Hello, I am DjPault. This blog is dedicated to Olivia Newton-John. I have been hopelessly devoted to Olivia ever since my aunt took me to see "Grease" in 1978 when I was eight years old. On this blog you'll find rare pictures, the latest news and more. I also run an 80's remix blog called Burning The Ground so come visit me there too.
Enjoy your visit and check bac often.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Hopelessly devoted 'Grease' fans can sing along in theaters
Grease is a movie made in the '70s and based on a stage musical about the '50s.
And 32 years later, the story of a high school romance between a good girl and a renegade boy — starring Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta— will reclaim summer nights nationwide when Grease: Sing-A-Long is released in select theaters Thursday.
The movie, which Paramount Pictures will release for a two-week engagement in 12 markets (five more markets will open July 15), is the same as the 1978 version — but with a twist. During the musical numbers, lyrics appear at the bottom of the screen along with playful animations (floating hearts during Summer Nights and Hand Jive how-to's, for example).
It has also been digitally enhanced for brighter and sharper color.
"The whole idea of Grease was to make it bigger than life," says the film's director, Randal Kleiser.
"It looks much better and like the way we would have done it if we had the technology back in '77."
Newton-John, who played the wholesome Sandy, is looking forward to seeing the film herself as soon as she can "get a day off." She also plans to sing along.
"I'll find a quiet corner, of course, and wear a hat or something," she says. "The group ones where everybody harmonizes, I'm looking forward to, like We Go Together at the end. Those are going to be the fun ones to do with an audience."
Kleiser also predicts that the up-tempo group numbers will be a hit with audiences. "But I have to say that during Hopelessly Devoted to You, there's one section where people really howl."
Over the years, Kleiser has done "low-rent" Grease singalongs at film festivals using PowerPoint and "pushing the space bar for every lyric."
Last week, during a screening at the Hollywood Bowl, he saw his film reborn in a way that reminded him of seeing The Rocky Horror Picture Show in college.
An audience of 18,000 (many dressed as T-Birds and Pink Ladies) was given props to use during certain scenes. Bubbles filled the air during Beauty School Dropout, and thousands of yellow flags waved to kick off the drag-race scene.
"There are very few directors who go through something like that in their career," Kleiser says.
"It was just so exciting to be surrounded by 18,000 people loving this movie more than 30 years later."
Yet some of the film's most beloved elements are also its most controversial. The trailer is missing a few cigarettes (deleted digitally), as well as some innuendo. Those changes, Kleiser assures fans, were only for the general-audiences preview.
"I would have hated it if they had done that to the movie," Kleiser says. "People remember this movie really well. There are ways to get around it without changing the words."
For example, objectionable words in song lyrics will be replaced by animated graphics (such as a euphemistic cat to replace a certain word in Greased Lightning).
Given the limited scope of the film's release, Paramount is hoping to replicate the technique it used to make the horror film Paranormal Activity a viral hit last year, allowing fans to "demand it" in local theaters by voting for it on eventful.com.
Yet the film has already gone viral across the generations.
Three decades after its release, Newton-John (who recently appeared in another high school musical, Glee) is busy with cancer awareness and health-related projects, and she's putting the finishing touches on a healing and relaxation album that's a far cry from Grease.
But she doesn't mind that the rousing and sometimes raunchy musical still defines her for many fans.
"I remember South Pacific, all those movies that I loved growing up," she says. "And I never dreamed that I would get to be in a movie that was that loved."