The eternal question remains unanswered:
Can Hollywood really make
a feature film that accurately
captures the boating lifestyle?
It’s worth asking, considering the millions of
dollars spent on today’s new releases and the vast array of
special effects at directors’ fingertips. Still, a rundown of hit
movies that have anything to do with boating, sailing or
fishing is rather small when you eliminate the
obvious fantasy flicks such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and
“Waterworld” or the James Bond high-speed chase scenes.
One assessment of what boaters think are the best
boating movies to date will come from an online survey
currently posted at BoatUS.com. Click on the home page
box and take the survey. The results will be reported in the
next issue. For now, we’ve selected some of the modern
classics that top our own special categories (not currently
recognized by the Academy Awards). You’ve got all winter to
watch them — take a break from your boat repair
projects for now and fire up the DVD player.
Most Thrilling Charter Fishing Trip...
(1975) Directed by Steven
Spielberg; Stars Richard Dreyfuss,
Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider
“This was no boating
accident!” proclaims Richard
Dreyfuss. Over three decades
later, “Jaws” still sets the standard
for a downright frightening thrill
ride of a movie. Who can hear the
theme song and not get the slight-est shiver at the back of the neck?
I’ve probably seen the whole
movie, or parts of it, a dozen times over the years and still get
sucked right in. It has aged well, likely due to the brilliance of
Steven Spielberg who, as a brash young director, pulled out all the
stops in finding ways to manipulate the most basic fears of the
audience. Fear of the water, fear of the unknown and, of course, a
fear of humongous sharks.
By today’s standards, the special effects are rudimentary
compared to the computer graphics we see now, but in a way, it’s
often what you don’t see that is the scariest. The director lulled us,
shocked us and strung us along for full effect and it still works.
Even though “Jaws” spawned “Jaws II”, “Jaws the Revenge” and
“Jaws III”, nothing beats the original. With so much attention on
the state of today’s oceans, and sharks under increasing threat
from man, the irrational fear the movie generated is the only
unfortunate legacy of one of Hollywood’s greatest fish stories.
(Note: A special 30th anniversary DVD is out, digitally remastered
and with all kinds of bonus features.)