Jaws: The Revenge (Blu-ray) (1987)

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Released 2-Jun-2016

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Thriller Alternate Ending
Theatrical Trailer
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1987
Running Time 90:10
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Joseph Sargent
Studio
Distributor

Universal Sony
Starring Lorraine Gary
Lance Guest
Mario Van Peebles
Karen Young
Michael Caine
Judith Barsi
Mitchell Anderson
Lynn Whitfield
Mary Smith
Case Standard Blu-ray
RPI $15.95 Music Michael Small


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English DTS HD Master Audio 5.1
Spanish dts 2.0
French dts 2.0
Portuguese dts 2.0
German dts 2.0
Japanese dts 2.0
Thai dts 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 1080p
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Spanish
French
Portuguese
German
Japanese
Thai
Danish
Finnish
Greek
Norwegian
Swedish
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

††† The term "bad movies" covers a lot of ground. There are simple bad movies, but then there are the BAD movies - flicks marred by poor concepts that are made worse by inept screenwriting and filmmaking in virtually every regard. These are the motion pictures which convince you that everybody involved in the production was drunk, stoned or sleepwalking for every second of their participation. 1987ís Jaws: The Revenge - the third sequel to Steven Spielberg's Jaws - is one such example of this type of bad film. By this point in the Jaws series, the concept of quality completely flew over the studio's head - it became a simple matter of milking the cash-cow (cash-shark?) for all that it was worth. Itís not even titled Jaws 4 because all references to 1983ís Jaws 3-D are inexplicably avoided, and it tells an alternative story about different versions of the Brody offspring. Writing a review for Jaws: The Revenge seems unnecessary since you pretty much know it sucks (and boy does it ever!), but there's too much fun to be had in ripping this dreck to shreds...

††† Roy Scheider, who played Martin Brody in the first two instalments in the series, said of Jaws 3: ďMephistopheles couldnít talk me into doing the film!Ē and a whole new cast was brought in as a result. For Jaws: The Revenge, the series is shifted back to Amity Island where the first two instalments took place, but the filmmakers knew better than to even ask Scheider to return. Instead, this is a story about Ellen Brody (Lorraine Gary), whoís now a widow after Martin died of a heart attack brought on by fear of the shark. (Donít ask.) At Christmastime, Sean Brody (Mitchell Anderson) is killed by a large great white shark that arrives in Amity harbour. Judging by this attack, Ellen deduces that a shark is hunting the Brody family because it's a descendant of the sharks from the previous Jaws movies, and wants revenge. This makes sense - a fish with a brain the size of an apple telepathically finds out who killed his relatives, and wants vengeance. Perfectly logical. As for the rest of the movie? Everyone fights for survival in the Bahamas, and Mike Brody (Lance Guest) is now a marine biologist who wants to study the killer shark.

††† Leaving for the Bahamas does seem like a bit of an extreme precaution on Ellenís part to avoid being eaten by a fish that she believes is after her. Surely she could just move into an apartment building instead, or maybe just avoid going near the ocean? But a vacation away from Amity was the obvious answer, apparently, and the Bahamas is undoubtedly an ideal place to avoid a shark, since itís a small island surrounded by water. The conniving great white shark also manages to find out about Ellenís travel plans and follows her, even arriving at the Bahamas first. Apparently fishes are the fastest mode of transportation - faster than a plane - according to the screenplay by Michael de Guzman. Furthermore, the (clearly scientifically accurate) film asserts that white pointers can survive in the warm waters of the Bahamas, even though itís a bona fide fact that they cannot. But the film's stupidity does not end there - Ellen is also haunted by flashbacks to events that she did not even witness, and events that, in some cases, no survivors witnessed.

††† Why a well-regarded filmmaker like Joseph Sargent (The Taking of Pelham One Two Three) chose to both direct and produce this s*** is beyond my mental parameters. Even more baffling is that Sargent's direction is awful, and the production values are so cheap that it's downright insulting. The film was produced on a budget of $23 million (whereas Spielbergís Jaws was apparently made for about $8.5 million), but I cannot figure out where all the funds went. Perhaps the cast and crew just enjoyed a lavish Bahamian holiday on the studioís dime and occasionally filmed a scene? One would logically expect some realistic shark models since this is Part 4 of the Jaws series, but alas, all we get is an extremely obvious, false-looking, plastic-coated toy. A yellow post-it note with the word "SHARK" written on it with some squiggly water lines would be more convincing than the cheap submerged Halloween costume on display throughout this joke of a movie. It's even possible to actually see the controls of the shark in several shots during the film, while the shark movement is robotic and laughably unrealistic. One must genuinely feel sorry for the actors at the centre of this, as well. Even the mostly reliable Caine looks unfocused, though he does deliver the only worthwhile lines of dialogue. Tragically, Caine's shooting obligations on this film prevented him from accepting an Oscar!

††† Eventually, Jaws: The Revenge culminates for an ending that involves the shark exploding for no apparent reason (after roaring while riding on its tail on the surface of the water), and the cast floating in a water tank in front of a blatantly obvious painted backdrop that even has waves lapping up against it. The climactic scene is so incompetently shot and handled that itís genuinely hard to decipher what just happened and why, especially with the random placement of archive footage from the first Jaws. Not only this, but the shots of the shark exploding were literally done so on the cheap that the filmmakers used a toy shark and a boat in a bathtub. (Seriously, watch the scene in slow motion.) It's no wonder that the film earned a Razzie for Worst Visual Effects. Jaws: The Revenge was additionally nominated for Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Director, Worst Picture and Worst Screenplay. Oh well, at least you can laugh at it.

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Transfer Quality

Video

††† Considering the reputation of Jaws: The Revenge, itís unsurprising to report that this 1080p HD presentation is merely adequate, as opposed to anything truly note-worthy or remarkable. It appears that this is a DVD-era master that Universal have simply dumped onto Blu-ray, rather than undertaking a more expensive remastering like the original Jaws. Although it does look better than Jaws 3-Dís problematic video presentation, itís a few notches below Jaws 2ís more impressive Blu-ray presentation. But can you blame Universal for spending as little money on this as possible?

††† Jaws: The Revenge looks right in line with some of the more workmanlike Blu-ray releases from Universal, sporting evidence of DNR - it looks overly smooth and it lacks precise fine detail. Whatever grain that does remain looks poorly-refined and blocky, rather than making for a nicely textured image. There are film artefacts as well, with flecks cropping up intermittently. Although there is a decent uptick in clarity compared to the dated old DVD, the upgrade is not as substantial as it has been for superior catalogue Blu-rays.

††† On the upside, this is still a decent enough transfer. Detail and sharpness are fair if not exactly eye-popping, and it will probably be good enough for casual watchers. Perhaps a boutique distributor will eventually remaster the Jaws sequels for the niche market, but until then, this is about the best that can be expected. I doubt this will be a best-seller in the first place.

††† Many subtitle options are available.


Video Ratings Summary
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Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

††† The previous two Jaws sequels arrived on Blu-ray with 2.0 mono audio mixes, but Jaws: The Revenge comes packaged with a lossless DTS-HD MA 5.1 track thatís impressive for the most part. Itís more enveloping than the 2.0 mixes for the other sequels, using the rear channels for the sounds of the waves on the ocean, and the music. Itís a front-centred presentation for the most part, however. Dialogue comes through cleanly, and the subwoofer is used for the more aggressive sound effects.

††† I did not notice anything in the way of either source-related or encoding anomalies. This isnít a spectacular or demo-worthy audio mix by any stretch, but itís serviceable and does its job well enough considering the source.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

††† Not much.

Alternate Ending (HD; 3:42)

††† Apart from being able to watch Jaws 3 in (proper) 3D for the first time, this alternate ending is the only new extra that Universal has delivered for their releases of the Jaws sequels. Luckily, itís presented in 1080p high definition, is 16x9 enhanced, and the picture quality is on the same level as the main feature itself. Some may disagree, but I prefer this ending to the ďmagically exploding shark in a bathtubĒ nonsense, because at least it makes some degree of sense. Yeah, the execution is dreadful and it still looks horrendously fake, but it nevertheless works better. Itís a shame that Universal didnít include some form of seamless branching option, but this is better than nothing.

Theatrical Trailer (SD; 1:06)

††† A dated old trailer for the movie, presented in poor quality 4:3 full-screen.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

† † All editions worldwide are identical.

Summary

††† Nobody can seriously defend Jaws: The Revenge as a film. It's staggeringly inept in every way imaginable, and one can only enjoy it as a guilty pleasure just to laugh at how bad it is. This Blu-ray is only for Jaws completists or people who enjoy bad movies.

††† The Blu-ray itself is very workmanlike. Video is passable, audio is fine, and there isn't much in the way of bonus material. It's hard to recommend this disc, but those who want to own the movie in HD should pick it up.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Callum Knox (I studied biology)
Saturday, June 04, 2016
Review Equipment
DVDPlayStation 4, using HDMI output
DisplayLG 42LW6500. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.
AmplificationLG BH7520TW
SpeakersLG Tall Boy speakers, 5.1 set-up, 180W

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