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Movie Planner: Richard Dreyfuss talks 'Jaws' at The Cap; 'The Forest' opens

SHARK STAR: Richard Dreyfuss

After two postponements, Saturday night's 40th anniversary tribute to Steven Spielberg's Jaws at the Capitol Theatre is now pushing 41.

Hearing Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss discuss his role in that Hollywood milestone should be worth the wait.

Dreyfuss, 68, twice delayed his appearance due to back surgery and recovery. He'll be on stage following a 7 p.m. screening of Jaws, for a candid Q&A hosted by yours truly. The actor hasn't done many interviews in recent years, except on behalf of his nonprofit Dreyfuss Initiative, promoting civics education in schools. We chatted after Weekend's deadline. Read the interview at

In a 2014 sit-down with The Hollywood Reporter, Dreyfuss offered a hint of what awaits Saturday's audience. Dreyfuss said he took the Jaws gig only because he thought his recent performance in The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz would hinder his career when released. To his surprise, the adaptation of Mordecai Richler's novel was a hit. One result of that success was Spielberg's surprise:

"All of a sudden, safety boats began to come out (to where Jaws was filming off the coast of Martha's Vineyard) with these young girls, and Steven said, "What's happening?' And I said, "Steven, if you had a 40-foot face, they'd be coming for you, too.' "

We'll squeeze in as much Jaws background as possible — Dreyfuss' clash with co-star Robert Shaw, for example — and whatever else from a career including such classics as Close Encounters of the Third Kind and American Graffiti, his Oscar-winning turn in The Goodbye Girl, the similarly nominated Mr. Holland's Opus and a personal favorite, The Big Fix.

Tickets purchased for either previously scheduled show will be honored. A few are still available ($75, $55 and $39.50) at the Ruth Eckerd Hall box office, and (727) 791-7400. There may be a few remaining VIP tickets ($175), including premium seating, a reception and a photo op with Dreyfuss.


Hollywood wastes no time in lowering the bar for 2016 with its first wide new release of the year. Of course, it's a horror flick, tamed to PG-13 sameness.

You don't see The Forest for the trees, you watch it for creepy quiet interrupted by sonic shocks and corpse sightings, no smarter than someone slamming a book in a library. Works every time, even if it surprises only once.

The Forest stars blond Englishwoman Natalie Dormer as twin sisters facing supernatural danger. I mention Dormer's hair color and heritage only because The Forest is set (but not filmed) in Japan's Aokigahara forest at the base of Mt. Fuji, a lush place littered with the remains of people going there to commit suicide. Aokigahara is a solemn place, shameful to many in a nation coping with an alarming rate of suicide. Who better to traipse through this tragic locale than Dormer searching for her white, Western self?

In his feature film debut, director Jason Zada already displays the cultural insensitivity of old pro Cameron Crowe, who infamously cast pale Emma Stone as Asian-Hawaiian in Aloha. No matter that Zada filmed The Forest in Serbian woods; exploiting a national crisis for cheap thrills isn't entertainment. Boo.

in theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:

1 The Revenant: Leonardo DiCaprio takes us extreme camping, in 2015's best movie.

2 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Skywalker saga returns full Force.

3 Room: A unique experience, with terrific performances by Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay.

4 Carol: Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are Golden Globe nominees playing lovers in 1950s Manhattan.

5 Creed: Worthy successor to Rocky Balboa's underdog boxing title, and maybe an Oscar nod for Sylvester Stallone.


(dates subject to change)

Jan. 15: Ride Along 2; 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi; Norm of the North

Jan. 22: Dirty Grandpa

Jan. 29: Kung Fu Panda 3; Fifty Shades of Black; The 5th Wave

Feb. 5: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies; Hail, Caesar!

Feb. 12: Deadpool; How to Be Single; Zoolander 2; Where to Invade Next

Movie Planner: Richard Dreyfuss talks 'Jaws' at The Cap; 'The Forest' opens 01/06/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, January 6, 2016 10:36am]
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