close-encounters

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third-kind

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977 - PG)

Close Encounter of the First Kind - Sighting of a UFO. Close Encounter of the Second Kind - Physical Evidence. Close Encounter of the Third Kind - Contact. "WE ARE NOT ALONE"

In this thrilling, fascinating Sci-Fi story, all of the types of  close encounters listed above become fact, and become all too real to some ordinary folks. Roy Neary, while going out to check a power outage, is left with a sun-burned face, and an obsession with visions given him from a low-flying UFO, which slowly destroys his family life. Meanwhile, in response to the finding of WW 2 missing planes suddenly appearing in the middle of the desert, and other bizarre happenings being reported by people, a government research team led by research scientist Claude Lacombe, put the pieces together and realize that aliens wish to make contact with them at the top of a mountain in Wyoming. The peculiar thing is that folks like Roy are also drawn to the same mountain, despite the  elaborate anthrax scare story announced by the government to keep people away.

Richard Dreyfuss' powerhouse performance helped launch his career into the stratosphere. The Special Visual Effects, by Douglas Trumbull, depicting various kinds of flying saucers, are thrilling and amazing. This film is probably as close to an alien encounter as you're likely to have. John Williams' Musical Score is a classic.

The cast includes Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon, Cary Guffey, and Bob Balaban.

Directed by Steven Spielberg.

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SYNOPSIS...

A power company employee is zapped in his truck by a flying saucer. The experience turns him into a rabid UFO enthusiast, driving his wife, with their children, away from him.

Haunted by a mental image that he trys to reproduce in shaving cream, mashed potatoes and mud, he fears he's losing his mind. But when he encounters a single mother who has been painting pictures of the same image, he knows he's not alone.

Despite numerous obstacles, the power employee and the single mom make it to the site of a government built alien landing strip. After incredible appearances by various kinds of UFO craft, several types of aliens come out and meet mankind. Ultimately, the power guy is the only human chosen to journey back with the aliens to their planet.

Review...

Writer, Director Steven Spielberg's, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, at its best, provides one of the most thrilling Sci-Fi experiences ever put on celluloid.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is the only Sci-Fi film to truly capture on film the awe and wonder of what it might be like to encounter space aliens one on one. This is the closest most of us will get to actually meeting space folks, and while you're watching it, the experience feels very real indeed.

Richard Dreyfuss ("Jaws"), is an electrical company worker whose truck gets zapped by a flying saucer, sunburning half his face, even though the encounter is at night. After his baptism in alien contact, an excited Roy wants more. Dreyfuss' performance, particularly in non verbal scenes of him reacting to beautiful UFO's or wonderful aliens, is stunning. His expressions of joy and wonder are so powerful, they make Kevin Costner's "blissing out while staring at the wheat" expressions, in "Field of Dreams" look pretty weak by comparison.

Teri Garr ("Tootsie"), provides able support as Roy's conventional wife, who hangs in there for awhile, even though she thinks her husband is going nutty. However, because Garr's character bails out, her role is ultimately overshadowed by that of Melinda Dillon's ("Absence of Malice"), single mother character, who is haunted by images of something that doesn't make sense, until she runs into Roy. Her inability, near the end of the film, to go down and actually meet the aliens, is heartbreaking and honest at the same time.

The Special Visual Effects, by Douglas Trumbull, are both beautiful and dream-like. Although many of the UFO shots look much more like colored lights than solid objects, they create a beautiful, if stylized impression of alien space craft that linger in the memory, thanks to Director of Photography, Vilmos Zsigmond's luminous screen imagery.

John Williams classic Score perfectly complements the great Sci-Fi visuals. Once you've seen the film, listening to the Score alone brings all the fantastic images flooding back into your consciousness.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is a big, groaning table heaped full of alien encounter goodies, that should be very watchable for most Sci-Fi fans. Bon appetite. 

close-encounters

If you liked CLOSE ENCOUNTERS you may enjoy COCOON, ET, and/or STARMAN.