Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Episode 22: "Jaws"
Anyway, "Jaws" is my favorite thriller/scary/horror movie of all time. The tension is palpable throughout, the action sequences are top notch for its time, and the characters are absolutely perfect. Seriously, they're perfect. In fact, Chief Brody (Roy Scheider), Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), and especially Quint (Robert Shaw) would all make my "Favorite Characters" list were I to make one. Here's the thing: there's more than a hint of cheesiness to "Jaws" (especially when watching it 35 years after it debuted). If these actors don't completely NAIL their roles and bring humanity and even realism to the table, this movie doesn't hold up near as well as it does. How Shaw wasn't nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his work here is beyond me. Maybe more importantly, this is one of the rare scary movies that can actually freak you out. Not frighten or gross you out the way a horror movie does but literally mess with your life. I am openly terrified of sharks to the point that I will not willingly step into the ocean and that illogical fear is due in large part to the abject horror "Jaws" brought into my life. I can only imagine how messed up I would be if I'd seen this movie in a theater. On top of all that, "Jaws" launched the career of a struggling young director named Steven Spielberg who's done alright for himself. And when you know the back story of this movie's SERIOUSLY troubled production (definitely worth a Google search), it's an amazing achievement in film. A.
Best Character: Sam Quint
As I mentioned, all three of the main characters are excellent but dude, Quin is a-mazing. Perfect.
Did I say I caught a shark?