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A Reel Review :Jaws--30th Anniversary Edition
A Reel Review
30th Anniversary Edition
by James M. Gullard
As the days grow longer and the temperatures rise, nothing seems more refreshing than a trip to the beach. However, 30 years ago, one film made people everywhere ignore the ocean in favor of swimming pools and sprinklers. This film was "Jaws", which is now being released in a special 30th anniversary edition DVD.
The story of "Jaws" is classic. Amity, a small island resort, has a bit of a problem. The peaceful summer town has experienced the death of a young swimmer, in what is probably the most memorable opening to a film ever. Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) is convinced the death is the result of a shark attack, yet the Mayor (Murray Hamilton) tells him that is impossible. Amity has never had a shark problem before. Plus, one now would be disastrous to the town's economy.
The girl's death is listed as a boating accident. Still, Brody has his doubts, especially when he and a crowd of other beach-goers witness an attack on a young boy. The boy's mother decides to put a bounty on the shark, sending the town into a frenzy. Fishermen from all over the area set out to capture the man-eating fish. Meanwhile, Brody places a call to a scientist named Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) who works at the oceanographic institute on the mainland. Hooper backs up Brody's instincts with scientific facts, especially when fishermen catch a shark that is way too small to commit the acts that it is accused of.
The Mayor continues to stand by his views. The beaches stay open for the Fourth of July, the busiest day of the summer. However, another shark attack soon puts an end to the festivities. Brody is now able to convince the Mayor to hire an experienced fisherman to kill the shark. The Mayor caves, hiring the Captain Ahab-like Quint (Robert Shaw). To make sure he gets the job done, Brody and Hooper accompany Quint on his mission, fully knowing that they may not make it back alive.
Upon its initial theatrical release in 1975, "Jaws" smashed box office records, practically inventing the term "summer blockbuster." It was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards and ended up taking home Oscars for Sound, Editing, and for John Williams's score, one of cinema's greatest musical achievements.
"Jaws" was also named #48 on the American Film Institute's list of the top 100 films ever made, and rightly so. "Jaws" is, quite simply, a perfect movie. Director Steven Spielberg created a film filled with the perfect mix of Hitchcockian suspense, humor, and character development. The acting is flawless, the direction is brilliant, and let's face it, was there ever a better moment in film history than when the shark first pops up out of the water? Possibly, but there are not many.
The special edition DVD includes a 2-hour documentary on the making of "Jaws," as well as an interview with Steven Spielberg, deleted scenes, outtakes, storyboards, and more. It is a must-have for any fans of this classic film.
"Jaws: The 30th Anniversary Edition" is now available on DVD.
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