JAWS (Universal 100th Anniversary Re-release): The Review

in Gilroy
by kellyn

JAWS (Universal 100th Anniversary Re-release): The Review

It has been 37 years since Steven Spielberg brought us his adaptation of Peter Benchley's classic novel 'Jaws' and essentially terrified a generation. Very few motion pictures deliver on this more than Spielberg's classic shark-tale and now, as Universal Studios celebrates 100 years in the industry, the most sinister cello in history is back. The violent attack on Chrissie Watkins in the opening sequence is still one of the most chilling pieces of cinema ever committed to film and reaffirms Jaws' place as a languishing nightmare in the mind of every child who saw it 'too young'. As one such child, I could feel a hundred bad dreams resurface from the first bars of John Williams' menacing score.

Jaws still augments genuine terror like nothing else and blends it with a cool, breezy wit, charm and 70's elegance. The clarity of this digitally re-mastered cut is breathtaking and although it’s no longer or shorter than the original theatrical release, I felt as though I was being presented with new material, extended scenes and additional dialogue. I even forgot that for 55 minutes you don't even see 'the shark' and are instead, stalked by a terrifying idea of what may be lurking under the waves.

In the words of Marty McFly however, "the shark still looks fake" as it always has but still, Jaws suspends disbelief so effectively that this relentless, unforgiving killing machine remains as elusive as it is omnipresent. The shark is stabbed, shot, subjected to all we can throw at it but still, scarred and mutilated, it keeps on coming. This feature above all still makes the somewhat dated animatronic monster one of the most terrifying to grace any screen.

Robert Shaw delivers a flawless performance as Quint but Roy Scheider's Chief Brody has grown more and more favorable as the years go by. As the emotional core of this story, the poise with which he stages Brody's character-arc is both stellar and commendable.

Closing comments: A masterpiece, presented in its original cinematic form but with all the added benefits of digital re-mastering, Jaws is a must-see, so as a film fan; I urge you to take the time and pull up a chair to be shocked at the awe and presence that Spielberg's motion picture still maintains after 37 years - trust me, you will STILL need a bigger boat...