”Courage and stupidity.” That’s what Steven Spielberg says he was full of when he filmed Jaws. At 27, he was brave enough to take on Peter Benchley’s killer-shark megaseller, but he was too naive to realize that his mechanical man-eater would malfunction to the point where he’d dub it ”the Great White Turd.”
Seriously large cojones. (And we’re not talking about young Spielberg here.) That’s what you — who purchased the 25th Anniversary Edition — will think it takes for Universal to release, Jaws: 30th Anniversary Edition this new two-disc set. The movie is still without a commentary or trivia track. The deleted scenes, outtakes, storyboards, and production pics haven’t been sweetened. And worse, we already own 48 minutes of the two-hour making-of (now cleverly Cliff’s-Noted in a commemorative photo journal).
The definitive doc will, of course, be worth the money for forgiving diehards, thanks to bonus bits like this one: Spielberg wanted to introduce Quint (Shaw) by having his hysterical laughter empty out a crowded Amity movie theater playing John Huston’s Moby Dick. The problem? Dick star Gregory Peck wouldn’t give him the film rights because it wasn’t his finest performance. Fans who can, however, survive without the extra dish should pass on this collection. The ”never-before-available” set interview with Spielberg is notable only for his optimism that he’ll wrap the movie in two months (instead of the actual five and a half). The one worthwhile addition to the repackaged ”Jaws Phenomenon” featurette is just a better look at the note Spielberg sent George Lucas when Star Wars took over Jaws’ spot as the top-grossing film of all time — the letterhead depicts R2-D2 reeling the great white in on a fishing line.
We’re all for celebrating milestones, but rather than the next Anniversary Edition, we’d prefer the Ultimate one.