Jaws : 30th Anniversary Edition (DVD)


“It’s fantastic. Nail biting, fantastically performed, wonderfully invented, and splendidly helmed by Sir Steven Spielberg” – Clint Morris

Jaws : 30th Anniversary Edition (DVD)

Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Murray Hamilton, Lorraine Gary

Never buy a DVD upon its initial release. Not because it’s always full price to start with and is gradually discounted as time goes on, but because chances are – especially if it’s a notable title – there’s a bigger, better edition down the track. For those of you who shelled out three days worth of lunch money for the first release of “Jaws” on DVD – Time to irately slam your fist against the desk.

It’s Bruce’s – that’s the name the crew gave to the plastic shark – birthday and you’re all invited. “Jaws: The 30th Anniversary Edition” has put on quite a spread. A super-duper edition of the landmark blockbuster, an all-new two-hour documentary on the film’s making, a slew of vintage material and a fed edifice full of archives. Nice.

First to the movie. Heard of it? “Jaws”. Released about the same time I was entering the world, this reasonably costly, highly technical, meticulously written film take on Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel was as big as it was brilliant. The first film to ever make a $100 million at the box office, and for a while there the biggest film of all time, it was an epic watery thriller that pitted three men (Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw and Roy Schieder), a beach of numbskulls, an egotistical Mayor and a wonky wharf against a monstrous shark. Those same three men sail their boat, the Orca, out to sea where they plan on grilling the Flake.

There’s nothing one can say about “Jaws” that hasn’t already been said. It’s fantastic. Nail biting, fantastically performed, wonderfully invented, and splendidly helmed by Sir Steven Spielberg (his second feature at the time) – it’s as much a delight now, as it was in the flare-trendy seventies.

DTS and 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen equals the most pristine print of the shark saga to date. Pump up those speakers, grab a pillow for the scary bits, and see if you can spot the rails the Shark’s riding on.

Extras-wise, there’s the aforesaid doco. Running almost as long as the movie itself, it’s a treat and a half. Spielberg, Benchley, Scheider, Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, co-writer/actor Carl Gottlieb…. they’re all here reminiscing about the film that Captain beard said was quite a challenge to make, but a great film as a result. Plenty of trivia, plenty of insight, and some intriguing old-age liver spots on the aged Dreyfuss’s head.

In addition there’s a vintage gallery of posters and piccies displaying the Jaws phenomenon, a bunch of deleted scenes, production notes, storyboards and a 60-page commemorative booklet.

Not an amazing lot of extras, but the one good documentary and the excellent audio and video transfer of the film more than makes up for the lack of supplements. It is, after all, about quality not quantity, right?

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris