The Shark Is Still Working

"Excellent"

The Shark Is Still Working Review


The title of Erik Hollander's detail-oriented Jaws documentary reminds me of Bill Murray's off-handed Ghostbusters line, "And the flowers are still standing."

The connection is deeper than you'd think. As Shark painstakingly illustrates, Steven Spielberg and his crew employed a fair share of magic tricks during the tumultuous filming of this eventual blockbuster, and they often felt like the proverbial tablecloth was being yanked out from beneath their feet as problem after problem rode in on the crests of each wave off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.

The notoriously reticent Spielberg joins Peter Benchley, Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, and almost every key Jaws contributor for this comprehensive recollection, and admits on camera that filming on the ocean -- as opposed to in Universal's backlot water tanks -- was the first of many mistakes made during the 1974 production. But it's hard to argue with his end result, which is thoroughly explored beginning with pre-production and ending at Jaws Fest, a 30th anniversary celebration held in 2005.

Shark leaves no fin unturned. The film's four producers -- all reported die-hard fans -- dig up spectacular archival footage taking us around Spielberg's waterlogged set, revealing previously unseen outtakes and capturing vintage (as well as modern) insights from the Jaws cast and crew. Jaws fanatics seeking a trivia-spewing keepsake of their beloved shark story will be overjoyed.

And Shark, like the beast that bears its name, moves ever forward, scoring footage you'd assume producer Richard D. Zanuck had locked away in a private vault. Watch Spielberg react to the announcement of the 1975 Academy Award nominations -- and (mildly) gripe about being left out of the Best Director race. Listen to John Williams conjure his chilling, two-note score. Hear Scheider fall back on the "contractually obligated" crutch when discussing Jaws 2... then somehow indirectly compare that film to The Godfather: Part II!

A good chunk of Shark is Hollywood folklore, yet even the stories you already know sound better coming from the men and women who got their feet (and everything else) wet making the movie. Going beyond the film itself, Shark explores the impact Jaws had on our culture, analyzing the merchandise frenzy, the copycat filmmaking, and the incessant marketing strategies lifted from the movie's brilliant campaign. Sure, Shark begins to swallow its own tail a little when it gets into similar making-of tools, from Jaws scribe Carl Gottlieb's "Jaws Log" to Laurent Bouzereau's groundbreaking documentaries. Isn't this enough making-of discussion for one sitting? Oh well. Fans likely won't mind sticking their toes back into these waters once again.

Working? Looks like he's on break.



The Shark Is Still Working

Facts and Figures

Run time: 100 mins

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 100%
Fresh: 12

IMDB: 7.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Erik Hollander

Producer: Erik Hollander, Jake Gove, James Gelet, Michael Roddy

Starring: as Himself, as Himself, Gregory Nicotero as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself, as Himself

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.