Jaws: 30th Anniversary Edition

Story/ The Film Itself: This might sound like a fish tale, but I’ve never actually watched “Jaws”. I mean, I never caught it in it’s entirety. Small bites here and there over the years, usually the tail end. Ok, bad puns aside, it’s true – I’ve never really seen “Jaws” until I decided to pick up the 30 Anniversary Edition. The sequels? Faithful readers know how I am with crap sequels — those are a must, especially the one where the shark FedEx’s himself to the Bahamas, or the one where it gave Shamu a run for his money at SeaWorld. The original was…the one that got away. Never found the time for it.
Enough with the lies. “Jaws” has always scared me, and that’s why I’ve never watched it. I can watch all these great horror movies, but anytime I ever tried to watch “Jaws” I just couldn’t make it through. I usually get as far as right before I know that poor kid is going to get eaten, then I’ve got to turn it off. So last night I endeavored to actually sit down and watch this beautiful new anniversary edition. This movie still does it for me. The first hour is still so amazingly cranked with tension that, again, right at the first beach scene, I was literally at the end of my bed ready to hit the fast-forward button. I didn’t.The second hour turns into a great character driven adventure film I know Spielberg over the years has sort of become the poster boy for the Big Summer Hollywood Blockbuster, those lifeless big-budget popcorn spectacles. From his last few films, maybe, but “Jaws” is something special. It’s not a big dumb Hollywood shark movie (“Deep Blue Sea”), it’s a nailbiting, suspenseful, bloody horror-adventure movie.
Special Features: The movie looks great, much, much better than all those television and cable prints which are the only way I’ve ever seen it. Sound is excellent, the classic John Williams score really shines. Only complaint: The DVD comes with 2 discs, although the special features are a little sparse. There’s a great 2-hour making of documentary on disc 2, and then lots of stills. No trailers, no commentary. That’s a bit disappointing. – mike c.

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