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Martin Wilson
Katrina Bowden, Aaron Jakubenko, Kimie Tsukakoshi
Michael Boughen

A fun filled flight to a remote atoll turns into a nightmare for five passengers when their seaplane is destroyed in a freak accident and they are trapped on a raft, 100 miles from shore with man-eating sharks lurking beneath the surface.
Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 91 min.
Price: $28.96
Release Date: 9/7/2021

• “The Making of Great White” Featurette
• Photo Gallery
• Previews


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Great White [Blu-Ray] (2021)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 15, 2021)

Will audiences ever tire of tales about shark attacks? Apparently not, as 46 years after Jaws established that genre, additional entries continue to materialize.

Our latest example: 2021’s Great White. Here we meet Charlie (Aaron Jakubenko), a former marine biologist who now runs a seaplane operation.

Along with his girlfriend Kaz (Katrina Bowden), Charlie struggles to keep the business afloat. Potential financial salvation arrives when Joji (Tim Kano) and Michelle (Kimie Tsukakoshi) charter their services.

On a voyage that also includes cook Benny (Te Kohe Tuhaka), this doesn’t go well, and the plane winds up stranded on a remote reef. When they attempt to escape via a flimsy life raft, another challenge arrives: a Great White shark with a taste for really attractive young people.

Any time I review shark movies, I really try to avoid comparisons to Jaws. These offer the definition of an unfair fight, as virtually none of that flick’s genre siblings can hope to compete with it.

However, some movies push too many similarities for me to ignore the shark in the room. While White doesn’t copy Jaws, it clearly borrows more than a few elements from that classic.

The score occasionally echoes John Williams’ famous theme, and a few shots/scenes feel just a little too heavily influenced by the 1975 film. Though these don’t dominate, they distract.

If I ignore the Jaws associations, I find a perfectly mediocre film via Great White. In an unusual twist, the film enjoys a better Rotten Tomatoes rating from critics than from viewers, a reverse of the usual pattern for “popcorn” flicks such as this.

Whereas White got a 42 percent from critics, site visitors handed it a miserable 19 percent. In this case, I’ll side with the critics, as White doesn’t deserve a rating as low as 19 percent.

Heck, if I felt generous, I’d look at White more as a 50 to 55 percent flick, mainly because it never does anything particularly wrong. For a film to get a bad RT score, I think it needs to stand out as memorably problematic, and I can’t claim that about White.

However, it becomes difficult to locate much that it does especially right as well, mainly because White brings us a pretty “paint by numbers” shark thriller. Even without the Jaws allusions, you can’t find anything here that seems creative or fresh.

Maybe one shouldn’t expect the umpteenth shark movie since 1975 to plumb fresh ground. However, White could’ve located a path to become more of its own beast than it does, so we wind up with a wholly predictable and ordinary story.

This means predictable and ordinary characters as well. As noted, all the movie’s roles offer attractive actors but none of them develop into anything memorable, and in between action scenes, we find ourselves stuck with too much melodrama.

The action scenes work acceptably well, though the movie’s low budget hamstrings it to some degree, as it doesn’t give us much exposure to the actual shark. Of course, Spielberg made that work in Jaws, but White director Martin Wilson isn’t Spielberg.

All of this leaves us with a serviceable shark movie. Nothing about Great White will stick with you, but it won’t disappoint you either.

The Disc Grades: Picture B/ Audio B/ Bonus D

Great White appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The movie brought a generally positive transfer.

Sharpness appeared good for the most part. Wider shots looked more tentative than I’d anticipate, though. These weren’t a big concern, but the image lacked the consistent clarity I’d expect.

Jagged edges and moiré effects created no concerns, and edge haloes were absent. Print flaws remained absent, as we found no specks, marks or other issues.

White utilized a fairly stylized palette, with a clear teal/amber orientation. The tones seemed well-reproduced.

Blacks seemed dark and dense, while shadows showed nice clarity. This became a largely pleasing image, though the softness knocked down my rating some.

In addition, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked reasonably well. The soundfield offered a largely good sense of the action, especially during the various waterside and shark scenes.

Those allowed for various elements to spread around the room and present a nice impression of movement and impact. Music added good impact and the track melded together in a satisfying manner.

Audio quality worked fine, with speech that appeared natural and concise. Music appeared full and rich, while effects were accurate and dynamic. This wound up as a positive soundtrack.

The Making of Great White runs six minutes, nine seconds and features producers Pam Collis and Neal Kingston, director Martin Wilson, production designer Adam Head, and actors Tim Kano, Katrina Bowden, Kimie Tsukakoshi, Te Kohe Tuhaka, and Aaron Jakubenko. It covers film basics and tells us little of value.

We also find a Behind the Scenes Photo Gallery. It presents 16 images from the shoot. Nothing great appears, but we get a few decent elements.

The disc opens with ads for Mary, The Owners, and Mayhem. No trailer for White appears here.

Is “I’ve seen worse shark movies” a recommendation? Not really, but I definitely have seen crummier shark movies than Great White, as it becomes perfectly, wholly mediocre. The Blu-ray offers generally positive picture and audio but it skimps on bonus materials. Nothing here impresses but Great White nonetheless generates a watchable project.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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