Close Encounters of the Third Kind
We are not alone.
Richard Dreyfuss stars as cable worker Roy Neary, who along with several other stunned bystanders experience a close encounter of the first kind - witnessing UFOs soaring across the night sky. After this life changing event, the inexplicable vision of a strange, mountain-like formation haunts him. He becomes obsessed with discovering what it represents, much to the dismay of his wife and family. Meanwhile, bizarre occurences are happening around the world. Government agents have close encounters of the second kind - discovering physical evidence of extraterrestrial visitors in the form of a lost fighter aircraft from World War II and a stranded military ship that disappeared decades earlier only to suddenly reappear in unusual places. Roy continues to chase his vision to a remote area where he and the agents follow the clues that have drawn them to reach a site where they will have a close encounter of the third kind - contact.
I read a Spielberg biography a while back that said something about the director that really stuck with me, and made me realize why a lot of people like his films so much. Steven makes every one of his pictures because of some interest or event that happened in his life. In addition to that, he always made pictures that the inner boy in him would want to see. This is why we have amazing movies about sharks, aliens, dinosaurs, treasure hunters, soldiers, and Nazis. (Ok that last one is a joke. But you get the idea.)
The reason that these pictures resonate so well with the child in all of us is because they are all helmed by a…
Holy Hell. Why has it taken me this long to watch this masterpiece?
I dug the Hell out of this movie. Hell, I loved it. Definitely one of Spielberg's best and more underrated films. It works as both a stunning sci-fi tale and a compelling drama. Seeing Take Shelter beforehand, it seemed to be inspired by this film since both deal with a man on the brink of madness as well as playing with the theme of paranoia and saying this did a fantastic job doing that (and everything else) would be sorta an understatement.
The performances are terrific, especially from Richard Dreyfuss who really blew me away. The visuals, to this day, still look amazing and breathtaking. Very impressive…
I usually like my Science Fiction on the lean side, something Spielberg isn't really any good at. This is no exception as it isn't subtle about its themes drenched in almost religious overtones and its inescapably epic finale.
And I don't care really, as it is a symphony of sight, sound and superb storytelling.
What Spielberg's film does incredibly well is engage you in what is an intelligently structured three-parter, which essentially boils down to mystery/emotion/wonderment.
The way this film slowly sucks you into its central mystery is absolutely fantastic, driven by a stunning central performance by Dreyfuss. He gives us a great Everyman to identify with, which is a sure fire guarantee…
Aliens are just about the scariest subject matter you can do in this day and age in my opinion. One of the great things still left to fear by mankind is what is out there, is it sentient, and does it want to put things up my butt? It takes very little for us humans to clash with each other so imagine how well we would react to those from the far reaches of space.
Saying all this, the aliens in this film manage to not intimidate and strike fear, they exhibit more of a tranquil buzz whenever present in their ships. It manages to be sort of heartwarming when all is said and done, even the aliens can't deny…
There was once a time when Spielberg was regarded as one of the greatest directors of all time. That title is questionable these days with the release of films like War Horse or Minority Report but one cannot deny that in his early career he did some truly extraordinary things on celluloid and Close Encounters is no exception to this.
It's a carefully structured, visually breathtaking story about an ordinary group of people being affected by an extraordinary event. What makes Close Encounters so brilliant is that it takes it's time to flesh out these characters and holding back on the inevitable outcome until the very end, making these last 15-ish minutes utterly beautiful and enchanting in a way very…
Spielberg once again proves himself as an incredibly capable director and storyteller. Probably one of the greatest incarnations of the Blockbuster ever, Close Encounters tells a groundbreaking tale of peaceful aliens after an era glutted with films like Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, The Blob, The Day the Earth Stood Still, War of the Worlds, and so on. It's consistently captivating and mesmerizing, and its special effects still hold up marvelously today. Spielberg is an expert craftsman, and this film may represent him at his best.
An absolute classic from Speilberg, which is as much about the disintergration of Dreyfuss' character than the arrival of the aliens themselves. Essential
The Close Encounters Blu-Ray I received had three versions. I just watched the "Director's Cut". It had some interesting additions, though perhaps not crucial to moving the story along. In that sense, I think the original theatrical release is the more perfect version. The pacing was just spot on.
Some scenes, like finding the ship in the Gobi Desert, were pretty unnecessary story-wise (we already know abandoned vehicles were popping up in remote deserts from the opening scene) but still, it was visually stunning seeing it out there. Is that a life sized ship, or a model, I wonder? If it's life sized, how did they get it out there? It must have cost a fortune.
What I quite liked…
Best idea Spielberg ever had.
Impressions on viewing this for like the third time.
First time I saw it, was when I was very young, and I think I saw it outdoors at the actual Devil's Tower in Wyoming, at a camp site. It was a pretty *different* film, and I remember thinking not many people have seen it because they must only show it at the Devil's Tower, and it's so far removed from everything. So I thought it might have been a unique thing.
The second time I saw it was a few years ago, at a friend's house. I was really struck by how good the *filmmaking* was in it. Just silent film stuff, especially at the railroad crossing when Rich Dreyfuss…
When Spielberg made great movies because he loved film, Not for Oscar consideration.
"I know this sounds crazy, but ever since yesterday on the road, I've been seeing this shape. Shaving cream, pillows... Dammit! I know this. I know what this is! This means something. This is important." - Roy Neary
You know what, I love Spielberg. Even when he's not great, he's almost always entertaining. This, however, is Spielberg being GREAT. What I love about this movie is how optimistic it is. So many scifi movies focus on aliens killing humanity off, but this presents a picture that makes much more sense to me. I just can't imagine that by the point a civilization reaches that level of technology, that they'd simply want to kill new life forms. Our minds are blown just by thought of fossilized bacteria on Mars, how much greater if we found intelligent life?
A favorite movie of mine from childhood, the film captures a boyhood sense of wonder like only Spielberg can. Like every one his films, it uses big action set-pieces to explore deeper, more emotional themes. In a final brilliant scene it suggests that our greatest fears can also give way to our greatest discoveries.
An usually ponderous film that builds and builds until it delivers, at least on a visual front. The spacecraft effects are still astoundingly good, even if some of alien effects show their age a bit (especially with the clarity of Blu-Ray). The numerous characters tend to get lost in the spectacle of the third act. Most importantly even in the most dire and scary moments, the film never looses its sense of fun.
A real treat for the eyes that's full of mystery and thrills without losing the awe and wonder of the possibility of encountering alien life.