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Close Encounters of the Third Kind Reviews

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Review of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

Posted : 1 year, 8 months ago on 16 August 2012 12:00

Note: The Director's Cut is the version viewed.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind is not entertainment. It is torture. Despite Close Encounter's legacy, I cannot recommend it on almost any level. Yes, it has greatly impacted culture and films, but this is not entertainment. This is the destruction of a family, a father slowly turning insane, and an overall traumatizing affair turned into a film. I repeat for a third time, Close Encounters is not entertainment.

The, slightly confusing, story follows a man named Roy, who's life is changed when he sees several UFO flying around his hometown. He becomes obsessed with a strange shape and sculpts it endlessly. He begins to go crazy, and his family is devastated. In a nutshell, that is the plot. And while parts of the story seem somewhat intriguing, they are executed poorly.

A good portion of the film centers around Roy growing crazy and the effect it's having on his family. Do we really need all this screen time focusing on the arguments and stress that his family is experiencing? We get the point, his family is vexed, you don't have to emphasize your point with a sledge hammer!

But watching Close Encounters is not only stressful, but it's also incredibly boring. At over 2 hours in length, Close Encounters is a tedious film. It lacks any kind of excitement (minus in one somewhat crucial scene involving a UFO abduction) and is generally devoid of humor. UFOs are teased to the audience, but never in length until the end.

The slowness of the film may not have been a big deal, had the pay-off been substantial. Alas, it's just as dull as the rest of the film, though the most impressive special effect work occurs here, and it is indeed impressive.

The score is shockingly pedestrian, despite coming from master composer, John Williams. There is actually little music to speak of, excepting the famous five note theme. I've come to expect so much more from Williams, but this is a major disappointment.

I feel little need to waste any more of my life than I already have on Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. I despised it and saw it as an exercise in tedium and stress. To see a family fall apart is not entertainment. If other plot points were executed well enough, this wouldn't be a problem, but the whole thing is a big mess. If you want aliens and Spielberg, you'd be better off watching E.T. again.

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Building Mountains Out Of Mashed Potatoes

Posted : 5 years ago on 16 April 2009 05:08

My favorite Sci-fi film of all time.
For me, this movie represented the most realistic handling of a story of aliens up to that point in time, (inspiring films like Contact & Signs, both which tried admirably to emulate the "validity" of Encounters). So much so that, at the time, it made it almost believable for me that the idea of extra-terrestrials could be a reality. Also, it was done with such a sense of awe-inspiring hope & beauty, that it almost makes me wish now that they did indeed exist (& maybe aliens do, but that's an entirely different website, altogether).
In this this Speilberg classic, the otherworlders have made contact.
And at first, that makes us humans afraid.
But when we finally come face to face with 'em, we realize that the fear we felt was based more on own insecurites than it was on these bug-eyed long-fingered lil' grey angels from space (though, you have to admit, the fact that they have a knack of kidnapping a few of our jet-fighters, not to mention a kid or two, & then instill mental images of their landing site in own minds, urging us to ruin a plateful of perfectly good mash potatoes, doesn't help much to quell our apprehension of the little buggers).
To this day, even with jaded eyes overwhelmed with modern CGI gimmicktry , the special effects in Close Encounters, combined with their elegant integration to the story's premise,
this film still leaves me with a sense of awe after each viewing.
The kind of awe that I used to feel as kid whenever I would look up all the stars in the sky on clear summer night, & wonder at all of the possibilities that must've been up there.
Mannnn....I wish a UFO would come down & fly my pimp-ass away into the limitless potential of space.

(Sans anal-probes, of course.)

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Spielberg's reputation is well earnt!

Posted : 6 years ago on 22 April 2008 03:23

"Have you recently had a close encounter?"

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a miraculous piece of science fiction cinema, and is unquestionably one of Spielberg's many groundbreaking masterpieces created during his youth.

The film also marks Spielberg's first invasion film, with two other equally impressive invasion films to follow years later. Before Close Encounters, Spielberg had already made a name for himself thanks to his skilful effort in making Jaws two years previously.

Undisputedly among the best science fiction movies of all time, Close Encounters of the Third Kind follows a young father named Roy Neary (Dreyfuss) who lives a general suburban lifestyle with a family and a mortgage. On one night Roy finds himself out driving in the middle of no-where. While in a state of disorientation, Roy experiences a 'close encounter' with a UFO. He strongly believes in what he saw, and what follows is a personal struggle in addition to a descent into madness.

Like most of Spielberg's movies there are lots of absorbing recurring themes; principally, the theme of a neglectful father. Because of Roy's obsession with the strange occurrences with aliens he neglects his family and begins going insane. This is played to perfection by Richard Dreyfuss. The man can act extremely well; he portrays a very likable man despite the characters flaws created by the screenwriter.

The special effects still look absolutely staggering, with alien spacecrafts that look out of this world! The design is flawless and revolutionary, marking one of the first invasion films not to include the trademark 1950's style flying saucers. The use of lights was especially stunning, and the cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond is outstanding.

The impressive visuals are accompanied by John Williams' evocative score. The use of choirs during key scenes creates such an exceptional atmosphere and is perfect for use during scenes that showcase such marvellous special effects.

Steven Spielberg, still a young man, put everything he could into this movie. His incredible vision is realised on screen in an inspirational way. The middle section of the movie is tight, but requires patience on the part of the viewers. Because of the fascinating style it's impossible to feel bored.

Of course this invasion film is not concerned with action or the end of the world, but the beautiful bond that mankind can share with creatures from another world. Many criticise the conclusion for the movie, calling it unsatisfying. The ending is perfect and symbolic. I could not think of a better way to finish the already perfect experience.

Close Encounters is a remarkable science fiction film that cannot be missed. Both critics and audiences adored this movie when it was first released, and its original impact still remains. Watch it without hesitation.

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WOW, Well Worth the Reputation

Posted : 7 years ago on 15 April 2007 12:03

This movie has a big reputation for being a classic Scifi movie, and it definatially is. UFOs flying through the skies, people with shared visions, and off course the government coverup. This does go down in the books for a classic, visually stunning, and powerful movie. Spielberg knows how to make a great movie, and I would suggest that if you haven't, see it.

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