Peter Benchley's bestselling novel about the sobering impact of shark attacks on a New England beach town's tourist season gave director Steven Spielberg the perfect opportunity to craft a suspenseful action-drama. An immediate blockbuster upon release in 1975, the movie is being hailed as a classic 25 years later. The 20 minutes of additional score and interviews with Spielberg and composer John Williams may be the strongest enticements for anyone who already owns the original soundtrack, but anyone who's put off purchasing this most identifiable score now has the temptation of improved sonic clarity to contend with as well. Since so much of Williams's score--at the time, his second for Spielberg, before going on to E.T.
and Schindler's List
, among others--depends on the nearly silent tension buttressed by deep, probing notes, this wide-screen audio mapping only heightens the drama. "Shark Attack," "The Great Shark Chase," and "The Shark Approaches," along with the main theme, represent what empathic movie scoring is all about. --Rob O'Connor