Monday, April 27, 2009

Grease: Rockin' Rydell Edition Blu-ray Review

Grease Blu-ray Review
Written by Loys JohnsonDisc Size: 38.1 GB
Film Size: 34.3 GB
Film Rating: PG
Region: Free

Grease comes to Blu-ray with a 1080p AVC/MPEG-4 video presentation. I had previously seen a high-def rental of Grease, and this presentation is a slight but good improvement. Either way I was impressed with the quality compared to the DVD release. Everything is much sharper and detailed, and colors were rich and natural looking. Black levels are impressive and deeper than I had expected, and the the source seems to be very cleaned up. Many shots do exhibit an out of focus look at times, but it has always been that way. The presentation was always good, and managed to reach 'wow' levels at times too. It's really hard to expect much more from Grease. 8/10.

Paramount has included a 5.1 Dolby TrueHD audio track for Grease. I wasn't sure what to expect, as the DVD was actually quite disappointing. Were we in for a slightly improved disappointing track, or is this the first good audio track for Grease? The track is actually pretty quiet on regular levels, but once it was turned up a bit, it really shines.

Dialogue is definitely improved, while still sounding a bit aged. Musical numbers of course were dubbed, and because of that they sound so much better with lossless audio compared to regular dialogue. The film's surround use is minimal, but used quite effectively during certain scenes and musical numbers. I was very pleased, not necessarily amazed, but certainly improved from the DVD. 8/10.


Commentary by Director Randal Kleiser and Choreographer Patricia Birch
The commentary track is interesting overall, but I felt select cast commentary would have been more fitting. Regardless, the track was informative, just a bit lacking.

Introduction by Randal Kleiser (:24) (SD)

Rydell Sing-Along
Select a specific song, or play the entire movie with sing-along enabled.

The Time, The Place, The Motion: Remembering Grease (22:26) (SD)
The cast and crew look back at Grease, and discuss how they were cast in the film, etc. It's the highlight feature on the disc.

Deleted/Extended/Alternate Scenes (10:16) (SD)
Includes introduction by Randal Kleiser, there are 11 scenes total included.Footage is in standard definition, and in black and white.

Grease on DVD Launch Party (15:13) (SD)
Footage from the DVD launch in 2002, features cast interviews and reunion, including performances of the memorable songs from the film.

Grease Memories from John and Olivia (3:24) (SD)
Short interview with John and Olivia at the DVD launch.

The Moves Behind the Music (8:13) (SD)
Choreographer Patricia Birch discusses her work in creating the dances featured in Grease. There are also interviews with the Director, and Director of Photography.

Thunder Roadsters (5:23) (SD)
George Barris discusses customizing the Grease Lightning Car.

John Travolta and Allan-Carr "Grease Day" Interview (1:46) (SD)

Olivia Newton-John and Robert Stigwood "Grease Day" Interview (2:07) (SD)

Photo Galleries

Theatrical Trailer (2:11) (HD)
A theatrical trailer for the film is included, thankfully the transfer on the actual film is much much better than the quality of the high-def trailer.

Blu-news Summary
I'll start by saying that I really enjoy Grease, the movie musical is fantastic, and still holds up quite well. The comedy is still very funny , the characters are all memorable, and the songs are all terrific. The casting felt almost perfect to me, as each actor played their part extremely well, almost as if it were meant to be. There are many that won't admit to it, but public majority likes Grease.

The Blu-ray is about as good as one could expect. The presentation is impressive, and surprisingly clean overall. I was also very pleased with the audio track, as it certainly improves very nicely over the DVD track. All extras are ported from the special edition DVD, what more could a Grease fan want? 'Recommended.'

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