When just a few notes from a film’s soundtrack is enough to elicit fear and anxiety in a large percentage of the population, you know that we are talking about a classic film. Jaws is exactly this sort of classic.
Celebrating it’s 45th Anniversary, Universal is bringing this timeless horror film to 4K UHD with a really nice set, including a lenticular cover, added art book, and fantastic looking 4K scan. And all of this is coming just in time for the summer, when you wish you could be at the beach. But thanks to covid we are all staying in (we ARE all staying in, right? I’m looking at you, Florida residents), so instead we can get our beach fix by watching the best of the best.
I’ll give a brief synopsis, in case you’ve never seen Jaws, but frankly, even if you haven’t, I’m sure you’ve accumulated enough to get the gist just by the endless amounts of culture that has been shaped by this icon.
In short, a summer beach town is preparing to open up for the season, but a string of deaths raises concern over a potentially big shark issue. Which of course, turns out to be a very, very large shark issue.
The town’s mayor fails to take the situation seriously and the deaths add up until a local fisherman sets out to catch the mother of all sharks.
Jaws has become a massive success for good reasons – it hits a lot of the satisfying checkmarks on the list of summer creature features, and hits a particularly effective fear that most people have in sharks. The music is iconic and adds to the effect, and the story is just crazy enough and fun enough to grant this one cult status.
After having not seen this one in a few years, I am pleased to report that this one still stands strong as a fun summer horror flick. The only question I have is when will we see the sequels in 4K? My body is ready.
It would be easy to assume that bringing Jaws to the new format for it’s 45th Anniversary is just a quick cash grab. I mean, who celebrates 45 years? It makes sense to not wait another 5 years to release the film on 4K, so ok, there’s an argument there. However, it seems that Universal really did it’s diligence on this one.
The 4K visuals are fantastic. It still amazes me that films that came out so long ago can benefit form the massive amount of pixels available in the format, but again, I am pleasantly surprised.
The Dolby Atmos track was, also, just perfect. There was a surprising amount of overhead effects, which have been expanded from it’s original source. This was super exciting to listen to and added a surprising amount of depth.
Jaws comes in a nice, sturdy slipbox with lenticular cover and full art, with a black UHD case, digital copy, and UHD and Blu-ray discs, as well as a nice booklet with essays. The special features included are:
- The Making of Jaws
- The Shark is Still Working: The Impact and Legacy of Jaws
- Jaws: The Restoration
- Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
- From the Set
- Theatrical Trailer
- Jaws Archives
Our Recommendation for Jaws:
Jaws is one of the greatest films of all time, and for good reason. It uses practical effects expertly, and still scares generation after generation – all while being super damn fun to watch. This particular release has fantastic packaging as well as the best presentation of the film that I’ve yet seen. Definitely pick this one up.