JAWS (WIDESCREEN 30TH
ANNIVERSARY EDITION) (1975)
Jaws (Widescreen 30th Anniversary Edition) (1975)
Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw
Director: Steven Spielberg
Encoding: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Format: Color, Widescreen, Dolby
Run Time: 124
- Available subtitles: English, Spanish, French
- Available Audio Tracks: English (Dolby Digital
5.1), English (DTS 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0), French (Dolby
Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
- The Making of Jaws For the first time ever on DVD,
viewers will get a complete glimpse into the making of Jaws with this
- From The Set An insider's look at life on the set of
Jaws, featuring a never-before-available interview with Steven
- Deleted Scenes
- Jaws Archives Take a peek inside the Jaws archives
including storyboards, production photos, and marketing materials, as
well as a special segment on the Jaws phenomenon.
era of the modern blockbuster didn't arrive with
Star Wars in the summer of 1977, but
actually a few years earlier with this Steven Spielberg-directed movie
about a giant shark terrorizing a small coastal community (as if you
needed to be told that).
The movie became a pop cultural
phenomenon and forever changed the way Hollywood movies are made. From now
on films would be more visceral, fast-paced, and less personal.
But it isn't exactly fair to blame to the
excesses of today's modern blockbuster (Chronicles
of Riddick or Van Helsing anyone?) on
Jaws since the movie doesn't make any of the mistakes these films
Special effects are employed in aid of
the story. In fact one simply doesn't see the killer shark until about
halfway through the movie. Jaws also runs a leisurely two hours
instead of trying to tie up its plot in an attention deficit
syndrome-addled hour-and-a-half running time. In the process, it spends
some time on characterization and atmosphere. One can just imagine The
Mummy director Stephen Sommers leaving actor Robert Shaw's famous
sinking of the Indianapolis speech on the cutting floor because it
slowed down the action!
Sure, the movie threw out some of the
novel's human subplots, especially those involving an adulterous affair
between the Oceanographer character (played in the movie by Richard
Dreyfus) and the Chief of Police's wife, but this is all for the better
The reputation of the original 1975 flick
may have been somewhat tarnished by the various bad sequels (none of them
involving director Spielberg) and a horde of lousy imitators (such as
Piranha, Orca - the Killer Whale and the like), but this is
mostly in the minds of people who haven't seen the original in quite a
while or at all. Take my word on this: Jaws remains in a class of
its own and this DVD is worth overturning the Sci-Fi Movie Page's
editorial consistency for.
Some other things that struck me
regarding the movie: how many "ordinary" people it features. Few - if any
people - in this movie look as if they've just wandered off from the
Baywatch set, which adds to the film's overall naturalism. If it were
to be remade today "ordinary-looking" stars such as Roy Scheider and
Richard Dreyfus will probably have to make way for Brad Pitt and Tom
DISC: Yeah, yeah, I know it isn't sci-fi. Sue me. But there was no way
in hell I was going to say no to a review copy of this newly released
30th Anniversary Edition DVD (has it been this long already?).
Of course, Jaws was first released
on DVD five years ago as, you guessed it, a 25th Anniversary edition.
The two sets are more or less the same and this latest incarnation offers
no urgent incentive to upgrade.
If you don't already own this movie, then
this DVD should be on your shopping list. Besides being jam-packed with
the usual goodies (deleted scenes, trailers, stills, etc.) it has a long
and fascinating making of documentary on the second disc which is
well-worth checking out. Also, the DVD set boasts a neat full-color
collectible show it off to your friends booklet.
Unfortunately there is no director's
commentary, but you'll get enough info from the great bearded one on the
aforementioned documentary to make up for this.
WORTH IT? Hell, yeah. All movies
should get this deluxe treatment and the only sour note is that this
edition exists at all ?do all major movie milestones warrant the movie
being re-released on DVD? Does that mean that we are going to get
anniversary DVD editions of 1941 and Hook too?
RECOMMENDATION: If you haven't
seen this movie in decades or at all, then what are you waiting for? Worth
buying or a rental. Just make sure that your local video shop also
supplies you with the supplementary second disc.