Jaws (AFI #56)

“I really should stop trying to get a movie in on Fri nights. I fell asleep again. And again that is not a commentary on the movie at all. Finished it off this morning, but had to postpone blogging until after running errands for BYOP. Wasnt worth cutting into my zipcar res time.

Anyhoo, such a great movie. No, it didnt actually scare me (that takes a lot) but it did hit some of the key elements for a good horror film. Spielberg was a master when it came to creating suspense, and a lot of that was apparently by accident. The first half of the movie is incredibly effective because you dont see the shark. Turns out they only did it that way because the shark-bot was malfunctioning half the time. Just think, if the shark had worked properly, the movie would not have been nearly as good (and I know Im not the only one of that opinion).

The realism of the movie was another plus. This wasn’t about some mythical being or a psycho is some specific set of circumstances. The villain was a natural creature, killing indiscriminently based on instinct. Its a lot easier to scare people when they can actually believe in what’s trying to scare them.

John Williams’ score was fantastic (but we knew that). It built suspense, but also created a sense of adventure. I swear, there were a few times I thought I was watching the Goonies or Pirates of the Carribbean.

Im just 12 movies into the list, but I’ve already noticed something really cool and unexpected. Watching these movies makes me appreciate the movies I love even more. Okay so Im watching the scene where Quint and Hooper start comparing scars. At some point, Hooper says “”I got that beat. I got that beat”” Im thinking ‘I know that’ Then I think ‘hey they were just talking about permanent scars…no way…put your leg on the table. Put your leg on the table! Holy \m/’ That scene was parodied in Chasing Amy, which is one of my all time favorites, and prolly my second fave Kevin Smith movie after Clerks. Although in Amy they were talking about scars that were, um, acquired doing something else. As is, that might be my favorite scene in Amy, cause it just sticks with you. I had no idea it was a spoof. That makes it ten times better.

Also got an unexpected funny early on when we got to the “”that’s some bad hat Harry”” line. Anyone who watches House knows why that’s relevant.

Well, off to spooky up the Hellmouth for BYOP tonight!”