Title: Grease (1978)
BD-50 Dual-Layer Disc
Video: 1080p/AVC MPEG-4
Audio: 5.1 Dolby TrueHD
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese
Run time: 110 minutes
Studio: Paramount Home Entertainment
Region Coding: Region Free
Equipment used for review: Sharp LC-46SB57UN 46″ 120Hz 1080p LCD (24fps), Onkyo TX-SR606 7.1 Receiver, Onkyo SKS-HT540 7.1, & LG BH200 Super Blu
John Travolta as Danny Zuko
Olivia Newton-John as Sandy Olsson
Stockard Channing as Betty Rizzo
Jeff Conaway as Kenickie
Barry Pearl as Doody
Michael Tucci as Sonny
Kelly Ward as Putzie
Didi Conn as Frenchie
Jamie Donnelly as Jan
Dinah Manoff as Marty Maraschino
Eve Arden as Principal McGee
Frankie Avalon as The Teen Angel
Joan Blondell as Vi
Edd Byrnes as Vince Fontaine
Sid Caesar as Coach Calhoun
Directed by Randal Kleiser
My take: (the breakdown)
I have personally never been a big fan of musicals, but there are a few out there that I do enjoy and Grease is most certainly one of those. Set in the late 1950s the film centers on a boy named Danny Zuko and a girl named Sandy Olson and their romance that is kindled in the summer before their senior year in high school. When Danny accidentally discovers after the school year starts that Sandy did not go back home to Australia like she said she was he has to decide which is more important, the girl or his image. Since Danny is a greaser he feels he has to maintain that image, but at the same time he is torn on whether being himself to keep Sandy is really worth it. What follows is a chronicle of their senior year as they go through the normal events such as football games, relationship issues, and a school dance-off. Either Danny or Sandy is going to have to change, but which one is actually going to do it? It’s definitely worth watching if you’re a fan of musicals and some will even find it to be worth a purchase. Other than extremely small children this one should he suitable for just about everyone.
Grease was released last year onto Blu-ray and sadly it does look quite as good as I was expecting. Still, there are plenty of positives about the provided transfer. Colors are well saturated most of the time, but there are times when they seem to be look over saturated, which can happen when a older film is remastered for the first time in many years. Flesh tones appear to be accurate though from start to finish so there’s no worries there. Grain is present, but it is not consistent as it goes from light to moderate throughout the entire film. I would suspect that a fair amount of DNR was applied and this is really discouraging, but at least it was not overdone. Fine detail is really a mixed bag since this transfer is riddled with many softer scenes. Even many of the closeups look rather soft, but there are quite a few closeups that look incredibly detailed. I would imagine that the film was shot this way intentionally, but the DNR that’s been applied doesn’t help the softness either.
The supplied 5.1 Dolby TrueHD track aids in bringing some of the most memorable songs from Grease to life, but there are some problems. Dialogue is clear and concise in the majority, but there a few instances where it seems muddled. The surrounds are used sparingly and that’s really being generous. I expected the surrounds to come alive when the songs kicked in, but this just doesn’t happen. Other than a few discrete and ambient sounds there’s hardly anything happening in the surrounds since this is almost entirely a front heavy mix. The LFE does manage to get tapped during many of the songs and particularly during the car race scene at the end of the film, but there are few times when the sounds feel forced coming from the sub. This is certainly not a bad mix, but I was certainly expecting more from one of the most popular musicals in the 50 years.
This Blu-ray version of Grease is loaded with all of the extra features that were found on the DVD released in 2006. Unfortunately, there’s nothing new to speak of and all of the making-of features are presented in 480p. If you want to pick something I’d go with the feature length audio commentary with Randal Kleiser and Patricia Birch.
Final word: A Purchase For Fans
The screen captures below have a full resolution of 1920 x 1080, but you must click the image provided in the link to see that resolution. Please keep in mind that these are captures and can look slightly different than when the film is in motion. Also, to achieve the most accurate view of the screen captures be sure your monitor is set to a resolution of 1920 x 1080. As always thanks for reading folks.
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