Faith Can Move Mountains... But Dynamite Works Better

Monday, August 31, 2015

Taking An Arrow To The Everywhere

Have a look at my photoblog tomorrow, since it's the theme day for City Daily Photo on the first of each month. For this month, I've chosen the theme, and it's Curiousities.

Today I have a mixture of odd images for you. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Does One Bring A Steel Chair To The Oval Office?

Washed Up Sports Entertainment Star Announces Candidacy, Does The World One Favour

Los Angeles (AP). It is already a crowded field in the Republican presidential nominee list, filled with nary a sign of rational thinkers and too many blowhards. It’s become a circus, with Donald Trump blustering around, feeding his ego and starting fights with literally everyone. The duo nominees of Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann have been crisscrossing the country, making fools of themselves at every turn, preaching their vision of an America united in “God fearin’ gun totin’ apple pie lovin’ commie kickin’ ‘Mericans, you betcha!’, which is actually their campaign slogan, punctuation and all.

Now the field has been joined again by a new act to the circus, one who has had something of a rough ride as of late. Surprisingly, who it was hadn’t leaked out earlier to the press, as is often the case in political announcements. It was known that another candidate was, in fact, elsewhere in the location where this press conference was to be held, but that campaign confirmed they had no idea who was involved. And so it was that a multitude of reporters were gathered at the Los Angeles Convention Center for the announcement, but as to who would be making an announcement, that was still a mystery. Was Bob Dole making a comeback? Or Dan Quayle, with Candice Bergen as his running mate? That second one was considered a long shot indeed, and perhaps too vague a cultural reference for those who didn’t remember Murphy Brown.

A campaign spokesman came out on stage, the curtains behind him hiding any trace of a campaign sign, not giving any hint of who might actually be making the announcement this late in the game. Whoever he was, none of the reporters recognized him. He wasn’t even wearing a campaign button. “Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming, and I’ll get right to it,” he promised. “This candidate needs no long, drawn out introduction. His reputation speaks for himself. Running for the Republican nomination as President of the United States of America, I give you.... Hulk Hogan.”

The former (and not so former) wrestler stomped out on stage as the curtains were drawn, showing a massive Hulk Hogan 2016 banner. He was dressed not in the suit and tie one might expect, but a Hulkster T-shirt, shorts, boots, and bandanna, huffing and puffing and being something of a shadow of the physical specimen he was in his prime. It’s been a rough few months for Hogan- being declared persona non grata by the wrestling organization that made him famous after racist remarks on a sex tape came to light, among other such remarks. He’s lost whatever reputation he had left (this from a man who spent time in a reality show on his own dysfunctional family), and no wrestling organization wants anything to do with him. Aside from a gag announcement that he was running for office, the wrestler’s never expressed the slightest interest in politics before- so what on earth was this about?

Hogan was busy flexing his muscles and looking like he was five seconds away from a stroke- or perhaps chronic constipation. Finally he strode up to the podium and started talking. Or yelling- the man doesn’t seem to have a volume switch, let alone comprehension that people can hear what he’s saying. Perhaps he’s been hit in the head too many times by steel chairs. “The Hulkster’s in the house, brother, and I’m here to say that I’m runnin’ for President under the Republican party, brother!” He nodded. “Lots of Hulkamaniacs out there love the Hulkster and have grown up as fans, so now they’re voters and they’re sick and tired of the way things are and they want to say their prayers and eat their vitamins and take their steroids just like the Hulkster... wait... forget I said anything about steroids.”

He paused before going on. “You know what, brother, this country’s about redemption. Sure, I’ve made a few mistakes here and there, and I’m sorry, but hey, who hasn’t made mistakes, brother? My point is that we get second chances, and that’s why I’m here, brother, to get this country back on track, kick some serious butt, and wrestle our problems in that squared circle, brother, just like I did in the ring.”

A reporter spoke up. “You do realize wrestling is fake?”

Hogan looked annoyed, and told his spokesman, “Get that guy’s name, brother.”

The reporter carried on. “My point is you spent years in a scripted sports entertainment world where everything was fixed. Granted, you certainly must have done a whole lot of damage to your body over time, including, I suppose, to your brain...”

Hogan nodded as if to concede the point. “Okay, sure, that’s right, I mean, hell, my knees are shot to hell, brother, and as for my head... what were we talking about, brother? Oh, right. Anyway, let’s get back on track. Don’t go talking about wrestlin’ as fake, brother, because all those Hulkamaniacs out there believe in us and believe in me and want to see this country be champions again, and that’s why I’m here, brother. I’m here to put these pythons around the necks of those ISIS guys and start squeezin’, and when I’m done with them, I’ll be body slammin’ those Democrats in Congress. And when I’m done there, brother, you just know that I’m gonna pile drive Putin into the ground and do the big leg drop on him, brother...”

By this point, reporters were rolling their eyes and wondering just how dumb Hogan was- did it explain his repetitive use of the word brother? Of course, that was par for the course in this year’s GOP nominee list. Hogan paused, and looked at the crowd of reporters before carrying on. “I want to bring out the guy I’ve chosen to be my campaign manager and Secretary Of State once I get into the White House. I would have liked to have Roddy Piper do this job, but hey, he went off to that squared circle in the sky where the Big Man’s refereein’ all the wrestlin’ bouts until the end of time. Anyway, give it up for the one, the only... the Nature Boy, Ric Flair!”

Reporters shook their heads in dismay. Flair, whose time in the ring as a heel and a champion, has often paralleled Hogan’s run, came out on stage, strutting in a suit. Why anyone calls a man in his mid sixties by the term Nature Boy is another matter. He looked even more on the edge of a stroke than Hogan, his peroxide blond hair contrasting sharply with his red face. “Wooooooooooooooooooo!!!” he bellowed, walking up to Hogan and shaking his hand. “Can you believe it? The Hulkster running for President! And if that’s not enough, he’s got me as his right hand man, the limousine ridin’, jet flyin’, kiss stealin’, wheelin’ dealin’ son of a gun.”

Reporters were aghast. “You have got to be joking,” this reporter protested.

Hogan looked confused. “I have no idea what you’re talkin’ about, brother.”

“Look,” Flair added. “It’s very simple. To be the man, you’ve gotta beat the man.”

“What it all comes down to, brother,” Hogan blurted out. “Is this: Hulkamania’s running wild...”

“Despite that whole controversy about your bigoted remarks?” another reporter pointed out.

Hogan rolled his eyes. “Are we still on that? Can’t you people leave what’s in the past, in the past? What’s important right now is that we get into the White House where we can knock some heads around and suplex Congress and say to the French, whatcha gonna do when President Hulk runs wild on you????”

One reporter broke the awkward silence. “You do realize we’re not in some kind of conflict with France, do you?”

Flair shrugged. “Not yet!”

There was a rustle of noise from the back of the room. A crowd of reporters came in, surrounding blowhard tycoon Donald Trump, who of course has been making an ass of himself on the campaign trail every time he opens his mouth. He stopped, looking up at the stage, and called out, “Hey! I’m the only one in this building who should be having a campaign event today. What the **** is this?” He stormed up onto the stage. “This is unacceptable! Totally ****ing unacceptable!”

Flair rolled his eyes. Hogan sighed. “You haven’t gotten bored yet, Donald?” Hogan asked.

Trump sneered in that way only a Trump can. “ Who gave you the right to rain on my parade? You two are losers! Losers! You’re as big a pair of losers as those losers who don’t want me to be president of the United States! And as big a pair of losers as those people dumb enough to vote for me as president of the United States!”

“Are you aware you said that out loud, Mr. Trump?” a reporter asked.

Trump glared into the crowd. “Who the **** gave you permission to talk to me? I say a lot of stuff out loud!”

Before he could continue, Hogan walked over, grabbed him by the throat, and hit him. Flair dashed backstage, and came out with a steel chair. “Hulk!” he called out.

Hogan picked up Trump by the collar, pinned his arms behind him, and held him in place. Flair strode forward, the chair at the ready, and smacked Trump square in the face with it. The two wrestlers then proceeded to inflict elbow drops, leg drops, body slams, figure fours, piledrivers, body splashes, backbreakers, and other wrestling moves on the tycoon. Strangely, no one bothered to intervene.

After they were done, the two left the stage, chanting, “we’re number one”, while Trump staffers came forward, ascertaining that it had not, in fact, been a stunt and that their boss was bloody and battered. Paramedics were called for, and the Donald was removed from the scene by ambulance, looking like he had been trampled by elephants.

Republicans in Congress seemed pleased. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell seemed delighted as he spoke to reporters in that slow drawl. “Hogan and Flair took care of the Trump problem for us, so they’re welcome in the Republican fold.”

President Obama had to put out a minor diplomatic fire with the French, reassuring their President that Hogan and Flair are little more than halfwitted morons who will never actually get into the White House, even as visitors.

As for Trump himself, it appears the tycoon’s campaign may well be at an end. He’s currently laid up in a body cast, tended to by doctors and nurses, unable to communicate beyond tapping one unbroken pinkie finger on a computer screen. His daughter Ivanka had a brief written statement issued to the press: “My father has only been expressing one sentence, over and over, in his current state, and it is, I quote: someone kill Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Playing Dead Out On The Beach With Explosions

Director Plots Comedy Remake; Reporters Desperately Hope He Will Assume Room Temperature

Los Angeles (AP). Journalists and entertainment reporters- notice this reporter distinguished the two- were called for a press conference yesterday at the offices of Digital Domain, the special effects production company that doubles as ground zero for the biggest egomaniac in Hollywood (no, not Tom Cruise, but thanks for thinking of him) to make use of (editor: hey! I’m a Tom Cruise fan, you bastard!).

Why is this reporter not surprised by that revelation? Doomed by fate and a cranky editor with horrible taste in actors (editor: blood will be spilled, do you understand me?) to cover this sort of nonsense until the end of time just because the editor hates him (editor: if I could fire you, I would, but your iron-clad contract means I can’t, and you’re too damned stubborn to just quit, so I’ll keep making your life a living hell!) this reporter had to attend the press conference, wishing he could be anywhere else. Honestly, you laugh at a funeral just one time, and they never let you hear the end of it.

Real reporters assembled in the small auditorium. Most of this reporter’s colleagues were, like this reporter, being punished by cranky editors for one reason or another. In the opinion of all of us, editors need to get the big stick out of their.... (editor: one more word out of you and I’m going to rent the biggest Hummer I can find just so I can run you down with it!) This reporter wondered if his editor realized that constituted a death threat.

The entertainment reporters, being the dimwitted airheaded twits that they are, were gushing over what possible announcement might be made today. They were abuzz about the latest gossip out of Hollywood. Some were talking about the Aniston wedding. Others were ardently discussing the Shelton-Lambert breakup. Meanwhile, we real reporters were rolling our eyes, wondering if there was a bar nearby we could retreat to and get wasted at (editor: not on company time, you drunken bastard!). This reporter sighed, reminding his grouchy editor that he was not, in fact, a drinker, but time spent in the company of halfwit morons from Entertainment Tonight could drive someone to drink.

Finally a staffer came out to the stage, where a podium and the customary full length mirror were set up, and announced the presence of her boss. Michael Bay, director of such explosion prone roller coaster films like Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, and the Transformers films, has been exceedingly busy as of late, with many films on the go. The only announcement that this reporter would have liked to hear from him would be his immediate retirement from films and his apologies for being such a narcissistic hack (editor: hey! Art house film boy! I love Michael Bay films, so stop insulting him!)

Bay came out on stage. He was in his usual look- dishevelled hair and stubble, shirt unbuttoned at the neck, jeans and a sports jacket. He waved in that casual way of his, a demented smile plastered across his face, and stopped before the mirror. His smile broadened, and he gave his reflection a small wave and a wink. Real reporters sighed in dismay, wondering how long this travesty would take. Bay looked out at the crowd. “Hello! Welcome! It’s wonderful to see so many of you out here today to take in my latest announcement, my newest project, the thing you’ve all been waiting for. Granted, it’s going to take me a little time to get to it, what with all these other films I’m making, but you know, people will love it. The same way they love all my films.”

Bay grinned like the cat who ate the canary. “You know, I make a lot of serious hard action films, with lots of explosions and lots of girls waxing cars and lots of explosions for good measure, because as I always say, you can never have too many explosions. And while it is true that a certain degree of humour comes through in my films, I’ve never really done what can be called a comedy. At least until now. Which is what brings us to what I’m up to now, which of course is what you all came to find out about. I wanted to do a remake of a classic film. Something no one would forget, something that deserves a fresh look. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m remaking Weekend At Bernie’s.

Real reporters sighed in exasperation. The original 1989 comedy had a twisted sense of humour with two hapless young office workers having to spend a weekend with their corrupt boss’s corpse, making it appear he was alive. The movie later spawned a pointless sequel. What was the point to this?

“What on earth are you thinking?” a reporter called out in dismay.

“I’m always thinking!” Bay replied with a grin, winking at himself in a nearby mirror. “Look, it’s very simple. We have our two young heroes, downtrodden office clerks, Larry and Richard. We’ve got their boss, the aforementioned Bernie. He’s been cooking the books and doing some business with some rotten people. Let’s say they’re arms dealers, because hey, this is a Michael Bay movie, and we’re going to have to have explosions. We’ve also got Bernie’s wife Drucilla, something that wasn’t used in the original movie, because instead of one corpse to deal with, our heroes have to spend a whole weekend making it look like two corpses are still alive. When you throw in the hired gun trying to kill everyone, Bernie’s mistress, oblivious neighbours, and the object of Richard’s affections showing up at the beachhouse, you’ve got a great recipe for a big bang blowout Michael Bay film. With explosions. Did I mention the explosions? Because we’ve got a whole lot of them.”

Real reporters sighed as if wondering who they’d offended to draw this assignment. This reporter could just imagine the sneer on his cranky editor’s face when... (editor: keep it up and you’ll be a dead corpse, damn you!) This reporter shook his head, wondering if his editor actually realized he had repeated himself by using the term dead corpse.

Bay was continuing to speak. “Now then, it’s time to bring out my cast. Playing Richard, one of my favourite go-to actors, Shia LaBeouf!”

LaBeouf came out on stage, waving to the crowd, smiling like a demented idiot. Wait- like? Shia LaBeouf is a demented idiot. “Hello!” he called out to the reporters. “Shia is pleased that you have all come to see Shia!” He took his place with Bay.

The director carried on. “Now then, playing the carefree bozo Larry, I’ve brought in another carefree bozo for the role. Ladies and gentlemen, give a big hand to Seth Rogen!”

Rogen, best known for slacker and stoner comedies, came out on stage, looking stoned and as if he’d slept in his clothes. For all the reporters knew, that was probably the truth. He waved with a vacant look in his eyes. “Hey there! I’m so pleased to be in on this film!”

He stood with LaBeouf and Bay. The director picked up where he left off. “And playing Gwen, the object of Richard’s affections, you’ve seen her many times before in my films, and you’ll see her again. Ladies and gentlemen, how about a big hand for Megan Fox!”

Fox came out on stage, dressed as usual, in a much too tight little black dress that showed off her cleavage. “This is going to be a whole lot of fun,” she told the crowd. “And no, I don’t want to talk about my marriage going bottoms up, but just for the record: it was all his fault.”

Bay nodded. “You hear that, Brian Austin Greene? Your fault!” He laughed, and carried on. “Now then, as to who gets to play the part of the corpses, first of all, ladies and gentlemen, playing the role of Bernie Lomax, Mr. Nicolas Cage!”

Cage came out on stage. Real reporters sighed with exasperation. Cage himself seemed oblivious, a drink in hand. “Hello!” he called out. “It’s going to be fun getting through a whole film without having to speak after the first twenty minutes!” He stumbled over to the others.

Bay carried on. “And playing the second corpse, Drucilla Lomax, ladies and gentlemen, this is my distinct pleasure to announce. I’ve seen her for a long time in a well known television series, but I’ve never had a chance to work with her before. You loved her in CSI, so you’ll love her in this... Marg Helgenberger!”

The actress came out on stage, looking a bit uncertain of herself. “Look, I was signing a whole lot of papers, one of them was a contract to work for him on one film. Please don’t think less of me.”

Bay laughed as she joined the rest of the cast. “Such a kidder!” He smiled in his delirious way, and carried on. “One more cast member to reveal. Back in the original film there was a character named Tina. The mobster’s girlfriend Bernie was banging. The same one who ended up banging the corpse. I wanted to revisit that gag by bringing in another Tina. Now then, ladies and gentlemen, she’s had sex with dead people before in films, so this won’t be too hard for her. Working with me for the first time, please give it up for Kristen Stewart!”

The former Twilight series star came out on stage and joined the others, as devoid of facial expression as she always is, and shrugged. “What can I say, there’s no market for a Twilight sequel after the books ran out, and I got bored. Besides, when he mentioned the necrophilia angle, I couldn’t pass that up.”

Bay nodded. “This film is going to break box office records. Just imagine it: comedy, life on the beach, explosions, hot babes, more explosions, a ticking time bomb that can only be stopped by a corpse. Ladies and gentlemen, the cast of the outstanding thrill ride dark comedy Weekend At Bernie’s. This film is going to be huge! Big time! Everyone’s going to love it, including the Academy, and they’ll shower us with awards and accolades and big box office, because hey, we deserve it. After all, I’m Michael Bay... the greatest director in history!!!!

With that, Bay left the stage with his cast. Those of us who are real reporters shook our heads and wondered if anything could ever stop Michael Bay from making another film- such as a permanent coma. Entertainment reporters were too busy gushing with anticipation. This reporter wondered if his cranky editor would run afoul of an arms dealer. (editor: I’m having you sent to Timbuktu, you bastard!)

Well. That being the case, at least this reporter will be halfway around the world from his cranky editor, and far from Michael Bay press conferences. That would be a good thing.

Monday, August 24, 2015

We Should Feed Bruce Some Marketing Chimps

“I’m not going to waste my time arguing with a man lining up to be a hot lunch.” ~ Matt Hooper

“Y’know, the thing about a shark, he’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes after ya, he doesn’t seem to be livin’ until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white... and then, aww, you hear that terrible high pitch screamin’, the ocean turns red, and in spite of all the poundin’ and the hollerin’, they all come in and rip ya to pieces.” ~ Quint

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” ~ Martin Brody

It’s been forty years since Jaws first arrived in cinemas, terrifying audiences with the tale of man versus nature and causing public relations nightmares for great white sharks. The adaptation of Peter Benchley’s novel about a small resort town dealing with the havoc caused by a shark has, like the book itself, become a classic, one that still creeps out the viewer on big screens or small screens. An early film by Steven Spielberg, it was the prototype of the summer blockbuster.

The fictional Amity Island in New England is the setting for the tale, a place highly dependent on tourist traffic during the summer so that the locals can get through the rest of the year. It’s an idyllic place when the film opens up, just before the summer season. A young woman is attacked off shore after a late night beach party, and the following day, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) and his deputy find her remains washed up on the beach. Upon learning the initial cause of death is a shark attack, Brody closes the beaches, but the town mayor, Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), worried about the notion that the summer season could be ruined by news of a shark attack, overrules him, suggesting the death was caused by a boat propeller accident. Brody reluctantly goes along with it.

Another attack soon happens, and the townspeople find themselves stunned. A local grizzled fisherman, Quint (Robert Shaw) offers his services to kill the shark. An oceanographer is called in by Brody, arriving during the efforts by amateurs to collect on a bounty. Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) quickly confirms that despite the earlier white washing of the initial coroner’s find, the case was indeed a shark attack, and urges Brody and the mayor to take every possible step to close the beaches.

Benchley’s novel dealt with the themes of man versus nature contrasting with the politics and pressures of a small resort town. It did exceedingly well, and producers Richard Zanuck and David Brown snapped up film rights, having had already read the book before publication. Benchley, whose novels often followed stories out on the water, had a hand in adapting the book into a screenplay, along with Carl Gottlieb, who spent time during production on rewrites. Benchley even did a cameo in the film as a news reporter on the beach. There are significant changes from the book, such as some character dynamics, removal of subplots, and the fates of characters. Spielberg was brought in by Zanuck and Brown to direct, an interesting touch since one of his earliest films, Duel, had also touched on the idea of a relentless, unfeeling killer. This would be a different take on that concept, however.

Filming was done mainly around Martha’s Vineyard, and had its own issues- it was over budget and late. The mechanical shark, dubbed Bruce, had numerous issues and required much work. Spielberg compensated by working around it for most of the film, giving the viewer underwater shots from the shark’s point of view or suggesting the shark’s presence by a fin above the water- even the use of barrels to signify the shark’s presence was another such touch. In hindsight, it was the best thing that could have happened for the film, since we don’t even see the shark until late in the film, and when we do, it’s such a terrific shock. No matter how many times you see the film, you still feel a jolt as the beast surfaces behind Scheider while he’s throwing out chum on the water, and you still feel in awe as you see it swim past the boat. In having to deal with mechanical difficulties, the production made Spielberg direct more along the lines of Hitchcock, suggesting the terror than showing it, and drove the suspense up all the better.

Part of that suspense also comes from the film score by the great John Williams, which earned the composer an Oscar. The simple two note alternating pattern main theme comes to play throughout the film, associated with the shark. The theme is relentless and primal, and sends a chill down the spine anytime one listens to it. It’s unsettling- which makes it work so well. If you’re of a devious mindset, play that music out on the beach on a busy day and see how many people rush back onto land.

The cast are all very well chosen. Murray Hamilton as Mayor Vaughn is not a terribly likeable person- though he wants to be. He’s more concerned with the town’s image at first, terrified of the notion of the slightest bad publicity on the tourist business the town depends on. He’s not above arm twisting and doing the underhanded things a politician would do to keep such things out of the light- we can see that in the way the medical examiner quickly changes his judgment on the first attack. Vaughn’s what you would expect out of such a man: fixated on one thing so much that he can’t see the consequences of dealing with the real problem until the damage is done. Hamilton plays to that in his performance, and that gives the character authenticity.

Lorraine Gary is well cast as Brody’s wife Ellen. The two actors make the marriage of their characters feel believable and grounded (a very different take from the novel where the marriage is, in a couple of words, in trouble), and she plays the role of wife and mother as supportive. She’s not above using a sharp word- witness a stern order she gives her son upon looking at photographs of shark victims, for instance, which shifts her from being the mother who indulges a bit of play to the mother who wants her kid away from the water.

Robert Shaw is a marvel as Quint. There’s a lot of real life fishermen in the character that Shaw would have drawn into his performance, men who have lived hard lives out on the water, who have little patience for nonsense. There’s also a streak of Captain Ahab in the character- obsessive about hunting down the shark- and yet late in the film he seems a bit more resigned to the fact that the shark’s more than he can handle. The character is contemptuous of city men like Hooper, and some of that antagonism is mutual, and so it takes time before the two men can come to terms. One of my favourite sequences of the film- no doubt a favourite of many- has Quint, Hooper, and Brody sitting around the table on Quint’s boat. Quint and Hooper compare scars and battle stories, the three men end up singing a marvellously appropriate medley, and in between, Quint tells the real World War Two story of the U.S.S. Indianapolis, a tale which has a chilling, haunting effect, and certainly says a lot about Quint’s hatred of sharks. As coarse and hard as he is, there's humanity in Quint.

Hooper is much more sympathetic and likable in the film than he is in the novel, and part of that comes from the screenplay and the rest comes from the performance by Richard Dreyfuss. There’s a brash curiousity and a good sense of humour in the man. He’s smart, knows he’s smart, but doesn’t brag about it. Hooper has little patience for stupidity (I can relate to that) and is irritated by the short sighted mentality that refuses to close beaches- I like how he notes that when he leaves, Brody will be the only capable guy left on the island. The mutual antagonism between he and Quint plays to a bit of a class difference that is an underlying theme in the film, as well as the notion of outsiders- Hooper’s an outsider to the island, and in many ways, so is Brody. Dreyfuss gives the character a lot of spark and brings him to life in just the right way.

Roy Scheider was well chosen to play Chief Brody, playing the role with a sense of capability and resolve. The character is the moral force of the movie, the symbol of authority who finds himself dealing with a relentless killer unlike the criminals he dealt with in the jungles of the big city. A former city cop, he’s an outsider on this island (and doesn’t  care for water), a job that should be a sleepy, quiet line of work considering he only needs a single deputy most of the year. He’s not quite used to the politics of a small resort town, and so is taken aback when the mayor pulls strings to minimize potential public relations damage. While he initially goes along with that, it doesn’t apply when the next incident happens and Brody ends up taking on the sense of guilt and responsibility thrust upon him by a grieving mother. That reflects on his actions the rest of the movie- he’s not just a lawman, but a father, and it drives him through the rest of the story. Scheider gives the character a bit of a reserved sensibility- he’s most at ease with his wife and children, a stark contrast to his encounters with the water, where through much of the film he’s very much ill at ease.

The film is of course a summer blockbuster classic- despite its many production problems that went into the filming. It did spawn several increasingly ridiculous sequels- Jaws The Revenge seemed to hinge on the notion that a shark would happily swim thousands of miles to chase a grieving mother and widow just to make it all worse- but in and of itself, the film still creeps out the audience, thrills us, and gives us wonderfully complicated characters. And spine tingling music that shouldn’t be played on a  beach.