Sunday, December 6, 2009

Budget DVDs/The Classics: Jaws

(This one is a bit of a double whammy, seeing as how I found a classic film in a budget DVD bin. Everyone wins!)

Jaws is, and probably will always be, the film in which truly defines a blockbuster. Of course, unlike many modern day blockbusters, Jaws had something more than just action and suspense; it was chock full of likable, three-dimensional characters, and it had this magical touch from the film's director, Steven Spielberg.

The premise of Jaws is one that if you were simply told about as opposed to seeing it, you would probably laugh your head off. I mean how could you make a film about a gigantic great white shark preying on the inhabitants of a beachside town a serious and engaging movie?

The film did not waste its time being a schlocky horror movie, it actually exceeded the confines of its genre, a lot of this is due to the terrific cast of actors who managed to pull off these magnificent roles. Robert Shaw truly shines as Quint, but Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss are no slouches either. Of course, then there is the director Steven Spielberg.

Spielberg's true mastery with Jaws comes through with his decision to not show the shark until the movie was almost over. Yeah you'd see a fin here and a tail there, but the full shark was never exposed until the end. This made the film feel more tense and threatening, because lets face it, the mechanical shark looks pretty fake. Still, applying the classic Hitchcockian principal of the viewer is more afraid of what they don't see, Spielberg was able to craft a film that still stands tall as one of the best films of all-time.

When one gets off the amusement park ride which is the film Jaws, you feel as if you just went on one of the most thrilling rides of your life. For this reason alone Jaws is one of my favorite films.

I give Jaws a perfect A+!

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