Monday, February 4, 2013

636. GREASE (1978)


Running Time: 110 minutes
Directed By: Randal Kleiser
Written By: Bronte Woodard, Allan Carr, from musical by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey
Main Cast: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Jeff Conaway, Stockard Channing, Barry Pearl
Click here to view the trailer

GREASE IS THE WORD

"I got chills / They're multiplyin' / And I'm losing control / Cause the power you're supplying / It's electrifyin'."

Last night, I let my wife do the movie picking for me, as she was in the mood to watch one with me and after a quick trip to the DVD shelf, she came back with "Grease" - a personal favorite of hers. I'd seen "Grease" a few times in my day, but never really affixed a rating to it. This viewing was my chance to size it up, once and for all.


To be honest, there's really not much of a plot. You see...it's really not about the story, but more about the songs. However, I'm a stickler for relaying some sort of semblance of a plot, so I'll see what I can do. Danny Zuko (Travolta) meets Sandy Olsen (Newton-John) during summer vacation. The two fall in love and enjoy a pretty timid romance (in by ten o'clock, drinking lemonade...real rebel business for these two) at the beach, during the course of summer vacation. At the end of the summer, Sandy announces that she'll be returning to Australia and Danny will be becoming a Senior at Rydell High School, where he's the leader of the T-Birds gang. Upon his return to high school, Danny tells his fellow T-Birds about the "wild" summer he had, taking Sandy's cherry and all that jazz, leaving out the lemonade business. What Danny doesn't know at this point, is that Sandy had a change of plans and is actually AT Rydell High. When Danny finally runs into Sandy, he blows her off, so that he doesn't look like a lovelorn loser in front of his pals, including his best pal and T-Bird second Kenickie (Conaway) and Sandy is heartbroken. Later, Sandy begins dating a member of the football team and is accepted into the Pink Ladies, a female version of the T-Birds, headed up by Rizzo (Channing), who doesn't care for Sandy that much. When Danny becomes jealous over Sandy's new boyfriend, he gets her back with ease. They break up and get back together a few more times over the course of the film. Meanwhile, Kenickie buys a car that looks and runs like a heap of junk and plans to fix it up and race it at Thunder Road against the Scorpions, a rival gang.


SPOILER ALERT!

I'm just going to lay it right out on the table...I had a blast watching this. I mean, sure the plot is an absolute mess, but until I sat down and actually started to write this review, I didn't even realize what a barely there plot this one has. And, like I said, it really isn't about the plot. The plot is just there to give the actors a reason to sing their songs and it's the songs that make the movie. Literally EVERY song in the movie is listenable and the majority of them are so catchy you'll be shocked to realize that your snapping your fingers, tapping your toes and singing along with John and Olivia. I think my personal favorite and non-obvious choice for best song would have to be "Sandy" by Travolta, but seriously, who doesn't love "Summer Nights" and "You're the One That I Want"? In fact, watch "Grease" and then come and TRY to tell me that you didn't sing along, not once and I'll deem you the liar that you are! Even the song that I like the least, "Beauty School Dropout", is even pretty good and how can you dislike something being sung by Frankie Avalon, as he dances on a stage of white, oozing swag out the yin-yang.


It's funny, like I said, I'd seen "Grease" a bevy of times in my life, but I'd never really thought enough to give it a rating or even speak of it when talking about my favorite movies. If I'd had to peg a rating on it, prior to last night's watching, without re-watching it, I'd have pegged it for a '6' or so. However, it's more like a '9' and that's a credit to THE BOOK. Watching all these movies has allowed me to look at movies in a different light. Movies that I wouldn't have thought twice about before, after watching them in a row with all these other classics and sitting down to write a few words about them, I sometimes realize just how good certain things are...and sometimes, just how bad. So, in conclusion, forget the cheesy, barely there plot. You don't watch "Grease" for that. You watch "Grease" for the unforgettable songs, Travolta's never ending supply of cool and Olivia Newton-John's size -3 black leather pants. Great movie...end of story.

RATING: 9/10  Can't go all the way, just because, but who cares. It's great, I had fun and in the end, that's one of the reasons we all watch movies.

MOVIES WATCHED: 609
MOVIES LEFT TO WATCH: 392

February 4, 2013  9:51pm

3 comments:

  1. I love your review on this; it sums up the movie so perfectly. If I had to have a serious debate with somebody about the merits of the film , I would probably lose. Still, I love it and have seen it maybe around 15 times.

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, it's one of those ones that I definitely couldn't explain why I liked it and normally I wouldn't like something like this. However, here, everything just clicked and appealed perfectly to me. Thanks Amanda!

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  2. Its a Musical only that, its a movie to relax and enjoy there is a lot of examples in the book of that kind of films. is 1001 movies that you must watch, not only the bests. Its a general review of more of 100 years of cinema there are good movies and 100% pure entertainment like this movie.

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