JUNE! We made it to summer! And what better way to kick off summer than with the original summer blockbuster in a new 4K special edition, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) is Sheriff of the small beach community of Amity Island. When a body is found on the beach that seems to be the victim of a shark attack, Brody wants to close the beaches, but the Mayor doesn’t want to lose out on the tourism dollars. So Brody teams up with a local fisherman, Quint (Robert Shaw), and an expert from the Oceanographic Institute, Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) to set out and hunt down the maneater before anyone else falls prey to it.
Jaws is undeniably one of the greatest summer blockbusters of all time, and thanks to luck and happenstance, the shark is beautifully underseen and highly effective. Pair that up with wonderful performances by Schieder, Shaw and Dreyfuss, a killer script full of endlessly quotable dialogue, and John Williams iconic score make for a movie that literally never ages and remains as terrifying today as the day it opened in 1975. This new 4K special edition of Jaws comes in cool lenticular packaging with an informative and well-designed book, and a bevy of previously released special features including a fantastic feature length making of documentary. But the real reason to pick up this new edition is the noticeable visual and audio upgrade. There is no way Jaws has ever looked better, it practically jumps off the screen and the audio is fully enveloping and bombastic. This is one of the best releases of the year and an essential addition to any movie collection.
Next up is a very unique new horror comedy, One Cut of the Dead. Maniacal director Higurashi (Takayuki Hamatsu) is trying to make a micro budget zombie movie in a deserted location that was rumored to have been a real facility where top secret military experiments were performed. Higurashi is not getting the performance he wants out of his lead actress Chinatsu (Yuzuki Akiyama) and everyone is getting tired when their little zombie film becomes a very real experience when real zombies attack and the crew must find a way to escape with their lives.
One Cut of the Dead is a strange movie to review here because it is so different and has so many surprises I really can’t go into them here without ruining the experience for you. What I can tell you is that the first act is a very impressive single take that just goes insane and leaves you wondering what the heck you signed up for. But the film takes a turn in the second act and becomes something completely different in the best possible way. One Cut of the Dead is fun, hilarious, well written, inventively filmed and something fresh and creative that is one heck of a great experience. Pick this one up for your first group movie night after the pandemic, this one is best watched in a group for full effect.
Lastly this week is the first (and maybe only) season of the new HBO show Watchmen. A companion piece to the original Watchmen graphic novel and the 2009 Zach Snyder film, Watchmen takes place 34 years after the original events and is set in the same alternate history of the 20th Century as a white supremacist group known as The Seventh Kavalry wages war against minorities and the police trying to protect them. Amongst the turmoil, Detective Angela Abar (Regina King) finds herself at the center of two competing plots to kidnap the powerful Doctor Manhattan and turn the tides of the ongoing civil war.
When I first started watching Watchmen, I was a little uncertain. I loved the graphic novel as well as the 2009 film, and wasn’t sure this series was going to hold up. But as the episodes progressed, I was won over by brilliant writing, stunning photography and cinematography, and stellar performances across the board. The plot takes many unpredictable turns and really keeps things amping up to the unanticipated events of the finale. I don’t know if they will ever make more episodes of this series but I would love to revisit this world. In the meantime, if you are craving some original and intriguing content to watch now that TV shows and movies are running out, check out HBO’s Watchmen.
Also of note this week is the new horror anthology show Creepshow: Season 1 based on the cult favorite Stephen King/George A. Romero anthology film from 1982, the new horror film 1BR and the second season of the fantastic show Killing Eve.
Until next week movie lovers, stay safe!
DVD and Blu-ray Releases for Tuesday June 2, 2020
America As Seen by A Frenchman (1960)*
And Then We Danced (2019)
Creepshow: Season 1
Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)* - Collector's Edition
Harley Quinn: Complete Season One
Jaws (1975) 45th anniversary 4K
Killing Eve: Season Two
Last Moment of Clarity
Let's Kill Uncle (1966)*
One Cut of the Dead (2017)* - Steelbook Edition
Parasite (2019) 4K
Robert the Bruce (2019)
Rogue Warfare: The Hunt
Sound! Euphonium: The Movie - Our Promise: A Brand New Day
Star Trek: Short Treks
Survive the Night
The Blackout: Invasion Earth
The Claire Sinclair Show
The Goonies 4K
The Mechanic (1972)
The Queen (1968)*
They Came from Beyond Space (1967)*
Tokyo Godfathers (2003)*
Urban Cowboy (1980) - 40th Anniversary*
Valhalla Rising (2009)*
Watchmen: An HBO Limited Series
When Calls the Heart: Finding Home & A Moving Picture [Double Feature]
Witches in the Woods (2019)
*Catalog Blu-ray debut