DVD Reviews

JAWS – Blu-ray Review

By Dana Rae Oct 2, 2012, 19:59 GMT

JAWS – Blu-ray Review

Directed by Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, Jaws set the standard for edge-of-your-seat suspense quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon and forever changing the movie industry. When the seaside community of Amity finds itself under attack by a dangerous great white shark, the town\'s chief of police (Roy Scheider), a young marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss) and a grizzled shark hunter (Robert Shaw) embark on a desperate quest to destroy the beast ...more

JAWS' arrival on Blu-ray features a re-mastered picture that makes it feel like you are watching the classic film for the very first time. Along with the crystal clear picture and killer sound, the release also features enough bonus material to make it truly worth the double dip and purchase price.

From the opening moments as Chrissy’s heads out to the ocean, the re-mastered picture makes everything feel fresh and terrifying all over again - the sound is crystal clear as you can hear her yell, “Help me! It hurts, it hurts!” as the shark drags her mercilessly through water.

Chrissy is the vicious Great White’s first victim, and then the now infamous shark goes on to terrorize the small island town of Amity - taking several lives, including that of a small boy and a dog. The community survives and thrives on the revenue creator by the summer tourists, and the shark takes several bites out of several people before the mayor decides to close the beaches.

Roy Scheider plays sheriff Brody, who is new to the politics of Amity, and wants the beaches closed immediately after Chrissy’s death is discovered. Richard Dreyfuss plays the shark scientist Hooper who comes to Amity to investigate the death. He, too, is not from Amity and doesn’t understand the small town politics that would allow the beaches to stay open while a Carcarian Carcarius roamed freely and makes small meals out of the citizens.

But, of course, most of us have seen JAWS and we understand those politics pretty well: the mayor in his anchor suit (which is really clear on Blu-ray!) is like the used car salesman of the seafaring world. He really does have his town’s interests are heart…maybe not.

People want to swim on the beaches! If they can’t swim in Amity, they will go somewhere else, and take their money with them. Director Steven Spielberg really knows how create those small town characters, that, by the way, live up to standards today and don’t seem cheesy and overrated. 

Lorraine Gary plays Ellen Brody, wife and mother of the Brody brood. She is smiling, concerned for her children, and if anyone has read the book by Peter Benchley (I have!), a really good cook.

The other main character is the grizzled Quint, played by Robert Shaw. In certain scenes, the dialogue could have gone south really fast, but Shaw manages to hold you in the grip of his stories and convinces you that this shark most go down.

But it won’t go down without a fight. Quint is the old seafaring, stereotypical type that the audience first sees when he shows up at the town meeting and demands $10,000 to bring the beast in.

Quint takes his boat, Orca, to go and kill the beastie. Hooper and Brody go, too, though Hooper doesn’t get on so well with Quint. Brody says his now famous line, ‘We are going to need a bigger boat’, when the audience sees the shark for the first time. The back story to seeing the shark actually working is as interesting as the movie, and those stories are almost as enduring and well-known as the actual movie.

The restoration process (which is detailed in the bonus material available on the Blu-ray) was extensive for this film, but it is well-worth it to finally see Jaws on Blu-ray. The quality is amazing. I have seen Jaws many times (this is the movie that convinced me as a small child that staying on the beach is the best idea) but I couldn’t look away. It is that good. It is mesmerizing. For any film collector, this is a must have.

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