In the book (which was released a year before the film), we find that the shark hunt is not only a matter of public safety but also infused with the politics of the island of Amity and the personal drama of a cuckolded police chief. These human elements made the characters seem more like the monsters than the actual shark did. Those who have seen the film will know that there is no affair with the police chief's wife, mainly because there's no time to cover it. Instead, the film focuses on the tense chase and destruction of the shark that terrorized an island in the midst of the height of its tourist season.
What I found interesting about watching Jaws this time around was actually how Hitchcock-esque the film seemed. As Spielberg's breakout film, Jaws did have a few moments of his signature, albeit still undeveloped style, but much of it almost felt like Alfred Hitchcock was behind the camera (especially with the "Vertigo shot" at the beach). So much of the cinematography was expertly framed and shot that you almost don't realize that practically a third (or more) of the film is just three men on a boat. Even though I had seen this film many times before, it still is a thrilling ride up until the explosive conclusion.
An excellent film adaptation to accompany a fantastic book's plot, I give Jaws 4.0 stars out of 5.
Jaws cannot be anything but five stars; it's brilliant acting - specifically, Robert Shaw's - as well as some excellent writing and great imagery means that the film will no doubt stay in the minds, and bring fear to the minds, of all viewers for as long as it can be seen.
For some films, time does not treat them well, and there are certain 'classics' ('Once Upon a Time in America'/'The Deer Hunter' to name two) which are not particularly good. I feared this would this would be the case with Jaws, especially as I could barely remember any of it, indicating that my viewing of it was a forgettable experience. Well, that assumption couldn't have been further from the truth. The direction and cinematography are (still) outstanding, the story is paced nicely provided a few jumps and plenty of tension and suspense along the way. The acting is solid from all the cast, and the main protagonists are all likeable and memorable in their own (often midly quirky) way. Clearly I wasn't paying attention when I watched 'Jaws' all those years ago! I was also surprised to learn just how good the effects and the formidable shark have stood the test of time.
Of further note, the remastered Blu-ray is probably one of the best I've had the pleasure to experience. Spielberg and Co. were on the board for this remaster, and it clearly shows. The picture quality, and all that entails, is superb for a film of this age, but what utterly stunned me was just how well they remixed and remaster the audio. Due to the fact that this film was produced and released (1975) in the 70's, it's hardly surprising that the original track was produced in mono. The Blu-ray remix and remaster is now in 7.1, but this is probably the only remix of a film of this age that works this well, at least on my experience. Most of the remix is largely front heavy (with the exception of the superb musical score) but it provides excellent and natural spacing. But there are also occasional (when the scenes call for it) nicely placed discrete effects that really brings the viewer into the scene. The dialogue is also super clear but not tinny or abrasive like some dialogue recording of a similar era. Quite simply, like the film itself, this is a remaster that defies the test of time and sounds much more modern than it is. 5/5