Martha's vineyard, playground for the rich and famous and home to some of the most beautiful beachfront the East Coast has to offer. For a summer in 1975, it offered far more than a pleasant view. The city of Amity, well known for it's custom and atmosphere is playing the unwitting host to a guest with an enormous appetite. "Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water"! For the two of you who haven't seen Jaws, it's the story of a 25-foot Great White shark that terrorizes the city of Amity for a summer in 1975. Captain Brody (Roy Scheider) Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and Quint (Robert Shaw) head out on the high seas to do battle with the beast and are wholly underappreciating the weight of the situation until that oh-so famous chumming scene! Truthfully, this movie needs no introduction. It stands on it's own as a hallmark of great cinema and still delivers the goods after 20 years!
The audio for Jaws was remastered and is presented in a DD5.1 platform. A DTS version is also available on a separate disc. The audio for the DD5.1 was reviewed for the purposes of this review. Like most older films, the audio when bolstered to a 5.1 platform is primarily the score of the film placed in the fronts and rears. With Jaws the same is evident however, there would appear to be some aural effects that have been added in the way of water sounds and buoy claxons in the distance. The audio for the DD5.1 is nicely presented and richly reproduces John Williams' now legendary score.
The video is presented in a very clean widescreen anamorphically enhanced transfer that is nothing short of amazing. The hues of the ocean are deep and rich and the colors employed throughout the feature also benefit from an improved clarity and depth. The fleshtones are accurate and aside from a couple of scratches in the print at the opening, I failed to notice any further chroma noise.
In the extras department, Universal partially delivered the goods. For starters, The making of Jaws segment was trimmed from it's 2-hour length on the Laserdisc to a partially filling hour long presentation. While filled with all sorts of information regarding the making of the film, including the non-working shark, it could have done with another hour of behind-the-scenes information. Why cut out that remaining hour? Only Universal knows. A couple of Deleted Scenes are included as well as the standard Production Photos and Storyboards. A Trivia Game entitled Get out of the Water!. Not very engaging or interesting. Merely curious. SeveralTheatrical Trailers are included. The only problem with these trailers is that once selected, you have to view all of them. They are all in pretty poor shape and are presented in a mono soundtrack. Lastly, for the DVD-ROM users, a ScreenSaver is included should you wish to download it to your browser.
I don't swim. Not because of anything other than this movie! Jaws is one of those films that gets you and never lets you go! It's been on TV every summer since it hit video and has been mimicked countless times. Most notabley by last summer's schlock fest, Deep Blue Sea . Hands down, this is one of the greatest movies ever made. A timeless classic that will never lose it's strength. While the extras are not the watershed we expected, and a commentary track by Speilberg is well overdue, what's presented is definitely top-drawer entertainment and the second-best presentation this film has ever seen. It's a classic and what the heck, it's a collector's level edition entry as well! Collector's Edition