Article

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

DVD Features:

  • 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 2-hour documentary.
  • From The Set An insider's look at life on the set of Jaws, featuring a never-before-available interview with Steven Spielberg.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes
  • 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.


Movie:
Disc:

The 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 make.

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 ultimately.

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 Cruise!

THE 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.


 



 

Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest Headlines

Most Popular

Copyright © 1997-forward James O'Ehley/The Sci-Fi Movie Page (unless where indicated otherwise).