ARROW IN THE HEAD REVIEWS

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Jaws (1975)
Written by: The Arrow
Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring:
Roy Scheider/Chief Brody
Robert Shaw/Quint
Richard Dreyfuss/Matt
Lorraine Gary/Ellen
10 10
PLOT-CRUNCH
A huge Great White shark is eating all kinds of swimmers in the waters of Amity Island. It's up to Police Chief Brody (Scheider), sea dog Quint (Shaw) and shark expert Matt (Dreyfuss) to hunt down the man-gobbling machine. Let's go fishing!
THE LOWDOWN

"You’re gonna need a bigger boat!" - Chief Brody

Much like half the population of the planet Earth, I was afraid to step into the water after my first viewing of Spielberg’s classic "Jaws". Shit, I was even afraid to take a bath and had to stick to showers for a couple of years. "Jaws" might've been shot in 1975 but it still put the fear of God into me and holds up like a champ today. I recently watched it again and yes, I still jumped at all the right places.

The first half of the flick is my favorite. To me, it’s a genuine horror movie (that opening scene is freakin' classic!). Spielberg holds back on showing us the shark in full body (he sticks to POV and that darn fin) and in consequence, leaves the beast to our imagination. It works. Every time one of those underwater shark POV shots came about, with the Jaws theme building up, I sat on the edge of my seat scared out of my wits. The first half also establishes its characters extensively and competently. Chief Brody, for example, is a man to whom we can all relate, a man’s man, a tough guy with a soft side. I relished seeing him interact with his family, investigate the shark and try to convince the money driven Mayor (Vaughn) to close those damn beaches already. Matt brings in the comic relief with his kooky performance (and is it me or was he flirting with Brody’s wife?) and Quint…well, Quint is Quint…more on him later.

Now the second half of the film is less dark but is still intense in a different way than the first. What started out as a horror film which preys on our fears of the unknown, turns into a “3 men go fishing” type of scenario. The film becomes lighter in tone and it all basically turns into an adventure movie. We get to see the men fraternize (great chemistry going on there between the actors) while at the same time trying to outwit that damn fish (that shark is smarter than half the women that I've dated, incidentally). Now don’t get me wrong, the second half is still extremely enjoyable. I dug seeing the men versus nature scenario, the camaraderie which they shared, the countless boo scares (gets me every time), the breathtaking ocean scenery and the exciting action set pieces. But the flick almost feels like two films.

My real pet peeve with the film is a man that goes by the name of Quint (Shaw). I know I'm in the minority, but from where I was sitting, Shaw overdid it with the role. He bordered on parody. Do all salty dogs constantly sing bad drunken songs (annoying)? Do they all have colorful expressions ("Here's to swimming with bowlegged women”) and sound inarticulate when they speak? For the life of me, I couldn’t understand half the shite that Quint was spitting out. In the process, no matter how many times I listen to Quint’s lengthy submarine/shark attack monologue, I never get the full jist of it. It sounds like a great story! Maybe I should rent the flick in Japanese and hope there’s subtitles so I can finally know what the fuck Quint is rambling about.

But Quint’s “cartoon”-like presence didn’t come close to ruining the magic that is "Jaws". In lesser hands, the flick easily couldn’t have worked. The shark could’ve looked silly ("Jaws: The Revenge" anyone?) and the premise laughed off. But Spielberg's restraint and axis towards suspense versus obviousness, made it all come together. "Jaws" is still a very scary movie today. Why? Because we’ve all been swimming at one time or another, we’ve all been put in that vulnerable situation on some level. Spielberg was smart enough to use that universal fear against us, instead of delivering an “in your face” monster flick. Load up the boat, let's go fishing!
GORE
The gore isn’t too explicit but the film was bloodier than I remembered. We get lost of gushing blood when folks get attacked by the shark (poor kid); we get a severed arm, a man chewed by the shark and a severed head.
ACTING
Roy Scheider (Chief Brody) gives a very sympathetic and natural performance, I loved him. Robert Shaw (Quint) kept on losing me, and on many occasions, I’d ask myself what the dude was talking about? Richard Dreyfuss (Matt) is focused and very funny as the shark expert. Lorraine Gary (Ellen) takes what could’ve been a one-dimensional part and injects realism and depth into it. Murray Hamilton (Mayor Vaughn) plays the money-motivated a-hole very well.
T & A
A girl skinny dips in the opening sequence of the film, but damn I didn’t pick up anything, it was too dark. Get your night vision goggles.
DIRECTING
In the first hour of the film, Spielberg is at his flashiest. We get some really groovy shots, beautiful scenery (loved the sparkling water at night) and effective shark POV shots. Spielberg lightens up in the second half on the stylish shots but "ups" the excitement of the picture. Overall, a very solid job.
SOUNDTRACK
The now-immortalized John Williams score is simple and works like a charm. On many occasions, the score substitutes for the shark. The score is its presence. Solid.
BOTTOM LINE
"Jaws" is a unique celluloid treat that has yet to be equaled today by the countless imitators or sequels. The script is tight, the acting is on, the directing effective, the score incredible and the pace is even. It’s an all-out thrill ride from beginning to end. I still don’t take baths solo because of this flick…now if I’m with two bi-sexual female porn stars…that’s another story. Sure, beats my rubber ducky.
BULL'S EYE
The mechanical shark (named Bruce) spent most of the movie not working, and Spielberg had no choice but to use the camera as the "shark" via POVs.
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8:00PM on 05/15/2011

Spielberg Knows Movie Magic

Not my all-time favorite, but it's definitely one of the all-time best. I agree with Arrow, Quint was IMO the weakest link of the three main characters; however, that doesn't mean he sucked. What stuck with me the most was the opening -- I still get chills when I hear the first victim's cries for help as she gets pulled under water...
Not my all-time favorite, but it's definitely one of the all-time best. I agree with Arrow, Quint was IMO the weakest link of the three main characters; however, that doesn't mean he sucked. What stuck with me the most was the opening -- I still get chills when I hear the first victim's cries for help as she gets pulled under water...
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3:41PM on 06/28/2010

Also My Fav of ALL TIME!!!

To me nothing has ever beaten this film. It is perfection. Even has my favorite shot sequence ever on film....that damn dock turning around and the music starts [link]

As for Quint, if you know the true story he is talking about it makes it that much more effective.
To me nothing has ever beaten this film. It is perfection. Even has my favorite shot sequence ever on film....that damn dock turning around and the music starts [link]

As for Quint, if you know the true story he is talking about it makes it that much more effective.
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+0
9:12AM on 01/27/2010

Classic

I must agree with about everyone, quite possibly the greatest and most terrifying piece of celluloid ever. Some people say a truly scary movie is one that sticks with you. Well, having lived on the Eastern Shore most of my life and growing up surfing and living the beach life, Jaws affects me even after my first viewing when I was 5. Everything about this movie works, I can't complain or even comprehend changing anything in the movie. The U.S.S. Indianapolis Quint scene still gives me
I must agree with about everyone, quite possibly the greatest and most terrifying piece of celluloid ever. Some people say a truly scary movie is one that sticks with you. Well, having lived on the Eastern Shore most of my life and growing up surfing and living the beach life, Jaws affects me even after my first viewing when I was 5. Everything about this movie works, I can't complain or even comprehend changing anything in the movie. The U.S.S. Indianapolis Quint scene still gives me chills to this day.
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11:56PM on 10/02/2008

Best film ever made

Simply the best film ever made.



And yea, Arrow, Quint rules man!
Simply the best film ever made.



And yea, Arrow, Quint rules man!
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+0
9:02PM on 08/13/2006

GREATEST FILM EVER

Hey Arrow QUINT RULES!!!!

Just the best film ever. It has it all. Action, adventure, comedy, horror, and tits!

Not too many other films can claim such a feat.
Hey Arrow QUINT RULES!!!!

Just the best film ever. It has it all. Action, adventure, comedy, horror, and tits!

Not too many other films can claim such a feat.
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9:47PM on 10/24/2005

#1!!!

My favorite film of all time as well! It's just so good in so many ways.
My favorite film of all time as well! It's just so good in so many ways.
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3:13PM on 10/20/2005

Spielberg's Finest

When I first saw this as a scabby kneed seven year old it scared the hell outta me. Proper hiding behind the sofa scared. Yet the first thing I did when it finished was rewind the tape and watch it again. Been years and I still have trouble defining what makes it so scary. I sure as hell isn't Bruce, even the most ardent Jaws fan (a group I count myself in) must admit it looks more than a little phony. Heck there are rumours that Spielberg cut shots the shark was supposed to have been in for
When I first saw this as a scabby kneed seven year old it scared the hell outta me. Proper hiding behind the sofa scared. Yet the first thing I did when it finished was rewind the tape and watch it again. Been years and I still have trouble defining what makes it so scary. I sure as hell isn't Bruce, even the most ardent Jaws fan (a group I count myself in) must admit it looks more than a little phony. Heck there are rumours that Spielberg cut shots the shark was supposed to have been in for that very reason.

I think it hits all of the primeval fears of man, being in an environment that can kill you all by itself with something big mean and hungry which could be lurking unseen beneath you. This coupled with the fact that it's a great adventure movie puts it in my top ten.

Also good catch by The Arrow, Matt was most likely flirting with Ellen, in Benchley's book he went so far as to have an affair with her and was subsequently chomped by the shark for his sins.
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5:03AM on 08/06/2005

My favorite movie of all time

This movie is great !!! I like every-thing in this movie: the different characters, the dialogues, the city of Amity, the cinematography, the oustanding and threatening music by Williams, the directing and of course the shark.

I really care about the characters I mean they really live through the screenplay they are not paper-thin.
They are likable and you don't want them to be killed by Bruce.

A masterpiece
This movie is great !!! I like every-thing in this movie: the different characters, the dialogues, the city of Amity, the cinematography, the oustanding and threatening music by Williams, the directing and of course the shark.

I really care about the characters I mean they really live through the screenplay they are not paper-thin.
They are likable and you don't want them to be killed by Bruce.

A masterpiece
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5:08PM on 07/25/2005

One of the Greatest

This is my all time favorite film. In my opinion one of the best movies ever made. Period. Theres nothing to say that hasnt been said about JAWS. Perfect film in every way. 10/10
This is my all time favorite film. In my opinion one of the best movies ever made. Period. Theres nothing to say that hasnt been said about JAWS. Perfect film in every way. 10/10
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