In 1975 Steven Spielberg essentially created the summer blockbuster with his now timeless classic Jaws. The film has aged perfectly, with most of the tension still being as frightening today as it was all of those years ago. Universal has finally decided to bring the classic to Blu-Ray, with an all-new remastered video transfer and a 7.1 lossless audio track that will shake the floor and keep the terror coming at you from all points. Jaws is a must-own film and the Blu-Ray release is simply the best way to experience it.
The story of Jaws is fairly common in modern day. A gigantic shark terrorizes a local town during the 4th of July weekend. Local law enforcement tries their best to keep the killer fish at bay, while the rest of the town resorts to partying on the beach and in the unclear waters. Its horror 101 directed by a man who knows a thing or two about making movies.
Steven Spielberg’s Jaws made a splash when it was first released in 1975 and it has continued to do so with each new generation of filmmakers and movie lovers. Directors have tried to duplicate Spielberg’s terror and suspense, but none have ever managed to fully recreate that original feeling of dread when the shark first attacked the big screen some years ago. Moviegoers have since then been exposed to countless horror films, especially ones dealing with sharks and other water creatures, but most of those films have only tried to amp up the gore and kills, thus killing the true effectiveness of the horror on display in Spielberg’s then-rated PG movie.
Spielberg understood what it took to make a film that truly scared you and truly made you afraid to go into the waters. He didn’t rely on simple scares and lots of blood. He relied on what I like to call genius filmmaking. He combined the thrills and scares of the horror genre with the suspense and drama of most well-rounded drama/suspense films, creating a work of art unlike anything before it.
Without Jaws there wouldn’t be creature horror films on such a mainstream level. Films before it dealt with killer animals killing in their natural habitat, but Jaws brought that real-world terror to the front lines and really made it uneasy for just about anyone to approach a lake, pond, ocean, river or whatever source of water is closest. The musical score that accompanied the film is just as legendary as the shots Spielberg established with the camera moving fluidly underwater as it approached an innocent victim-to-be.
I don’t love Jaws as much as the next guy, but I do respect it for what it did and I can’t deny how strong of a film it still is after all of these years. Jaws still evokes fear with each viewing and that is something to be celebrated, especially coming from the horror genre.
Is it really any surprise knowing that Universal has remastered Jaws for a top-notch Blu-Ray release? They’re usually really specific with their catalog titles and Jaws is no different. It looks beyond impressive, with clarity and color looking better than imaginable. I’ve never seen an older title look so unharmed by years of existence. There’s minor grain, but most of the transfer is intact without any real DNR issues appearing.
The 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track might just be one of the most bombastic tracks I have yet to listen to. The classic score comes creeping up on the back channels, only to be met with the anticipation of a shark attack on the front channels. The film rarely has a dull spot and the audio track backs that up to full extent.
Jaws comes to Blu-Ray with the following bonus content:
- The Shark is Still Working: The Impact and Legacy of Jaws (SD): An overview of the film from all aspects, including the technical challenges as well as the lasting impact the film has had on newcomers that make films today.
- Jaws: The Restoration (HD): An eight minute look at the restoration process of Jaws coming to Blu-Ray.
- The Making of Jaws (SD): A two hour in-depth look at the making of such an iconic film.
- From the Set (SD): Another classic piece that features a young Steven Spielberg.
- Deleted Scenes & Outtakes (SD)
- Jaws Archives
- Original Theatrical Trailer (SD)
- DVD Copy
- UltraViolet Digital Copy
Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is still just as relevant today as it was back when it first came out. The pure horror on display and the iconic imagery and music is an achievement in film. I haven’t watched the film in years, but revisiting it now brings back memories of my youth and the feelings that I first felt when watching the film unfold for the first time.
Owning Jaws on Blu-Ray is simply a must for anyone that claims to be a fan of true cinema. The Blu-Ray is technically sound and comes with all of the previously released bonus features, plus a couple new ones. The remastered video transfer is flawless and the 7.1 audio track is jaw-dropping. The film itself is what will win you over, but it’s nice to know that Universal cares as deeply about the classic as much as the longtime fans.
Jaws is the essence of a great filmmaker at the top of his game making a great film and the Blu-Ray is just another shining example of how one can truly relive the classics. Buy this film and relive the terror.
This review is based on a copy of the Blu-Ray that we received for reviewing purposes.