presentation looks fantastic for a DVD and delivers a sharp, detailed and generally impressive video presentation with no notable faults to be found within, holding up without issue even during the numerous fast moving sequences and those heavily populated with activity/individuals, never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a great standard definition video presentation that should easily please.
The DVD release features a 192 kbps 2.0 channel Dolby Digital Stereo soundtrack. This stereo soundtrack sounds pretty solid for what it is and while some folks may be disappointed by the lack of a multichannel soundtrack, it nonetheless delivers in every regard and holds up impressively throughout, showcasing the musical numbers and much more with clarity and never resulting in any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously with other auditory elements to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fairly impressive 2.0 Dolby Digital soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it.
The DVD release of ‘Grease Live!’ includes a number of behind the scenes Featurettes and fun videos that include behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments with the cast and crew and more. The included Featurettes/videos are: ‘Without a Net: Performing Grease Live!’ (running approximately 5 minutes in length), ‘Becoming the “T”-Birds and Pink Ladies’ (approximately 4 minutes), ‘Greasin’ Up The Joint’ (5 minutes), ‘Be-Bop, Swing, and Jitterbug: The Choreography and Dancers of Grease Live!’ (4 minutes), ‘When Was Your First…’ (6 minutes), and ‘My Favorite Grease Moment’ (3 minutes).