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Review: 'Jaws' Still Has Bite (Even After 45 Years)

by Sam Cohen
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Jun 2, 2020
Review: 'Jaws' Still Has Bite (Even After 45 Years)

What is there to say about Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" that hasn't been said already? It's still every bit the peerless masterpiece it was upon initial release, with a fiery look at a seaside town thrown into panic when a shark start chomping on its citizens. What struck me by watching it for the umpteenth time, though, is the way people act when they're slightly inconvenienced. You can draw a direct line from how the people of Amity Island acted after the beaches were closed to the white protesters begging for the government to let them get haircuts during the coronavirus pandemic. Then, the second half of the film hits and it becomes about man's dire endeavor to establish dominance over nature.

For the 45th anniversary of the film, Universal has given "Jaws" the proper 4K Blu-ray treatment, resulting in a stunningly restored home entertainment release of a classic. Packed with special features (although they may not be new when compared to the 2012 Blu-ray), this is the essential edition of a movie that's had countless releases on physical media. The new Dolby Vision and Dolby Audio transfers make the film shine and frighten in ways that will please fans everywhere.

Chief Martin Brody (Roy Schieder) is presiding over the seaside town of Amity Island when a killer shark throws the entire community into a tailspin. Soon, the residents load up on their boats to hunt down the shark, which only leads to more bloodshed. That's when Quint (Robert Shaw), a seasoned shark hunter, shows up and makes the chief an offer he can't refuse. Brody, Quint, and a young oceanographer named Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) take off on the Quint's boat, the Orca, to hunt down and kill the dangerous shark for good.

The Dolby Vision color grading on the new 4K transfer of "Jaws" simply cannot be commended enough. It adds stability, retains the original film grain, and provides a depth of color that will amaze anyone who watches it. Add in a shockingly good Dolby Atmos soundtrack, with an option for the original DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track, and you have the release gift that keeps on giving. Whether you're a "Jaws" purist or newcomer, you'll be more than impressed by Universal's successful attempt to render the classic anew.

As for special features, most of what you see here is carried over from the 2012 Blu-ray from Universal. There's also a new color booklet, filled with essays, testimonials from cast and crew, and character bios that are a nice addition. Run, don't walk, to pick up the new 4K Blu-ray of "Jaws." Other special features include:

• "The Making of Jaws"
• "The Shark is Still Working: The Impact and Legacy of Jaws"
• "Jaws: The Restoration"
• Deleted scenes and outtakes
• "From the Set"
• Theatrical trailer
• "Jaws Archives"

4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray & Digital

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