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Jaws (1975)

A note from Victor

Many of my blog readers and followers may not know that “Jaws” is my all time favorite film. It was a pleasant surprise when this review by Paul Knoop, a regular contributor, arrived in my e-mail. I threatened Paul that the review better do the film justice. He did not waver or back down from my threat. He simply said – “Just READ it”…and I did. And he did not disappoint.

This review is a bit of a milestone for my blog. I hold this film in VERY HIGH regard and since I could not get the time to review it,  I could not think of anyone better to do it other than Paul who also holds the film high in it’s glorious esteem.

It is an honor to post this review of Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece, “Jaws” by Paul Knoop. Thanks for your continued support everyone. Keep reading and dropping by “The Den!”

What’s it About?

When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Reviewed by Paul Knoop from http://thatdutchfilmlover.wordpress.com/

10 out of 10

If I have to look into what started my fascination into the world of cinema, one thing comes to mind: VCR tapes. My dad used to tape lots of movies for me, and when the right time (or appropiate age) was there, I would watch them with him. We saw lots of movies, but the one who has made the most impact until this day is: ‘Jaws’.
I’ve probably seen this movie the most of any movie that I know and love (a number exceeding well over 50) and I’ve read the novel from Peter Benchley (on which Jaws is based) multiple times as well.

It’s May 2012 and ‘Jaws’ still remains a true pinnacle of moviemaking prowess. From it’s rich characters portrayed by the late Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw to the excellent direction from a
young Steven Spielberg, or the great script that was re-edited and rewritten almost daily by Carl Gottlieb. You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to write down something coherent about a movie you know and love so much. The story, since this is still a review, centers around Chief Brody who is the newly appointed sheriff of a town called Amity. When a great white shark starts killing off islanders, its up to him and an oceanographer called ‘Hooper’ to rescue the town. The added dynamic lies in Amity itself, shot at Martha’s Vineyard, which sole income depends on summer.
Local government officials aren’t to keen on spreading the word about a great white shark roaming the waters.

Like Mayor Vaughn says to Brody when discussing this matter: ”You yell ‘Barracuda,’ everybody says ‘Huh? What?..but when you yell Shark! we’ve got ourselves a panic on our hands on the 4th of July”  it fascinated me when I was a kid as well. Why would someone purposefully endanger his own citizens, and looking back, it still does baffle me. It’s all these scenes around the terror of the shark which make this picture worthy of all the praise it still gets. Whether it’s the dialogue from Quint about the Indianapolis, or the scene where Chief Brody’s son mimics his behaviour. Spielberg has made this a movie about real people who need to overcome a real threat, which is more than can be said for 90 percent of all other ‘monster movies’. On top of that, the supporting cast is brilliant, whether its Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper or Robert Shaw as Quint.

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Jaws coined the term ”summer blockbuster” and set the standard for a movie release schedule.
To this day all big movies come out in the summer period, and the box office revenue that Jaws managed to get in 1974 also made it the best selling movie for decades to come. It catapulted Steven Spielberg’s career, who already made a good start with the tv movie ‘Duel’ and the movie ‘The Sugarland Express”, and spawned three more sequels. ( With the exception of Part 2 though, the were god-awful) And the scares still work as well, this has turned out to be more of a love letter than a review, but I hope it made you guys curious about the power of
“Jaws.” It might not be the best movie to you, but it will definitely make it into your personal top 10 horror movies.

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