Sunday, June 27, 2010

"Jaws 3-D" (1983)

Starring Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett Jr. and Lea Thompson
Written by Richard Matheson and Carl Gottlieb
Directed by Joe Alves

Best part of the movie?  Lea Thompson in a bikini.
Good god, what a terrible movie this is.  Picking up years after the first two films, Mike and Sean Brody are now adults.  Mike has a job as an engineer at Sea World, which is about to open a new underwater structure.  He's dating Kathryn Morgan, a marine biologist.  During the opening weekend of the new Sea World park, Mike invites his brother, Sean to come.  Sean has been afraid of the water ever since he was nearly eaten by a shark as a child (y'know, in "Jaws 2") but a new girlfriend manages to coax him into the water a couple times.

Basically what happens is that a shark gets into the water park, and begins eating the workers and visitors.  Aaaand it sucks.  The movie was shot in an ancient 3-D process, and looks terrible.  The 3-D effects are few and far between, but when they do finally come, they're atrocious.  Observe.  This only happens a handful of times in the entire movie.  There rest of the movie shot much like previous "Jaws" features, only it makes a lot less sense.  It's nearly impossible to tell what's going on during any of the supposed action sequences in this movie.

Mike's brother Sean appears in maybe three or four scenes in the entire movie, making his presence entirely unimportant.  The script is pretty slight, moving from pointless scene to pointless scene with some water skiing and screaming thrown in for good measure.  Because it was filmed in 3-D, most of the movie is flat-out ugly.  When it's not washed out under atrocious amounts of grain, the picture is soft or even out of focus, and a few scenes are so poorly lit that it looks like a couple of funky colored splotches on black backgrounds.

I suppose I have to give the filmmakers some credit for at least attempting something slightly different from the past two movies, by enclosing the whole thing in a water park.  But the truth is that no matter how good the idea might be, the execution is terrible.