on 7 September 2012
I've broken a golden rule with myself as I vowed never to buy a Blu-ray at its full price if I'd already owned the film on a multitude of different formats before (VHS , Laserdisc , DVD) , but some films are just worth paying that extra for and I honestly couldn't wait for the price to drop as this is one of my all time favourite films.
Its going to be hard not to quote lines from the film or make any corny puns writing this review , so will do my best not too.
After the disappointing picture quality of Spielberg's Jurassic Park box set on Blu-ray , I was more than a little wary of this transfer , but I'm pleased to say that all is excellent with Jaws.
The 7.1 remastering is just incredible through my AV receiver! It was like being sat in the middle of a 94 piece orchestra and has now topped the best sound on any of my Blu-rays.
The scene where the shark attacks the guy in the estuary is a good example of a subtle change in sound. There's a nice deep bass thud through the subwoofer when he is pulled underwater from his upturned boat , and although its a tiny tweak to the sound , it really makes all the difference and now that scene appears more violent than it already was.
The night time attack on the Orca has a similar effect of making a scene more potent , with more bass thudding punch to the sound coming from every direction around your front room when the shark repeatedly hits the boat , and by NO means is the new sound overpowering to these scenes , its just the right touch.
The picture restoration is just fantastic , although I nearly spat my drink out at one point ! Not through being made to jump at a scene but at one stage , I thought Mr Lucas had broken into the editing lounge with his trusty laptop and tweaked about with Spielberg's masterpiece... Thankfully , I wasn't in for a world of hurt , pain and misery , and when I compared the DVD to this Blu-ray , it was more down to the new colour restoration and new clarity that I was unused to with this film. The scene in question is with the two shooting stars , which now appear to have more of a reddish hue making them look more vibrant , and not down to Mr Lucas's destroy, destroy , destroy mentality... PHEW !
Some excellent documentaries with this Blu-ray which is around 4 hours worth , some of which have been transferred straight from the Laserdisc and DVD with a couple of new ones. Notably , The Shark is Still Working documentary , which is a brilliant addition to the extras , but all the features are worth watching again and again.
It just doesn't matter how many times I see the deleted scene of Quint in the music shop , it cracks me up every time and its a shame that actually got cut from the film.
There's also a short documentary on the restoration process , which Mr Lucas might find helpful as to what is appropriate and WHAT ISN'T ! Can't help but think that Spielberg is sending a subtle message to Mr Lucas in one of his interviews by saying that 'less is more' and if he had the technology of CGI back when he was filming Jaws , it wouldn't be as good !
I do know some people who spend vast sums of money on the latest TV to ensure they're getting the best quality picture , but then still watch a film with the sound through their TV speakers , with the attitude of "so long as I can hear it , it doesn't matter" and just don't realise what a dramatic impact or difference a good sound setup can do to any film and can cost as little as £50 for a basic system.
Anything is better than standard TV speakers and really are only getting half of the whole Blu-ray experience without a good home cinema system.
For me , and this is a personal preference , sound is the most important element that I look for when upgrading a film to Blu-ray , picture quality a very close second and the amount of extras comes third.
This Blu-ray ticks all the right boxes and more and with the new picture and sound it really feels like your watching this film for the very first time , which I know sounds a little cliché , but just can't recommend this Blu-ray highly enough.
All in all I'm ecstatic with this upgrade and hope that the Blu-ray box set of Indiana Jones due out next month , is as good in quality as this JAWSome film... Sorry , couldn't resist.
on 13 May 2005
One day early in 1976, I discovered a school friend reading a book which he told me was about people on an island being terrorised by a killer shark. I thought it was a hysterical idea and laughed my head off, but just a few short months later, the posters appeared everywhere, depicting the conical, toothsome head propelling towards a hapless surface swimmer and proclaiming "She was the first". JAWS had arrived, and like everyone else I was queuing round the block, desperate to see what has become one of the most famous, talked about, and influential movies of our time.
The story is well known, probably even by people who weren't born when the film came out. One man, police chief Brody (Roy Scheider) against a killer shark and the fictitious community of Amity Island, a town that won't face the truth about the monster in its midst. Brody is joined in his escapade by oceanographer Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw in a career-topping performance as rough-diamond shark hunter Quint, the man with a liking for scraping his fingernails down blackboards and comparing war-wounds. All three are excellent, cutting tremendously engaging characters and helping the storyline to flow seamlessly. In the early scenes the shark itself is portrayed largely as an unseen menace, picking off its victims and teasing the audience with clever camera angles and of course John Williams' legendary soundtrack. The suspense builds brilliantly, but there are some humorous moments as well. and the child actors create some entertaining diversion - kids playing with a fake shark fin cause widespread panic at the beach. A poignant interaction between Brody and his son at the dinner table - all scenes of vintage Spielberg.
But it's in the second half, essentially a three-hander between Scheider, Dreyfuss and Shaw, when the movie really comes into it's own. The claustrophobic isolation of Quint's creaky fishing boat sets the scene for a final stand off between man and man-eater. The three make an ill-fitting team and it's clear from the outset who's going to come off worse. When the final pay-off comes, it's every bit the result of two hours of carefully racked-up tension, and enough to leave the viewer heaving a sigh of relief when it's over.
The big question is of course, more than 30 years on, is JAWS still a great film? And to me the answer will always be a resounding YES!! It stands up to repeated viewing and created a style much imitated even today. Maybe by today's standards the model shark (nicknamed "Bruce" by the film makers) seems phoney, and the movie certainly fell victim to sequel-syndrome in the years that followed, but these are minor flaws in a work of exceptional merit. If you've never caught it before, whatever you do, don't miss this classic.
on 26 April 2014
I'm sure that everyone knows the plot of this movie now, so I'll just briefly sum it up; Three guys (the local police chief, a marine biologist and a local professional shark hunter) go out on a mission to kill the great white shark that has been killing people.
I love this movie, but I do have one or two issues with it (I'll talk about those later).
As a lot of people know, this movie is notorious for having production problems, mainly because the three mechanical sharks used were entirely unreliable, and therefore did not work. Oddly, I think that this actually worked in the movie's favour, as it allowed for a lot more character development, and it helped build up the tension, as we don't see the shark for the majority of the movie.
In terms of the actors, I just have one word; AMAZING.
Now onto the issues I have (both of which are so minor that they are not enough to reduce my rating for this movie). One is that the shark, of course, looks fake (except for the shots when Hooper is in the cage, as most of those were actually a real shark). Another is a very personal issue with the blu-ray (btw, the movie looks AMAZING on blu-ray), and that is the fact that when you're getting the disc out, you have to place your finger over the shark's mouth (you can stop laughing now). I don't know why, but I've always been a little bit scared of doing that, even when just holding the box I'll make sure that none of my fingers is over the shark's mouth (seriously, stop laughing). It may be something to do with the image of the shark, I don't know. Anyway, I still enjoy the movie.
Anything else? Oh yes, the music! Again, AMAZING, especially that theme tune (dada dada dada dada dada dada dada dada dada dada dadadadadadadadadada). IMO, that is one of the best theme tunes in movie history. It's certainly one of the most iconic - it's one of a handful (OK, maybe a little more than a handful) of theme tunes that are instantly recognizable; you hear that theme tune, you think "Jaws".
If there's anyone who hasn't seen this movie yet, stop reading these reviews and BUY IT NOW!
on 23 November 2012
I waited for the digibook version of this movie as I felt this would look nicer on the shelf and also gets a behind the scene booklet incorporated.
The film looks great, Extras are terrific with 2 x 2hour long documentaries as stand out.
But you have to decide which package you want as I didn't take too much notice myself. If you are going for the digibook version, you don't get the digital downloads. The digital versions only come in basic casing.
Now I'm not gonna moan mainly because I didn't read the different marketing points of each, but alternate packaging versions are becoming quite common Universal seem to be the main guilty party with steelbook, digibook, digital copy, augmented all having been available this year.
Just make sure you hold out for the version you like cos the disc content is usually the same.
i: I appreciate it's Universal's 100 year anniversary but how many compilation adverts were on here before you get to the menu screen ????
ii: I don't like the symbols on the menu screen (also seen on the classic monsters collection and I'm guessing on more universal releases). I forget almost every time where the symbols might take me if I select one of them although the play symbol is fairly obvious.
menus, ads and multi-versions aside, the film is a classic and never looked better with a multitude of extras
on 31 July 2000
I am of the firm opinion that Spielberg has only ever made three truly great films - Jaws being one of them. It may not sound much, the tale of a beach island community that is threatened by a giant shark but such is the storytelling and direction it quickly becomes more than just some monster flick.
Excellent performances from the three leads (Scheider, Shaw and Dreyfuss) guide us from a powerful beginning through to an adrenalin rush climax. Its not surprising to note that Spielberg's favourite scene from the film is not an effects moment nor an adrenalin rush sequence but a character scene as Quint (Shaw) talks about the USS Indianapolis incident. This scene, among others elevates the film to a height seldom equalled in other films.
As a previous reviewer remarked - ignore the sequels, don't even touch them. Watch this one.
The transfer is excellent with only one, insignificant flaw apparent at the start (blink and you'll miss it). The soundtrack is excellent and clear allowing the viewer to enjoy John Williams' memorable score.
The extra features are interesting, the documentary shows how Jaws nearly didn't make it and how so much of the pwer of the film was down to simple eleventh hour necessity.
on 12 March 2003
Nothing more needs to be said about Jaws. One of the best cast films of all time, which has its own place in the sub-conscious terror-zone of anyone who has seen it. After years of t.v. showings and worn down VHS copies, it will amaze you just how crisp and rich the print is on the DVD copy, and it is for this alone that it is a must have.
It must be difficult to dig up extras after more than two decades, and the completely pointless outtakes are a testament to this, though I feel that one or two of the deleted scenes add some interest, particularly the brilliantly shot hunt of the Tiger Shark. I always knew there was more footage of Quint's mate's dog somewhere (savagely cut as it comes into shot after the blackboard-scraping scene). Frank Silva eating his breakfast on the dock as Ben Gardner passes further comment on amateur fishermen is also interesting to minor-character hunters.
My DVD box lists features not on the disc, which is a little strange, and some kind of commentary could have been included. For this the release loses a star, but as others have said, this is a disc bought for the movie alone, and if that is your prize, you won't be disappointed.
on 4 September 2012
I am almost lost for words. The picture quality and sound quality is immense, 10/10. They have properly remastered this film from the original cells and not done a cheap dvd upscale. There isn't a single bit of grain or noise to be seen in the picture.
The other good thing is that you get a digital copy for use with Windows and iTunes along with the worthless ultraviolet copy. Had it just been the ultraviolet copy, I wouldn't have bought this as I have had a lot of problems with Ultraviolet by way of getting the movies in the first instance and then having to use Flixster app to watch the films. I avoid all ultraviolet blu ray editions, no digital copy for iTunes, no purchase of blu ray.
I have had no issues with the digital copy in Scotland, I have seen some reviews with issue in other countries. The file size of the digital copy via iTunes is 2.05gb so it will take a while to download on standard 8mb DSL.
All in all, no matter how many times you have seen this film, you haven't seen it till you watch the blu ray version.
What a cinematic masterpiece! I have watched this movie so many times that I have lost count. I remember watching it as a small child and consequently having nightmares! Like reviewers before me, I too had trouble going in the sea and getting in the bath or swimming pool without hearing THAT music or having to check and make sure there were no sharks around!!!
My favourite scene is the beginning, when the girl goes skinny dipping at the beach party. That to me is one of the scariest parts of the movie. The actress played it so well that you can actually believe she's being eaten. Another scene I'd like to mention,(because of my childhood nightmares!), is the head popping out of the boat!!! I have yet to meet anyone who wasn't scared when that happened!
The cast are fantastic and couldn't be played better by anyone else in my opinion. They work so well together and Quint's songs are a treasure.
I suggest you buy this movie as I have. I play it often and still watch the movie whenever it comes on the T.V.!!!
Well done Mr Speilberg!!!
on 16 July 2004
If you have not seen it - please go out and get it now. Action films simply do not compare to movies like this. Jaws is subtle, clever and at times hilarious, and unlike most blockbusters does not rely on special effects and trifling acts of sensationalism to sell. The film is about a killer shark, but for the first half of the film we do not see her - this is what makes the film great - we are able instead to concentrate on the way humans react to this unseen force. The scheming town mayor is an accurate satire on the self-important local busy-body who thinks only of the financial ruin the shark could cause. Don't miss the on going duels between the rich college boy Hooper and the working class hero Quint - it is here where some of the best dialogue appears. The first half of the film is so good one almost forgets about the shark as a physical entity, more of an abstract notion which is only conceived by the way the islanders behave. The second half is where all the action happens as far as seeing the shark up close and personal. All in all, a film of two halves which compliment each other exquisitely. Get it - you can watch it again and again and you will always pick up a witicism that you had not heard before. It will never die
on 2 February 2007
Not much I can add that the other reviewers haven't already mentioned but this is one of the few films that still has parts in it that still actually makes me jump.
As a kid it made me afraid of being under my blue duvet cover at night, (even though it had aeroplanes on it!).
Not that I'm much of the the sensitive type when it comes to movies these days. The Exorcist, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Hellraiser, Driller Killer, The Evil Dead, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dawn of the Dead, etc., nothing but fun to me now. Completely callus, bloodthirsty and desensitized to all things horror that's me.
But Jaws is the one that's still got what it takes. Seen it loads of times, know when the shark's gonna do it's thing, know when the dead guy in the sunken ship's gonna do his thing and yet the film's still got it.
If you want therapy bills for your kids later on in life, get this movie now!