Jaws goes Blu today from Universal Home Ent. and the results are dazzling. I’ve never seen Steven Spielberg’s first blockbuster looking this sharp, clear, and colorful (image above courtesy of DVD Beaver). It’s a wonderful digital representation and we’re reminded once again what a great movie it is from the golden age of the ’70s. And the documentary by Laurent Bouzereau provides informative and entertaining context.
Yes, as the first summer blockbuster, Jaws changed marketing and exhibition forever with a full-on release (even if it was more out fear than design). But this is much more than a scare fest: the dramatic tension, comic relief, iconic score by John Williams, and brilliant editing by Verna Fields underscore the overall craft. Spielberg grabs us early and never lets go not only because of the primal fear of this evolutionary wonder but also because of the fear of losing one’s family, which has remained a constant throughout his movies. And let’s face it: Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, and Murray Hamilton are the glue that holds this together; and Carl Gottlieb’s classy script transcends Peter Benchley’s best-seller.
It’s been a banner year for catalog titles from Universal in honor of its centennial (All Quiet on the Western Front, Buck Privates, Out of Africa, Pillow Talk, The Sting, To Kill a Mockingbird), yet Jaws hits a new plateau with its fine restoration. Let’s hope the problematic Hitchcock titles look as they should in the Masterpiece Collection coming Sept. 25. I’m now confident that E.T. will when it arrives Oct. 9.
Universal digitally remastered and fully restored from 35mm original film elements for the studio’s centenary. Throughout the course of several months, skilled technicians at Universal Studios Digital Services meticulously balanced color, removed dirt and scratches, and repaired any damage to the film elements shot by shot and frame by frame. Following the picture restoration, Universal Studios Sound team up-mixed the iconic soundtrack from John Williams to 7.1 DTS-HD Master audio. The entire restoration process was conducted in conjunction with Spielberg and Amblin Ent.’s post-production team to ensure the integrity of the director’s original vision remained intact.
Blu-ray Bonus Features:
- The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of Jaws: All-new feature-length documentary featuring never-before-seen footage and interviews with cast and crew including Steven Spielberg, Richard Dreyfuss, and Roy Scheider.
- Jaws: The Restoration: An all-new, in-depth look at the intricate process of restoring the movie.
- The Making of Jaws: A two-hour documentary featuring interviews with key cast and crew.
- From the Set: An insider’s look at life on the set of Jaws, featuring an interview with Steven Spielberg.
- Deleted Scenes & Outtakes
- Jaws Archives: Take a peek inside the Jaws archives, including storyboards, production photos and marketing materials, as well as a special segment on the Jaws phenomenon.
- Original Theatrical Trailer
- UltraViolet: The new way for consumers to collect movies and TV shows, store them in the cloud, and download and stream instantly to computers, tablets and smartphones. Currently available in the United States only.
- Digital Copy: Viewers can redeem a digital version of the full-length movie from a choice of retail partners to watch on an array of electronic and portable devices.
- pocket BLU App: The popular free pocket BLU app for smartphones is now even better with newly updated versions for iPad, Android(TM) tablets, PC, and Macintosh computers, with features made especially to take advantage of the devices’ larger screens and high resolution displays.
- Advanced Remote Control: A sleek, elegant new way to operate your Blu-ray player. Users can navigate through menus, playback, and BD-Live functions with ease.
- Video Timeline: Users can easily bring up the video timeline, allowing them to instantly access any point in the film.
- Mobile-To-Go: Users can unlock a selection of bonus content with their Blu-ray discs to save to their device or to stream from anywhere there is a Wi-Fi network, enabling them to enjoy content on the go, anytime, anywhere.
- Browse Titles: Users will have access to a complete list of pocket BLU-enabled titles available and coming to Blu-ray. They can view free previews and see what additional content is available to unlock on their device.
- Keyboard: Entering data is fast and easy with your device’s intuitive keyboard.
- BD-LIVE: Access the BD-Live Center through your Internet-connected player to access the latest trailers, exclusive content, and more!
DVD Bonus Features:
- Spotlight on Location: The Making of Jaws: Highlights from the full-length documentary featuring interviews with key cast and crew.