Sunday, June 28, 2009

Movie Review: Jaws

Jaws
Rated PG
4 Slimes
Copyright Universal Pictures 1975

THE CHARACTERS

Martin Brody: Roy Schneider! The sheriff and chief of police of Amity Island. I think he is the most qualified to actually be mayor of the town. He wants to close the beaches down right away until the shark can be dealt with, but the real mayor will not allow him to do so. He ends up going on the hunting trip for the shark and manages to blow it up good.

Matt Hooper: Richard Dreyfuss! He is a marine biologist who is brought in to help the town deal with the shark problem. He is an expert in sharks and helps out when everyone is trying to kill the shark. He loves taking photos of the shark.

Quint: Robert Shaw! He is a professional shark hunter with his own boat, Orca. He is very hard to understand and I think it is because he looks like he had one too many drinks. He is the captain of the hunting trip to find the shark. He ends up being bitten and dragged into the depths of the sea by the shark.

Mayor Larry Vaughn: Ladies and gentlemen, the most incompetent person to ever become mayor, next to Quimby from the Simpsons. He is determined to keep the waters open at all costs, putting so many people at risk, even friends and family. I don’t know why anyone hasn’t punched him out yet.

Ellen Brody: Lorraine Gray! She is the wife of Martin and is one of the few people to actually take Martin serious about how dangerous the situation with the shark is.

Deputy Len Hendricks: He is one of the only people to believe Martin and actually try to keep the waters safe from the shark.

Shark: Ah yes, the shark that spawned tons of horrible, horrible rip-offs. Damn you! Anyways, this thing is nasty! It stakes a claim on Amity Island as its hunting territory and proceeds to chow down on the locals. The darn thing is extremely strong, persistent, and can handle of a lot of pain. 5 victims and one dog later, Martin is able to blow the shark to kingdom come using an air tank and a rifle.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ Sharks feel no pain.
+ Sharks are extremely relentless when it comes to getting food.
+ Inside of every shark is a license plate.
+ When fishing for sharks, dynamite is the preferred form of weapon by certain fishermen.
+ Shark plus air tank plus rifle equals KABOOM!
+ Sharks get their own music when they stalk their prey.
+ Shark cages aren’t necessarily shark proof.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
4 min – Ah yes, the scene that’s been giving little kids nightmares for over 3 decades.
8 min – I’m reminded of Frogs.
12 min – If I am following this correctly, what he means is that he wants to keep the beaches open for money purposes while putting people at risk.
17 min – Yet another scene that sparks nightmares in little kids across the globe.
20 min – Ahem, the gruff and drunk man scratching his hands on the chalkboard has a question.
26 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A PIER!
27 min – Swim!!! The pier err… shark is coming for you!
31 min – Well that is a pretty reasonable amount of remains for a shark attack.
36 min – She should slap the mayor if she wants to blame someone for her son’s death.
44 min – Someone’s going to need a shower after this.
49 min – RANDOM FREAK OUT MOMENT!
52 min – I don’t know, it looks perfect for the area considering the problem.
57 min 50 sec – FREEZE FRAME! Coca Cola sponsors this movie.
60 min – Lady!! Move your butt and get to shore! Stop floating around and possibly endangering your child!
62 min – Huh?! How did that shark knock over two boats at the same time when they were at least a couple of yards apart!
81 min – Peek-a-boo!
85 min – The sun wasn’t setting a minute ago.
97 min – That shark sure loves peek-a-boo.
108 min – Well you’re screwed now.
114 min – Surprise!
115 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A SHARK CAGE!
116 min – Don’t you ever give up?
119 min – This shark has a high tolerance for pain after being harpooned, shot a couple of times, speared, and even stabbed with a machete.
120 min – KABOOM! And now the sea is drench in blood, causing even more sharks to come.

NOTABLE QUOTES
Mayor Vaughn: Martin, it's all psychological. You yell barracuda, everybody says, "Huh? What?" You yell shark, we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.

Martin Brody: You’re going to need a bigger boat.

Mayor Vaughn: Any special questions?
Denherder: Uh, is that $3000 bounty on the shark in cash or check?

Matt Hooper: Boys, oh boys... I think he's come back for his noon feeding.

THE PLOT

When I say shark movie, you probably think of the movie Jaws. It is the signature and hallmark of all killer sharks and a lot of times, killer animal movies. Even though it is regarded as the best, does it still hold up in today’s audiences? I have watched the movie for the first time just to do a review on it to see if it is just as good as everyone says, so I’ll explain my experience with it.

The movie opens up with two young adults running on the beach. The guy falls and hits the ground hard in a drunken stupor, while the girl, Christine, dives into the water and to swim. She heads out into deep water and suddenly, an unseen force attacks her from beneath. After a bit of being dragged around and a lot of horrific screaming, she is pulled below into the murky depths. With this, kids are now terrified of the water forever.

The next day arrives and we find ourselves on Amity Island where we meet Martin Brody, the sheriff of the little town, heading out to a scene on the beach. He arrives there, where he finds his Deputy Len Hendricks overlooking the dead body of Christine, or whatever is left of her considering the shark attack. Martin wants the beaches close down and begins to set up signs for people to get the message.

Unfortunately, the town idiot, Mayor Larry Vaughn, refuses to close the beach because it would affect their Fourth of July Event and it would hurt the town’s economy. He says that the girl died from boating accident and he even convinced (Most likely bribed) the coroner to agree to boating angle, even though he originally said it was shark attack. Hard to believe that this town is still staying afloat with politicians like this. All I can say is that economy is going to hurt more when the lawsuits against him come in considering the future shark attacks.

So the beaches remains open and Martin now starts to watch the water. You most likely guessed correctly, trouble comes a calling as the shark enters the scene. It chows down on a little boy in a rubber raft and a dog. The mayor realizes that there is actually a shark and finally closes down the beach, while calling for some backup to come to the island. While this is happening, the mother of the dead boy opens up a reward to local and out of state people for the capture and death of the shark that killed her boy, which sparks the interest of shark hunter, Quint.

Tons of people come from all over to cash in on this reward while Martin and his deputy try to keep things under control. The fishermen end up catching a tiger shark and everyone assumes they caught the right shark. However, Matt Hooper, a marine biologist called in, examines the shark caught by empting its stomach and performing an autopsy on the victim. He tells Martin that they have the wrong shark for sure and they need to close the beaches right away.

They decide to first search the area at night for any signs of the shark, since according to Hooper, sharks are nighttime feeders. I find that amusing since most of the shark attacks take place during the day. They discover a fisherman’s boat floating alone in the water and decide to investigate it. Matt dives below the water and checks out the bottom where he sees a hole in the boat. Upon closer look, he discovers a body of one of the fishermen in the area. Well, just the head, but you get the picture.

The two of them determine that shark in the area is a Great White and warn the mayor the next day. As you can possibly imagine, he won’t shut down the beaches and allows everyone to come to the local town for the 4th of July Festival, but he will allow Coast Guard and others officers to be patrolling. Mayor of the year everyone!

It is now the big day and what looks like hundreds of people flock to the little island for some fun in the sun. Tons of people are out in the water and there are plenty of boats and even a helicopter patrolling the area. Suddenly, a shark shows up in the water and everybody scrambles out, but it turns out it is just two kids with shark fin on their heads. With this distraction, however, the real shark swims into an estuary on the beach where Martin’s son, Michael, is in. The shark attacks and eats a man in the water, while it almost gets Michael. He manages to make it out ok and the mayor finally realizes it is time for action. He hires Quint to take out the shark, while Matt and Martin go along for the trip.

They all go out on Quint’s boat, the Orca, and begin to search the waters. They have no luck for a while, but the shark shows up soon enough and starts circling the boat. They estimate that shark, now having a somewhat decent look at the beast, is 3 tons and about 25 feet long. They action by shooting at the thing with a harpoon that has a flotation barrel attached, so it can’t submerge, but the shark ends up dragging it underneath the water.

The night falls and the men relax a bit by sharing some stories. However, the shark, from underneath the boat, starts damaging the hull before it takes off again. The next day, the guys make repairs to the engine that was also damage, but the shark, again, pops back up and starts going after them. Darn thing sure is persistent about getting these guys.

Martin thinks they are in over their heads and wants to radio in for the Coast Guard, but Quint destroys the radio. It doesn’t make sense, but I suppose it makes sense for a drunk like him. They continue after the shark and spear it with 3 more harpoons with floatation barrels attached (The original came off) and they tie the ropes of the barrel to the cleats. However, the shark manages to pull off the cleats and the men are forced to move onto another plan, especially since it is able to completely submerge with 3 barrels. They plan on leading the shark to swallower water where they can beach it, but engine burns out just as the shore is visible on the horizon.

They have no choice but to do a desperate act, with Matt getting into a shark cage with spear laced in poison that he plans on stabbing the shark with. Once again, in an incredible feat of strength, the shark breaks through the steal cage to get at Matt. Just how strong is a great white anyhow? He ends up dropping the spear and has to make a break for it while the shark is distracted with the cage.

Quint and Martin pull up the cage and assume the worst when Matt isn’t in it. Suddenly, the shark pops up and throws itself onto the transom, crushing it in the process, allowing the boat to take on water. The guys move towards the front, but the boat begin to tilt with the weight of the shark on it. Quint ends up sliding straight into the shark’s mouth, where he’s dragged under and killed.

Martin, now all alone, moves into the cabin of the boat, which is halfway under now. The shark comes smashing through the side of the boat and starts biting at him. You think at least one human would be enough to fill this thing. Martin shoves an air tank into its mouth, allowing him to get onto the mast, the only part that hasn’t sunk. He grabs a rifle and takes aim at the shark as it comes towards him. He aims at the air tank still in it mouth and fires when it raises its mouth above the water. He shoots the tank, blowing it up and killing the shark instantly. Martin sighs in relief as Matt shows up from the water. Both men then paddle back to shore, happy that the whole thing is over.

Ah yes, that was indeed a good movie. It is probably the best killer shark movie ever (Not much competition in reality) and one of Spielberg’s best movies. There was great music, good casting, good plot adaption from the book, great special effects for the time, and great settings. There are a few problems I notice with the movie however. There a couple of bad editing moments with the movie, water got in the camera’s lenses which sometimes blurred the film, and I can’t say that Quint was a very likeable character. He came off as Ahab from Moby Dick a lot of the times. Still, this was an enjoyable and great movie that everyone should see sometime in their life.

No comments:

Post a Comment