Sunday, July 18, 2010

They really needed a bigger boat

Ah, summer. Beaches, swimming, ice cream. And movies.

I've been a little disappointed this summer in the movie selection. There's not a whole lot out there I'd like to see or seems worth seeing. I took my daughter and her friends to see TOY STORY 3, and it was fantastic, but other than that, the movie scene this summer seems a bit of a dud so far.

So that's why when I noticed JAWS was on cable last night, I hunkered down with a strawberry popsicle to watch it.

It's the quintessential summer movie.

The musical score alone sends shivers down my spine, and when we see the swimmers from the shark's point of view, it's terrifying. We all know the backstory: the fake shark didn't work very well, so director Steven Spielberg ended up not using it quite as much. Which, since it wasn't planned, was brilliant. Not seeing the shark means it's all that more scary.

And scary it is. I hadn't seen the whole movie in one sitting in a long time. I figured I'd make it about halfway, or maybe through the part where Quint tells the story of the USS Indianapolis, but I was with it the whole way. Even though I knew what was going to happen, I still sat with my heart pounding. This is still my favorite line:

I first saw JAWS the summer it opened: 1975. I was almost 15. My friends Donna and Bruce and I rode our bikes to the little movie theater in the center of town in the middle of a sunny, hot afternoon. We lived in a beach town on the Connecticut coast that was very similar to the island in JAWS, a small community that relied on summer residents and visitors. The movie terrified us. Especially afterward, when we rode our bikes to the beach. I remember sitting on my towel, not wanting to go in the water. Because Spielberg's great white could be out there. Even in Long Island Sound.

I'm not much of a beach person. Not into all that sand, and the salt water clings to you like a second skin. And after seeing JAWS last night, I'm happy that I belong to a pool club, where there are no possibilities of any shark attacks. Except during a harmless game of sharks and minnows.

What's your favorite summer movie?


Alice said...

I love Jaws! And I had the same reaction you did when I finally read the books (about a month ago). I MUCH preferred the movie! I think it's because the movie had a sense of humor and the book didn't

Alice Duncan

pattinase (abbott) said...

I love JAWS too but it is the movie that wrecked summer for movies in the long run. From that time on, studios made mostly action movies for summer release. You'd have more movies to see this summer if it weren't for JAWS. And I will now get off my soapbox and go away.

Anonymous said...

Independence Day! I love me some dead bad guys.

Literary Feline said...

My family always went camping in the Sierra Nevada Mountains when I was growing up. Every Friday they had movie night at the lodge. We'd hike down from our campsite to see whatever was playing. I'm pretty sure I saw The Neverending Story at least seven to ten times over the years we were going. It's not exactly a summer movie, but one I've always associated with summer as a result. I still love the movie--the wonders of the imagination and books. Who could ask for more?

Anonymous said...

Jaws is the perfect psycho killer thriller. I've seen it over 40 times.


Cheryl said...

Every time as I flip through the channels and see Jaws, I stop to watch it.

Anonymous said...

I agree--Jaws is a great movie. I love a creepy atmosphere, and the fact that the shark remained unseen for much of the film turned out to be a very good thing. Fear of the unknown, and all...

Chelsey and I see far too many movies, and many of them are disappointing. (But, as I like to say, the popcorn makes anything better...) INCEPTION was thoughtful, but a bit too long for my tatse. Being honest, I would have to say that the Joan Rivers documentary was probably my most pleasant surprise this summer.

Now, bring on SCREAM 4...