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(aka "Stillness in the Water" )

directed by Steven Spielberg
USA 1975

 

It is hard to imagine the impact that “Jaws” had on its audience back in ’75, but more than any other film to date if affected the actions of normal rational adults, who normally wouldn’t think twice about taking a dive on a hot summer day, but suddenly were cautious about bathing. Even in remote countries as Denmark, people thought twice about entering the water, out of fear for a sudden shark attack.

As the mayor says to Brody: “Its all psychological! – You say barracuda and people say huh? – You say shark and you have a panic on the fourth of July!”

For centuries sharks have been associated with death and seen as a vicious killer and the script uses this to full extend and paints a picture of a monster of supernatural proportions more related to the tales of the ancient mariners than of modern accounts. “It will swallow you whole”, says Quint, who as Ahab has a personal hatred towards any shark and who, as Ahab, eventually falls victim.

More than just painting a picture of a rogue shark, Spielberg transfers the image to mythology. This is not just a shark, this is the essence of all sharks, which further is stressed by Quint’s Ahabian persona. The connection to Ahab is further stressed by the name of his boat, Orca (meaning whale or vessel), and by Quint's harpooning rifle.

 

In essence this is Hitchcockian suspense theory at its finest and Spielberg knows how to play it. Notice in the beach opening sequence, how Spielberg constantly puts out false hints, only to camouflage the real forewarning: Skippy the dog suddenly is missing, indicated by the calling of his owner and by the index of the stick, allowing us a moment to realize that the dog has been eaten by the shark, and as we do, to let the dum-dum theme begin and cut to the sharks point of view. Not only does Spielberg demonstrate perfect control of this mechanism, he even pays additional homage to Hitchcock by creating his vertigo effect.

It always helps to have a great story, and “Jaws” is one of the greatest, but it also helps a lot to be a great storyteller and director, who knows what strings to pull. The characters in “Jaws” are perhaps more important to its success than the shark and the mythology that follows it. Brody, with whom we most easily identify, is little by little introduced to what its all about, and functions as a translator for the audience. But the central character is Quint, as our fear makes it easy for us to accept his hatred, even more so after the Indianapolis monologue, after which not only the characters are bonded, but also “we” the audience: From then on its “us” against the shark, “our” fear.

Supported by perhaps the most recognizable score ever, “Jaws” changed cinema forever, becoming the first block buster and making the summer quarter the central release period and made Spielberg into the hottest talent around. Today, thirty years later, “Jaws” still is as effective and as inviting as it was originally, and is, alongside “King Kong”, amongst the greatest monster films ever made.

Henrik Sylow

Posters

Theatrical Release: June 20th, 1975

Reviews                                                                                                       More Reviews                                                                                       DVD Reviews

 

Review: Universal - Region FREE - 4K UHD

Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

  

Coming out in 4K Ultra HD without the book in October 2020:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal - Region FREE - 4K Ultra HD
Runtime 2:03:56.345        
Video

2.35:1 2060P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 97,867,177,716 bytes
Feature: 82,726,379,520 bytes
Video Bitrate: 70.79 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate 4K Ultra HD:

Audio

DTS Audio English 448 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / 24-bit
Dolby TrueHD + Atmos English 3709 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 3709 kbps / 24-bit (AC3 Embedded: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps / DN -4dB)
DUBs:

DTS Audio Spanish 768 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD High-Res Audio French 2046 kbps 7.1 / 48 kHz / 2046 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)

Subtitles English (SDH), Spanish, French, None
Features Release Information:
Studio:
Universal

 

2.35:1 2060P 4K Ultra HD
Disc Size: 97,867,177,716 bytes
Feature: 82,726,379,520 bytes
Video Bitrate: 70.79 Mbps
Codec:
HEVC Video

 

Edition Details:

• The Making of Jaws For - viewers will get a complete glimpse into the making of Jaws with this 2-hour documentary (2:02:48)

• 10-part The Shark is Still Working: the Impact and Legacy of Jaws (1:41:21)

Jaws the Restoration - (8:29)
• From The Set An insider's look at life on the set of Jaws, featuring a never-before-available interview with Steven Spielberg
(8:56).
• Deleted Scenes (13:33)
Booklet,

Second disc Blu-ray

Digital Copy


4K Ultra HD
Release Date:
June 2nd, 2020
Black 4K Ultra HD Case inside slipcase

Chapters 20

 

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray and 4K UHD captures were taken directly from the respective discs.

ADDITION: Universal 4K UHD (July 2020): Universal transferred Steven Spielberg's Jaws to 4K UHD. It features HDR. Jaws did not have the technology of budget of today's films - it exists with those limitations. There was always a bit of a dullish cast - even on the latest Blu-ray. So I wasn't anticipating that Jaws would now look as dynamic as a modern film. It doesn't and never will, however.... it has strongly improved over 1080P in my opinion. The problem in the past was a faithful replication of colors and contrast. But this 3840 X 2160 resolution has done three important things to the visuals. Firstly contrast - day lit scenes are brighter while night scenes (specifically the opening scene and catching the shark on a dock with a roast as bait) are much darker. The wider range of contrast has given a more varied appearance to the presentation. The reddish sunsets are.... stunning. Colors have become richer with more depth - this may be simply because of the higher res. Lastly, the texture of the film is far more prevalent - and we love to see that. The grain is beautiful and easily present presenting a far more film-like viewing experience. I found it far more captivating than watching my old Blu-ray. I was anticipating a more modest upgrade - but it has surpassed my expectations.       

It is likely that the monitor you are seeing this review is not an HDR-compatible display (High Dynamic Range) or Dolby Vision, where each pixel can be assigned with a wider and notably granular range of color and light. Our capture software if simulating the HDR (in a uniform manner) for standard monitors. This should make it easier for us to review more 4K UHD titles in the future and give you a decent idea of its attributes on your system. So our captures may not support the exact same colors (coolness of skin tones, brighter or darker hues etc.) as the 4K system at your home. But the framing, detail, grain texture support etc. are, generally, not effected by this simulation representation.

NOTE: 60 more more full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K UHD captures, in lossless PNG format, for Patrons are available HERE.

We have reviewed the following 4K UHD packages to date: The Invisible Man, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucio Fulci's 1979 Zombie  (software uniformly simulated HDR),, 2004's Van Helsining (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Shallows (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Bridge on the River Kwai (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Deer Hunter (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Elephant Man (software uniformly simulated HDR), A Quiet Place (software uniformly simulated HDR), Easy Rider (software uniformly simulated HDR), Suspiria (software uniformly simulated HDR), Pan's Labyrinth (software uniformly simulated HDR) The Wizard of Oz, (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Shining, (software uniformly simulated HDR), Batman Returns (software uniformly simulated HDR), Don't Look Now (software uniformly simulated HDR), The Man Who Killed Killed and then The Bigfoot  (software uniformly simulated HDR), Bram Stoker's Dracula (software uniformly simulated HDR), Lucy (software uniformly simulated HDR), They Live (software uniformly simulated HDR),  Shutter Island (software uniformly simulated HDR),  The Matrix (software uniformly simulated HDR), Alien (software uniformly simulated HDR), Toy Story (software uniformly simulated HDR),  A Few Good Men (software uniformly simulated HDR),  2001: A Space Odyssey (HDR caps udated), Schindler's List (simulated HDR), The Neon Demon (No HDR), Dawn of the Dead (No HDR), Saving Private Ryan (simulated HDR and 'raw' captures), Suspiria (No HDR), The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (No HDR), The Big Lebowski, and I Am Legend (simulated and 'raw' HDR captures).

Universal's 4K UHD offers both a DTS 2.0 channel track (24-bit) and a robust 7.1 Atmos representation. Audio effects surround the boat, the water and the beach crowd which all gain to some degrees with more discreet examples of separation. But one of the biggest beneficiaries is the, iconic, sore by accomplished composer John Williams, (The Rare Breed, The Missouri Breaks, War Horse, The Fury, Images, Sleepers, The Cowboys, Conrack, 1979's Dracula). It was, obviously, always impactful, but now the bass carries even more depth, you hear clarity in the harmonica and guitar in the opening scene beach get-together around the campfire, water splashing against the Orca, the band in the street. This adds another layer of highly effective scariness to the proceedings. There are French or Spanish foreign language DUBs and subtitle options including English (SDH) and as with all 4K UHD discs, this Universal package is Region 'Free' (included Blu-ray too!) playable worldwide. 

NOTE: For Atmos many non-compliant systems will recognizes it as TrueHD 7.1, but from Wikipedia: "Because of limited bandwidth and lack of processing power, Atmos in home theaters is not a real-time mix rendered the same way as in cinemas. The substream is added to Dolby TrueHD or Dolby Digital Plus. This substream only represents a losslessly encoded fully object-based mix. This substream does not include all 128 objects separated. This is not a matrix-encoded channel, but a spatially-encoded digital channel. Atmos in home theaters can support 24.1.10 channel, but it is not an object-based real-time rendering. Filmmakers need to remix and render the TrueHD and Dolby Digital Plus soundtracks with Dolby Media Producer."

Universal's 4K UHD disc has the same supplements as seen on past digital discs and the last Blu-ray (see our comparison HERE.) Notable are the extensive 2-hour 'Making of Jaws' that has... everything. The 10-part The Shark is Still Working: the Impact and Legacy of Jaws - itself is lengthy, Jaws the Restoration, Deleted Scenes etc. These extras are on both the 4K UHD and the included Blu-ray disc. There is a digital copy code (leaflet) and a 48-page booklet with color photos, storyboards and much more. It's a complete package for everything supplementary.

Being honest most people know Jaws ridiculously well (the scenes, the dialogue, Quint's lines, the singing - Show Me The Way To Go Home, Spanish Ladies, I Love to Go Swimming With Bow-Legged Women... etc.) - probably better than they do any other film. Jaws is a cultural phenomenon. It has been watched and re-watched possibly more than any film... ever.

On my system the 4K UHD viewing was a step up - far better than I have ever seen the film before (I was considered too young to see it in the theatre.) So, this is a fantastic package. The best image, audio and extras (booklet) yet available. It's a must-own and will make it's way to our Desert Island selection in the next update. It has our strongest recommendation! 

Gary Tooze

 


Menu / Extras

 

Universal - Region FREE - 4K Ultra HD

 


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY and 4K UHD CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL RESOLUTION

 

1) Universal Pictures (30th Anniversary Edition - DTS) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal Pictures (25th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures (25th Anniversary Edition - DTS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Universal - Region FREE - 4K Ultra HD - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Pictures (30th Anniversary Edition - DTS) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal Pictures (25th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures (25th Anniversary Edition - DTS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Universal - Region FREE - 4K Ultra HD - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Pictures (30th Anniversary Edition - DTS) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal Pictures (25th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures (25th Anniversary Edition - DTS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Universal - Region FREE - 4K Ultra HD - BOTTOM

 

 


1) Universal Pictures (30th Anniversary Edition - DTS) - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) Universal Pictures (25th Anniversary Edition) - Region 2 - PAL - SECOND

3) Universal Pictures (25th Anniversary Edition - DTS) - Region 1 - NTSC - THIRD

4) Universal - Region FREE - Blu-ray - FOURTH

5) Universal - Region FREE - 4K Ultra HD - BOTTOM

 

  


 

More full resolution (3840 X 2160) 4K Ultra HD Captures for Patreon Supporters HERE

 

 

 
Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

  

  

Coming out in 4K Ultra HD without the book in October 2020:

Bonus Captures:

Distribution Universal - Region FREE - 4K Ultra HD


 


 

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