Just when you thought
it was safe to go into the video store
It's hard to believe
that "Jaws" is twenty-five years old now. How time flies when you're having
"Jaws," for those
of you who've been living under a rock, was the movie that made Steven
Spielberg a star. It was the director's second theatrical film (after
"The Sugarland Express") and despite a lot of birth pangs and studio angst,
it went on to become the biggest movie of its time.
Set in the New England
island community of Amity, the movie stars Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss
and Robert Shaw as the intrepid trio whose task it is to hunt down and
destroy a gigantic Great White Shark that has been munching on swimmers
and generally wreaking havoc on the town's tourist season.
Spielberg et al did
a terrific job of turning the mindless eating machine into something almost
supernatural in its relentless pursuit of tasty tidbits - and John Williams'
marvelous score doesn't hurt, either.
The stars' performances
are very good, especially Shaw as the crusty old fart of a shark hunter
who, we learn later, has a history with the beasts that colors his present
day actions. The supporting cast, led by Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton,
also turn in credible work.
The star is really
the shark, of course, and Spielberg plays it for all it's worth - and
it works very well.
The movie has aged
gracefully, and is as fun an experience today as it was a quarter century
The widescreen DVD
has been digitally remastered and, though the picture's a tad soft, it
looks very good. The audio - at least as far as the dialogue and sound effects
are concerned - is only okay, but Williams' musical score is positively
glorious. We don't know if the music was redone for the DVD reissue, but
it certainly sounds as if it has been.
Extras abound, too.
There's a "full length" documentary on the making of the film, and it's
terrific. You also get a couple of deleted scenes and outtakes (though
the outtakes are pretty lame), a trivia game, production notes/storyboards,
There's even a Jaws
The documentary is
really a "must see," for movie fans. It clearly shows just how difficult
it was to get "Jaws" made - and how it very nearly didn't happen.
Jaws, from Univeral
125 minutes, Widescreen (2.35:1), Dolby Digital
Starring Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw
Produced by Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown
Written by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlief, Directed by Steven Spielberg
Tell us at TechnoFile what YOU think