The Chronological Spielberg: Jaws (1975)

Jaws is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s an amazing combination of real world drama and horror with so many amazing comedic and dramatic moments mixed in. I truly love this movie. So, why did it take me almost six months to watch after checking out Spielberg’s first two movies Duel and The Sugarland Express? No, it’s not because I didn’t particularly like Sugarland, but more so because I wasn’t as excited about watching a movie I’d seen before. I’ve talked about this here and there on the blog, but since graduating high school I’ve been really enjoying watching new things instead of rewatched movies I love. This actually worked in my favor as I sat down to watch Jaws today because it had been a while since I watched it (I’m shocked I’ve never blogged about it before, actually, but then again I’ve never blogged about The Usual Suspects, Reservoir Dogs or Lost Highway either and those were wildly influential on me).

Everyone knows the plot of Jaws, right? A great white shark starts terrorizing a New England island community in the summer. This presents a problem because the greedy mayor doesn’t want Sheriff Brody (Roy Scheider) to shut down the beaches for fear of losing tourist money. After more and more attacks, Brody teams up with out of town shark expert Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and off kilter local shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw) to go out on Quint’s boat and kill the fish.

What makes Jaws such a great flick is that, in addition to having some truly scary moments (the underwater head in the boat still creeps me out on the same level that Michael Myers sitting up does at the end of Halloween), there are so many great moments with humor and emotion. That bit where Brody’s wife looks at the shark book and yells at her kids to get out of the water is fantastic as is the wonderful scar-comparison scene on the boat. Chills, you guys, chills.

Even better? The film itself has an equally epic behind the scenes story. It took forever to get some of the shots and the studio was freaking out. The mechanical shark — Bruce — didn’t work well which is one of the reasons you only see the shark briefly in the film. This bit might not have been in the script, but it certainly made the film more dramatic. After seeing just bits and pieces, can you get a better reveal than the “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” one? I think not. And this goes to show that Spielberg’s not just a great technical director (as seen in Duel), but has also had great instinctual storytelling instincts.

I really can’t say enough good things about this movie, but I think I’ll just stop here. Gallons of ink both real and digital have been spilled about the movie. If you’ve never seen it, do so immediately. You will absolutely not be disappointed. And if you are? Well, I probably don’t want to talk to you.

Live Blogging From Russia With Love (1963)

For Christmas I bought my dad and I the complete James Bond Box Set (up to that time at least, it doesn’t have Quantum of Solace in it, which I still haven’t seen yet). Dad and I used to rent various Bond movies and we’d always enjoy watching when (I think) TNT would do their Bond marathons. So, like with Saturday Night Live, I’m a fan because of that, but also because these are some of the craziest, coolest, most over the top and gadget filled movies of all time and, of course, I love all that stuff.

So, without further ado, let’s jump into From Russia With Love, the 2nd Bond movie, and, of course, stars Sean Connery.

*I don’t think I’ve ever seen this one all the way through.

*You can’t take Bond out that easily…oh, okay.

*Can’t go wrong with projecting the credits onto hot lady parts.

*Looks fantastic on this TV.

*Hehe, I like the gigantic chess board so people in the crowd can watch. I can’t think of a more boring “sport” to watch.

*Message in the water glass, nice way to get your point across. Oh man, I thought he’d have to throw the game, but he put that nerd DOWN! WHAT WHAT!

*Blofeld? Yup. How can such an evil man have such an adorable kitty? Unfortunately, the cat is almost always looking at the camera, very unprofessional.

*Nice, they referenced the previous movie.

*Why HELLO there sun bathing beauty. Yeah, you better take off your skirt and blouse to massage that guy on the blanket outside.

*Dude, SPECTRE has their own island? Jealous.

*Hot damn, I love a good “walking through a training/testing area” shot and no one does it better than Bond filmmakers.

*Woah, that is a tiny towel Mr. Badguy. He totally passes the “get punched in the gut with brass knuckles by a creepy old woman” test.

*Blondy likes Klebb’s riding crop me thinks.

*We still haven’t seen the real Bond yet. Ah, there he is, making out with a hottie in a boat.

*I think Moneypenny would do a threeway with James and any other broad.

*Q!!! With the super briefcase (gun, knife, sniper rifle, gold, tear gas and a secret way of opening). Score!

*Invoking the title! By writing it on a picture no less.

*Who’s this goober in a mustache and beret?

*They’re trying to bug him, but you can’t fool James Bond. Fools.

*Wowzers, who is THAT? Woman in orange. The 60s were awesome!

*Underground river? Super cool.

*Gypsy’s know how to party. Gypsy cat fight? Hahaha, awesome.

*Who’s the blonde guy with the mustache? Why are people attacking the gypsies? I should be paying better attention.

*Bond asks to stop the girl fight? WHAT? Oh, he gets to decide, so I assume he boned them both. Yup.

*”Oh James will you make love to me every day in England?” “All day and all night.”

*Aw, the funny guy died.

*No, James, that’s the bad guy!

*See, I think Bond should be a much more formidable foe.

*Heh, he’s gonna get gassed!

*Cool train fight.

*You can’t take the real Bond out like you did in the beginning you punk!

*Klebb’s back-up plan was to kill Bond with a shoe-knife? Seriously?

*James Bond is a literer AND he did that stupid wave.