Jaws [Blu-Ray] Steven Spielberg

Jaws [Blu-Ray] Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg's Jaws is considered to be one of the greatest American films, as well as the first-ever summer blockbuster ― an assertion that now seems antithetical since the term "blockbuster" has come to be associated with Michael Bay-style inanity. While it may have eradicated the prevalence of the Hollywood art film (Jaws cemented the wide-release strategy most studios employ today), there's no doubt Jaws is one of the most engaging and exciting films of all time, proving that summer movies can be both sensationalist and thoughtful. The story, of course, revolves around the beach community of Amity Island, which falls prey to a series of shark attacks. Sherriff Brody (Roy Scheider), a marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss), and a hard-boiled shark hunter named Quint (Robert Shaw) track the shark, whose threat has largely been ignored by the unscrupulous Mayor (Murray Hamilton). They bond, sing drinking songs and decide they need a bigger boat. It could be read as an allegory for the Vietnam War, or a treatise on the modes of contemporary masculinity, but the most enduring aspect of Jaws is that it's just more fun to watch than most other movies. This Blu-Ray release is a new "digital restoration" transfer. That phrasing may scare off consumers who have been bamboozled into buying "new and improved" versions of other classics, only to find that its original elements have been tampered with (Spielberg and his friends have certainly been guilty of this in the past). Fortunately, purists will be pleased that this restoration is a warm, crystal-clear transfer that's most likely the closest approximation to the original 1975 theatrical presentation we are likely to get in a home format. In addition to the picture quality, the 7.1 Surround Sound mix bolsters John Williams' score in the right home theatre. The special features are disappointingly mostly culled from the previous DVD release, including a feature-length making-of doc, deleted scenes and storyboards. A new addition, however, is a featurette about the film's restoration and digital conversion, which interestingly is ultimately being archived as a new 35mm film negative. While the features may not convince anyone who owns previous incarnations of Jaws to upgrade, the enhanced picture and sound of the film make it more than worthwhile. (Universal)