It’s summer, and yes, bigger is better!

Last night I experienced a truly thrilling movie-going event. No, it wasn’t some IMAX/3-D spectacle or the latest summer blockbuster hit.

A local theater shows “Revival Films” every Wednesday night. For one showing only, at the Janss Marketplace 9 Theater in Thousand Oaks, located North-west of the Los Angeles area, was one of my favorite movies, Jaws.

Jaws 005

There is no comparison to seeing Steven Spielberg’s classic 1975 film at home and seeing it in a movie theater. I knew I would enjoy seeing Jaws again but I really wasn’t prepared for the impact the big screen would have on the movie. This is an excellent example of a movie that must be seen in a theater.

Here is a blockbuster where the screen isn’t cluttered with hundreds of space ships dodging and blasting each other or thousands of CGI warriors in battle – not that there’s anything wrong with those things.

When you see this film in a theater, with its images of a single boat (called the Orca), or a close-up of one of the characters, police chief Brody, shark hunter Quint, or oceanographer Matt Hooper filling up the screen – the impact is spectacular!

And then there’s the shark! As almost everyone knows, the difficulties with the ‘prop sharks’ caused Spielberg to film images that only hinted at the shark for the first part of the film, providing a slowly building menace and bigger impact for the big reveal of the shark. Seeing Jaws on the “Big Screen,” along with the groans, cheers and laughter of the audience – it was simply movie heaven.

Jaws 006

I almost had to attend the showing alone. My wife was not about to spend the next 10 years afraid to go near the water as was the case the first time she saw Jaws. But, like I say, it’s worth making the effort to catch classics on the big screen. My friend Ken drove from Studio City, about 30 miles, to meet me to check it out. Afterwards he confirmed it was well worth the trip.

There is so much to like about the film. The story, the characters, and of course, “Bruce,” the nickname the film crew gave the shark during the movie’s production. Chief Brody, played by Roy Scheider, is an especially good film hero. He’s not your typical movie cop. Here on Amity Island, he’s the police chief who’s afraid of the water, afraid of drowning. The character, having left New York to get away from the excessive violence of the city – as the movies always do, is presented with a villain offering a challenge like nothing one would see in New York (with the exception maybe of Godzilla).

Jaws 002

So, I would encourage you to search out “Revival Theaters” in your area or local theaters that regularly bring in classic films. Even watching films you may have seen many times before, they take on a whole new emotional impact, seeing them as they were intended, on the big screen.

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat” – Police Chief Brody


About VocareMentor

Walk with the wise and become wise - Prov. 13:20 A lot of my blog comes out of the way I grew up. My parents divorced when I was 6 years old and I didn’t see much of my father. I had no understanding of how the lack of his presence in my life affected every choice I made as I grew up. Much of my adult life has been attempting to sort things out and catch up. Thus, what you’ll find on my blog are musings, thoughts, wisdom and ideas from history and pop culture. Themes: mentors, father/son, male/female, self-discovery, courage, stepping up, friendship and more.
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3 Responses to It’s summer, and yes, bigger is better!

  1. Tony says:

    Enjoyed this very much. It took me back to almost another life – who I was back in the ’70’s. How the time flies. I remember hesitating to take my kids, then 11 and 6 years old, to see it because I was afraid some of the parts would scare them too much. BTW, I read that the wonderful line you quote, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” was actually an ad lib by Roy Schieder. Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    • VocareMentor says:

      I had a similar experience taking my daughter to see Jurassic Park (1993). She was 12, and for much of the movie was leaning forward in her seat, eyes fixed on the screen. Afterward I noticed she had bit into her lip. She was glad she got to see it, but acknowledged that if it’d been any more intense, it would’ve been too much for her.

      • Tony says:

        Amazing. My daughter and I started watching Jurassic Park when she was about 4 and hooked on dinosaurs. We probably watched that movie 50 times. By the end we were reciting the lines together with the actors. Incredibly, she was never frightened by it.

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