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

 

Ecco the Dolphin (Megadrive) Review

Halloween 2014 is really close now and since it is already October its time for the traditional Raggle fraggle Halloween blogs.

This years theme is games and movies that you would not expect to be scary but in reality they are.

Lets begin with the first game of the season with the adorable Ecco the Dolphin for the Sega Mega Drive

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Released in 1993 Ecco the Dolphin is in my opinion Sega’s response to Nintendo’s popular game series Metroid

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The plot of Ecco the Dolphin is that your family mysteriously disappears in a storm and Ecco travels through the many dangers of the ocean to reunite with his family, while on on his travels Ecco is told to travel to the Artic to speak to a blue whale called Big Blue. Big Blue explains that these storms appear every 500 years and Ecco is directed to the oldest creature on earth the Asterite.

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The Asterite agrees to help Ecco as long as he travels back in time to an ancient atlantian city so he can retrieve one of the Asterite’s globes that is missing (Globes are those multicoloured circles that the Asterite is made of) After receiving the globe Ecco is told that the storm was a harvest of Earths waters and this is a tradition committed every 500 years by an alien species called the Vortex. After learning this, Ecco travels 55 thousands years into the past and finds the Asterite and is forced to battle, after defeating the Asterite, Ecco is granted a power which turns his Sonar into a deadly weapon which he can use against the Vortex, Ecco is then sent foward in time to the hour of the harvest and this time he also gets sucked into the storm and ends up in the Alien space ship, Ecco then fights his way to the queen to save his family.

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Thats right Ecco is a time travelling Dolphin who fights Aliens, That is freaking awesome

Ecco the Dolphin has really awesome game play, The game is level based, each level gives the player a new objective to complete but unlike traditional level based games Ecco the Dolphin feels a lot like Metroid, the player is going to get lost at certain points of the game. This is due to all of the different paths you can take to help you find your your objective and sometimes you need to solve puzzles in order to move forward for example you may need to push a rock to block of a strong water current in order to take a new path or you may need to use clever strategy to sneak past an angry octopus.

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Ecco the Dolphin is surprisingly a really difficult game, this is due to the fact that just like a real dolphin Ecco can’t fully breath underwater and while playing through the game the player will need to find air holes in order to keep Ecco alive, Personally this was the most difficult aspect of the game for me, because finding air is not easy and Ecco runs out of breath really fast.

Also Ecco can easily take damage from enemies as well as taking damage from bumping in cave walls, luckily eating fish replenishes your health so this aspect of gamplay is not something that people will have too much trouble with.

What is an issue is the games controls, due to Ecco being able to move in a 360 degrees pattern the D-PAD on the Mega Drive controller became a big issue as I found controlling Ecco to be very clunky and awkward. I believe the game could really benefit from the use of an analog controller.

Ecco the Dolphin has a really awesome soundtrack, the music really makes the player feel like they are in ocean and the music changes depending on the scenario of the stage, at first the music feels really relaxing but as the games plot unfolds the soundtrack evolves into something more hardcore and dark. I love this soundtrack, it really helps the player feel the atmosphere of the game.

it is one of my favourite game soundtracks on the Mega Drive and I love every minute of it.

Here is a link to a playlist of every track in the game

Ecco the Dolphin is a really awesome game, apart from the  not so great controls it is definitely a game I reccomend to retro gamers but I do feel that it would not be popular with the modern gamers of today.

I also feel that the game would be a turn off to male demographic simply because you play as a dolphin which is most likely why the game did not do as well as the developers hoped it would back when it released.

I may not have enjoyed Ecco the Dolphin as much as I have enjoyed a lot of other Mega Drive titles but I do feel that is an underrated gem on the system and I recommend it to all retro gamers .

A cute little game which is surprisingly a little bit terrifying 7/10.

I hope you enjoyed this review of Ecco the Dolphin

if you respect my opinion I will respect yours

By Padawan