Grease: Rockin' Rydell Edition

Randal Kleiser

Grease: Rockin\' Rydell EditionRandal Kleiser
Few films have endured like Grease. Fewer still have failed so badly at earning that endurance. This clodhopping 1978 musical still has prepubescent girls giggling madly while their parents smile benignly, all of them somehow failing to notice the rather smutty subject matter ó if the film has any legacy itís in making juvenile delinquency, teenage sex and pregnancy scares seem about as threatening as teddy bears, rainbows and unicorns. John Travolta is the young punk who has an uneasy relationship with good girl Olivia Newton-John, but though bad musical numbers and stealthy off-colour jokes ensue there isnít an ounce of real fun to be had in all its plastic 110 minutes. The truth is that Director Randal Kleiser has no eye and choreographer Patricia Birch is a bit of a lumbering mess, meaning the spirited cast (including a soulful, wasted Stockard Channing) have nothing to do but smile and flail their arms and legs. The film is so plastic and mechanical that its unstoppable popularity is a bit of a mystery but nevertheless, an army of fans disagrees and thrills to every awful moment. If youíre one of those people hereís the disc for you ó all others need not apply. Extras include a surprisingly on-issue commentary with Kleiser and Birch, a remarkably thorough "making ofĒ doc, an introduction from the director, 11 deleted/extended scenes, a sing-along feature for the musical numbers, tape of the filmís DVD premiere (with Newton-John and Travolta singing), reminiscences from the pair, two good but superfluous featurettes on the dancing and custom cars, two stiff 1978 interviews featuring Newton-John, Travolta and the producers, and some photo galleries. Lastly, the DVD comes wrapped in a way-tacky mini-leather jacket. (Paramount)
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