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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The final physical format? Then make it great!, 8 Sept. 2012
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This review is from: Jaws Limited Edition Steelbook (Blu-ray + Digital Copy + UV Copy) [1975] (Blu-ray)
I am loath to give this film anything less than 5 stars but in this instance a ball has been dropped. A small ball, maybe. But even small balls can hurt when dropped.

One of the most iconic films of a generation has finally been brought out in stunning high definition and it is stunning. The restoration is fantastic. Sound and picture are hyper clear and thankfully the restoration has not had softening noise reduction thrown at it. It looks beautifully grainy where it should. Jaws was the film I had been waiting for and went straight into the collection as a pre-order as soon as this steelbook was released.

Bit of a shame then really that this Steelbook is prone to become easily nicked or scratched due to the glossy nature of the artwork but secondly and a bit more importantly is the access to the film in the menu section.

I sat through the glorious montage of bells and whistles celebrating 100 years of Universal films and prepared myself for the main feature only to be greeted by one of the worst menu systems ever. It begins with the scene of the Summer Girl first victim and then the menu features open up for use. Sounds nice and all but you need to be somewhat experienced in hieroglyphics in order to gain correct access to the various features, extras, subtitles etc, there is no text and save for the familiar 'Play' triangle, the others are vague symbols to say the least.

It is standard, corporate and a pretty mundane menu system. 'So What' some may cry. Well 'Why Not?" The beauty of Blu Ray is that it is the definitive release of a film certainly in physical form. It will be digital downloads from here on in so if you want to actually own the film then really Blu-ray will be the final physical format. So for this reason why don't the studios produce these definitive versions with the attention they deserve.

As I mentioned, the restoration of this film has been comprehensive and the documentary regarding this process included in the extra features is a must watch. So with this treatment it really feels to me that the menu system has just received an afterthought. My reckoning as to the reasons for this spawn from Universals' commitment to include their infamous silver 'swish' border at the left hand side of all their menu screens. It prohibits developers from indulging their creativity and results in a half hearted effort.

Take a film I recently bought as an example; First Blood [Blu-ray] This film is under £4 (at time of writing) and it was also one of the earliest Blu-ray releases ever released, put together by British company Studiocanals' Optimum blu-ray department. The film itself has received a fair HD transfer and very little in the way of extras but the menu system is in keeping with the film and pays homage with a showcase of scenes and an interactive Bowie knife to select the menu options. It is relatively basic but it trumps the bells and whistles release of this feature, hands down.

Great examples of Menu systems for reference would include:
Alien Anthology [Blu-ray] [1979] [6 Disc Set]
Iron Man (2 Disc) [Blu-ray][Region Free] [2008]
Star Trek XI [Blu-ray] [2009][Region Free]

Rant over. So (a harsh, maybe) 4.5 stars for this release as the film itself is truly the definitive presentation.
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