Blu-ray review: 'Jaws'

“Jaws” gets a brilliant Blu-ray treatment loaded with entertaining extras.
Published: August 17, 2012

‘Jaws' Blu-ray

When those double bass fiddles sound the first two ominous notes on the soundtrack and John Williams' throbbing minimalist theme gradually begins to quicken in tempo, everyone knows to look out for ... Bruce!

Yes, Bruce. That's the nickname director Steven Spielberg laid on the troublesome mechanical sharks that played the great white antagonist in “Jaws” (1975), and that's just one of many fascinating bits of behind-the-scenes trivia disclosed in the extras included in the Universal 100th Anniversary Blu-ray edition of the film that made moviegoers afraid to go in the water.

Widely considered the first summer blockbuster, establishing new methods of marketing high-concept action-adventure films aimed at attracting a very large mainstream audience, it was based on Peter Benchley's runaway best-seller and written for the screen by Benchley and actor/writer Carl Gottlieb, both of whom had minor roles in the film.

The story is set in the fictional New England shore community of Amity, where a great white shark is attacking vacationing swimmers and threatening to destroy the town's tourism trade to boot. Roy Scheider is the police chief, Richard Dreyfuss is the young ichthyologist and Robert Shaw is the salty and grizzled seaman who leads them on the hunt to destroy the murderous marine mammal. It all looks and sounds great in Blu-ray (six times the resolution of DVD, up-mixed to DTS-HD Master 7.1 sound), but die-hard fans of the film will hungrily devour such bonus features as the new feature-length documentary “The Shark is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy of ‘Jaws.'”

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