Director: Randal Kleiser
Cast: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John
Release Date: April 24, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Disc Rating: 9/10
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.
Get ready to revisit one of the most memorable musicals in the history of cinema as ‘Grease’ returns home celebrating its 40th anniversary. For those two individuals out there unfamiliar with the film, it tells the famous (musical) tale of two lovebirds who after an unforgettable summer romance unexpectedly find themselves face to face and attending the same school. But when faced with the common social pressures and high school hang-ups that come with the age, these two soon find that it will take some real work and effort on both sides if they hope to find a way to rekindle their romance and be together. Now, four decades later ‘Grease’ arrives home once again on Blu-ray (and also on 4K Ultra HD disc for the first time ever) for its 40th anniversary with fully restored video and audio and plenty of bonus goodies.
Originally released in the summer of 1978 and managing to strike a chord with people of all ages and interests, ‘Grease’ quickly became a hit and also propelled the careers of stars John Travolta and Oliva Newton-John. Perhaps most impressive of all though is just how remarkably well it still manages to hold up in nearly every way after four decades with its catchy songs, powerful cast and welcoming aura; proving that Grease is still the word forty years later and a film classic in its own right that’s certain to be adored for generations to come. This new 40th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray release of ‘Grease’ arrives home sporting impressive high definition video and audio presentations of the classic musical with fully restored picture and sound, in addition to a notable collection of bonus content including some brand new extras; all topped off with a collectible ‘Yearbook’ packaging that resembles the Rydell High Yearbook and includes pages with notes, photos and more from the film within. It’s a solid release across the board that should have no trouble pleasing fans of this musical masterpiece. While I’m not fully upgraded at this point and was therefore unable to check out the UHD release, it’s also worth noting that the film is additionally available on 4K Ultra HD for the first time ever as well, although the 4K release unfortunately features a standard black UHD case/package as opposed to the Blu-ray release’s collectible Yearbook packaging.
Overall, diehard fans of the beloved film who don’t already own a previous Blu-ray edition of the movie will definitely want to purchase a copy of the ‘Grease: 40th Anniversary’ Blu-ray Yearbook Edition at some point to add to your collection. The latest release features fantastic high definition video and audio presentations of the movie with fully restored picture and sound in addition to a healthy collection of bonus content on the disc plus collectible Digipak packaging on top of it that resembles the school yearbook and includes images and notes from the film. Fans who already own a previous Blu-ray release of ‘Grease’ may still want to consider upgrading to this new 40th Anniversary release primarily for the restored picture and audio, and some may also want the few new extras; especially if you can get your copy at the right price. Folks that have had the chance to fully upgraded their setup may also want to consider picking up a copy of the 4K release of the movie which is now also available on 4K Ultra HD disc for the first time, although minus the collectible Yearbook packaging included on this Blu-ray edition.
The 40th Anniversary Blu-ray release of ‘Grease’ features a fully restored 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.35:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks fantastic as a whole and delivers a sharp, detailed and richly colored presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults to be uncovered throughout. While I unfortunately don’t own a previous edition of the film on Blu-ray to compare it with, I can definitely say that it holds up beautifully around every turn and should easily please fans of the classic. Overall, this is a gorgeous high definition video presentation from Paramount featuring fully restored video that looks consistently fantastic throughout.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that while featuring the same basic configuration and format as the previous Blu-ray release is mentioned as being fully restored. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds wonderful and provides a crisp, clean and occasionally quite active audio presentation throughout. Albeit not overly active in the surround department at all times, it still regularly takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send the famous songs, vehicle activity, crowd chatter and other natural elements throughout the various speakers when appropriate. Overall, this is a great 5.1 channel Dolby TrueHD soundtrack that perfectly complements the film and should have no trouble satisfying the fans.
The 40th Anniversary Blu-ray release of ‘Grease’ features a solid collection of bonus content including plenty of archival extras along with some brand new extras exclusive to this release, as well as featuring Digipak exclusive Yearbook packaging with photos from the film and yearbook notes included within a clever and well-crafted overall package. Special features on the disc include an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Randal Kleiser and Choreographer Patricia Birch’, along with an ‘Introduction by Randal Kleiser’ (approximately 30 seconds), and a ‘Rydell Sing-A-Long’ Option where you can watch the entire film in the mode or just select individual songs to sing along with. We’re also treated to some Featurettes that discuss and look back on the memorable film including ‘The Time, The Place, The Motion: Remembering Grease’ (running approximately 22 minutes in length), ‘Grease: A Chicago Story’ (running approximately 24 minutes), plus ‘Grease Reunion 2002 – DVD Launch Party’ (15 minutes), ‘Grease Memories from John and Olivia’ (3 minutes), ‘The Moves Behind the Music’ (8 minutes), ‘Thunder Roadsters’ (5 minutes), ‘John Travolta & Alan Carr “Grease Day” Interview (2 minutes) and ‘Olivia Newton-John and Robert Stigwood “Grease Day” Interview’ (2 minutes). Also included on the release are ‘Alternate Animated Main Titles’ (approximately 4 minutes), an ‘Alternate Ending’ (less than 1 minute), a collection of ‘Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes’ from the movie with an Introduction by Randal Kleiser’ (approximately 10 minutes altogether), plus the ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes) and 4 ‘Photo Galleries’ which include Rydell High Yearbook, Production, Premiere and “Grease Day”.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.