Seriously, does anyone expect me to write a review of Jaws? It’s almost as old as me, has influenced my movie watching brain for over 30 years, and it’s JAWS! An island community on the brink of their 4th of July weekend become a buffet for a friendly hungry Great White Shark. 1975 made some good movies. For a year halfway between the hippy-dippy turbulent 60’s and the post-apocalyptic wannabe 80’s, 75 fed that empty spot in our souls. That spot that was crying out for a new kind of horror, a modern craving for a fear of monsters that weren’t from outer space or big footed mysteries in the woods. A shark, a real life, breathing (I guess), swimming, security guard of our Earthly seas out there just waiting for our legs to dangle in open waters. The thing is, in this small island town the shark swished powerfully into their shallow waters, near shore, gobbling up snacks like a naked young woman, a boy on a yellow blow up raft, a dog, and a drunken sailor.
What else is there to say exactly? Brody is the sheriff, afraid of the water, protective of his family, and hiding away in the sleepy little town away from a previous life in the big city. His wife is a kind of groovy, laid back woman with a good sense of humor and great bell bottom pants. The sons are young, cute, with a hint of 70’s kid character unimportance about them. There is the town council who are desperate to keep the tourists happy, the beach open, and the shark well fed. The shark expert is a rich cocky scarred enthusiast who wants wine to breath and scuba dives at night after drinking said wine. The even more drunk other guy, a sailor with nerves of steel and a mumbly groan with every sentence that says “screw you” to every elocution coach lurking around Hollywood.
Even without the excellent array of characters, there is a hint of social commentary served up right along side the water logged guy under that one boat boat with the bobbling head, the legless guy in the small boat in the pond, and a can of compressed air. If you are looking for deep meaning and life changing impact, you will only find a new respect for looking at that water around your boat a little bit closer the next time.
The music…well, never mind.
The shark isn’t as bad at the legendary behind the scene tales imply. Bruce did a fine job, gobbled and growled, pounded the boat, pulled the big yellow barrels, and showed enough dead doll eye close ups to make his mark on cinematic history.
It’s always good. It’s always one of those movies that takes me back to earlier days when I hadn’t seen as many movies, not enough to dull some of those superficial senses. It’s the deeper ones that Jaws dredges up, the unseen foe, the relentless villain without motive to kill or reason to stop. The idea of fear isn’t hard to expand on when you tap into those basic things. I want to watch it again, or at least play back some favorite moments in my mind…….”I’m tired and I wanna go to bed. I had me a drink about an hour ago and it went straight to my head.”
- The Shark Is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy Of Jaws – A feature length documentary made by the fans in 2007. This is the first time it has been included in it’s entirety on a home video format.
- The Making Of Jaws – With a running time of over 2 hours, this vintage documentary takes a look behind the scenes. Most Jaws fans will have seen this already but it’s nice for the completists.
- Jaws: The Restoration – A 10 minute look at how they restored Jaws, they actually used a wet scanner and that really is what it says it is.
- Deleted Scenes & Outtakes – A bunch of deleted scenes and outtakes all of these were included on the previous DVD release.
- From The Set – A very British documentary featuring an interview with Mr Spielberg in a little boat (they needed a bigger one)
- Storyboards – Detailed storyboards of all the major scenes in the movie.
- Production Photos – Lots of photos taken from the original shoot.
- Marketing Jaws – Jaws is the movie that started the marketing revolution, check out how it was made into a blockbuster by the Mad Men behind the scenes.
- Jaws Phenomenon – A tribute to the fans who are after all the reason the movie is still relevant now in 2012.
- Original Theatrical Trailer – The original 1975 trailer. They really don’t make them like they used to.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 10/10
Menu, not much to offer. The COVER is a whole other story. Yes, THE cover, that poster, that mouth, those teeth, that swimmer, the beauty. I would have that as a poster in my house, in my living room, of course.
Audio & Video: 10/10
You have never seen Jaws until you have seen this Blu-ray disc. Re scanned from the original film elements this 4K (1080P) transfer is like watching a brand new movie. Supervised by Spielberg’s company Amblin this is not a second rate transfer more like the amazing work Warner did with Casablanca and The Wizard Of Oz. This is the best Jaws will ever look so make sure you pick this one up if you are a fan.
Audio has been given the same deluxe treatment with a brand new DTS-HD Master Audio track that almost makes the movie feel new again. Universal do include the original mono track for the purists. This is not an overall boombastic track and has been mixed with subtlety and class, John William’s iconic score has never sounded so good and the shark actually moves around the speakers when it is stalking the boat. Listen as the shark groans at the end and you will hear a dinosaur roar (Spielberg hinting at Jurassic Park that early in his career?)
Overall the Jaw’s Blu-Ray release from Universal is a must buy for any fans of the film or film in general. Supervised by Spielberg with an amazing looking & sounding transfer if there is one Blu-Ray you should buy this year your looking at it’s review here.
It’s Jaws, feel free to waste time wondering if it’s worth the price. I’m going to get my debit card.
Overall Score 10.5/10