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Jaws: Limited Edition blu-ray Book…at long last, Jaws is finally here with top-notched video/audio transfer and a great book!
on August 15, 2012
Jaws arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 2.35:1 encode.
The video transfer was struck from a recent restoration of the original camera negatives, supervised and approved by Steven Spielberg. Universal considered the original camera negative was the best quality and resolution for 4K scanning. All the scratches were carefully removed using a liquid gate process by Cineric, a top restoration post facility in New York. Then, the files were worked on by skilled technicians at Universal Studio, meticulously worked to balance colour, remove dirt and scratches and repair any additional frame damage on a shot by shot, frame by frame basis.
Video assessent: Considered the age of the movie (1975), this transfer is fantastic with spot-on contrast and stunning clarity into the far distance. Black levels are inky with excellent delineation of the various gradations and small background objects hiding in the shadows. The video displays sharp, distinct definition in the hair and clothing of the cast, revealing wrinkles and pores in the faces of actors. You can clearly make out every detail and objects in Quint's boat, from the scratches and imperfections on the wood to the bottles and fishing tools hanging along the walls. Bruce the Shark, in particular, shows a few scars not seen before, and its fish skin is looking especially slimmer and smoother than ever. The colour palette receives a generous boost without feeling artificial, especially in the bold primaries. Overall, this is a magnificent and splendid presentation of a great classic. (5/5)
The original mono recording is also given the restoration treatment and receives a massive upgrade with this DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack. Credit has to go to the engineers who worked on this because it is brilliant. Rather than simply making new foley effects, they singled the sounds from the original design, cleaned them up and repurposed them, expanding the soundfield into a wonderfully immersive aural experience. Conversations are precise and intelligible. Dynamic range is sharply rendered and detailed. John Williams’ wonderful Oscar winning score adds more suspense to the movie. As written in the blu ray book, Spielberg Shoots, Williams Scores! (5/5)
Jaws won three Academy Awards:
Best Music, Original Dramatic Score: John Williams
Best Film Editing: Verna Fields
Jaws was nominated for Best Picture, but lost to One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Jaws had an estimated budget of $8 million, but grossed $430 million worldwide.
Steven Spielberg shot roughly 25% of the film from water level to provide the viewers the perspective as if they were treading water.
Steven Spielberg named the shark "Bruce" after his lawyer. After the shark was built, it was never tested in the water, and when it was put in the water at Martha's Vineyard, it sank straight to the ocean floor. It took a team of divers to retrieve it.
Brody's dog in the movie was actually Steven Spielberg's real dog.
Like Alfred Hitchcock doing cameo in his own movies, did you notice Steven Spielberg playing first clarinet for the beach scene?
I bought the Collector’s series Blu-ray book with a two disc collectable 46-page hardcover book, featuring an introduction by producer Richard D. Zanuck, storyboards, Mechanical shark blueprints and behind the scenes photography, together with collectable O-Card packaging with flap featuring trivia and the film’s original posters from different countries, including Thailand, US, Italy, Turkey, France, Spain, Canada and India. This book is precious!
Starring Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw, Jaws is the film which has left a permanent mark on the history of cinema, remaining one of the most effective horror thrillers ever made, and it changed the motion picture industry forever. The simple, high-concept premise of a man-eating shark terrorizing a small beach resort community not only transformed Steven Spielberg into a household name, but also introduced the special effects, blockbuster extravaganza which has become the staple of the summer movie season. There are two versions: one with simply the movie, and the other, the one I bought, has the blu-ray book with many collectables. If you are a collector, the latter is definitely preferred. At any rate, this blu ray release is highly recommended.
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