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Jaws (Two-Disc 30th Anniversary Edition)
30th Anniversary Edition
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Steven Spielberg's terrifying blockbuster is one of the most brilliant, enduring action-suspense movies of all time. Relive the hunt for the great white in this special 30th Anniversary Edition, packed with exclusive bonus features and an all-new Commemorative Photo Journal. Amity's waters will never be the same again. Rediscover this timeless classic that continues to make generations afraid of the ocean.
It's odd that the cornerstone of the new edition is a 10-year-old documentary. Shot for the laserdisc release (the unofficial 20th anniversary edition), the 2-hour "The Making of Jaws" is an excellent telling of how this film was made and became the top grossing film (and launched the career of extras filmmaker Laurent Bouzereau). An hour-long edited version appeared on the 25th anniversary DVD. Here's what else different from the 25th anniversary DVD: an interesting a 9-minute vintage featurette shot for British TV that has never been seen in the States; a few additions to the extensive "Jaws Archives" (production stills, storyboards and the like), and a few new fragments in the deleted scene roll. The image is the same excellent transfer as before but this time you can get the DTS and Dolby sound on the same disc plus a nice 60-page photo journal. A seaworthy set but hardly worth trading in your old DVD. --Doug Thomas
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They asked for a monster movie; what they got changed the industry forever.
Let it be said at once that the changes have turned out to be bad, but that's not the fault of "Jaws", which is a hardcore Seventies movie all the way, full of post-Watergate cynicism about politicians, even small-time ones in a tourist town. But with Spielberg there was a difference: a way forward out of the cynicism, a happy and explosively satisfying ending. The main thing he did was get a bunch of writers to make major changes to Peter Benchley's rather sleazy novel: gone were the subplots about the mayor in hock to the Mafia and Brody's wife and Hooper having an affair (ew). He kept the 3 protagonists on the open sea in the movie's second half (in the book, they go home every night). He got a comedy writer named Carl Gottlieb to deliberately add humor, to lighten things up, to please the crowd, rather than have the movie become some dour remake of "Moby Dick". All such changes were correct, to say the least. And because it was the Seventies, he still took chances, such as the astonishing monologue by Robert Shaw's "Quint" character, mostly written by the actor himself.
Quint relates to the other two men on the boat that he was on the crew of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, and describes the horror of how hundreds of men were eaten by sharks for several days after the craft was torpedoed. The Indianapolis was the ship that delivered the atomic bomb that destroyed Hiroshima, and so the mission was top secret -- assistance was delayed. One can feel that Seventies cynicism creeping in again. But to me, it's as if Quint was spared in 1945 so that he would someday face the greatest shark of all, and meet his fate fighting it.
For all the (justified) talk about how this movie was the Proto-Blockbuster, no summer popcorn flick today would dare have such a scene.
It's a Seventies Blockbuster, so ideas and characters and performances are important. Roy Scheider as the frustrated Chief of Police is our anchor, our Everyman. Richard Dreyfuss is the young hotshot representing Progress and Change, much like Spielberg himself (in fact, Spielberg called Dreyfuss his "alter ego"). And Shaw's Quint? There were many Quints in Seventies cinema (late Sixties, too), like Newman's Cool Hand Luke and Nicholson's Randle P. McMurphy from "Cuckoo's Nest", unable to fit into society, uncontrollable forces of nature. They all came to similar ends.
It's a movie warranting a book-length discussion (and books have been written about it), and I haven't even talked about the mechanical problems with Bruce the Shark or John Williams' immortal score. All that remains to be said here is that Spielberg didn't compromise his vision of what a fun movie could be, he dared to do things his own way despite studio pressure, and the result was one of the most important movies ever made. As Shakespeare said: fortune favors the bold.
5 out of 5.
It is one of the few movie transitions that closely follows the book from which it was adapted.
The movie itself has lost none of its appeal although the fashion of the time does make for some comical moments. It is rare that a movie can combine the dynamics of three powerful actors and have it work so well together. Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss pull it off superbly.
I will not go into the plot as I think the only person that does not know it has probably been living off the grid for the last forty-some years. Instead I will focus on the Blu-Ray DVD.
I have owned the VHS and standard DVD versions of this movie. Not too long ago I had to replace my television which I did with a 4k capable model. The resolution was so good I felt it would be worth getting a compatible Blu-Ray player. When I found JAWS on Amazon, I just had to try with the new setup. I was not disappointed.
Universal Studios has embarked on a project to restore and in some cases improve the picture and sound quality of many of its old films. This version of JAWS is one the results of that project.
The restoration of this movie is excellent. The colors are vibrant and true to life. The sound has also been dramatically improved which greatly added to enjoyment of watching it in a surround-sound environment. In a nut shell the restoration efforts take good advantage of today’s hi-resolution DVD players, televisions and surround-sound systems.
The DVD comes with a number of extras including the making of Jaws, the impact & legacy of the movie, the restoration process and deleted scenes and outtakes to name a few.
This DVD is one any JAWS fan would do well to add to their collection.
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