Jaws 2 (1978)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 8-Aug-2001

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Action Featurette-Making Of
Featurette-John Williams
Featurette-Keith Gordon
Featurette-The French Joke
Deleted Scenes
Storyboards
Gallery-Photo
Theatrical Trailer-2
Trailer-Jaws 3, Jaws: The Revenge
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 1978
Running Time 111:23
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (83:50) Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Jeannot Szwarc
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Roy Scheider
Lorraine Gary
Murray Hamilton
Case Amaray-Transparent
RPI $36.95 Music John Williams


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
German Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.35:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
Swedish
Norwegian
Danish
Dutch
Finnish
German
Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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

Plot Synopsis

    Jaws 2 takes us back to the town of Amity, with Police Chief Brody (Roy Sheider) in charge of a content little resort island. The sun is out, the sky is blue and the good people are paddling in the beach after putting the terror of Jaws behind them. Why are we here then? Maybe because there is more than one shark in the world, and Amity seems to be good eatin' according to the "in" crowd of sharks in-the-know. No one can believe that recent deaths could possibly be the result of another shark, and when Brody pleads his case to the town leaders, including the Mayor (Murray Hamilton), he is summarily dismissed and fired. However, tragedy hits home when two of Brody's son's are terrorised, along with a group of local teenagers, and it's up to him to save them.

    This is really a very effective sequel considering that the original is deemed a classic by most. However, it is also a very different movie, with a different focus; the audience already expects the shark and won't be as easily shocked. By taking the now familiar shark and making it a threat to the main character, the movie increases the amount of harm the shark can do; Brody's obsession with the shark costs him his livelihood and reputation, and almost his two sons in with the deal. This is a more personal movie, and one which I enjoyed very much.   

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Transfer Quality

Video

    The movie is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and is 16x9 enhanced.

    The transfer is generally very sharp and clean once the opening underwater shots are out of the way. Indeed, it looks very good for a movie of its age and was a nice surprise. Grain was not a problem for the bulk of the movie, only occurring now and then. Shadow detail was very good. Although not quite up to contemporary standards, it was not problematic.

    Another pleasant surprise was the bold and often striking colour saturation. The image often had a very nice sense of depth helped a great deal by the clean and sharply defined colours, with no chroma noise to be seen.

    It was a shock to me to find the bitrate for this transfer dipping as low as 2 megabits per second. As a result, MPEG artefacting can be seen almost all the time if you look hard enough for it, and sometimes if you don't. A few scenes suffered quite obviously from the low bitrate, and almost the whole film had a slight hard horizontal pixel structure which I have never seen from a major distributor before. This did not greatly deter from the look of the film on the whole, and only those with larger displays will notice the effect. I firmly believe that this simply not should happen, and that the feature transfer should not be compromised to make way for extras; rather, the extras should be placed on a second disc as is becoming increasingly popular. Again, the effect is generally mild and those with small(ish) displays will not be affected. Film artefacts were on display all through the film as small white spots, though they were not especially distracting. There were instances of vertical and horizontal aliasing throughout the movie, though again they were not particularly distracting.

    A sampling of the English subtitle stream revealed it to be quite faithful to the dialogue.

    This disc is RSDL formatted, with the layer change occurring during Chapter 14 at 83:50 minutes, and went almost unnoticed.

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

Audio

    There is an English and German Dolby Digital 2.0 track, providing monaural sound. I listened with pro-logic mode on, as I do for all mono movies.

    Dialogue was well presented, with good tonality. There were instances of obvious ADR work, though this is expected in almost all movies. There were no lip-sync issues.

    Again, John Williams returns for this sequel and reprises his universally-known Jaws theme and expands upon it. Given that the soundtrack is mono, I must say I felt somewhat cheated in this department, as the great composer's work is crammed into one channel almost sacrilegiously. The sound is clean, with limited low frequency extension and clear highs, though it failed to make the same impact as the recent swell of re-masters which have 5.1 soundtracks (for instance, the original). It is fair to say that it lacked the impact and effectiveness which I would have expected, and it seemed to take somewhat of a back seat. This is, of course, a great shame.

    The surround channels were not used.

    The subwoofer ended up watching the movie with me in total silence, though he did get a bit frightened towards the end and turned himself off in fear.

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

Extras

    A nice collection of meaningful extras is provided. All four featurettes include the full subtitle list as provided for the movie itself.

Featurette - Making Of

    Is it me, or are they getting better with these "Making Of" features? This is another very interesting insight into the production woes and misfortunes which get in the way of making a movie - it amazes me that any get made in the end. Of particular interest is that Murray Hamilton (Mayor Larry Vaughn) walked out of the set during production, saying "screw my career, I have to be with my wife" who at that very moment was being tested for cancer. He was talked into staying for two days while they filmed all of his scenes one after the other. As it turned out, his wife was given a clean bill of health (though he himself died of cancer 8 years later). This goes a long way to explain why he looked very tired in the movie, his worry for his wife clearly evident on his face. The feature is presented in 4:3 and in Dolby Digital 2.0, and runs for 45:22 minutes.

Featurette - John Williams

    I am thrilled any time a feature on this great composer is included, and this one does not disappoint. He talks about his memories of Jaws, Jaws 2 and the scoring process in general, and also mentions Star Wars. Running time: 7:11 minutes.

Featurette - Keith Gordon

    This is an interesting look at production from the eyes of a young cast member, who at the time was 16. Running for 8:17 minutes, Keith recounts his 10-month experience on the set which led the way to a career as an actor and now producer in his own right. A different and interesting inclusion.

Featurette - The French Joke

    A very small 1:13 minute recount by Director Jeannot Szwarc of how the translation into French of the sequel's new name "Teeth Of The Sea 2" becomes somewhat unsuitable in that language and had to be named "Teeth Of The Sea - The Second Part", for reasons which I will leave to Jeannot to explain.

Deleted Scenes

    Four chaptered scenes of little importance and already included in the main featurette. Presented in 2.35:1, non-16x9 enhanced and Dolby Digital 2.0, they are of good quality nonetheless.

Storyboards

    A look at the storyboards of three different scenes, which will auto-play or be manually chapter-skipped through.

Gallery

    A collection of cast, marketing, production and shark photographs As with the storyboards, they may be manually browsed. They are presented in 4:3 format, and suffer from a slight composite-based moire-colour problem.

Trailers

    There are two trailers for Jaws 2, and one each for Jaws 3 and Jaws: The Revenge (with the truly tacky "this time it's personal" voice-over. Just amazing). All are presented in Pan & Scan 4:3 mode, which was a big disappointment, and all are very average in quality.

R4 vs R1

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

    The R4 version misses out on:     The R1 version misses out on:     I am unable to determine if the R1 version suffers from the same (minor) MPEG artefacting present on the local release, and so am happy to recommend the local given that it is almost exactly the same.

Summary

    Jaws 2 is a very good sequel, and a very good movie in its own right. The picture is very good, though with a low bitrate resulting in some minor problems. The sound is mono though serviceable. A definite keeper.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Paul Cordingley (bio)
Friday, August 31, 2001
Review Equipment
DVDToshiba SD-900E, using RGB output
DisplayPioneer SD-T43W1 16:9 RPTV. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationSony STR DB-930
SpeakersFront & Rears: B&W DM603 S2, Centre: B&W LCR6, Sub: B&W ASW500

Other Reviews
DVD Net - Steve K
DVDownUnder - Matt G
DVD Plaza - Peter

Comments (Add) NONE