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Yes, there's a new edition of Jaws, and yes, you will need to buy it....
Universal / 124 Minutes / 1975 / Rated PG / Street Date: August 14, 2012
Everybody knows Jaws, everybody loves Jaws. Let's get that out of the way up front. So instead of going around for the umpteenth time singing the praises of this gritty, horrifying, deliciously well-oiled blockbuster, let's turn to the film's Blu-ray debut. One of the most heavily-requested catalog titles never before released in high-def, Jaws arrives on the format with a whole lot of expectations surrounding it.
It's stated in very clear language all over this sleek BD edition that this isn't just another Universal re-release - if we're to believe the ink, Steven Spielberg and his Amblin team were fully engaged with the technical restoration for the disc, overseeing every nook and cranny of the thing to make sure every audio/video element has the opportunity to scare the shit out of you (more on that later). In so many words, the flick looks and sounds like Stevie wants it to.
So question becomes: to upgrade or not to upgrade? The allure of the sharkie-shark movie in high-def should be veritable catnip to any self-respecting cinephile - if just as an historical document - and even if the busy packaging touting Universal's 100th anniversary is a bit clunky, there's no question that the 10-year-old child in me was unleashed when this BD came to my desk. I mean, come on - it's Jaws.
And get ready to feel old, folks. I can't say whether it's a first, but on the new documentary included here - The Shark Is Still Working - Universal has gone so far out of its way to ensure that they're covered every possible topographic area of the movie's history that there's even a segment about the movie's first supplemental features on its LaserDisc edition. That's right: Laurent Bouzereau shows up here as a talking head, discussing The Making of Jaws, one of the most dearly beloved LaserDisc bonuses of all time. A bonus feature about a bonus feature? Now I've seen it all....