Grease Live (DVD)

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Grease Live (DVD)

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Review of "Grease Live (DVD)"

published 08/01/2017 | sellerleygirl
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Grease Live (DVD)

Grease Live (DVD)

:¦:-• Grease Live-•-:¦:

:¦:-• Tagline -•-:¦:

An electrifying LIVE television event!
:¦:-• DVD Review -•-:¦:

:¦:-• Genre -•-:¦:

• Musical
• Romance

:¦:-• Introduction -•-:¦:

In the late 70’s early 80’s my first three daughters were obsessed by the film ‘Grease’; they watched it so many times that they knew it word for word (in fact so did I); they watched it so many times that they wore out 2 video tapes of it, they listened to the album on our old stereogram so many times we got through 2 albums. They would act out scenes from it and we have several old cine films that are now on DVD of them dancing to it. One film springs to mind of my second daughter aged 4/5 doing a heart rendering dance to ‘Sandy’; wearing her nightdress which she managed to end up getting around her neck (unfortunate as she had just had a bath and had no knickers on!!), at the end of the song she finishes with a dramatic ‘Oh Sandy’ and drops to her knees with her head in her hands!!

So when I heard that there was new film released last year containing a live performance of Grease, I knew that this would make a great stocking filler for Yvonne – who also got an added DVD of her Sandy dance thrown in!!
I was a little worried that she would be disappointed with the new film, and 2016 had been a bad year for Yvonne with her number one heart throb prince dying (and believe me she IS still in mourning) then to top it all, her teenage crush George Michael going at Christmas too – I did hope that the film would not disappoint!

So, did it?
And what did we all think of the 2016 Grease Live DVD?
:¦:-• About Grease Live-•-:¦:

'Grease: Live' is a television special that was first aired on January 31, 2016 with the DVD being released on 28 Nov. 2016. It was a live, televised adaptation of the 1971 musical Grease, and based widely on the 1977 film 'Grease' starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John.

This 2016 production incorporated elements and songs from both the original stage musical and the film version of Grease, as well as some songs that were not present in either. In an attempt to compete with the "energy" of a theatrical setting, live audiences were incorporated into the production's staging. It was broadcast from Warner Bros. Studios, using two soundstages and the studio's outdoor backlot.

Based on Grease (musical) and Grease (film)
Written by Robert Cary and Jonathan Tolins
Directed by Thomas Kail and Alex Rudzinski
Presented by Mario Lopez
Country United States
Producers Greg Sills and Adam Siegel
Location) Warner Bros., Burbank, California
Running time 130 minutes
Production co Paramount Television and Marc Platt Productions
Release January 31, 2016

:¦:-• The Story -•-:¦:

I am not going to insult your intelligence by giving you a detailed storyline for Grease, as there can be very few people who have not come across it in one form or another,
A short synopsis is that a summer romance between 1950s high school students Danny and Sandy is coming to an end along with the school holidays. Goody two shoes Sandy and bad boy Danny are unexpectedly reunited when Sandy is transferred to Rydell High – coincidentally the high school where Danny goes.
The story then follows the final year of high school for Danny and the T Birds and the cynical Rizzo and the Pink Ladies, as Sandy tries to win back Danny's heart again.

Of course, ‘Grease’ actually started on the stage before the film was released; and it mixes a lot of basics from the 1950’s era, car culture, teenage sexuality, drive ins, coffee shops etc., but it's really all about the music, which helps tell the story of young love "torn apart at the seams” .
The reason though that ‘Grease’ has stood the test of time is that it contains a group of some of the most memorable songs ever to be sung in a musical, all performed by equally memorable characters.

:¦:-• Cast -•-:¦:

Julianne Hough as Sandy Young (changed from "Sandy Dumbrowski" in the theatrical production and "Sandy Olsson" in the 1978 film)
Aaron Tveit as Danny Zuko
Vanessa Hudgens as Betty Rizzo
Carlos PenaVega as Kenickie
Carly Rae Jepsen as Frenchy
Keke Palmer as Marty Maraschino
Kether Donohue as Jan
David Del Rio as Putzie
Jordan Fisher as Doody
Andrew Call as Sonny
Mario Lopez as Vince Fontaine
Ana Gasteyer as Principal McGee
Elle McLemore as Patty Simcox
Wendell Pierce as Coach Calhoun
Eve Plumb as Mrs. Murdock
Sam Clark as Leo
Didi Conn as Vi
Barry Pearl as Mr. Stan Weaver
Yvette Gonzalez-Nacer as Charlene "Cha-Cha" DiGregorio
Noah Robbins as Eugene Felsnick
Joe Jonas as Johnny Casino
DNCE as The Gamblers
Jon Robert Hall as Tom Chisum
Boyz II Men as the Teen Angels
Jessie J as the "Grease (Is the Word)" singer
Haneefah Wood as Blanche

:¦:-• The Differences -•-:¦:

Let me start with noting the differences I found between the film and the live show.

• I have to say that the main difference I noticed was the diversity in the cast, in contrast to the mostly white group featured in the '70s version – several of the main actors were replaced by black actors (including Coach Calhoun, Pink Lady, Marty and Blanche.)

• In the film, Sandy was from Australia (though, that was mostly because of Newton-John's accent) and called "Sandy Olsson”, in this version she’s from Salt Lake City and called Sandy Young.

• In the film Danny and Sandy meet at the School bonfire in this version they are reunited on the first day of school.

• A new scene was added when Sandy auditioned to become cheer leader, and there were also male cheerleaders in this version.

• The Victory Bell was stolen, it wasn’t in the film

• In the film the song ‘Freddy my Love’ and "Those Magic Changes," were only played on the juke box – in this version they were sung by Marty and Doody.

• A lot of the words were cleaned up in the songs; in the film, Rizzo uses a certain Italian curse word when singing "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee." this was changed to "be cool," instead.
And in ‘Greased Lightning’ the words were much more family friendly. Instead of getting their rocks off and making chicks cream in a p*ssy wagon, the T-birds are just making out and making chick scream in a dragon wagon.

• In the film, Sandy orders the same meal as Danny's burger, fries, and shake, in this she stuck to her soda. Also, Jan is never referred to as fat in this version.

• When Frenchy ‘the beauty school dropout ‘is alone in the diner, she belts out “All I Need Is An Angel," an original song.

• In the film version, Sandy ditched the dance when Doody took her away and Danny started dancing with Cha-Cha. In this version, it was because she got camera shy as she was at the dance behind her parent’s back.

• The Mooning scene from the dance is dropped.

• Jan’s famous line "See a penny pick it up. All day long you'll have good luck." was dropped even though in the film this was the reason that Kenickie couldn’t drive in the drag race.

• The change I disliked the most was Teen Angel – instead of Frankie Avalon Teen angel was a group – Boys II Men – it didn’t work for me!

• Oh, one final thing – I missed the dancing hot dog in the background of ‘Sandy’ at the Drive In and sadly, on the fantasy front, there was no flying car at the end of this version!!
:¦:-• My Opinion -•-:¦:

We sat down to watch it;”I hope it’s not like Grease 2” utters my daughter – who has still never got over the disappointment of the sequel!!

From the start, I felt sorry for the cast and crew; just how hard must it have been to tackle such a crowd-pleaser that's been firmly engrained in the minds of audiences thanks to the wonderful John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John 1978 film. Comparisons and judgements were unavoidable, and having to do it all live in just one go only added to their problems!!
However, the moment that Jessie J appeared on-screen, dancing through dressing rooms, across sets and interrelating with the actors as she sang the memorable theme tune I knew we were in for a treat!!

I thought that generally the show was very well-cast; obviously again we had people acting as high school kids who were well too old - Aaron Tveit, at 32 plays Danny Zuko, but he did pull off off the singing and dancing well – but he was no John Travolta!
Julianne Hough (at 27) as Sandy was perhaps a weaker actress but she certainly looked and sounded more like Olivia Newton John. I didn’t think that Vanessa Hudgens had the same natural edge that Stockard Channing brought to Rizzo, but she was terrific in her solo, “There Are Worse Things I Could Do.” (especially when you hear that her father died just the day before the show)
Carly Rae Jepsen, played a delightful Frenchy and her solo was one of the shows highlights and Kether Donahue brought a lot of fun to every moment that she was on screen as the tubby Jan. In general, the Pink Ladies won hands down against the Thunderbirds!!

There were also some good comic moments from the likes of Kether Donohue as Jan, Ana Gasteyer as Principal Mcgee and Haneefah Wood as Blanch. And the school swots, Patty Simcox and Eugene Felsnick got more screen time and were both wonderful, especially Elle McLemore whose Patty Simcox was inspired.

There were several big set pieces that were well performed and simply sang,especially the big “Born to Hand Jive” number in the gym, it was excellent. The concluding numbers — “We Go Together” and “You’re the One that I Want” — were also enthusiastic and entertaining/

:¦:-• Ratings -•-:¦:

• Rotten Tomatoes: 91% from 34 reviews
• IMDb: 7.5/10 from 6,626 votes
:¦:-• Critics -•-:¦:

Variety: “'Grease Live!' was as sweet and tasty as a root beer float."

New York Post: "‘Grease Live’ was actually watchable"

Vuture: "Grease: Live Is the First TV Musical to Feel Like Actual Theater"

:¦:-• Soundtrack -•-:¦:

The official soundtrack album, ‘Grease: Live - Music from the Television Event’, was released on January 31 201
In the show, 23 songs were performed, but only 19 were included in the official soundtrack.

1. "Grease (Is the Word)" Jessie J
2. "Summer Nights" Grease: Live cast
3. "Freddy, My Love" Keke Palmer
4. "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" Vanessa Hudgens
5. "Greased Lightnin'" Aaron Tveit and Carlos PenaVega
6. "Those Magic Changes" Jordan Fisher and Aaron Tveit
7. "All I Need Is an Angel" Carly Rae Jepsen
8. "Beauty School Dropout" Boyz II Men
9. "Cake by the Ocean" DNCE
10. "Maybe (Baby)" DNCE
11. "Born to Hand Jive" DNCE
12. "Hopelessly Devoted to You" Julianne Hough
13. "Sandy" Aaron Tveit
14. "There Are Worse Things I Could Do" Vanessa Hudgens
15. "You're the One That I Want" Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit
16. "We Go Together" Grease: Live cast
17. "Rock n' Roll Party Queen" DNCE
18. "Rock n' Roll Is Here to Stay" DNCE
19. "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee (Reprise)" Julianne Hough
20. "Grease (Is the Word)" (Karaoke version) Instrumental

:¦:-• DVD Details -•-:¦:

The DVD is just one disc, packaged in a standard keep case; perfect sound with clean, crisp dialogue and visual details with good colour. Surprisingly it is not available on Blu Ray.
The Extras

For me this is one occasion when I was interested in the extras.
We are now back to being a vinyl owning family as I bought my son a turntable for Christmas. One of the vinyl’s we used to own ‘back in the day’, that sticks in my head is our Grease album (or the 2 of them we wore out!!)
That was because of the inner cover with all the Rydell High year book entries that I am sure anyone old enough to have seen it will remember.

So just how much bonus content does this DVD provide?
The extras start with a piece (just over 5 minutes long) called "Without a Net: Performing Grease Live!" In this the main cast, and some of the principal creative staff, discuss the excitement that comes with performing live and why they wanted to do it, as well as some of the challenges faced and techniques used, with some rehearsal footage underneath the interviews.
Next at just over 4 minutes long is "Becoming the ‘T'-Birds and Pink Ladies" where the ladies discuss the inspiration they got from the original film, and talk about their characters in a brief featurette. This is followed by "Greasin' Up the Joint" (around 4 ½ minutes long) with a look at the sets and costumes, with a focus on how the crew approached the idea of making their version of Grease something different.
The 4-minute piece "Be-bop, Swing, and Jitterbug: The Choreography and Dancers of Grease Live!" shows the choreographer and dancers working on their moves, along with information on how the director choreographed the camera work to go alongside the dancing. There's also a demonstration of the special's variation on the film's famous "hand jive".
Then, the longest extra at over 6 minutes long is “What Was Your First…?" just a little bit of fun about the cast's first kisses, dances, brushes with the law etc.
The extras finish with a piece almost 3 minutes long "My Favourite Grease Moment", as the cast remember their best-loved bits from the original film, illustrated with clips.
There are also a few previews are also included on the disc.

As of 08/01/17 ‘Grease Live’ can be purchased from Amazon new from £11.88, used from £13.71
Some DVDs on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK and are if you have a Prime account, if neither of these apply add £1.26 for postage
You can also watch it instantly from £3.49 with Amazon Instant Video and it is available to rent on DVD from LOVEFiLM By Post.


Format: PAL
Language: English
Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
Region: Region 2
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
Number of discs: 1
Classification: 12
Studio: Universal Pictures
DVD Release Date: 28 Nov. 2016
Run Time: 125 minutes

:¦:-• In Conclusion -•-:¦:

I have always loved ‘Grease’, but for anyone who hates musicals and hates ‘Grease’ this DVD won’t change your mind all of the sudden. But for the multi-generational people who DO love ‘Grease’, there was plenty to love about Grease Live! There was a lot that could have gone wrong, but instead, we get over two hours of great toe tapping entertainment, featuring many praiseworthy moments, all backed by a soundtrack that’s been getting people to sing along for several decades now and is sure to continue in the future.
If you were a fan of the film – don’t be put off do watch this – just ignore that/those darned Teen Angel/s


Film pictures from Google

Thanks for reading, I hope that you have found this review useful
•:*¨:¦:-•© Sellerleygirl January 2017 -•-:¦:*:•

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Comments on this review

  • stephbond1989 published 04/02/2017
    Excellent review
  • euphie published 10/01/2017
    e :o)
  • Mac83 published 09/01/2017
    E rev :)
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Product Information : Grease Live (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Classification: 12 years and over

Actor(s): Vanessa Hudgens, Julianne Hough, Aaron Tveit, Keke Palmer

Director(s): Thomas Kail

Sub Sub Genre: Musicals & Other Music Films

DVD Region: DVD

Production Year: 2016

EAN: 5053083086626


Listed on Ciao since: 02/01/2017