Jaws 3 DVD Review

There was potential for Jaws 3. The original title, Jaws 3, People 0, would have made it the greatest film ever just based on the title. Anyone involved knew there was nowhere left for the series to go. Let's all take a moment to thank Universal for shooting that idea down and leaving us scarred for life with this disaster.

Instead of a giant shark on a rampage movie, viewers are forced to sit through an extended commercial for Sea World, including multiple montages of the attractions. It takes forever to get going, and the real threat doesn't show up until past the hour mark. This could have the same effect the original Jaws did, but the characters are dull, boring, and exposition is lackluster.

All of this is played straight by the cast, including Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett Jr. The body count here is meager, barely reaching a suitable number the audience can be scared over. Connections to the previous films are meager, and only seem to exist in the names of the Brody boys. Even that's a stretch.

The idea is actually a decent one, involving the oversized shark attacking a new underwater exhibit. This fails thanks to the special effects, which couldn't be anymore obvious. When the film was released, it used the 3-D gimmick, and without it on video or TV, they stick out in hilarious fashion.

Besides the few blatantly obvious effect shots, there's a rubber baby shark used for most of the film (or just poorly edited real shark footage). This is one of the most immobile, ugly, and fake-looking props ever used in a major Hollywood movie. Where the $20 million budget went is anyone's idea.

It definitely didn't go towards fact checking. It completely ignores common knowledge about sharks (they can't swim backwards). It also ignores any knowledge about what makes something like this entertaining. This is a wasted opportunity, and with a Jaws film like this, the people will always lose. (* out of *****)

Video here suffers not from the transfer, but the print. Everything here is still partially set up for 3-D. Far backgrounds objects are doubled with blue lines, anything on the right side of the screen is blurred, and objects are forever lost to the viewers imagination. It's enough to cause a headache as your eyes try to focus. Grain is heavy in certain scenes. Edge enhancement may be prevalent; it's just too hard to tell with the extra colors filling the screen. (*)

This is a Dolby Surround mix, an upgrade from the stereo of the theatrical release. There is nothing worth getting excited over until the final moments. Some sporadic surround work is noticeable, though it misses many opportunities. Dialogue is clear, yet you'll gain nothing from actually listening to it. (***)

Extras (if you want to call them that) include the teaser trailer and recommendations. Universal has the audacity to say that if you actually enjoyed Jaws 3, you should check out Jaws: The Revenge. They obviously hate their customers. (No stars)

It's debatable if Jaws 3 or Revenge is worse. Neither offers anything worthwhile, and at least Revenge serves up some classic camp. You can't expect to be entertained either way, and until 3 is actually released in 3-D for home viewing, there's no reason to suffer through it.

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