Spielberg Month: JAWS Review

We’re gonna need a bigger boat

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This two hour thriller about a great white shark that’s terrorising the locals of Amity Island may not have been the first theatrical film directed by Steven Spielberg but the impact it left definitely kick started a string of back to back hits for the film maker.

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Based on the book of the same name, the movie stars the late Roy Scheider as  chief Brody Amity Islands chief of police, Brody is the first person on Amity Island to witness one of the sharks victims when he finds the half eaten remains of a young girl washed up on a beach, Brody quickly informs the mayor who only really cares about the towns income and he refuses to allow Brody too close the beaches as he doesn’t want to risk turning away tourists, of course this decision only leaves more victims for Hollywood’s most famous shark  and eventually Brody decides to gang together with an old fisherman played by Robert Shaw and a marine biologist played by Richard Dreyfuss to take out the shark themselves.

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For a film with such a simple premise it’s honestly amazing just how well it was directed, so many scenes in the movie are directed in a way so that the audience can always know when the shark is on screen even when they cant see it, the Oscar award winning John Williams score that consists of only a few notes only plays to make the audience aware of the sharks presence but when the audience cannot see the shark the music doesn’t play so when it then appears in the same scene it always catches people off guard, by far the most moving part of the movie is the entire final act with our three heroes on the boat, throughout this entire act we can see the different views and personalities of the characters as they bounce off each other and constantly butt heads, my favourite scene is when the marine biologist and the fisherman are showing each-other their battle wounds with each scar and cut getting more grizzly as the competition goes on and its during this scene that we learn that the fisherman was part of the crew on the Indianapolis which is why he is always so angry and short tempered.

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During this same act the three men drink whisky and sing a song with very important lyrics as it tells us that they are drunk and it also shows that they all realise that this mission could very likely get them killed and all three of them would much rather be back home where its safer.

“Show me the way to go home
I’m tired and I want to go to bed
I had a little drink about an hour ago
And it’s gone right to my head
Wherever I may roam
On land or sea or foam
You can always hear me singing this song
Show me the way to go home”

During the scene this song is sang multiple times getting faster and louder every time the actors sing another verse and whats very clever about this moment is that eventually the shark attacks the boat and the song ends as our heroes are now preparing to fight for their lives, I don’t believe this scene has ever had a confirmation for its meaning but personally I like to think that it was made to distract the audience, its one of the only light hearted scenes in the film and the fact that the song gets faster as the shark approaches is very similar to the John Williams score that was this time absent, so I have to wonder if perhaps this scene was made in the way it was to shock the audience as they may not have expected the shark to attack the boat which makes the shark more sneaky and much more frightening.

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My favourite performance in Jaws is Richard Dreyfuss as the Marine Biologist but the entire cast does a brilliant job at performing their roles and I cant complain about a single performance as  Spielberg did a fantastic job of making sure that everyone worked to the best of their abilities, Spielberg is known to have been very strict during the films production and the final result from the actors and actresses really pay off because of this.

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Over 40 years later and Jaws still has a massive impact on so many people, today I am always wary of going into the ocean when I visit the beach and this movie is big cause of this, thankfully I was able to get hold of a Blu-Ray for this movie and even though I am yet again disappointed with the lack of a Directors Commentary, the special features have hours of extras including a two hour long documentary about the making of the film,  this along with a lot of deleted scenes is a great excuse to pick up a copy for yourself.

Only one week left in Spielberg Month and lets hope that the next movie allows us to finish off this celebration of Spielberg’s work with a bang.

Want to buy this weeks movie? click the link below to get in from Amazon, I recommend subscribing to Amazon Prime to get fast next day delivery as well a lot of other benefits

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jaws-Blu-ray-Region-Free-Scheider/dp/B00LY0T7RM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491602163&sr=8-1&keywords=jaws+blu+ray

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

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Shovel Knight (2014) Review

One Knight, One Shovel, One chance of success

Was Shovel Knight an epic masterpiece or were Yaught Club Games digging them selves a very deep hole?
Cover Shovel Knight and Shield Knight are two adventurers who formed a strong relationship with each other, together they would adventure across many lands and discovering many treasures on their travels, one day they tackle the tower of fate seeking a magical amulet, unfortunately the amulet is cursed and upon its discovery Shovel Knight  blacks out and awakens outside only to notice that the tower has been sealed and Shield Knight was no where to be seen.

shield knight sadGrieving the loss of his beloved, Shovel Knight gave up his life of being an adventurer and went on to live in solitude, with Shovel Knight gone an evil sorceress called The Enchantress gathered the Knights of the Order of the no Quarter and they started to wreak havoc on the land, Shovel Knight discovers that The Enchantress had unsealed the Tower of Fate and is using it as her new castle, Shovel Knight decides that the only way to save the land is too defeat The Enchantress in the Tower of Fate and to hopefully reunite with Shield Knight.

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Shovel Knight plays and feels very similar to three very popular old school Nintendo classics, Duck tales on NES, Mega man and Super Mario Bros 3.

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The game is a 2D action plat-former, players will need fight there way through each world using their shovels to their advantage, unlike a traditional Mario game players can not defeat enemies by simply jumping on them as this will cause Shovel Knight to take damage, instead you will need to use your Shovels to bounce off of your enemies you can also hit enemies with your shovel similar to using a sword.

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Of course your shovel isn’t the only weapon Shovel Knight can use as there are also items called relics which can prove to be quite useful in the more tougher areas of the game, you can either buy these items from a merchant in town and some items can only be bought by secret merchants hidden each knight level.

My three favourite relics are

Flare Wand: A magic wand which allows Shovel Knight to shoot balls of fire

Dust Knuckles: This item allows Shovel Knight to punch through blocks of dirt and enemies quickly and effectively

Propeller Dagger:  Allows Shovel Knight to temporarily dart through the air for a short distance

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Shovel Knight uses a map system which draws inspiration from Mario 3, this doesn’t surprise me as Mario 3 perfected the formula for over world maps in video games and in turn many developers choose this style due to that games success, with that in mind it should be no shock that Shovel Knight follows this formula having the player needing to defeat certain levels to unlock new paths, bumping into other adventurers who want to duel and entering towns to stock up on items.

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There are eight knights that  you will need to defeat before you can gain access to the Tower of Fate Spectre Knight, King Knight, Treasure Knight, Plague Knight, Mole Knight, Polar Knight, Tinker Knight and Propeller Knight, every time you defeat of one of these knights a new path on the overall map will open allowing you inch closer and closer to the Tower of Fate each time.

You may also bump into wandering travelers on your journey, these travelers will fight you if you cross paths so be wary of which path you take.

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Towns will prove to be very important pit stops on your quest as they will allow Shovel Knight to buy new weapons and armour as well as to increase his maximum health and magic, it is also a good idea to speak to the town bard as he will buy any music sheets that you have found while adventuring.

Troupple-King

Meet the Troupple King this cross between a trout and an apple will surely prove to be the most useful stop in the entire game, the Troupple King has the ability to create ichors which Shovel Knight can drink.

These ichors come in three colours.

Red: replenishes full health and magic

Blue: become temporarily invincible

Yellow: Absorb all near by treasure

Make sure you choose your ichors wisely as you can only hold two at a time, also in order to use ichors you must buy a Troupple Chalice or two from the apple man in town.

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Visually Shovel Knight is stunning it has a similar art style to the Nintendo Entertainment System using what appears to be 8 bit visuals, of course there is no way Shovel Knight could run on the NES due to how fast the game runs as well as its large color palette.

The soundtrack is absolutely perfect for this style of game, its beautifully composed and there is not a single track in this game that I do not love, its not just the composition of the soundtrack but its also the direction that really helps create such a wonderful game play experience, each section of the game has what I consider to be the perfect choice of music for example when the game is intense the music is intense, when shovel knight is dreaming the music is still a lot of fun but its much slower and when your in towns the music is cheerful and a little silly which suits the towns superbly as the towns people are wacky and unusual.

Shovel Knight is a fantastic game and for a project that was only possible due to crowd funding it’s absolutely amazing, make sure to visit the hall of heroes to see paintings of all of the crowd funder’s as well as a secret boss fight.

I don’t what to say apart from that the game is perfect and as an extra treat when you beat the game you will unlock extra challenges that you can complete and in a more recent update a brand new game called Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows has been added for free and is also available upon completion of Shovel Knight.

but I will get to that adventure some other day

FOR SHOVELRY !! 10/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Shovel Knight

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com