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.
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.
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).
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