My Five Favorite “Grease” Musical Numbers

If there’s anything that Paramount loves to do is unleash “Grease” at any given opportunity. They consistently re-release it on physical media, and in theaters. And while it sounds like I’m complaining (I kind of am), the re-release of “Grease” was only inevitable since Paramount is now streaming “Rise of the Pink Ladies,” the prequel series to “Grease.” With “Grease” being a bonafide childhood favorite, and set to be put in to theaters once again on May 14th and 17th for its 45th Anniversary, I ran down my five favorite numbers from the classic film. I never could figure out why Danny drives away with Kenickie’s hot rod in the end. I love the movie. Honest.

What’s your favorite “Grease” number?

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The Bootleg Files: The Dumb Waiter

BOOTLEG FILES 826: “The Dumb Waiter” (1987 film directed by Robert Altman and starring John Travolta and Tom Conti).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.


REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: There seems to be a rights issue that has yet to be cleared.

Not likely at the moment.

By the mid-1980s, filmmaker Robert Altman’s career was going through a rough patch. During the 1970s, he was praised by critics as being one of the era’s most original and provocative creative artists, but that adulation did not win him favor with studio executives with whom he had difficult relationships. After a series of box office flops and the indignity of having one film – the 1979 all-star “HealtH” – shelved by 20th Century Fox, Altman found himself focusing on small, lower budget works that were released by smaller art house distributors. He also pursued projects for television, which was highly unusual for a director of Altman’s prestige.
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John Badham: On Directing

John Badham, the director behind classic films including “Saturday Night Fever,” “Blue Thunder” and “War Games,” offers an engaging insight on directing films, with rich anecdotes from his illustrious career on this episode of “The Online Movie Show.”

The episode can be heard here.

Gotti (2018)

If anything, “Gotti” will go down as one of the most infamous movies of 2018. It’s a movie was in development hell for years, snuck up on audiences, and garnered a ton of bad reviews. And it responded by insulting critics and talking down to its audience. Make no mistake though, “Gotti” is bad. It’s very bad. It’s pure Oscar bait, with a director who realty wants his film to be “Goodfellas,” and a leading star who is so completely out of his lane it’s kind of sad to watch. Here John Travolta doesn’t seem to be acting, so much as competing for an Oscar nod, and it’s an endurance test from beginning to end.

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Face/Off (1997)

America never did John Woo any favors, did it? The man who gave us “The Killer” and “Hard Boiled” now offers us a movie where American stars John Travolta and Nicolas Cage seem to be competing to see who is a worse actor. I guess when you’re working alongside Cage, though, you either have to be as awful as he is, or else risk causing some kind of black hole. Either way, for a man who has such a skill for delivering breakneck action films, “Face/Off” is that movie so moronic, you can’t even excuse it as science fiction. It’s kind of that movie you just accepted in 1997 mainly because Cage and Travolta joining forces was a little better than when Travolta met Christian Slater in “Broken Arrow.”

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In a Valley of Violence (2016)

inavalleyofviolenceIn a year where Hollywood is trying very hard to resurrect the star studded Western once more, Ti West comes along and casts Ethan Hawke in one of the most simplistic love letters to the sub-genre ever filmed. “In a Valley of Violence” doesn’t so much have a narrative as it has a string of events that coincide with one another, leading in to a chain of revenge, violence, and death. Ethan Hawke’s character isn’t a hero, and John Travolta’s character isn’t entirely villainous, they’re both pushed in to unfortunate corners. It then becomes a bunch of scoundrels striking one another down thanks to the actions of one individual who sets up a huge string of events that slam in to one another in bloody chaos. Ethan Hawke stars as enigmatic Paul, a lone drifter who has only his side arms, his horse, and his loyal dog Abbey by his side.

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Carrie (1976): 40th Anniversary Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

carrie-blu-rayWith the opening of “Carrie,” we see a brutal horror unfold with main character the titular Carrie White taking a shower during gym class and discovering the horror of her first period. She’s a girl who’s never really been given an explanation on anatomy or biology thanks to her religiously fanatical mother, and is terrified. Sadly the predators in her class that revel in bullying Carrie torment her by throwing tampons and towels at her as she screams. While the scene itself is jarring and the epitome of the cruelty Carrie inexplicably receives, it’s also the implication that ultimate evil has been realized. Though it’s mostly hinted at by Carrie’s mother, Carrie, despite being a good person at heart, is also pure evil personified.

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