Grease – 4K UHD Review

Grease is a 1978 American musical romantic comedy film that is based on the musical of the same name. It was written by Bronte Woodard and directed by Randal Kleiser in his theatrical feature film debut, the film depicts the lives of two high school seniors: a bad boy (played by John Travolta) and a good girl (played by Olivia Newton-John) in the late 1950s. Grease was successful both critically and commercially. Its soundtrack album ended 1978 as the second-best selling album of the year in the United States, behind the soundtrack of the 1977 blockbuster Saturday Night Fever.

Taking place during the summer of 1958, Danny Zuko and the vacationing Sandy Olsson meet at the beach and fall in love. When the summer comes to an end, Sandy, who is going back to Australia, frets that they might never meet again, but Danny tells her that their love is “only the beginning”, and that they will stay friends. The film moves to the start of the new school year at Rydell High School (“Grease”). Danny, a greaser, is a member of the T-Birds, consisting of his best friend Kenickie, Doody, Sonny, and Putzie. The Pink Ladies, a sassy, popular clique of girls, also arrive, consisting of Rizzo, Frenchy, Marty and Jan.

After her parents unexpectedly decide to move from Australia, Sandy enrolls at Rydell High and is befriended by Frenchy, who considers dropping out of high school to become a beautician by going to beauty school. Completely unaware of each others presence at the school, Danny and Sandy tell their curious groups the accounts of events during the pair’s brief romance, without initially mentioning each other’s name. Sandy’s version emphasizes the romance of the affair, and the truth and purity, while Danny’s version is more sexual (“Summer Nights”).

A sequel, Grease 2, was released in 1982, with Maxwell Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer in the lead roles. Few of the original cast members returned to reprise their roles.

The Film Itself (4/5):

Grease is a classic that, I personally feel, should be in the heart of everyone’s collection.  The story that we’re given with this movie is one that’s not only a tale of love and that opposites attract; but, it’s one that falls right in line with your typical after-school special.  We follow along with the semi-innocent girl who comes from a wealthy family, and the average-joe tries to be a hard-ass as they get to know each other in a presentation that is loaded with youth and vitality.

Picture Quality (5/5):

The 4K UHD release of Grease offers an all natural visual presentation that is absolutely stunning to watch and very pleasing to the eyes.  Giving a more, natural feel to everything, this release offers an experience that can really only be described as to what it felt like to watch this movie during its theatrical run.  One of the scenes that really stood out to me as my wife and I watched along was as Danny and Sandy go on a date to the drive-in movie theater.  Something about the variety of ambient lighting coming off of the moon, lot lights and light coming from the screen really made it feel as if we were sitting right there with them.  Oh, and I can’t forget to mention the absolutely beautiful look of the cars, especially the one during Greased Lightning.

Audio Quality (4/5):

I was surprised to see that the 4K UHD release of Grease came packaged with a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track.  I would have thought that they would have gone with a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track at least.  But, regardless of that, the overall quality of the audible presentation was clean and clear.  While no particular scene really stood out, but everything from the musical numbers to the general dialogue was clean and really beautifully presented as it came out across my home theater system.

The Packaging (2/5):

The UHD release of Grease comes packaged in your standard dual-disc UHD amaray case.  Within that case is the 4K UHD copy of the film as well as the standard Blu-ray copy of the film.  Neither disc features any artwork that’s related to the film whatsoever, outside of the standard release text and generic black or blue background respectively.  There is a digital copy redemption pamphlet included for streaming options, as well as a slipcover that’s been made available during the initial release run that features the same piece of artwork that’s provided on the case art.

  

Special Features (4/5):

Unfortunately, the UHD release of Grease is just like most other 4K UHD release as there are no special features made available on the included UHD disc.  All additional content provided is made available on the Blu-ray disc.  The content that has been provided, not only shows a deeper look into the movie itself, but a nice look at some of the behind the scenes work and a small celebration into the celebration that’s accompanied the 40th Anniversary of this movie.  Included with this release is:

  • Rydell Sing Along
  • The Time, The Place, The Motion: Remembering Grease
  • Grease: A Chicago Story
  • Alternate Animated Main Titles & Alternate Ending
  • Deleted, Extended, & Alternate Scenes
  • Grease Memories From John & Olivia
  • The Moves Behind The Music
  • Thunder Roadsters
  • And Much, Much More!

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision + HDR10

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: Dolby TrueHD 5.1

French: Dolby Digital 5.1

German: Dolby Digital 5.1

Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1

Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Japanese: Dolby Digital 2.0

Spanish: Dolby Digital Mono

Note: Brazilian Portuguese; Spanish=Castilian 5.1 and Latin American Mono

Subtitles

English, English SDH, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Korean, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Swedish, Thai, Turkish

Runtime

Original Film: 110 minutes

Final Thoughts:

The fact that Grease is coming out on 4K UHD, I knew this would be one to pick up to personally upgrade the DVD copy that I had in my collection.  The fact that the folks over at Paremount Pictures gave us the opportunity to check it out early is just the icing on the cake with this release.  The video and the audio of this release are both absolutely stunning, and if you either have the capability to, or are planning to make use of the technology behind a release like this, you should hands down pick this release up for your library.  Grease will be available on 4K UHD beginning on Tuesday, April 24, 2018.

Note: This Blu-ray was sent to us for review. This has not affected our judgement or editorial process in any way. Please contact us if you have any questions regarding this process.

 

Doug

Movie lover, technophile, moderator of /r/dvdcollection and just your average, everyday movie viewer. Haven't heard of our subreddit? Check us out!

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