Jaws - 30th
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Date: June 14, 2005
Review posted: July 1, 2005
A giant great white
shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and
wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers until a part-time
sheriff (Roy Schneider) teams up with a marine biologist (Richard
Dreyfuss) and an old seafarer (Robert Shaw) to hunt the monster
You all know why
Jaws is a classic. No need for me to rehash the goods about
the story, cool production values for its time, solid direction by
Steven Spielberg, classic score by John Williams, and strong
acting by the main stars (and Bruce the shark). Well, there you
have it. The bonus material is the main attraction of this review
anyway so scroll down a bit.
Jaws in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. Some good quality
here, a decent presentation with vivid colors. However, certain
parts of the print look weak and there's lots of grain. It doesn't
seem like Universal spent too much time cleaning up the video.
Jaws in English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround, DTS 5.1,
and the original theatrical Mono track. Pretty nice surround sound
experience with clear presentation of the dialogue, music and
effects. The Mono track is pretty weak but fun to check out for a
This 30th anniversary edition is packaged with a limited edition
(or so advertised) 60-page commemorative photo journal that
features a lot of pictures, quotes, and more all taken from the
First up are 14 minutes of deleted scenes and outtakes. There’s
not too much to find in these scenes, but a few nice chuckles. This
was available on the 25th anniversary edition.
Next is a roughly 9-minute From the Set featurette with footage
of the cast and crew shooting a scene on the set of the movie in 1974.
Some nice stuff here, but not great. This featurette is new.
Produced for the laserdisc edition, the two-hour documentary The
Making of Jaws is made available on DVD in its entirety
here (the 25th anniversary DVD featured a one-hour version of the
doc). Discussions range from the novel that movie was based on, the
movie’s impact, stories from the set, and a variety of interviews with
Spielberg and many others. Overall, an interesting and comprehensive
look at Jaws.
The Jaws Archives
are compiled of previously available material and new stuff. New to
this edition are a “poster gallery slideshow” and “The Jaws
Phenomenon” which looks at the marketing and promotional ideas for the
overseas release of the movie. Returning are several “Storyboards” and
Excised for this edition for some stupid reason are the cool
theatrical trailers. Also gone is the “trivia game” and the
educational featurette “Shark World.” The previous DVD also had
production notes, cast filmographies, recommendations and a screen
saver, but the loss of these features is insignificant compared to the
exclusion of the trailers.
The lack of a commentary is disappointing once again. Since Spielberg
doesn’t do them, the studio could’ve gotten some other people to
record one (some of the cast, technical crew members, etc).
There are only two
reasons for this 30th anniversary edition being released at this
time: to cash in on Spielberg's new movie War of the Worlds
(not advertised directly - but think about it) and the fact that
the two-hour Jaws documentary is finally available on DVD
(fans have been waiting for this for years). Oh, and the fact that
2005 marks the 30th anniversary of the movie seems more like an
afterthought. In the end this DVD comes recommended, but not
highly. Consumers who own the 25th edition may just want to rent
the second disc for the documentary, while those who don't should
pick up this new edition.
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