It’s the 100th anniversary of JAWS and Universal has given the film the deluxe, red carpet treatment via this brand new Blu-Ray. Granted, JAWS has come out on disk before, but not like this! Now I’m not gonna go on and tell you how great the movie is, cause you already know that; it’s fantastic, a film solid on every level: acting, suspense, score, the works, one that so tapped into our primal fear of the water that it has survived the test of time and still garners uber excitement 37 years after its initial release. Personal Note: Shame on Universal Studios Florida for taking down the Jaws ride...SHAME ON YA! So you wanna know about the deets! Well here they are! For all of ya who haven’t switched to Blu-Ray yet, have no fear, there’s also DVD version of the film included in this set. You’ll be missing out on all kinds of money extras though but hey; better than nothing…Let’s break it down!
VIDEO: The flick was presented in a 1080p AVC 2.35:1. It was MPEG-4 AVC-encoded, approved my Mr. Spielberg himself and it never looked this good. The grain was on the low jive and the details were more defined, you’d ALMOST think that you were watching a film shot in 2012. I said almost.
SOUND: The English 7.1 DTS-HD audio kicked some serious derrriere! John Williams score boomed out of my TV (specially the bass) and invaded my living room while the ambient sound was crisp and more present than its ever been.
Note: We also get a 2.0 DTS mono track, options for Spanish and French DTS Digital surround and English, French, and Spanish subtitles. Ariba!
EXTRAS: The Making of Jaws: This two hour documentary was initially part of the Signature Collection Laserdisc release of JAWS. We get lots of behind the scenes footage, cast and crew interviews (who were all about compelling production stories, Spielberg really hated that freaking shark that didn’t work…lol) and even author Peter Benchley chimed in. There was a candor and honesty about the doc that made it appealing on top of being informative.
The Shark is Still Working: We finally get to see this 141 minutes fan made documentary that’s been threatening to come out for years and it was worth the wait. We’re treated to in depth interviews with Steven Spielberg, Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, John Williams, Peter Benchley (in his last interview on camera), and more! Roy Scheider narrated the piece while Hollywood A listers kicked in to talk about their love for the film and the influence it had on them. Am, talking: Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Greg Nicotero, Tom Savini, Bryan Singer, Dick Warlock, Eli Roth, M. Night Shyamalan and more! The documentary can be watched in one shot or in 10 separate parts.
To top it all off the disk put out: Jaws: The Restoration (an 8 minute look at how they restored JAWS for this Blu-Ray release off the original negative), 13 minutes of Deleted Scenes and Outtakes, 29 minutes of Jaws Archives (a collection of prod pics, storyboards, marketing stuff etc.), the Theatrical Trailer and a feature called From the Set (8 minutes that sees a British crew visit the Martha's Vineyard set in 1974 i.e. some behind the scenes stuff and an interview with Spielberg)
Finally, there’s a Blu-Ray bookmarking option, Digital Copies (Ultraviolet and iTunes) and on the DVD there’s a shorter version of the Making of Jaws for some reason. So all in all; as a huge JAWS fan I couldn’t be happier with this Blu-Ray release. My sole complaint? No Steven Spielberg commentary. COME ON! That would have been the cherry on top! With that aside, this disk was perfection and probably the most top notch Blu-Ray disk you’ll buy this year. Am done!