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5 reviews

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Movie Details

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Directed By
Steven Spielberg

Written By:
Carl Gottlieb, Peter Benchley

Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Peter Benchley

Buy on DVD
Jaws (1975)
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Movie Review by Chris
January 15th, 2009

In modern film, especially the 21st century, it's extremely hard to find what some may call the "perfect film". A movie which everyone enjoys, is entertaining and thrills it's audience all the way through. At the age of 23, with a budget of 7 million dollars, Steven Spielberg released one of the most terrifying films ever seen, Jaws. This is a perfect movie, there's nothing to complain about and nothing to really hate about the movie. Back when it was released, all the teens who saw it became terrified of the ocean for a long time, and still are today. 34 years later, the suspense is dulled down a little bit for modern audiences because we already know our villian, a giant shark, but people in 1975 also knew it was a shark, but the fact that we never see the shark until about the 70 minute mark was scary.

There still is a lot of initial suspense though, with the girl being eaten in the ocean at the beginning of the movie, we know it's a shark, a big one at that. The suspenseful part is not knowing it's next victim. The 4th of July scene was one of the most suspenseful parts, as hundreds of people crowd the ocean, we get a first person view from the shark's perspective as it swims under the surface. It passes kids of all ages, moms and dads, grandmoms and grandpops, we never know where it's going to strike next. We get nervous just thinking about this mysterious shark chomping down on some innocent little kid, and when it happens we feel bad for the kid and the unfortunate parents of the victim. This whole first hour of the movie is beautifully constructed, we introduce our characters and we get brief glimpses of the killer shark, but just the way Spielberg carried out this suspense is amazing since the killer is no mystery to the audience.

In the beautiful quaint beach resort of Amity Island, something hideous, something so deliciously evil has vanquished the tranquility and shattered the peace. First, it violently took the life of a young girl, leaving her mangled remains rotting on the beach, her echoed screams cursing the night skies. Next, it moved its attention to the children, ripping and tearing as blood turned the calm waters red. Then, just when they thought it was safe to go back in the water, it struck again, mercilessly rampaging in the estuary and attacking the piers where the fisherman unknowingly sat waiting for a catch. Now, something must be done, before it returns to feed. With the Amity tourist board and town Mayor Larry Vaugn determined to keep the beaches open for the Summer Season, its up to Police Chief Brody, marine biologist Matt Hooper and colorful fisherman Quint to hunt down the 200 Pound White Death and put an end to the bloodshed. They are going to need a bigger boat.

Roy Scheider plays as Chief Brody, who's first summer as chief in the small town of Amity isnt easy. As he awakes with his wife, he says that working here shouldnt be that hard, not as hard as the city. As he gets a call stating an attack of sorts on the beach, he finds what appears to be just the torso of a young girl mutilated by an animal of sorts. Roy is a fantastic actor, and Brody gets a lot of smack from local citizens talking about how shutting down the beaches is insane and especially from Mayor Larry Vaughn does he receive the most beating from. In Amity, their biggest weekend for the beach and buisness is 4th of July, where everyone packs on the beach to go for a nice swim. Brody doesnt believe this is right and allows it, putting in shark watchers and everything else to make sure nothing goes wrong. Of course there's an attack and finally Vaughn believes him on his theory of shark attacks.

Matt Hooper is played by Richard Dreyfuss, a shark expert whom at first finds this assignment to be very minor, until he realizes that he's dealing with a very large killer shark. He becomes attached to studying the victims and trying to find this shark, he wants to protect this small town but also wants to see just how big this shark really is. Matt is a great actor and his performance is incredible, I loved his character from start to finish. Quint is a local fisherman who is supposedly an expert in catching sharks. He is played by Robert Shaw, a creepy performance but definitely one worth pointing out. For the last 45 minutes of the movie we see Hooper, Quint and Brody go out and try to catch this shark. Everything that can possible go wrong does, and of course we reach our extreme climax.

Almost every element in 'Jaws' is extremely well made and smart. The movie takes on the thriller/horror genres and does an amazing job at creating the suspense needed. One other thing Spielberg really does well is when Hooper is studying this corpse of the young woman killed in the beginning, we never see it. We respond though to the dialogue of Hooper talking about what happened to her and especially his facial expressions. This makes everything a bit more of an impact and is very effective in the long run. Without a doubt 'Jaws' is a classic in film, completely unforgettable.

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