Friday, December 28, 2012

Jaws (1975) Bluray

Synopsis: When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist, and a grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

What can I possibly say that hasn't already said? And how many countless reviews start out with that sentence? It's true, this is arguably one of the greatest movies ever made. (Depending on your genre preference of course) If you go to the YouTube comments for that trailer above, someone mentions that out of all the genres of movies there are out there, Jaws absolutely owns the Giant Man Eating Shark genre. I have to agree. The majority of the movies, if not all of them, have their heart set in Jaws. Even the really really bad ones take cues from the master. (The Jaws shot for example) It's just impossible not to. We've all basically grown up with this killer shark movie and it's so hard not to have it on your mind when watching other killer shark movies. (or making them)

If you haven't seen this movie you are sorely missing out. The tension is great, the scares come at you from every angle: Jump Scares, Psychological "scared of the water" scares, Sexy Teen Midnight Romps gone awry scares, little helpless kid in the middle of the water scares, and being absolutely helpless and dying the worst way fears. (Thanks Quint.) This movie has it all and there really is no other way to put it. It is the master of its craft and anything else is but a shadow.

The one thing I found funny while rewatching this movie is that Quint's boat is called "Orca". And in Jaws the shark destroys the Orca but in the movie Orca: The Killer Whale, an Orca destroys a great white shark! Ha!

Now on to the Bluray!

Universal is celebrating 100 years of movies by releasing 100 of their classics on Bluray. For Christmas this year I was begging for the Jaws Bluray. Much to my surprise, my persistent whining paid off and I got it!

You thought Jaws was great on it's own, the Bluray experience elevates it to a level not ever felt before.

The Video

I'm no technical expert so I don't know all about codecs and all that jazz (but you can certainly read all about that here), all I know is what my eyes tell me. And my eyes are very happy. The picture is as clean as it ever has been. This is what I like to see out of my Bluray restorations. A clean, crisp picture. No lines, no dirt, no little black film specks flipping about the screen, just a really great HD presentation. I watched the Restoration extra feature on the movie and when they transferred the original 35mm to digital they scanned it through a machine that pours water on the film and that water makes the majority of that stuff disappear. Interesting little fact for you.

The color in this movie is so vibrant. I watched this on a 50" Plasma and those ugly orange 70's bathing suits just POPPED off the screen. The yellows, reds, blues were all very appealing. The ocean looked fantastic. The sun glare off the water was so gorgeous.

What I was most fond of was the twilight scenes. The beginning skinny dipping scene can only be described as incredible. (Visually speaking of course. Ok, that death is awesome too) The fact that you can see everything is amazing but it's all so clear and the tones are dead on. The contrast isn't set so far off that it looks like it was filmed during the day and just darkened later. It's amazing.

The Audio

This new Bluray is mixed in 7.1 audio. It was pulled from the original mono track, so they pulled from 1 track of audio and turned it into 7. And it sounds amazing. I only have 5 channels of audio but I can't imagine how mind blowing 2 more could be. This is a movie about tension and sitting in the middle of a musical tornado is awesome. This movie puts a lot of tension in its musical score and this new mix just adds even more to that. And the last half of the movie with the splashing and crashing of water will blow you away.

So in short, the Bluray is worth it. Even though you've seen the movie a hundred times, it feels like you're watching it again for the first. The comparisons are so drastic that you won't be sorry you bought this.

They don't call this the trendsetter for nothing.