In 1975, my dad took me to see the movie JAWS at the Logan Theater. As the camera moved across the ocean floor to the tune of one of the most memorable theme songs in movie history, I knew that I was seeing something special. The rest of the country would agree as JAWS went on to become the original "blockbuster" movie, break all sorts of box-office records and make Steven Spielberg a household name.
I consider JAWS to be an almost-perfect film. The performances by Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw are the lynch-pins of the movie, grounding it in humanity, giving us characters that we truly care about and making it more than just a genre scare-fest. (Which is what the JAWS sequels eventually degenerated into.) And while Spielberg's insistence that they film on the ocean - and not in a studio's giant swimming pool - created many of the nightmares that plagued the movie's production, it also embued the film many of the characteristics that give it a timeless quality. Each frame is simply drenched in atmosphere, whether the story is taking place out in the open water, or on the beach, or even in Amity Town Hall.
The new JAWS Blu-Ray excels at capturing this atmosphere, giving fans what is perhaps the finest restoration of the film that they've ever seen. Watching it on my big-screen HD-TV, I was impressed with how deep and vibrant the colors were and even gained a new appreciation for Spielberg as a filmmaker. The opening sequence when Chrissy swims out into the ocean at dusk to meet her terrible fate is not only a harbinger of what the movie has in store for audiences, but is also exemplary of how crisp and clear the entire Blu-Ray presentation is going to be. Watching the sun set over the Atlantic just after the shark has claimed his first victim was simply breathtaking.
The Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack comes with a bunch of extras, my faves being the documentary "The Shark Is Still Working" which provides a look back at the making of the film along with how it has affected pop-culture; the original "Making of JAWS" where we get to meet the original cast in a series of interviews originally recorded in 1995; and the exclusive "JAWS: The Restoration" which explains how the film was restored and remastered for the blu-ray release, as well as preservation in the Universal Studios archives. There are plenty of behind-the-scenes goodies, including a look at JAWSFEST, an event where fans congregate at Martha's Vineyard and have what they call "a Star Trek convention" for JAWS. As someone who's been to his fair share of conventions, I would agree with that description.
Here's a complete rundown on what the Blu-Ray/DVD set contains:
The JAWS Blu-ray™ Combo Pack is available in collectible Universal 100thAnniversary packaging for a limited time. The Combo Pack also contains a Digital Copy of the film for a limited time, compatible with iTunes®, iPad®, iPhone®, iPod™ touch, Android or online retail partners, as well as an UltraViolet™ copy. UltraViolet is the revolutionary new way for consumers to collect movies and TV shows in the cloud to download and stream instantly to computers, tablets and smartphones. Consumers can now truly enjoy their movies anytime, anywhere on the platform of their choice.
Blu-ray™ Bonus Features:
The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of JAWS: All-new 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
UltraViolet™: The revolutionary new way for consumers to collect movies and TV shows, store them in the cloud, and download and stream instantly to computers, tablets and smartphones. Currently available in the United States only.
Digital Copy: Viewers can redeem a digital version of the full-length movie from a choice of retail partners to watch on an array of electronic and portable devices.
pocket BLU™ App: The popular free pocket BLU™ app for smartphones is now even better with newly updated versions for iPad®, Android™ tablets, PC and Macintosh computers, with features made especially to take advantage of the devices’ larger screens and high resolution displays.
Advanced Remote Control: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray™ player. Users can navigate through menus, playback and BD-Live™ functions with ease.