on 13 August 2006
The problem with the Jaws series is that there's not a lot you can do with a shark other than having it hang around a beach and attack people from time to time.
Jaws 2 is a decent effort as far as sequels go. It's a bit of a rehash, but has some nice set pieces and by focussng on Brody's paranoia adds something to the characterisation as well.
Jaws 3 is my least favourite. It has little connection to the other films, and was a poor attempt to breathe some life into series that had run its course (it was released in 3D if I remember rightly).
Jaws - The Revenge is simply one of the worst films ever made. And I meant that in a good way! It's got Michael Caine at his worst, and the suggestion that sharks somehow have a personal vendatta against the Brody family. It's as trashy as hell, but well worth a chuckle.
Remember the Meatloaf song? Well I needed Jaws 2, I wanted Jaws 3, as for Jaws 4 it fills a space in the box.
As was explained in Jaws 2 Shark's don't hold grudges but here we have a series of sharks who have it in for the Brody bunch big style.
Jaws 2 is a good movie and captures Chief Brody's fall from grace quite admirably. It is well acted, the addition of the kids was a great idea. The attack on the flotilla of small boats at the end is very well done. The scarred shark looks great. There are plenty of extras on the Jaws 2 disc, a documentary on the making of Jaws 2, deleted scenes, scoring the movie. The other 2 discs are devoid of extras of any note.
Jaws 3, set in a marine park goes off at a tangent but is a suitable addition to the series. The 3D effects do get a little tedious and the 35 foot shark stretches credibility but as an action movie it works for me.
Jaws The Revenge is an utter travesty but as Michael Caine says it enabled him to build a house. The idea of a Shark travelling along the coast looking for revenge....this has plumbed uncharted depths. The movie may have been redeemed if Caine had mentioned something about blowing the bloody jaws off. Even the scene with Mike Brody's daughter copying his actions at the table, a scene copied from the original movie is more of an insult than a tribute. There are several other scenes that bear a resemblance to incidents from the first 3 movies.
As I love shark movies I just had to have all the Jaws movies but that's purely because I am a compulsive completist, Jaws The Revenge should be avoided by any sane people, but get 2 & 3 by all means.
John Williams memorable Jaws motif is used throughout and is by far the classiest part of these last three films.
on 19 October 2008
A short summation. Jaws 2 was a respectable sequel, let down only by Scheider's lacklustre performance (he reportedly didnt want to do the film, but was contractually obliged to) and by the incessant girly screaming in the catamaran sequences in the 2nd half ("aaaaaaah...a shark....get the boys to deal with it..." etc.) Certainly not the Moby Dick-esque tour-de-force of the "3-Men-In-A-Boat against the marine behemoth" first film (still one of the best films ever made), but more of a teen-slasher Halloween cheap thrills affair for winter popcorn nights in.
The 3rd film was just plain boring. At least they attempted to intercut real footage of sharks for some of the sequences, which added to the reality, although the rubber close-ups are actually worse than in Jaws 1 & 2 (you think they'd try and work out how to do it better...) A dreary, forgettable plot, with ham acting and stunted dialogue. If you make it to the finale you will undoubtedly be disappointed. Guess what happens...
Jaws 4 - the Revenge. Surely one of THE worst films EVER made. An atrocious storyline ("this time its personal"...??? I mean...since when did sharks care about each other, never mind develop the capacity to specifically target land-based members of the family responsible for killing the first two sharks in Amity?) Any semblance of respect I had for Lorraine "Ellen" Grey (or Michael Caine for that matter) was removed with this ridiculous exploitation of the classic first film. Dire script, dire effects, and yet the ending is still one of the most hilarious moments in cinema.
I'm not surprised that Universal didnt want its proudest moment in film (Jaws) tainted by association with these 3 films, and released them seperately.
on 22 May 2007
Jaws has got to be my favourite film of all time - numero uno! I can't fault it, and adore every last frame of that powerful and suspenseful masterpiece... and as blockbusters always do, it spawn a number of sequels, which for the first time are available in one box set. A bargain? Actually, yes and no...
PLOT: Another great white appears in Amity. End of.
A lot of the cast return for this by-the-numbers sequel, which actually turns out to be more like one of those teen slasher movies that we were all to later become so horribly accustomed to. Story aside there's a lot to like here, with Roy Scheider giving an arguably even better performance than in the original movie as Brody battles once again with the mayor, and nearly loses his mind in the process. Having the shark badly scarred adds a certain something but overall it looks worse than Bruce from the first film. John William's score is also top-notch. But, in the frame of that brainless story the pacing is all wrong! We see too much of the shark too soon, it seems to have an appetite for beautiful people that would put Lindsay Lohan to shame, and at the end you just get the feeling that this film just kinda threw itself onto the director's reel without any real care. The extras are good, however they try to make too much out of what is an average film.
>>WARNING SPOILER HERE<<
A baby great white is caught inside the newly opened Sea World in Florida, where Brody's son Mike now works as an engineer. His girlfriend Kate, a marine biologist at the park, asigns herself to take care of the baby Bruce. However, the park's greedy manager wishes to put the shark prematurely on display, and the fishy dies through trauma. At the same time, one of the park's underwater filtration pipes is shut down for repairs after it becomes clogged up with something... and that something would be an extremely pissed off mummy shark!
>>END OF SPOILERS<<
REVIEW: Or "Jaws 3D" as it was in the cinema. Now, if you can get past the obvious 3D effects that don't translate well to screen at all, this is an incredibly fun film! It may not have the original cast, but Dennis Quaid et all do a superb job, and the script ties in elements from the first two films into little character pieces here and there, which is a great touch. I love this movie! It's just brilliant fun from start to finish, with a great mid-film twist (spawned on by what happens in the observation pool, which has actually happened many times in real life) and a relentless climax. The shark is HUGE, looks fantastic, the music is great, the suspense is back after it got lost with Jaws 2, the cast are all lovable and it rattles along nicely. It's not a cinematic masterpiece, no, but sequel-wise, you just don't get any better than this. A brilliantly fun, scary, popcorn movie.
JAWS THE REVENGE
PLOT: Oh dear... A shark reappears at Amity Island tracking down the remaining Brody family one-by-one, and eventually follows Ellen and Mike to the Bahamas to finish the job. I'm not making this up!
REVIEW: At what stage did they ever think that plot was going to be a good idea?! Badly written, badly acted, badly produced, badly directed slop from start to finish. Even Michael Caine only took the part because of a very healthy paycheck and a new private plane he was getting from the movie (plus filming in the Bahamas doesn't hurt! Infact, the lovely long-lensed shots of the islands are the film's only saving graces). Lorraine Gary returns from Jaws 1 and 2, but Mike and Sean are changed again, and indeed this travesty even has the audacity to ignore the other two sequels - the cheek! Apparently the film was to include scenes with drug runners and involve elements of voodoo to give it a creepier edge to the ridiculous idea of the stalker shark (read the novelisation, it has them all and is much better) and a night-time thunderstorm climax was canned because of budget restraints. What a shame all the shark moments couldn't have been filmed at night, as this rubber toy makes the model sharks they used in Baywatch look like animatronic marvels! It just doesn't move, has a huge gap between its mouth and gums, and seems to rest lifelessy against boats instead of attacking them. The first twenty minutes are promising, I'll give it that, but once that "revenge" plot kicks in and wee see old toothy for the first time it crash dives into the realm of worst movies ever. They changed the ending for the home market - and actually made it worse!
SCORE: 1/5 (but worth watching just once becuase of HOW bad it is!)
PACKAGE AND EXTRAS: Great widescreen copies of Jaws 2 and in particular Jaws 3 looks lovely. Jaws The Revenge isn't true widescreen, it is the video version's already cropped 4:3 transfer with additional black bars added top and bottom, so you're losing a LOT of the original film. Nice selection of features on Jaws 2 if you ignore the hype in them, with only trailers on the others.
OVERALL: Jaws 2 is the average one, Jaws 3 the good one, and JTR the pug-ugly one. For the price I'd have still given this set 5/5, as it's as cheap as buying one movie, and one of those movies DOES get 5/5. However, lack of features for the one good film, and the bad aftertaste of the other two drag it down one. But if you can ignore those points pick it up for that one movie.