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Jaws - 30th Anniversary Edition


Rating: PG

Distributor: Universal Studios Home Entertainment

Release Date: June 14, 2005
Review posted: July 1, 2005


Reviewed by Dennis Landmann




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 down.




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.




Universal presents 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.




Universal presents 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 few minutes.




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 making-of documentary.


Disc 1:


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.


Disc 2:


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 “Production Photographs.”


Missing Features:


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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