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Jaws

by Kevin Taft
Contributor
Tuesday Aug 21, 2012
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Known as the first "blockbuster" - and now released on Hi-Def Blu-ray - Steven Spielberg’s classic monster movie "Jaws" still has bite. And boy does it look good when it’s chomping.

It’s hard to believe it’s been thirty-six years since "Jaws" hit screens in the summer of 1976. One of the handful of films in the 70’s that become a cultural phenomenon ("The Exorcist" & "Star Wars" were a few of the others) , the thriller about a killer shark let loose on a small beach community in Amity, New York was the film that made everyone afraid to go swimming in the ocean. And for a few of us, even the deep end of the pool was a bit of a fright. The movie truly catapulted director Steven Spielberg to the top of the filmmaking heap and brought John Williams’ talent as a composer into the forefront of public consciousness. It made audiences long for more thrills and became one of the first movies that people lined up to see repeatedly bringing along family and friends to experience the scariest movie of the year.

So it is a thrill to see the film so beautifully restored as it is here. The blacks are truly black and the sun dappled ocean is magnificent to witness. It’s probably one of the best restorations I’ve seen and makes the film feel like it was shot yesterday with Hi-Def cameras and equipment. The opening sequence alone with the sun setting and the ill-fated skinny-dipper sticking her back-lit leg out of the water is gorgeous. The sound itself was redone in 7.1 surround sound making this release of "Jaws" a better looking and sounding picture than it was even when it was first released. And that’s coming out of the mouth of the director himself.

Even better? The over four hours of extras included on the disc.

  • The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of JAWS - is a fascinating feature-length documentary narrated by the film’s star Roy Scheider that includes never-before-seen footage and current interviews with Spielberg, Scheider, and co-star Richard Dreyfuss.
  • JAWS: The Restoration -a eight minute look at the restoration process that shows you exactly how they did the work and some truly stunning before and after shots.
  • The Making of JAWS - An older two-hour documentary on the making of the film.
  • From the Set -an insider’s look at the set of the film with more from Spielberg himself.
  • Deleted Scenes & Outtakes
  • JAWS Archives - this includes storyboards, production photos, and marketing materials, as well as a featurette on the JAWS phenomenon.
  • Original Theatrical Trailer
  • Ultraviolet & Digital Copy of the Film, Pocket BLU App, & BD-LIVE

    "Jaws"
    Blu-ray $29.98
    www.universalstudiosentertainment.com

  • Kevin Taft is a screenwriter/critic living in Los Angeles with an unnatural attachment to ’Star Wars’ and the desire to be adopted by Steven Spielberg. He can be seen in the flesh on the weekly PBS movie review series "Just Seen It."

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