Traverser l’océan Atlantique afin de m’assurer de la qualité du premier DCP de Jaws 3D aurait été une belle preuve de professionnalisme de ma part… Faute de pouvoir faire le déplacement, j’ai donc demandé à mes amis Tim Martin et Scupbucket (deux autres Die hard fans du film) d’endosser les costumes d’envoyés spéciaux. Enjoy!
Tim: « Ok, after having a day to soak in the experience of seeing JAWS 3-D in 3-D on the big screen again for the first time since 1983 I am ready to talk about the movie and my over all experience. First a little background on my love for JAWS 3-D. When I was very young my father was in the air force reserves, he would go away for long periods of time and I always looked forward to his return and loved hearing the stories about his trip, after one such trip he came home and told us about a movie he saw while in California call « JAWS » I had seen the ads on TV for JAWS but my father was the first person I know who had seen the move and so my obsession with JAWS began. I first saw JAWS on the ABC Sunday night movie on TV and my world changed forever, years later when the home video market became more main stream I was able to rent JAWS on VHS and for the first ever I was able to watch JAWS uncut also about this time JAWS 2 was playing on HBO so I was in JAWS heaven but little did I know that my JAWS adventure was just beginning…..
In 1983 my whole family went to see JAWS 3-D opening weekend, I was 14 years old and a long time fan of JAWS and JAWS 2 and now I am finally seeing a JAWS movie on the big screen, it was overwhelming. From the opening credits where the title JAWS 3-D came crunching down on me until the final scene where the sharks jaw bones were hanging in mid air I was in pure awe of this movie. When the movie was over all I could remember thinking was how much fun the movie was and how much I enjoyed sharing that experience with my family.
In the months to follow I found the JAWS 3-D hallmark 3-D poster that I displayed in my room for many years and I also found the Topps Jaws 3-D trading cards and the LP of the movie soundtrack. In July of 1984 JAWS 3 (not 3-D) found its way to HBO and I was able to record it onto a VHS tape so I could watch it whenever I wanted but that didn’t stop me from watching it several times that month on HBO. Now we fast forward to the 90’s where I bought JAWS 3 on VHS, Laserdisc and finally DVD. The internet and eBay I started collecting JAWS 3-D memorabilia from all around the world and I realized that I was not the only one on earth that loves JAWS 3-D, like never before I was able to talk with people like Matt (aka Scupbucket) on the 3-D movie Mania forum and of course Romain at JAWS-3D.COM and we could all share our passion for the much overlooked classic JAWS 3-D…….
In October of 2012 I learned the Capitol Theater in Cleveland Ohio was having a onetime showing of JAWS 3-D but this was not your typical screening, it was a brand new 3-D Digital print direct from Universal Studios, you can imagine my devastation to learn that this one time screening was on a weekend that I could not possibly. I didn’t give up however, I continued to email the theater and was happy to learn they would be showing again JAWS 3-D in November. I vowed that nothing would stop me from going and instantly informed Romain and Matt. Matt also swore not to miss this screening, It felt like forever but the day finally arrived along with my friend Barry the two and a half hour drive to Cleveland began and the excitement was mounting with every passing mile.
We met Matt and his lovely girlfriend at a little bar across from the theater and couldn’t stop talking about the movie we were about to see, About 15 minutes until show time we walked across the street to the theater and found the perfect seats for optimal 3-D viewing. It was a large theater of about 400 seats and a small crowd of about 60 people. My heart was racing as the lights went down and the movie began.
Having seen JAWS 3-D in the theater in 1983, on HBO in 1984, on Home Video VHS, Laserdisc and DVD I can honestly say I have never seen this movie look so good, the HD picture was sharp and clean, there were no lines or scratches, Universal actually spent some time cleaning up the negative and it was in a word Beautiful, and the Beauty didn’t stop there. The 3-D was absolutely amazing, the « off the screen » effects were better than its original release. During the opening credits the names POPPED of the screen and into the theater like magic, you could almost reach out and touch them. Among the best « off the screen » effects was the severed arm floating off the screen and into the audience and when the shark blow up at the end and his bloody Jaws exploded off the screen. Not everything was perfect however, a couple times I did see some ghosting or double images when the camera would get to close to an object like the serpent tongue the leads into the Undersea Kingdom, but this did not detract me to much from the amazing 3-D picture.
The audience reception was exactly the same as it was in 1983, people were laughing, jumping, screaming and cheering and in all of the right places. I never understood the critics that hated JAWS 3-D having seen it with a sold out crowd in 1983 and everyone in the theater applauded and cheered when the Dolphin jumped out of the water at the end. My hope is that Universal allows more theaters to show JAWS 3-D in 2013 when the movie will be celebrating its 30th anniversary so that more people can enjoy is rare and exciting event.
Thank you Universal Studios and The Capital Theater for making this possible!! »
Scupbucket: »Amen to that… Seeing Jaws 3-D in the theater was such a different experience than seeing it either in 2-D or at home. Joe Alves’ intent of the stereotypical 80’s « you become part of the action » is definitely apparent on the big screen. The film’s genuinity for the era really shines through… simply a fun and exciting popcorn flick meant to « challenge your senses ». Scenes are more intense and immersive, the shark is more menacing, even the climatic shark thru the control room window scene really WORKS!!!! It was a pleasure to see this again and like Tim had mentioned, the digital print looks GORGEOUS! It may not be a home run for Universal to release this on Blu-Ray financially but I see no reason for them to not release this next year.
And now some technical nitpicking… I hate to do it but I’m praying a few things will be addressed for the Blu-ray if it is released. Keep in mind these nitpicks are based on what I saw in this particular theater and the technical problems may have been due to the theater’s projection system and the fact that the original print had quite a few problems with it to begin with due to simply how it was filmed… there were some vertical misalignments that were on the original 35mm that doesn’t look like they were addressed during the digital screening and like Tim mentioned there was some ghosting. Not severe but apparent and only on slight occasions. It may have had to do with the screen being up at a higher viewing angle and I really only noticed it during high contrast night scenes and real eye strainers… wooo… they really wanted to shove it all in your face! Another thing I noticed is that the picture was cropped during the screening thus chopping out a small amount of some crucial 3-D moments like the Jaws 3-D title, the floating arm, and even the jaws being blown out into the audience at the end. The original stereovision print was presented in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio and I’m sure Universal will try to fit this to a full 6:9 format eliminating letterboxing. I hope if they do that, they pay attention to what and where they’re cropping« .
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