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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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Based on Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name, and with a script co-written by him, this was directed by Steven Spielberg. Released in 1975 as the summer blockbuster this went on to be a great success and helped set the way film marketing is nowadays done, although this film did go over budget and was delayed due to technical problems. Because of these problems which affected the model sharks Spielberg had to innovate and took a leaf out of Hitchcock’s book. After all you don’t have to show everything, you just have to imply menace and danger at times. This works and also lulls audiences into a false sense as then when something does happen they are on the edges of their seats.

Although using some of the basics of the actual book there are differences here, and thus some of the sub-plots were removed thus making something that would be easier to follow on the screen and keep audiences entertained with a smoother flow.

As a small resort town is gearing up for the 4th July celebrations and the subsequent summer trade so a woman is killed by a shark. With pressure put onto the police chief so the mayor wants the beaches open and people swimming if the town is to bring in its usual income and jobs. But it soon looks like this is a shark that isn’t going to go away. With people coming to hunt for the beast so the tension builds, as we follow an expedition to catch this fish with attitude, and it must be admitted – a nice set of gnashers.

As the film starts to play out in the latter half this definitely has elements of Moby Dick coming through, and subsequently this film has received a lot of scholarly attention, meaning that this movie is now preserved by the US Library of Congress. Still a great film to watch this really did scare quite a few people, meaning that there was seen in places an actual decline of people on beaches and swimming. This probably still goes on as newer people are introduced to this, but if you are scared I would recommend you to look at the actual facts of what is known about sharks. I have family members who surf and body board and it is something like body boarding where you are more like to be attacked, as from underwater there is a certain similarity between the shape and movement that a shark can mistake for its prey. If it is any consolation, once it has taken a bite out of you it is more than likely that it will leave you alone as you do not taste right.

With numerous extras this is certainly a film well worth owning.
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on 22 July 2007
Picked up this 2 disc version recently to replace the original 25th Anniversary edition DVD. Was not disappointed.
It still stands up as one of the finest cinematic experiences.

Watching this on a 42" plasma display reminded me of seeing it in the cinema 31 years ago.

Now the film is split over 2 discs, allowing increased bitrate and the full 2 hour documentary (as opposed to the truncated 50 minutes on the previous release) the DVD image quality is a definite improvement on the original and the dts soundtrack impresses also,(check out the opening 'Chrissie' sequence and Alex Kintner's demise as the shark rolls over the lilo).

The novel is also recommended.
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on 4 December 2016
I rarely write reviews on Amazon but I felt I had to for this superb Blu-ray. The film is obviously good no need to talk about the film. The picture quality of this release is almost so good you can't believe it. The way that Universal have restored the film is nothing short of a miracle. As Stephen Spielberg says in one of the extras, "the quality is even better than it was when it was originally released in the 70's". Absolute crystal clear picture it's a joy to watch.

As for the extras, you get two full length making of documentary's, one from the 90's and the other made in 2005, the 90's one is over two hours long and the 2005 one is about 1:40 in length. Both offer great insights and information about the making of the film and the trials that the crew had to endure during the shoot.

My only small technical gripe is down to the way you have to sit through 3 or 4 minutes of guff when first inserting the disk before you can start watching the film. Also I don't like the way that if you stop the disk then restart it does not remember your position so you have to sit through the bilge again. I think a lot of Universal DVDs and Blu-rays are like that, annoying.

However the above does not deter me from giving this film 5 stars Universal have done a superb job restoring this film to look better that it did back in the day.
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on 8 September 2012
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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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!
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on 6 January 2001
There can be no complaints about the movie Jaws and I'm delighted to add it to my growing DVD collection. It is a classic in every sense - beautiful character development, comedy, tension,shocks and thrills, inspired direction and conception...it's all there in one amazing package.
One thing that did seriously disappoint me about this particular version on DVD, however, was the 'special' features included.
I am always fascinated in particular by deleted scenes and out-takes. So I was particularly looking forward to viewing these.
To my mind, however, 4 shots of Roy Scheider having problems firing a gun and 1 shot of Robert Shaw screaming (not very different from the actual shot used, except the crew laugh) do not constitute out-takes.
Equally, the deleted scenes were uninspired and often nonsensical, many of them being taken from very raw and shaky footage. The sound quality was often extremely poor.
I did find that I felt conned by this and it took the edge off my viewing. But in the grand scheme of things, the movie itself rises above the disappointment of poorly presented extras and I would certainly urge any fan of Jaws to buy this version.
Just buy it for the movie - not for the features - and you won't be left high and dry.
LabRat :)
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on 7 December 2016
Bought as xmas present for daughter who was not even born when this came out. We so loved the old Universal Studios "Jaws" ride - I couldnt believe she'd never seen the film, but of course when it was on TV she was too young to watch it. Maybe Christmas Day...?
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on 9 September 2012
Absolutely fantastic transfer. Universal, & the powers at be, have done a beautiful job at restoring this outstanding thriller. Truely, it's the "dog's" in look & picture quality - You just can't believe the detail.
If you, (like me) were apart of the generation that saw Jaws on it's original release, you will know, & understand, what an iconic movie this was (& is). I appreciate you have seen the film several times, but this is the movie that most definatley raised the bench mark. It was the combination of everything 'gelling' together: The actors, director & music - it just all complements eachother.
With the principal actors, Shaw, Scheider & Dreyfuss, no one out do's the other. No over acting, no scene stealing, just three actors at the top of their game coming together in one fine performance.
I love Jaws, & to me it represents film making at it's very best. I have been waiting, like a lifetime fot it's Blu Ray release & I was dreading that Universal would not give it the 'true' treatment it deserves. I was worried in case Spielberg didn't want to get involved & let 'someone' who just didn't care attempt to restore his picture - But I had needn't of worried - This Blu Ray couldn't be any better. It really is a great retoration job. Thank you Universal, for caring. Thank you to all those involved. And, Amazon, thanks for the Steelbox. Honestly, you will not be dissapointed. Full Marks. :O)
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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.

Plus,

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
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on 10 August 2004
On release in the summer of 1976, Jaws quickly became one of the biggest films of all time. It was recognized then, and still is, as a Hollywood Blockbuster with all the ingredients of an American Classic. From John Williams' haunting score, to the climatic 'dance of death' between Roy Schreider and the Great White, Jaws is simply perfect. When I realised that Universal this time were releasing a DVD with a good selection of extras, an improved picture and sound quality, I did not hesitate for a moment in purchasing it. Either should you.
The storyline you will probably already know, but I'll recap for some new viewers. A giant Great White Shark becomes the attention of the community of Amity Island, when a young girl dies when swimming in the ocean. Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Schreider) and Shark Expert Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) try to persuade the local town commitee to indeed close the beaches, despite the loss of needed 'summer dollars' from tourists. It soon becomes clear that Amity's survival lies in the hands of Brody, Hooper and Amity Fisherman Quint (a fabulous Robert Shaw). What follows is one of the best fishing trips depicted on film.
What about the extras, I hear you screaming. Well, I was really impressed. The main attraction is undoubedly the 50 minute documentary, which I won't spoil, but some of the tricks that Spielberg pulled out to visualize the shark was simply genius. Very interesting facts about Quint's famous 'USS Indianapolis' speech, plus recent interviews with most of the cast, including Steven Spielberg himself. Deleted scenes I am never a fan of in any DVD, for they are all obvious why they did not make the final cut. The deleted scenes here roll on after each other without really pausing, and become a wee bit confusing to the viewer. The threatrical trailers are quite good actually, and quite terrifying if I may say so! For many, the sound and picture quality make this DVD worth purchasing or not. The picture is extremely clear and rich, and it begs the question, was this actually made almost 30 years ago? My favourite however needs to be the sound. Jaws has one of my favourite themes in film history, and it has never sounded better than it does here.
If you are looking for another DVD to add to your collection, look no further. Ask pretty much any film fan or critic out there, and they will tell you that Jaws IS special. Along with Schindler's List, this in my opinion is Steven Spielberg's greatest achievement. Do you and your DVD collection justice: buy this.
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