The Jaws Bluray arrived today and I popped it in…well, a couple of hours later. And all I can say is that it looks a bit sharper, cleaner and more vivid than it ever did on a big screen. Back in the ’70s, I mean. For all I know the Jaws DCP will look just as clean and robust if projected on a big screen. Jaws director Steven Spielberg says exactly the same thing on the “restoration of Jaws” piece. Looks better, sounds better. But…
It’s still Jaws. It’s still that mid-level, beach-read, good-enough-but-don’t get-carried-away movie that made all kinds of money, blah blah. I haven’t seen it in five or six years…or is it 10 or 12 years? Anyway I watched about 40 minutes’ worth and it’s fine. It’s clever and crafty and obviously engrossing. But it’s just okay. I can’t for the life of me understand why people hop and down about this thing and go “wow, great film!”
At the very beginning the young blonde girl who’s about to get eaten is running along the beach with a drunk guy following, and rather than act like any normal or semi-normal human being on the planet earth, she takes her clothes off the Spielberg way. She yanks her sweatshirt off and drops it on a grassy sand dune to the right. Then she runs a bit more and pulls one of her sneakers off and throws it to the left. And then the other sneaker. And then her jeans. By the time she’s running into the water she’s scattered her clothes over a 100-foot stretch of beach.
Nobody would do that. They just wouldn’t. In the real world even a drunk girl would drop her clothes in a rough pile of some kind, but not in Spielbergland. Spielberg always finds some way of pulling you out of a film with unnatural human behavior.