A Cloud in the Shape of a Killer Shark . . .

I watched Jaws for the first time a year ago, and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I recently watched it again at my mom’s house.

I need to buy myself this damn movie, already.

JAWS RANDOM NOTES:

1. The best way to watch Jaws: on a very hot day with the fan working its magic upon you. I was watching one of the various beach scenes, and it seemed like the breeze was actually coming off of the waves on screen. . . how’s THAT for interactive 3D entertainment?

2. The worst way to watch Jaws: with your stepfather, who likes to press the Zoom In button on the remote control, kind of defeating the entire purpose of wide screen in one fell swoop. I’m watching Roy Scheider talk to the Useless Mayor and a few other people on a barge or a ferry or something, and suddenly there’s no Roy Scheider. I’m like, what the hell happened to my Roy Scheider? Wait, wait . . . I can hear his voice . . . the other characters appear to be addressing the left of the screen as they talk to him . . . he must be over there somewhere.

So, this is what watching Lawrence of Arabia was like on full-screen. Got it.

3. Briefly, back to the Useless Mayor . . . what in God’s name is he WEARING?

I’m not exactly a fashion maven or anything, but that is a grey (and in certain lights, grey-blue) suit with little white anchors on it. Little white ANCHORS. The tie is only adding insult to injury.

Excuse me a moment. I need to get a Kleenex. My eyes are starting to hemorrhage.

4. Also, back to Roy Scheider. I know Roy Scheider best from—and this is sad but true—watching reruns of Seaquest DSV, and I kind of love the guy. (I was so sad when he died.) I’ve never been able to fully explain why this is, but there’s something about his manner that’s always kind of reminded me of my grandmother, a certain classiness and dignity that’s equally matched with a sort of dry, no-nonsense pragmatism (and maybe a touch of irritability). That probably doesn’t make sense, but I can’t explain it any better than that at the moment.

Anyway, I love Scheider in Jaws. He plays Martin Brody, and he’s funny, smart, and has excellent reactions (the infamous, “You’re going to need a bigger boat” line is probably the most obvious example, but I also like when Hooper {Richard Dreyfuss} tells Brody to get closer to the barrels at the edge of the boat where he could, potentially, get eaten, and Brody completely refuses to do it. “Foreground, my ass!” HA! Good on you, Brody.)

Also, Scheider gets this awesome line, when his wife’s trying to explain his hydrophobia:

“Martin hates boats. Martin hates water. Martin . . . Martin sits in his car when we go on the ferry to the mainland. I guess it’s a childhood thing. It’s a . . . there’s a clinical name for it, isn’t there?”

“Drowning.”

Hee.

5. And, before I talk about anyone else, I just have to say I love all the little moments between Brody and his family. I like all of his interactions with his wife, and I LOVE the scene where his youngest son is sitting next to him at the dinner table, mimicking all of his gestures. Little touches like this are good to round out a film.

6. Oh, finally, if I did drink wine? It would totally be in the huge ass, like, milk glass that Brody uses. No bullshit baby portions for him. Ha.

7.  Okay, fine, enough Martin Brody. Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper is also a lot of fun, and Dreyfuss is one of those actors that just kind of bothers me. I mean, it’s a totally irrational annoyance. He’s a good actor, and I know nothing about him personally. There’s just . . . something . . . when I watch him in film, something that sort of screams, “Asshole!” But, hey, I don’t know the guy. Could be as sweet as a kitten.

Anyway, my irrational prejudices aside, Dreyfuss is pretty awesome here. He’s got some good lines, but easily my favorite is this: “Heh, they’re all gonna die.”

8. The other guy I haven’t talked about yet is Robert Shaw, who plays the mildly psychotic Captain Quint. And while I had to strain to understand half the dialogue that came out of Quint’s mouth, he’s kind of perfect as this vindictive, batshit psycho captain. I liked him.

9. Although . . . “Here’s to swimmin’ with bow-legged women”??? Wow, that’s . . . interesting.

10. There’s a scene where the three guys . . . well, mostly Hooper and Quint . . . are comparing scars or “battle wounds,” with one another. Which is cool, because it’s something that everyone does (you want to say it’s such a guy thing, but I’ve had this conversation at least three other times with women, and you always end up wishing you had more interesting stories to tell. Although, not killer-shark interesting. There are some battles that I am willing to lose.) Anyway, Brody lifts up his shirt and almost tells about one of his own scars . . . but doesn’t. I was surprised, honestly . . . I was expecting some kind of violent story, why he moved from New York to Amity Island or something . . . but I like that he doesn’t say anything. I like the whole scene. It’s well-played on all parts.

11. And, here’s something good to know: amity means friendship. But that’s only the first definition in Webster’s Dictionary. The second definition of ‘amity’ is this: the overwhelming sense of panic and self-preservation that allows you to push, trample, and otherwise drown your friends, family, and nearby small children who are in the way of your escape route from a killer shark. I’m just saying. When killer sharks attack, not everyone in this film reacts very . . . amicably, at least not in the traditional sense of the word.

12. I don’t want to spoil anything, but certain scenes are . . . more graphic than I was expecting. If you’ve seen the film, you probably know the scene I mean. Grisly. I approve. Entirely.

13. Finally, here’s a short letter to the woman who thinks that closing the beach for 24 hours after a shark attack is like closing it for three weeks:

Dear Moron,

The beach is only closed for everyone else. You . . . you’re special. You feel free to swim whenever you like.

We’ll fish your remains of the shark’s gut later.

Sincerely,

Carlie, The Blasphemous Wench

Grade: A

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2 Responses to A Cloud in the Shape of a Killer Shark . . .

  1. csaeating says:

    I, too, LOVE this movie. I love the quiet moments, I love the gory moments, I love the sarcasm, I love the action. Hooper is my favorite character, but I am also very fond of Brody (and how he interacts with his family). When you’ve watched it a few times you have to go back through the Kevin Smith movies and catch all the Jaws references. They are quite prominent in Chasing Amy.

  2. Huh, didn’t know that. I’ll have to try it sometime. I also have to give Chasing Amy another go, so I can do two projects at once : )

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