TV Party Tonight! #94

TV Party Tonight! #94

Friday, 09 April 2021

45th Anniversary
[Blu-ray/4K combo]

We can argue all night about what the best New England movies are, but for my money nothing comes close to Jaws. OK Second Sight might be a worthy contender, but the sheer terror of Jaws probably still overpowers it.

Jaws is one of these movies that terrified us as kids and manages to stay with us in our deep consciousness. And for me, I also grew up on an island with sandy beaches. I’ll let you guess whether this movie gave me a complex about getting in the water. It’s not like I was having a hard enough time just taking my shirt off. But, it’s only when we watch the movie again as adults that we realize that, yes Jaws is a scary movie, but it’s probably also the most fun you can have watching people being terrorized on the beach. It might be because this movie has its DNA all over our pop culture neurons (as a scientist, I can verify that sentence makes no sense), but every shot is recognizable and just as compelling as the first time we saw it, and every character is like an old friend.

And the music? Can you name another two notes on a bass (or is it a cello?) that immediately cue up horrific scenes in the minds of people around the world? That’s just how imperative the soundtrack is to Jaws. It’s worth the price of admission alone, and is probably the reason why most of the soundtrack doesn’t get the credit it deserves. John William’s soundtrack for this poor New England town is no pleasant walk on the beach but a warning that’s sounding for an entire hour, looming at times, hunting at others, sometimes playful, and valiant where it needs to be. All the while those two notes remind you of what’s lurking below.

It makes absolute sense that such a classic would get a 4K release. And this release is the current gold standard and is loaded with extras. There are featurettes on the legacy, making-of, restoration, behind the scenes, and extra scenes. Unfortunately, still no commentary track, but no matter.

Jaws is almost a perfect movie and should be appreciated as such, it pays off with repeated watches, and belongs in everyone’s collection.

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