Jaws 45th Anniversary 4K Ultra HD

WSR Score5
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Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-100)
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Not Indicated
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Steven Spielberg
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Dolby Atmos, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, DTS HD Lossless 2.0
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"Jaws" celebrates its 45th anniversary in this limited edition release. Steven Spielberg's triple Academy Award®-winning "Jaws" succeeded in instilling a very real terror of sharks in all those who saw the film. The story picks up after the grisly remains of a young woman, the victim of a shark attack, are discovered on the shores of vacation mecca, Amity Island. The police chief (Scheider) wants the beaches closed, but it's Fourth of July weekend with thousands of paying guests in town. After two others suffer the same fate as the young woman, the chief teams up with a cocky, marine biologist (Dreyfuss) and a seasoned (lemon pepper, perhaps?) shark hunter (Shaw) to destroy the killer 25-foot great white. Based on the book by Peter Benchley. (Gary Reber)

Special features include deleted scenes and outtakes (SD 13:33); "The Making Of Jaws" (SD 02:02:48); "The Shark Is Still Working: The Impact & Legacy Of Jaws" (SD 01:41:21); "Jaws: The Restoration" (HD 08:28); "From The Set" (SD 08:56); Jaws Archives, which includes storyboards (SD 29:45), production photos (SD 48:34), "Marketing Jaws" (SD 09:20), and "Jaws Phenomenon" (SD 10:08); the theatrical trailer; a 48-page booklet and a Movies Anywhere digital code..

The 2.36:1 1080p AVC picture was digitally remastered and fully restored from 35 mm original film elements as part of Universal's ongoing 100th Anniversary celebration. This 4K Ultra HD is sourced from a previous restoration performed in conjunction with Steven Spielberg and the Amblin Entertainment post-production team. According to the studio, as much of the original negative element as possible was used in the restoration, as well as a process to remove as many scratches and other artifacts as possible. Grain is fine throughout, giving the presentation a cinematic texturing. The wider color gamut exhibits perfectly natural hues and accurate fleshtones with every tonal parameter amplified. Hue intensities are never exaggerated, but their textural depth is enhanced. Blue water and skies appear nicely saturated. HDR contrast is excellent and exhibits deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Whites, which are prominent around the town, are nicely illuminated. The imagery has never been as impressively sharp and clear as exhibited in this latest edition. Objects, clothing, and facial features reveal find textural nuances. WOW! segments are from 45:26 to 50:22, 01:19:40 to 01:21:30, and 01:56:24 to 01:58:18. This new 4K Ultra HD edition establishes a new reference marker as the best that has ever been presented to home-viewing audiences. (Gary Reber)

The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack has been sourced from the previous Blu-ray's repurposed DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel mix. The result is an impressive soundfield experience that is multi-dimensional throughout. The screen soundstage, in particular, consistently spans the three channels. Sound effects enhance the improved dimension, clarity, and dynamics—just listen to the gunshots as the shark is finally killed. Atmospherics include seaside and beach ambience with festive visitors and swimmers. This is clearly not one of the mono-centric remastered soundtracks with minor dimensional enhancement. Dynamics are compressed throughout. John Williams' signature music score has been incorporated in its stereophonic glory, and its multidimensional presence with low-end augmentation adds significantly to the intended visceral effect. The audio tends to be balanced towards the screen with generally subtle envelopment, but the added dimensionality of the two extra channels, though placed to the back, significantly enhance the enveloping holosonic® quality of the soundfield. Deep bass is effectively incorporated, which magnifies the sense of fear, suspense, and urgency conveyed by the story.

The Immersive Sound element is comprised of the prominent John Williams' score extended to the height layer. There is one scene beginning at 58:24 in which the view is looking up below to swimmers paddling and splashing in the water with the sound of strong bubbling water. Two other instances occur beginning at 01:44:14 of water disturbance with the shark attacking the boat and at 01:52:59 with the shark cage lowered in the ocean and the sound of crashes as the shark attacks the cage. Finally, the shark is blown up with an explosion at 02:00:14..

Though aged, fidelity often is satisfying. Intelligibility of voices is never an issue, and the dialogue production is adequate, given the limitations of the original soundtrack. Purists will rejoice with the inclusion of the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 original monaural track, but the extension of ear-level channels do add to the overall satisfaction. This is a tremendously satisfying soundtrack presentation that still delivers the sense of fear of the ocean. (Gary Reber)