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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - August, 2012

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"Jaws" (Blu-ray) - Reviewed by John Johnson

Synopsis

Amity Island, off the coast of New England, is terrorized by a great white shark shortly before the July 4 holiday. The town panics because it is one of the most important days of the year for their economy. They hire a fisherman, Quint (Shaw), to hunt the shark down and kill it. Sheriff Martin Brody (Scheider) and shark researcher Matt Hooper (Dreyfus) go along for the ride, which turns out not only to be thrilling, but deadly. 

Specifications

  • Universal Studios
  • 1975, Color, Rated PG, 2 Hr 4 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfus, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton
  • Directed by Steven Spielberg
Rating
  • Entertainment: 
  • Video: 
  • Audio: 
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

"Jaws" is one of Spielberg's first films, and it is probably his best work. In spite of many setbacks (the mechanical shark was continually breaking down, and the weather changed from day to day, so cloud continuity between one scene and the next is noticeably different), the movie is a masterpiece of storytelling. It scared the hell out me, and I couldn't sleep that night. Bob Hope was quoted as saying, "I'm afraid to take a bath!" I don't quite understand the PG rating, as this most certainly is not a family movie. Your children, if you let them watch it, will want to sleep in your bed for two weeks. It almost calls for an R rating due to the very explicit shark violence, namely gallons of blood and severed body parts.

Technical

This Blu-ray is the result of meticulous restoration, one of 13 films that Universal Studios has decided to put mucho dollars into making them razor sharp, perfect color (except for the old black and white movies, such as "Frankenstein"), no dust, scratches, or wobbly images because the sprocket holes are worn. I saw it in 1975, and I have to say, it looks better on Blu-ray than the original at the theater, thanks to modern digital image processing. The soundtrack has been remastered to 7.1, and it is spectacular. If you are a Blu-ray movie collector (I am in an ongoing process of collecting all my favorite films, as they come out in Blu-ray), this disc is a must-have.

Extras

Lots of extras, including The Making of, The Restoration, Deleted Scenes, Outtakes, and other things.