Wednesday, January 02, 2008



Year: 1975
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA: Rated PG

Jaws was released in the summer of 1975 and kind of started the whole summer blockbuster movie releases. It became a box office smash hit, grossing over $470 million worldwide on a low budget of $7 million. It was such a big hit that Universal launched 3 more sequels to it even though they weren't as successful as the first. Its one of director Steven Spielberg's first movies to come out and it really launched his career to stardom. With all this said, I never really got the chance to see Jaws until today. Its been shown many times on TV, but I only saw parts of it. So I was expecting this film to really amaze me today after all this time of waiting and frankly, it does just that. Even to this day, Jaws is still considered a great thriller.

Plot Outline:
Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), is called in to solve a mysterious swimming accident that occurred a few days ago. They find the victim completely torn apart. Mayor Larry Vaughn, (Murray Hamilton) still not convinced that theirs a problem continues to allow swimming in his town until more victims are found, forcing him to call in Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), a shark specialist. After another shark attack, the Mayor finally decides to hire shark hunter Quint, (Robert Shaw) to track down and kill the shark. As the three men board the boat to get to the shark, they realize that it's much bigger than they first anticipated and find out that its going to be a tough battle between them and the killer beast.

The story of Jaws holds up pretty well. Its starts off pretty slow and introduces the shark from the get go. We learn about these great characters that play an important role in the film. I thought the first half of the film wasn't engaging enough, but its the second half that really makes this film stand out. Steven Spielberg teases the audience by not showing the big shark until a good 45 minutes into the film. By doing this, he keeps the excitement up while keeping the suspense alive. The film is based on the hit novel "Jaws" by Peter Benchley. I haven't read the novel, but reading over what people thought about it on the Internet, made the novel sound pretty boring. So I was amazed on how Spielberg turned a boring novel into this thrilling cinematic movie about the great white shark.

The cast felt pretty solid. Roy Scheider plays the main character in the film and he does a good job at it. He really felt like a police officer that just wants whats best for his people. He has great chemistry with everyone and you can tell this role was meant specifically for him. Richard Dreyfuss plays the happy shark specialist, Matt Hopper and he gives a pretty entertaining performance. Hes always excited or happy in almost every scene and its all too good. Robert Shaw plays the serious, but smart captain who wants the shark dead for a reward and he does a good job playing the character. He kind of reminds me of captain who lost his ship to a whale and wants revenge. I felt the cast was very solid overall and I wouldn't change a thing.

The special effects in this film are alright. There nothing out of this world, but their pretty damn good for a 33 year old film. The scenery of the film is great and really immerses you into this film. While the film is based on a large shark, it was very important for the crew and filmmakers to give us a great looking shark and for the most part, it is. There are few moments in the film where the shark looks pretty fake, but when your not really looking too hard, the shark looks great. He looks and acts just like a real life shark would act. Detail is on the softer side, but also can tend to look pretty great from close up shots. I guess this is the best a film this old can look.

What really makes Jaws truly remarkable is its music. John Williams who won an Oscar for best music in this film, gives a score that people will remember Jaws for. The soundtrack is an amazing achievement that makes this film that much better. We get many orchestral music that not only keeps us in suspense, but just really entertaining to listen too. Jaws really has a wonderful score, its pretty crazy that a shark movie can have such an impact-full music to listen too. I give my hand to John Williams for composing such an imaginative music that is very well worth that Oscar he got. The film also has a pretty good amount of bass, but it wont wow you much considering the age of the film.

Jaws, even to this day is a great action thriller to watch. Its got a great story that although starts off pretty slow, gets very suspenseful and entertaining through out the film. Its got an amazing score that is really wonderful to listen too, but also very focused on the story. The cast is solid and the special effects are great to look at when your not focused too hard on it. I was expecting Jaws to not impress me after 33 years have gone by, but boy was I wrong. This is a great film that everyone should watch when your looking for an entertaining thrill ride.

Grade: B+

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