Jaws Blu-ray

Universal’s 100th Anniversary restoration of Jaws (1975) as a Blu-ray disc is the finest example of the film to date. The print looks better than it did during the initial theatrical run. I’m mixed however on manipulations to the audio tracks. Jaws won an Oscar for sound effects editing, so why change things? Over the years the audio tracks degraded so sound technicians and powers that be decided to re-channel (and restore) the audio tracks for the Blu-ray release. Some new sounds were also recorded. Director Spielberg remarked in the restoration documentary included on the disc that the dinosaur sound (the wailing moans of The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms) can be better heard, now, as the monstrous blownup Jaws sinks to the bottom of the sea. Personally, I thought it was fine before -I could hear Harryhausen’s creature. At least Spielberg didn’t do something stupid (like his friend George) by adding a CGI shark. The film sound great though and is probably exceptional on the right acoustics platform. I am a simple man and don’t have a 7.1 THX-certified sound system. Bela Lugosi sounds just fine in mono.

I saw Jaws 12 times in a theater. I’ve viewed the film more times than any other movie. I’ve lost track, but have probably seen it close to 100 times (12 times 1975-1976, probably 10 times on the MCA laserdisc in the early 1980’s, and 2x a year conservative estimate from 1985 – 2012 (54 times)! Whew, that’s a lot of “We’re gonna need a bigger boat”! It’s probably my favorite film and this print is the best to date. Now I’ll watch it three times a year. Whewhoo!

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