Tuesday, February 3, 2009

JAWS - A BADASS MOVIE REVIEW


*POSTSCRIPT PROLOGUE*
The above picture has always scared the hell out of me. I can remember being a kid and staring at the thing for hours. I can remember trying to draw the shark's teeth. I can remember wishing that there were less splashes around the girl so I could see her naked body better. Whatever the case may be, the above poster is one of the best movie posters concerning impending doom that I have ever seen in my life. Homegirl has no chance, and she has no idea either.


The other night, I watched JAWS for about the 15th time. The film is manly. I don't need to tell you what a great film it is and how it put Speilberg on the map. I don't need to get into the whole Roy Scheider thing or how Dreyfuss came screaming into his own with that film. I certainly don't need to lament the loss of Robert Shaw and how the world would be a better place if he'd just lived a little longer. Those facts are all given.


I was forced back in a JAWS direction by a specific scene in ROCKNROLLA. The scene in ROCKNROLLA resonated so much with my distilled memory of JAWS that I had to go back and see it again. In ROCKNROLLA, two Russian gangsters are sitting in the back of a car getting ready to make a cash exchange. They are comparing their scars. Of course, their scars have to do with barbed wire, explosives and bullets. The scene even has one of them roll up his pant leg, just as the original scene in JAWS. But there is a truth in the back of my mind about this whole thing. The truth is that I will never go back to ROCKNROLLA 15 times. I have been through it twice and I have done the cue-up and watched specific scenes again, however, the thing is an empty balloon at this point. I feel that I have taken all of the life out of it already.


As I watched JAWS the other night, I was spellbound, and I realized that there are nuances in speech and acting that I need to visit again and again. It was painfully obvious that I am not quite done with that film yet. It will probably be a year or two before I roll it again, but it is completely enjoyable. The scene where Shaw and Dreyfuss compare their scars is masterful. These two guys are really acting. They have become the scarred men of aspects of the sea. The two Russians can't come close with all of their war-crime posturing.


So what is it in me that is deferring to the classic 1976 film with the rubber shark over a film about mobsters that destroys several cars, a storefront and has more bloody squibs and cinematography tricks than I can count? I am not sure. Both films are forms of art, and I can only get in trouble by saying one is superior to the other.


I sure do like that scar scene though. I like that scene in both films. It is about as manly as it gets.


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