Travolta In His Prime
Thomas Magnum | NJ, USA | 10/09/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This box set culls together three of John Travolta's most popular and successful films into one nice and easy package for fans of the man.Grease has finally made its debut on the DVD format. The movie is a long time favorite thanks to countless airings on television that constantly brought in new fans of the movie who weren't even born when the movie was released in 1978. Adapting the immensely popular Broadway show to the big screen brought forth some changes. The theater production had a raunchier edge to it with much more overt ... nature. The film tones that side quite a bit, but it makes up for it in sheer exuberance. John Travolta was the hottest star in Hollywood at the time with the success of Saturday Night Fever on the big screen and Welcome Back Kotter on television. He is perfectly cast as Danny Zuko, the likable greaser and leader of the T-Birds who falls for the wholesome Sandy Olsen played by Olivia Newton-John in her big screen debut. Ms. Newton-John can clearly handle the singing side of the role, but her acting and dancing are suspect at best. Jeff Conaway adds the right amount of toughness as Kenicke and Stockard Channing is excellent as Rizzo, the tough as nails head of the Pink Ladies (Ms. Channing's singing is better than Ms. Newton-John's acting, but not by much and seems oddly out of place as a teenager). The films is full of actors and singers who were popular in the 50's like Frankie Avalon, Sid Caesar, Edd Byrnes and Eve Arden. Grease is extremely entertaining and pure fun to watch and is really the last success old fashioned movie musical Hollywood produced.Saturday Night Fever was not only the film that made John Travolta a superstar, but also it defined the style of a generation. Disco started to infiltrate the music scene as early as 1974 (with hits like "Rock Your Baby" by George McRae). Discos were wildly popular in New York City by 1976 and they provided an outlet for the youth of the city to escape reality and dance away the night amid drinks, ... Inspired by an article in the New Yorker magazine that described the scene, producer Robert Stigwood wanted to capture it in a movie. He realized the music is what drove the discos and he recruited his biggest act, The Bee Gees to record songs for the film. This proved ingenious as the soundtrack and the movie are inseparable. Although the band does not physically appear in the film, they are the co-stars of the film with Mr. Travolta. The film and soundtrack became huge hits in late 1977 and into 1978 and disco moved from the urban cities to the heartland of America. The film itself seems a bit dated, but it is saved from being a complete period piece by Mr. Travolta's superb acting. He completely embodies the character of Brooklynite Tony Manero who works in a paint store during the week and lives to dance at the local disco on the weekends. At work and at home, he's a nobody, but at the disco, he is the king. The dancing scenes are classics and often imitated, but Mr. Travolta is the real deal on the dance floor. Mr. Travolta earned the first of his two Best Actor Academy Award nominations for the film and it was richly deserved. The soundtrack went on to spend 24 weeks at number one, spawn 4 number one singles and for a time was the biggest selling album in music history.Urban Cowboy is an attempt to replicate the success John Travolta had with the disco scene with the country music scene that was burgeoning at the time in 1980. Whereas Mr. Travolta was perfectly cast as Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever, he seems out of place as Bud in this film. The characters in the film, much like those in Saturday Night Fever, as working stiffs who escape the monotony of their lives by going to a bar to dance, drink and ride a mechanical bull. Instead of a discotheque, the main hang out is a honky tonk called Gilley's (which is a real bar owned by country music singer Mickey Gilley). The film revolves around the relationship of Bud and Sissy (played by a young Debra Winger) who meet at Gilley's. They fall in love, get married, separate as each go on dalliances with others and in the end get back together. While the film has some decent moments, the bull riding does get old after a while, a very fine soundtrack, it ultimately comes off as an attempt to recreate Saturday Night Fever and it doesn't succeed."
Great Overview of Early Travolta
firstname.lastname@example.org | usa | 10/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"John Travolta was truly on Fire back in the day.He made 3 Great Films in a row."Grease" was Slammin,Saturday Night Fever Made Him a House Hold Name&Urban Cowboy which still is Cool.He was in the zone.this is a solid Collection.Travolta was Cool back in the day."
The best of "Young Travolta"
Jeff Nation | Frisco, Texas USA | 09/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Who doesn't know these movies by now? I'm glad they picked these 3 for a box set. A perfect gift for the wife!"