Never having watched Steven Spielberg's Jaws before, I must admit that
I was a little apprehensive on how this 1975 film would compare to
modern films. However Universal Studios Digital Service have carefully
restored the original film which could be described as nothing more than
spectacular. Over several months, these skilled technicians balanced the
colours, removed dirt, scratches and repaired the damage of the original
film as it was converted to digital.
Audio was also transferred to DTS-HD
Master 7.1 and unlike certain other directors who will remain anonymous,
Steven Spielberg was a key consultant throughout the process and best of all, his original
vision remains intact and there is no sign (thank god) of any CGI. This
is as pure as digital remastering can get and Universal Studios should
be commended on the end results.
Surprisingly, the story of Jaws has dated well, especially for a film
that is almost 40 years old. Interestingly enough, the production of
Jaws was plagued with problems but somehow this movie all came together
and Spielberg became one of the most acclaimed and famous directors of
modern cinema. Jaws also inspired a whole generation of moviemakers and
became the benchmark for the horror and triller genres for years to
come. The hero of
Jaws is played by the late great Roy Scheider who played Martin Brody,
the chief of police at the seaside community of Amity. Brody is also a
damaged hero who has underlining issues and to make matters worse, a
fear of water.
The film begins with a group of teenagers partying on a
hot summer night and when one of them decides to go skinny dipping in
the water, she becomes the first victim to this terrifying shark. As a
result, Brody decides to close the beach to the public, however when the
Mayor (Murray Hamilton) and other key business leaders approach the
town's sheriff, stating that it will harm local business, he reluctantly
over turns his decision. Needless to say, he was dead wrong!
Unfortunately this decision will not only cost Brody but also the town
as a young boy is killed by the shark which instigates his mother to put a
bounty of the killer that forces the town of Amity to become a circus to
the media and other shark hunters. Brody joins forces with a local
fisherman called Quint (Robert Shaw) who has experience hunting sharks and
scientist Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) from the Oceanographic Institute, a
specialist in the area.
Together they go on the hunt for the killer
but things are never simple, especially in a Spielberg movie.
After their first encounter with "Jaws", they soon realise that
this threat is even worse then they first imagined due to the enormous size of
this creature. Add in the powerful theme of Jaws thanks to composer John
Williams and Jaws is truly a nail-biting experience that will have you
on the edge of your seat, even almost 40 years later. Wow... what a
Video, Audio & Special Features
The digital conversion of Jaws is quite
extraordinary and although the video
still looks a little dated when compared to films of today, it definitely looks
far superior than anything that has ever been released from the 70's and
even to some extent, the 80's. With a presentation of 1080p/AVC, images
are sharp, colours are vibrant, which only highlights the meticulous
remastering of Universal Studios.
Audio is equally impressive with 7.1
DTS-HD Master Audio, in particular the sound effects and the memorable Jaws
score by John Williams. Voices do sound a little a shallow but this is
due to the limitation of the technology in mid 70's. There are also a
healthy wealth of special features that include a 2-hour documentary of
the making of Jaws, deleted scenes, outtakes, featurettes, photos,
trailers and more. These special features are definitely a great insight
into a modern day classic.
Jaws on Blu-ray is not flawless but it's as close as it we will ever get.
With a brilliant and at times clichéd story, relatable characters and a
shark that looks more realistic than CGI, Jaws is a must have Blu-ray
for all good lovers of modern cinema.
The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of JAWS: A
feature-length documentary featuring never before-seen footage and
interviews with cast and crew including Steven Spielberg, Richard
Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider
JAWS: The Restoration: An all-new, in-depth look at the intricate
process of restoring the movie
The Making of JAWS: A two-hour documentary featuring interviews with key
cast and crew
From the Set: An insider’s look at life on the set of JAWS, featuring an
interview with Steven Spielberg
Deleted Scenes & Outtakes
JAWS Archives: Take a peek inside the JAWS archives, including
storyboards, production photos and marketing materials, as well as a
special segment on the JAWS phenomenon
Original Theatrical Trailer