Close Encounters of the Third Kind
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Close Encounters of the Third Kind

4.6 21
Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr

     
 

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Steven Spielberg's landmark science fiction film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, has been given an excellent -- though far from landmark -- presentation on DVD from Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment. Spread out on two discs -- the film on disc one and the extras on disc two -- the release should nevertheless satiate the palate of the film's many fans.

Overview

Steven Spielberg's landmark science fiction film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, has been given an excellent -- though far from landmark -- presentation on DVD from Columbia/TriStar Home Entertainment. Spread out on two discs -- the film on disc one and the extras on disc two -- the release should nevertheless satiate the palate of the film's many fans. Spielberg has created for this release a director's cut of the film, putting back scenes from the original theatrical release which were cut out of the Special Edition from 1980, though also keeping some footage from the Special Edition as well. He has, thankfully, removed the Special Edition's ending of showing Richard Dreyfuss actually entering the Mother Ship, though that scene is included in the extras. The film's transfer is where most of the problems arise. There is much grain in the picture (though this has more to due with the film stock initially used than it does with the digital transfer) and slight color instability throughout. But the overall picture is fine, including the numerous high-contrast shots which could have really caused some problems. The only thing keeping this disc from being one of the best DVDs available is that the picture was not fully restored (though something should also be done about the clumsy fold-out packaging), which is a shame considering Vilmos Zsigmond's beautiful widescreen cinematography. The soundtrack is a different matter. The film has been given a robust and strong English 5.1 track, as well as a DTS and Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby Surround option. French and Spanish language tracks are also available. The film also has multiple subtitle options, in keeping with many Columbia/TriStar DVDs. Disc two, though, is where most of the fun really begins. The disc includes an excellent 102-minute documentary on the making of the film, with plentiful interviews with the cast and crew, a 1977 featurette called "Watching the Skies," theatrical trailers (including one for the original release that plays more like the featurette than an actual trailer), and over 11 deleted scenes -- some of which are excellent and unfortunately could not be reintegrated into the actual film, while others are more of a curiosity and add nothing to the story. The 11 deleted scenes are shown in their proper aspect ratio, though they have not been anamorphically enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs, unlike the film itself.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
Several years in the making and, like Jaws, millions over budget, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) became Steven Spielberg's second blockbuster, confirming his skills at creating visually spectacular popular entertainment. Blending his reverence for the power of movies with a science fiction UFO tale, Spielberg turns an average man's "close encounter" with an extra-terrestrial into an uplifting excursion into fantastic sights. Unlike in Cold War 1950s UFO stories that posit a threat from outside, Spielberg turns the unknown from an initially menacing force that imperils normality into a universal ambassador of transcendent goodwill, providing an escapist note of cinematic hope during the late '70s cultural malaise. Still, 2001 F/X master Douglas Trumbull's pre-digital age visual effects were an even stronger draw, as Close Encounters moves from initial appearances of space pod lights towards the climactic appearance of the enormous and stunningly rendered "mother ship." Praised for Spielberg and company's dazzling craft, amid reservations over the cardboard characters, Close Encounters became one of the biggest hits of the 1970s, helping financially teetering Columbia Pictures and strengthening the late '70s turn towards youth-oriented blockbusters. Beginning with a 1980 "Special Edition," Spielberg re-edited Close Encounters several times after 1977.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/29/2001
UPC:
0043396126497
Original Release:
1977
Rating:
PG
Source:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
2:17:00

Special Features

Digitally mastered audio & anamorphic video; Audio: English 5.1 [DTS and Dolby Digital], English 2-channel [Dolby Surround], French, Spanish; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean, Thai; Animated menus; Production notes; Widescreen presentation; Scene selections with motion images; Making-of documentary; 1977 featurette "Watching the Skies"; 17 deleted scenes; Filmographies; Theatrical trailers

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Richard Dreyfuss Roy Neary
François Truffaut Claude Lacombe
Teri Garr Ronnie Neary
Melinda Dillon Jillian Guiler
Cary Guffey Barry Guiler
Bob Balaban David Laughlin
J. Patrick McNamara Project leader
Warren Kemmerling Wild Bill
Roberts Blossom Farmer
Philip Dodds Jean Claude
Shawn Bishop Brad Neary
Adrienne Campbell Silvia Neary
Justin Dreyfuss Toby Neary
Merrill Connally Team Leader
George DiCenzo Major Benchley
Basil Hoffman Actor
Lance Henriksen Robert
Amy Douglass Implantee
Alexander Lockwood Implantee
Gene Dynarski Ike
Norman Bartold Ohio Tolls
Carl Weathers M.P.
F.J. O'Neil ARP Project Member
Randy Herman Returnee #1 Flt. 19
Hal Barwood Returnee #2 Flt. 19
Matthew Robbins Returnee #3 Flt. 19
David Anderson Air Traffic Controller
Bill Thurman Air Traffic
Gene Rader Hawker
Eumenio Blanco Federale
Chuy Franco Federale
Luis Contreras Federale
James Keane Radio Telescope Team
Dennis McMullen Radio Telescope Team
Matt Emery Special Leader
Galen Thompson Special Forces
John Dennis Johnston Special Forces
Jon Ewing Dirty Tricks #1
Keith Atkinson Dirty Tricks #2
Robert Broyles Dirty Tricks #3
Josef Sommer Larry Butler
David Gilbert Voice Only
Bob Westmoreland Actor

Technical Credits
Steven Spielberg Director,Screenwriter
Phillip Abramson Set Decoration/Design
John A. Alonzo Cinematographer
Joe Alves Production Designer
Roy Arbogast Special Effects
Jerry Belson Screenwriter
Jim Bloom Producer
William A. Fraker Cinematographer
Robert Glass Sound/Sound Designer
Don Jarel Cinematographer
Gregory Jein Special Effects
Michael Kahn Editor
Buzz Knudson Sound/Sound Designer
Laszlo Kovacs Cinematographer
Jim Linn Costumes/Costume Designer
John Loggia Production Designer
Daniel Lomino Art Director
Don MacDougall Sound/Sound Designer
Dennis Muren Cinematographer
Chuck Myers Asst. Director
Julia Phillips Producer
Michael Phillips Producer
Steven Poster Camera Operator
Douglas Slocombe Special Effects
Dave Stewart Cinematographer
Douglas Trumbull Cinematographer,Special Effects
John Williams [composer] Score Composer
Matthew Yuricich Special Effects
Richard Yuricich Cinematographer,Special Effects
Vilmos Zsigmond Cinematographer

Scene Index

Disc #1- Widescreen Presentation
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [1:34]
2. Sonora Desert, Mexico [9:29]
3. Barry [3:36]
4. The Neary family [5:15]
5. Close encounter: First Kind [4:03]
6. In pursuit [7:29]
7. Gobi Desert, Mongolia [5:51]
8. Dharmsala, Northern India [3:43]
9. Roy, Jullian & Barry [2:31]
10. "Here they come!" [5:00]
11. Contacting the Guilers [10:07]
12. Noticing something strange [2:31]
13. Roy's sculpture [6:32]
14. Moorcroft, Wyoming reunion [7:51]
15. Cross-country detour [3:48]
16. "We need answers." [2:30]
17. Making their escape [4:22]
18. Evading the army [7:32]
19. Targets approaching [1:59]
20. Making contact [6:35]
21. Cloud & light show [3:06]
22. The Mother Ship arrives [3:05]
23. The ship lands [4:44]
24. The five tones [:10]
25. Returning guests [2:39]
26. Close encounters: Third Kind [1:26]
27. Pilgrims [4:10]
28. Farewells [3:51]

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This sci-fi masterpiece, hailed as a modern-day fairy tale, is a thought-provoking thriller about alien contact, secret government operations, and missing people. I enjoyed every minute of this 2 hour plus movie. As tech-savy as Jurassic Park and as thrilling as Jaws, this is a must-see for even the most casual movie (or Spielberg) fan.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the best Spirlberg movie ever. The actors are great Richard Dryefuss is a great actor. Graet suspence! This movie is a killer for if your a Steven Spielberg fan. Ridley Scott and Alferd Hitchhock started it and Steven Spielberg and Ron Howard finished it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A true sci-fi classic! Steven Spielberg directs a monumental film about the UFO Experience and what possible contact with other world life forms might be like in a positive setting instead of an invasion, which with the exception of “The Day the Earth Stood Still” had been pretty much par for the course until Spielberg tackled this concept (War of the Worlds, etc.). Richard Dreyfuss is Roy, a power company worker who encounters a UFO while trying to find a jobsite during a power outage. The whole town sees these magical lights that have no explanation. Roy becomes obsessed with UFO’s and soon loses his job, his family and his sanity. He feels called to Wyoming for some unknown reason, so he heads to Devil’s Tower, which according to the news has been the site of a recent outbreak of Anthrax and the Army is evacuating the town. Roy meets up with other UFO hunters to try and find out why they are all drawn to this place. He doesn’t know that the answer he is looking for will lead him into the unknown. This DVD contains a retrospective look at the film and has some in depth interviews with the director, actors and producers to give a full perspective on what a landmark film this was.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The first time I saw this movie it blew me away. You will never look up at the night sky again in the same way.
Rob1941 More than 1 year ago
Both my wife and I really enjoy "Close Encounters." We have seen the movie countless times and never tire of it. My wife particularly liked Richard Dreyfus' performance.
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