Jaws With....

Every so often Hollywood will make a hit film that will have such a cultural impact that it will radiate a slew of lesser quality cash ins and knock offs. We had years of it post Die Hard with Die Hard on a bus, plane, ship, train etc.

The same thing happened with Jaws as Hollywood discovered that nature just kept on fighting back...mostly badly. Even the posters, covering everything from Tentacles to Blood Beach feature a scantily clad young woman in distress (and little else) about to be enveloped by the corresponding film’s creature.

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House Shark Needs You!

I found myself thinking of new plays on not only “Jaws” but even other “Jaws” knock offs that came out shortly after it and in the years that followed, movies like “Grizzly”, “Piranha”, “Alligator”, “Blades” and so forth.  But the main focus was “Jaws”, and I thought of ways to pay homage to all the great moments and characters in that movie, big and small.  Some are obvious, well know and quoted often, but others would only be caught by the hardcore “Jaws” fan.

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Finales: Jaws vs Jurassic Park

Perhaps one of the most memorable parts of Jaws was its epic finale. The final sequence of Steven Spielberg’s classic gave audiences an unforgettable conclusion to an unforgettable film. But what makes a masterpiece ending? What about a finale leaves audiences cheering through the end credits? 

Today, I’d like to analyze the ending of this film, and compare it to the finale of another Spielberg classic, Jurassic Park, to see exactly what makes these films go out with a bang (in the case of Jaws, literally).

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The 12 Days Of Jawsmas

There's been lots of talk about whether Die Hard was or wasn't a Christmas film and although Jaws isn't (Jaws The Revenge actually is set at Christmas, perhaps that is why it is a turkey of a film. Check out my 30th anniversary look back at it here "Jaws Poor"), I thought the original Spielberg classic had many elements that lent itself to the Christmas story (sort of).


But Jaws is set in July!

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Bruce: The Beautiful Terror of a Mechanical Shark

The evolution of a mechanical shark puppet that affected the history of cinema (and indeed, maybe even theme park engineering)  still continues to fascinate us – and part of the reason may have something to do with the uncanny valley aspect of it all. This knowledge that those puppets aren’t the real deal, even after seeing behind the scenes footage with multiple wires poking out of the shark’s stomach, we can still watch Jaws and be just as terrified and mystified by this gigantic fish, even after 40 + years. 

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Hail To The Chief: Remembering Roy Scheider

Scheider’s performance is the glue that holds Jaws together; we are also the newcomer that experiences the world of Amity Island through his eyes – even if it is only an island if you look at it from the ocean. It all helps that he is like us, an everyman. He’s afraid of the water, can’t tie a knot and doesn’t even get to drive the boat! Not exactly Dwayne Johnson, but that is exactly what we love about Brody and Scheider’s performance. He’s endearing, likable and relatable. 

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Top 10 Jaws 70‘s References

JAWS, quite rightly has a place in movie history.  It's become a fan favourite, it’s one of Steven Spielberg's finest and is one of those rare examples of a movie being better than the book.  When Jaws came out in 1975 it caused a huge buzz.  If there was such thing as a movie going viral back then, then this movie definitely did that.  You can always sense when a movie is something special when it starts to get referenced in other movies and TV shows.  Here are ten of the earliest examples of Jaws being seen, heard or referenced in a movie or TV show from the 1970s.

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Happy Birth-Drey: Richard Dreyfuss at 70

The battle against the shark was one thing, but that was nothing compared to the frisson between Hooper and Quint, and if it seemed realistic it was because it allegedly was.

And if his role as Matt Hooper put Dreyfuss at the top of the cinema tree, then it was Spielberg's follow up that cemented it. Spielberg, Dreyfuss, Production Designer Joe Alves and Composer John Williams were all back; this time however they weren't after a bigger boat but more of a bigger spaceship.

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Der dum, der dum, der dum…famous in swimming pools and cinemas worldwide the Jaws theme did for seas and sharks what the Psycho theme did for showers and kitchen knives.

Arguably, not since has there been a piece of music that has so transcended its original material and is known worldwide, passed down by generations, known even to those who have not seen it or have been too young to view it.

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The Dark Heart of Jaws

Jaws is a stunning example of cinematic craft and it’s a clear manifestation of a young filmmaker trying out everything he can and taking risks in order to create something special. There are scares aplenty throughout the story and the tension once the trio get out on to open water in search of the shark is unbearable. Spielberg fills Jaws with sophistication to flesh out the characters and the setting, but he’s not afraid to pull out the oldest trick in the book when the story demands it. 

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