Jaws (45th Anniversary 4K Blu-ray Review)

This spring has been representative of two things for me. One is that, for better or worse, being stuck in shelter-in-place has been helpful in some ways and hurtful in others. On a lighter note, two is that we have been blessed with so many fantastic catalog titles coming out to keep us happy at home.  Jaws is one such release, coming out on 4K Blu-ray (finally) in celebration of its 45th anniversary. The movie is just as you remember it being – tense, well crafted, slyly funny, and iconic. The new edition will certainly make the film’s fans very happy! Without further ado, here’s all you need to know about the Jaws 45th Anniversary 4K Blu-ray!


Based on the novel by Peter Benchley, Jaws is the story of Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) and the island town of Amity. What’s usually a prime time for the town, overflowing with tourists for the July 4th weekend, is now a hotbed of controversy. A woman mysteriously “disappears” after a night swim, and parts of her body wash up onshore. The Mayor (Murray Hamilton) and the coroner say “boating accident,” but Brody knows the truth.  Trying to keep the islanders happy and tourists ferrying in, the chief agrees to stay with the story of a boating accident. But much to Brody’s frustration, there truly is evil lurking in the water. When a young boy is killed in the water during a routine beach day, things really get serious. It then boils down to Brody, Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), a shark expert, and Quint (Robert Shaw), a grizzled boat captain and fisherman, to stop the monstrous shark from killing any who enter Amity’s “friendly” waters.

The setup for Jaws is a simple one. A not-so-mysterious death that’s covered up by inept city officials – there’s nothing new there. The shark attacks are incredible, with Steven Spielberg utilizing the atmosphere of the ocean to provide a tension that seeing the title shark over and over wouldn’t have if they had decided to show it more (which came out of a malfunctioning mechanical shark). The thriller elements of those underwater/crowds afloat shots still give me moments of nervousness with each viewing (and there are many of them). This is the movie that gave us a signature Spielberg: the one with a simple story made complex by how it’s presented. This also begins the relationship between Spielberg and the brilliant God of movie scores, John Williams.

The central characters in the film are great too.  Brody is a quiet man, fearful of the water and criticisms of his city officials. He’s a family man and the quiet moments at home with his wife (Lorraine Gary), and their kids are sort of adorable.  Hooper is a great character too.  He’s funny, sharp as a tack, and his knowledge is paramount to getting the trio to the right spot to catch the beast. Don’t even get me started on Quint, who is equal parts crusty sea dog and ocean sorcerer.  He’s rough around the edges, but as wise as they come.  Seeing the three of them bonding on the boat is a real treat, with their drunken scene being one I will never forget in remembering the film.


  • Encoding: HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution: 4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Layers: BD-100
  • HDR: HDR10+ AND Dolby Vision!
  • Clarity/Detail: Right out of the gate, Jaws is given an incredible upgrade to 4K. Wet scanned in 4K in 2012 for its Blu-ray debut, we are finally treated to the full resolution fruit! Details are in abundance and save for a more vintage color palette, the transfer is sharper and more fully realized that I’ve ever seen it. The Brody household is rife with details, especially in the kitchen.  Quint’s galley is equally disgusting and enthralling, seeing old soup cans and dirty dishes everywhere.  The scenes underwater are gorgeously detailed as well, seeing everything from minerals to sea fronds in a new clarity unmatched to any other source.
  • Depth: In the depth department, you aren’t seeing much, if any, softness. There are many things to take in throughout the film, and you see things you’ve never noticed before. On the beach, at the town meeting, in the Brody home and beyond, there are so many wonderful eye-catching moments of depth to savor.
  • Black Levels: Black levels are outstanding and do not give way to crush. Everything is just as black as it should be.
  • Color Reproduction: The look of the film is truly summer personified.  The sun-bathed day scenes, gorgeous sunset moments and blue-green ocean shots all scream summertime.  The color palette tends to be on the side of warm.  Wardrobe pops and so do the colors of the beach and that wacky anchor jacket the mayor wears in some scenes.  This is a solid presentation for color overall.
  • Flesh Tones: Flesh tones are perfect here. That is to say that for every shirtless elderly man you see on screen, you see the sun damage, the imperfections and the blemishes.  This is a very sharp aspect to the transfer and one that many will balk at, in praise and equally in shock.
  • Noise/Artifacts: 70’s era film stock grain remains intact but for the benefit, not the distraction.


  • Format(s): English Dolby Atmos, DTS 2.0 Mono, French DTS HD High-Res 7.1, Spanish DTS 5.1 Surround
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Dynamics: The new mix for Jaws is just short of greatness to my ears. That isn’t to say there aren’t new things to love about the new Atmos mix. For one thing, immediately, you are immersed into the sounds of the ocean, hearing sounds I’ve never heard in all my viewings of Jaws.  Before the theme, you hear the ocean underwater enveloping you in all the speakers.  Then the score kicks in. The sound design was changed slightly when they reissued the film on DVD for the first time in 1998 and those sounds remain, modernizing some sound effects.  The mix is also nice and even, leaving you to once volume for the whole film, which is always wonderful.
  • Height: Height channels are useful on the ocean/beach/crowd scenes. They help to bring you right into the film and are used wonderfully throughout the film. The quiet of the ocean is sort of eerie when it’s all around you.
  • Low Frequency Extension: This is where the film loses its half a point on my score. This was never the film for the low end of your setup but save for some bits of score and when Jaws om crazy of a loss as I listened to my 2012 Blu-ray before I gave it away and it too was lacking in the bass department.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Just like those height channels, the surrounds are helpful to immersing you into the world of Amity. The ocean, crowds, boat motors, and barrels splashing all feature prominently in the surrounds.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue sounds perfect in every way. Nice and clear, and in some cases off screen dialogue comes from other channels!


Jaws is being unleashed on 4K Blu-ray in a combo pack in a lenticular case with a Blu-ray, digital code, a very nice booklet, and all the vintage features from the previous DVD and Blu-ray releases.  Besides the booklet, there’s nothing new, but the previous features said it all.  The bundled Blu-ray is the same 4K master that appears on the new 4K disc and is different from the previous Blu-ray.  I believe this is the only way to get that master on Blu-ray at this time, so future proofers make your purchase!

Bonus features are:

  • The Making of Jaws
  • “The Shark Is Still Working”: The Impact and Legacy of Jaws
  • Jaws: The Restoration
  • Deleted Scenes and Outtakes
  • Storyboards
  • Production Photos
  • Marketing Jaws
  • The Jaws Phenomenon
  • Original Theatrical Trailer


I know that none of you reading this have missed Jaws, and I am sure you know more about the film than just the story and its characters.  The film was a task to make. The shark never worked, and there had to be workarounds for that.  Therefore, we see Jaws far less than originally intended.  That helped the film.  The marketing further encouraged frenzies of people to go see the movie. The theme is synonymous with Jaws and not going in the water.  It’s amazing to think that this is quite literally the first “summer blockbuster.”  There have been many since, but even now, 45 years after we were gifted this masterpiece, we are still reveling in the quality of the filmmaking and revisiting the film lovingly.  This new edition makes the revisiting that much sweeter!

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1 Response to “Jaws (45th Anniversary 4K Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Craig

    Wow!! 39:1 is CRAZY aspect ratio! Talk about w i d e s c r e e n !