Jaws 3 appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. An erratic transfer, some shots looked good but much of the image appeared iffy.
Sharpness varied. Much of the movie showed reasonable delineation, but plenty of soft shots appeared, probably as an artifact of the original photography.
No issues with jagged edges or shimmering materialized, but moderate edge enhancement became visible throughout the film. In terms of print flaws, I saw a handful of small specks but nothing major.
Like everything else, colors varied. I’d think a movie with so many daytime water shots would look great, but at best, the hues seemed good.
They often came across as bland and overdone. The hues weren’t bad, but they lacked impact.
Blacks were decent, but shadows tended to appear dense and thick. Some of that came from “day for night” shots, and underwater elements could be tough to discern. Some of the problems here reflected the source, but I suspect a better transfer would compensate for many of the issues.
At least the DTS-HD MA 2.0 soundtrack of Jaws 3 fared better. My main complaint came from some awkward looping at times, as a few scenes demonstrated lines that sounded artificial and distant. However, most of the dialogue was acceptably natural and clear, so those instances occurred infrequently.
Otherwise, quality was acceptable. Music didn’t boast great range, but the score sounded reasonably clear and concise.
Effects also seemed decent. I noticed a smidgen of distortion in some louder scenes, but these elements normally appeared acceptably accurate, and a bit of low-end punch came through as well.
For much of the film, the soundfield seemed to be largely monaural. The flick’s first act didn’t do a whole lot to broaden sonic horizons; other than music and some general ambience, the soundscape remained subdued.
This changed as the movie progressed and the story became more active. Eventually the track boasted some pretty good delineation across the front speakers, as the shark-related action opened up matters in a positive way.
The surrounds added decent reinforcement as well. They had little unique material to display, but they contributed to a nice sense of ambience, especially during the underwater shots. Though the audio of Jaws 3 didn’t dazzle, it worked well for a movie from 1983.
How did the Blu-ray compare to the DVD version? Audio seemed a bit more robust, while visuals appeared cleaner, tighter and more vibrant. Even with the Blu-ray’s concerns, it offered an obvious upgrade over the problematic DVD.
In addition to the film’s trailer, this Blu-ray includes both 2D and 3D versions of the flick. The picture comments above reflect the 2D image – how does the 3D compare?
In terms of picture quality, the two seem similar. Though the 3D version comes with the same drawbacks as the 2D, the stereo image actually helps “hide” those concerns to some degree. This makes it a bit more appealing in the long run.
As far as the 3D elements go, Jaws 3 comes with a lot of broad, in-your-face visuals, and that’s both a strength and a weakness. On the positive side, the movie will make “popout” fans happy, and it also provides an excellent sense of depth.
Really, that’s the area that works best, as the movie comes with an exceptionally deep sense of setting. At times it looks like you could stick your hand in your TV because the visuals show such realistic dimensionality.
This comes with a price, though – or it does for me, at least, as this may be a “Your Mileage May Vary” situation. In my case, the 3D image spreads in such a broad way that it becomes tough for me to view as a whole.
On occasion, I’d find it difficult to resolve the image, by which I mean I’d lose focus. So much active 3D imagery appears that it’s tough to take it all in, and my eyes didn’t know where to go, so the whole thing would turn blurry.
This didn’t happen a lot, and as noted, it may not affect everyone. However, it became a distraction for me on occasion, and the only issue that prevents me from giving the 3D image the highest marks.
The original Jaws remains a justly celebrated classic, while Jaws 2 provided moderate thrills. Jaws 3 squanders any continued good will and provides a thoroughly miserable, absurd cinematic experience. The Blu-ray offers good audio but suffers from erratic visuals as well as virtually no supplements. Stupid, pointless and poorly made, it’s a disaster from start to finish, though 3D fans will enjoy the wildly “in your face” presentation.
To rate this film, visit the original review of JAWS 3