The Set of 400: #353 – My Favorite American Political Absurdity

Today! Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water –

Jaws 2 (1978)

Directed by Jeannot Szwarc

Starring Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Jeffrey Kramer, Joseph Mascolo, Ann Dusenberry, Mark Gruner

Yeah, that’s right, Jaws 2! Shut up!

As I believe I wrote back in post #400 Rocky IV, when I was kid, we tended to watch movies and their sequels together – I don’t know if we had them copied onto the same tapes or if this was an active non-lazy choice, but the outcome was I often confused the details of these films, blending them together into a whole, and probably giving more credit to lesser sequels than they deserve. The shining example of this is Jaws 2. Figure, same setting, mostly the same characters, another shark, plus most of the real peril – the kids being stuck out on the water – is separate from all the actors who appear in the first movie. So I believe that for many years of my childhood, I could not differentiate between these two films.

All that being said, Jaws 2 is still a pretty good movie. Is it the perfect, classic Spielberg version? Shit no, not even kind of, but I think a definite case could be made for its place as the second best shark movie ever made. Scheider – still a great Brody; Murray Hamilton still the mayor through some monumental Amity corruption, no doubt; shark – still a great villain. Plus, this one had a bunch of cool teenagers, cracking jokes like the violent Meatballs prequel this could’ve been, all while dodging the lethal teeth machine. And how about that ending?? Again, it’s not quite as suspenseful and dramatic as the original movie, but that’s still a nail-biting finish.

Look out, chief!

The fifth highest grossing movie of 1978, making over $300 million of today’s dollars, the second Jaws didn’t rake down awards in its day. Maybe if people could’ve known that the execrable Jaws 3-D or the absolutely horrendous Jaws IV: The Return were on the horizon, more love would’ve been given! Like, say, Best Movie Tagline Vs. Actual Film, as the first is an absolute classic (“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water”) while the movie is just good. What other instances of this even are there? What taglines really standout for average movies?

Coming tomorrow! $3.15 billion in fines and/or 63,000 years in prison, which would have to be served before you could reopen the store –

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