Follow us on

Featured Blu-ray Review: Jaws

August 12th, 2012

Jaws - Blu-ray - Buy from Amazon

Jaws was one of the first movies I ever reviewed. There's little need to add much to my opinion of the movie; I thought it was a must have then and I think it is a must have now. However, this is the film's Blu-ray debut. Does it look and sound good in high definition? And are there any new extras compared to the previous release?

The Movie

I previously reviewed the film, so there's little need to go over the plot in great detail, again, but for those who don't know the movie and don't want to click that link...

Shark is the water. People go in the water. People go in the shark.
People go on the boat. Boat goes in the water. They're going to need a bigger boat.

Jaws is arguably one of the best movies ever made. It is a film so good that it will entertain even those who don't like horror films. It is so effective, it has been the direct result of many people developing a phobia of sharks or the water in general. My only complaint about the movie is how some people reacted to it. It made them so scared of shark attacks that humans started hunting sharks. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you are more likely to die eating shark than you are to die being eaten by a shark.

If you don't own this movie, your collection is woefully incomplete.

The Extras

The extras start with the ones from the previous DVD release, including the deleted scenes, outtakes, promotional materials, and the two-hour long making of documentary. I was just going to check to see if there were the same thing, but I actually caught myself getting sucked into watching the documentary again, it is that engaging. New extras start with an 101-minute long retrospective called, The Shark is Still Working. It's just as compelling as the older documentary above. It talks about the making of the movie, the film's success, the merchandizing, the major impact the film has had on moviegoers, and the major effect the film has had on the filmmakers. There is an eight-minute look at the restoration of Jaws.

As for the Blu-ray's technical presentation, the film looks and sounds nearly perfect. Granted, it is close to 40 years old, so there are a few issues that are bound to be there, including some scenes that have a tad too much grain and other scenes that are a little softer, but even then, the film arguably looks better now that it did in theaters. If you watch the restoration featurette, they talk about correcting problems with color balance and light levels in a few scenes. The level of details is high, the colors are strong, as is contrast. There are no signs of excessive digital manipulation. If they readjusted fluctuating colors, there are scenes with obvious digital manipulation, but it is never excessive. The 7.1 audio track is unbelievable. Literally unbelievable. The original film was mono, yet they've managed to create an immersive track from that limited source. There are a lot of ambient sounds, good directional effects, and of course that score has power to it.

Finally, we get to the price, which is just $18. This is actually lower than I was expecting and a great deal.

The Verdict

Jaws is a must have. If you've never seen the movie, buy it now. If you have one of the previous DVD releases, then the Blu-ray is worth the upgrade. If it had no additional extras, it would be worth $18. With the additional extras, it is a contender for Pick of the Week. The only way I could be more enthusiastic about my recommendation is if there was an audio commentary track, but I know Steven Spielberg hates them, or if some of the extras took advantage of the Blu-ray technology.

- Submitted by:

Filed under: Video Review, Jaws