Tag Archives: Lorraine Gary

Jaws 2: Revolutionary for Sequels

Variation has always been the source of much debate during this much scrutinized era of sequels. Before Jaws 2, sequels were primarily made for two reasons: to continue the storyline that was not initially concluded in the first film (Planet Of The Apes, The Godfather), or in the design of the episodic serial (Frankenstein, Dirty Harry, James Bond). Universal decided to do something that seemed improbable– make a sequel where most have failed (French Connection II & Exorcist II). This leaves a crew’s work cut out for them.

Chief Brody is now a disillusioned, paranoid man

Chief Brody is now a disillusioned, paranoid man

Chasing demons from the past in a darkroom

Chasing demons from the past in a darkroom

In 1975, director Steven Spielberg’s Jaws became the most successful picture of all time. The success of the film created a phenomenon that Universal felt somehow had to be continued. Enter Jaws 2, a film that proved more things than the general public knows today or when it was released in 1978. Only this time, no Spielberg and no Dreyfuss, for both were working on Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. So who was going to take over? What was going to make this film special in its own way? French director Jeannot Szwarc was brought on board by production designer Joe Alves who worked with him and Spielberg on Rod Serling’s TV horror show, Night Gallery. Upon winning the director’s chair, Szwarc decided upon a very meticulous and crucial design on how to make this film and what it exactly needed to be.

1. The main character must be emotionally enhanced, more matured, learning from previous film’s events; continuing arc. (you’ll see this later in Aliens, T2, etc)

2. Introduce new conflicts for the characters to face (nobody believes Roy Scheider’s character’s suspicions of a shark).

3. Nostalgia for the previous film must be established giving the character’s history.

4. The story structure and certain elements of the first film must remain in order to keep the audience’s familiarity of why they loved the first film (shark POVS, action elements)

5. Different cinematography or visual look (shooting behind the shark fin, different lighting).

6. Different editing style gives the film a different pace and/or energy.

7. Introduce elements that were not included in the first film or create different situations for the characters (shark is shown a lot to prevent duplicating the first film).

8. Bring back the characters that the audience fell in love with in the first film as long as it respects continuity.

9. Bring back the same musical themes from the original film (John Williams returns to enhance his Academy-award winning themes with new compositions.)

10. Enhance and extend the themes from the original film to bring new life and feelings for the film (Szwarc introduced sophisticated visuals giving an art history appreciation).

A glaring paradox can be noticed. For it all to work, such a film requires to be somewhat similar to its original source of inspiration and yet be different enough to reveal new storytelling possibilities and interpretations. Not easy…

Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it

"Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it"

Read more of this article at Mouthshut …

Unseen JAWS : Hooper and Ellen

Eddie McCormack, webmaster of JAWSmoviearchives.com created this great “Unseen JAWS” strip a while back. Check it out, and visit Eddie’s site!

Jaws: The Revenge Review [Jabootu’s Bad Movie Dimension]

If you keep slogging through life’s more unpleasant tasks, you’ll eventually see them through. This is a lesson I have recently relearned. I’ve spent the last several years—I’m pretty sure that’s right—reviewing the four movies that constitute the Jaws series. These sojourns have taken me from the Olympian peaks of the initial film to the Stygian depths of, well, this one. I’m just beginning the final leg of that epic journey, but I can see the sun stretching and yawning as its fiery pate edges over the horizon, bringing with it a new day. (Admittedly, I’ll probably spend this new day reviewing a Steven Seagal movie or something.)

Still, I’m not taking our current subject lightly, as it is marked by a rare distinction. The gulf in quality between Jaws and Jaws: The Revenge may well be the widest between any two such films in the entire history of cinema. This is not meant to be a hyperbolic claim. While I’m sure others can suggest competitors for this dubious crown, I’d be willing to defend our featured pair against all comers.

For instance, let’s look to the AFI 100 Best American Films list. Admittedly, that’s hardly a definitive reference, but it’s not a bad place to start. By my count, only the following films on that list have been by followed by sequels: The Godfather (#3), Star Wars (#15), Psycho (#18), 2001: A Space Odyssey (#22), The Godfather Part II (#32, just to be safe), King Kong (#43), Jaws (#48), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (#50, and technically, it was a prequel), All Quiet on the Western Front (#54), Raiders of the Lost Ark (#60), The Silence of the Lambs (#65), The French Connection (#70), American Graffiti (#77), Rocky (#78) and Frankenstein (#87). (Actually, Bride of Frankenstein should have made the AFI roster instead, but what are you to do?)

Among the cited pictures, and not counting TV movie follow-ups (sorry, Psycho), only one film has a sequel within shouting distance of Jaws: The Revenge. That sorry cinematic progeny would be Rocky IV. I can actually see a reasonable debate over which one of the respective offspring was worse. I myself would still go with Jaws: The Revenge, but I could respect somebody arguing for Stallone’s Folly.

However, even putting that issue aside, I’m still going with Jaws: The Revenge as being the most unworthy follow-up. This is because I remain unconvinced that Rocky deserves to be called one of the 100 Best American Films. It’s certainly a memorable picture, but among the best hundred ever? In contrast, I fully believe Jaws to be worthy of that designation. Therefore, I maintain that the greatest gulf lies between Spielberg’s film and this one.

Jaws: The Revenge—they stopped numbering the entries at this point, despite it being a direct sequel to the initial two films—remains most famous for two points:

1. It’s the movie with the Roaring Shark.
2. It’s the one where the Shark is out for, well, revenge.

Read more at Jabootu’s JAWS The Revenge Review …

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