"Jaws" would never get made today. At least, not in the way it currently exists.

A huge part of the beauty of Jaws is in the restraint that Steven Spielberg exercises when it comes to the shark (which, it should be noted, is not actually named "Jaws" but instead "Bruce"). You don't actually get a good look at Bruce until well into the film, and instead Spielberg teases us with shots of its fin, reaction shots from victims and John Williams' iconic score.

If "Jaws" were made today, it'd be less than 10 minutes until we got our first look at the shark (which would likely be renamed to "Jaws") and it'd be in some hackneyed POV shot from the victim's perspective as the horribly oversized, CGI-created shark lunges toward the camera.

No, what makes "Jaws" so great is the way Spielberg builds and builds and builds on the tension, allowing us to really invest in these characters, so that once we do finally get a good look at Bruce, it is frightening and we truly feel that our protagonists are in genuine danger. And not just from some computer generated monstrosity, but from a true beast, so convincing is the mechanical shark.

"Jaws" is often cited as the first true "summer blockbuster" film as it drew in huge audiences and was the first to make more than $100 million at the box office. It's just a shame they don't make blockbusters like this anymore. This is about as perfect as summer movies get.

Dinner & a Movie Recipe: Jaws

Halibut and mahi mahi are similar in texture to shark meat, but easier to cook and readily available in supermarkets. Also, because sharks are predators and in many waters at the top of the food chain, high mercury levels can be a concern. Try this recipe with halibut or mahi mahi filets for a tasty accompaniment to your movie. 

 Grilled Halibut with Parsley Shallot Citrus Sauce

 4 halibut filets 1 large shallot, finely chopped 2 tablespoons butter Juice from 4 oranges Juice from 2 lemons 2 teaspoons orange zest 1 teaspoon lemon zest 2 teaspoons  apple cider vinegar ¼ cup fresh parsley, minced ¼ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper

Over medium heat melt butter. Add shallots and sauté for about 5 minutes or until soft, but not browned.  Place shallots and drippings from the pan in a medium bowl. Add next 8 ingredients and stir to combine.  Clean grill thoroughly and rub grates with oil or cooking spray. Heat grill to high. Prepare filets for grilling by rinsing in water, drying completely and seasoning with salt and pepper on both sides. When grill is ready add fish. Do not move filet until it is ready to turn. After turning baste with sauce and reduce heat to medium. Allow fish to cook through slowly. Remove from grill and serve with the citrus sauce.

Recipe by Christine Gardner

 

 

 

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