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Close Encounters [Import]

Richard Dreyfuss , François Truffaut , Steven Spielberg    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   VHS Tape
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)

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Anybody who has written him off because of his string of stinkers--or anybody who's too young to remember The Goodbye Girl--may be shocked at the accomplishment and nuance of Richard Dreyfuss's performance in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Here, he plays a man possessed; contacted by aliens, he (along with other members of the "chosen") is drawn toward the site of the incipient landing: Devil's Tower, in rural Wyoming. As in many Spielberg films, there are no personalized enemies; the struggle is between those who have been called and a scientific establishment that seeks to protect them by keeping them away from the arriving spacecraft. The ship, and the special effects in general, are every bit as jaw-dropping on the small screen as they were in the theater (well, almost). Released in 1977 as a cerebral alternative to the swashbuckling science fiction epics then in vogue, Close Encounters now seems almost wholesome in its representation of alien contact and interested less in philosophizing about extraterrestrials than it is in examining the nature of the inner "call." Ultimately a motion picture about the obsession of the driven artist or determined visionary, Close Encounters comes complete with the stock Spielberg wives and girlfriends who seek to tether the dreamy, possessed protagonists to the more mundane concerns of the everyday. So a spectacular, seminal motion picture indeed, but one with gender politics that are all too terrestrial. --Miles Bethany

Special Features

The Collector's Edition (CE) represents Steven Spielberg's third version of Close Encounters. Created in 1998, this sequence contains most of the judicial edits made for the Special Edition (SE) in 1980, speeding up Roy Neary's first contact with the UFOs and adding a scene of a discovery in the Mongolian desert. The CE also reinstates the comical madness of Neary tearing up his own front yard, replaced in the SE by a scene where he breaks down in the shower; both scenes are restored in the CE. The SE's revised ending, featuring an extended scene inside the mothership is deleted. The two-disc DVD set includes an extensive 100-minute documentary that was produced in 2000 and incorporates footage seen on an earlier laserdisc version. Also shown are 11 deleted scenes including the footage aboard the mothership, and scenes introducing Lacombe (François Truffaut) that were jettisoned in the initial release when Spielberg shot a new opening. One of the laserdisc's features--the ability to play all the different versions--is missing here, but the excellent image and sound quality (the latter is better here than most theatergoers witnessed in theaters) makes this a grand DVD. --Doug Thomas

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Blu-ray
I have loved this movie since I was a child, having seen the many variations and special editions on TV, VHS and Laserdisc;

I bought the Criterion Laserdisc 3 CAV discs (extended edition) and watched it like the Zapruder film, which is why I am so disapointed;

I was surprised to see some shots (3-4) have very soft focus, and visible edge distortion as if they used a plastic lens, yet I do not remember these shots from the Criterion Laserdisc... It occurs to me that Columbia (Tristar/Sony) somehow used incorrect sources, or shots that have been reprocessed from bad inter-positives to replace lost bits of film... It's a bit technical, but these mistakes have happened before and ruined other masters, and only by complaining do the studios acknowledge the mistakes and remaster the titles again.

As Speilberg's own hand appears absent from this and many other of his BR/DVDs; he never does more that a fleeting interview to note the 'special-ness' of the edition, I would be surprised if he took the time to OK this transfer.

The overall image is acceptable, the Blu-Ray brings out details. The source material is grainy/very grainy to be sure, but these soft and distorted shots bother me a great deal. Per chance I didnt pay full retail, if you see it at 15$, it's worth it.

"Mr Neary, what do you want?" - - - I want a remaster of this title...
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By Robert Badgley TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Here it is folks in all its' wonderful glory,the original theatrical version of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind".It seems Mr.Spielberg changed his mind about releasing it,and I for one am very thankful he did!
This release also goes to show what one of the "big boys" can do if they put their minds to it.That is that this release which contains the original theatrical version,the special edition and the directors cut released by Columbia Pictures,is one that is on a level with a Criterion video release and that is no small praise.All three movies have been lovingly transferred and despite the graininess visible(depending on the contrast in the scene)they are for the most part beautifully crisp and clean in their 2:35:1 widescreen ratio with their Dolby 5:1 sound.
The set(three discs)sit firmly in a bi-folding sectional contained within a handsome box with a cloth lifter for its extraction.Along with the discs is an approximately 62 page colour booklet and a colour chart showing the differences between each version.On the reverse side of the chart is a repro of the original theatre advert card for the movie.The set also contains a making of documentary which spans each disc in a three part format and the trailers for each movie are also included.
Now everyone I am sure is going to have their favourite versions of the film so I guess I had better put my hat into the ring,so to speak.In my oppinion there can be only one choice and that is the original theatrical version.It has always had all the basic elements of what made this movie great to begin with.The Special Edition slashed key elements from the first,turned sequences around and made additions along with,in my mind,the totally unnecessary ending inside the spaceship.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A classic! June 1 2014
By RedSkye
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Great movie when it first came out and still enjoy it. This Ultimate Edition makes it even better with all the extras. Recommended for all "Close Encounters" fans!
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of Spielberg's best Feb. 29 2012
By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Science Fiction, Drama, 137 minutes
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Starring Richard Dreyfuss, Melinda Dillon and Teri Garr

Close Encounters works so well because of the way Spielberg slowly increases the suspense. This is not a movie that relies on special effects; it succeeds because of a strong script and good acting. Although we learn of the alien presence at the start of the movie, most of the story consists of people's reactions to those early events.

Why is Roy (Dreyfuss) behaving oddly and causing his wife and children to freak out? Chicken wire and mud in the living room is not normally a recipe for a good marriage, but it soon becomes clear why Roy thinks it's necessary. The idea is pretty simple, with an image being placed in the minds of selected people. Jillian (Dillon) has reasons of her own to pursue something and teams up quite believably with Roy. I like that there's no forced romance between the two and that they are merely acting on instinct.

One refreshing thing about the movie is that the aliens aren't portrayed as invaders. There's no hostility in their actions, they just want to know and understand us. What a contrast to most science fiction movies up until that point.

Spielberg keeps you interested for over two hours as two people journey across the country. That's quite an achievement. Notice too that the conclusion resists the temptation to show us too much about the aliens. Close Encounters is great cinema and has wide appeal to audiences of all ages.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Crystal Clear Encounters March 23 2008
Format:Blu-ray
I loved this movie in the theatre and this Blu-Ray is as clear as my memory of the opening night at the wide screen cinema. If you have always been less than impressed with the video quality of the older versions of this classic, you will be very pleased with the sparkling clarity of this Blu-ray disc.
All of the fine details that Stephen Spielberg included in the original movie to convince you that "this is as real as a Close Encounter could be" are beautify revealed.
It is so much fun to watch Richard Dryfess literally "tear up the scenery" while he tries to deal with a UFO encounter that leaves him feeling that "something important" is going to happen! This disc is a perfect 10 of 10.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This is an oustanding movie in a fine package. For serious sci-fi types Close Encounters rates as one of the best, thought-provoking films of all time. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tim Bezanson
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Movie - Price Out Of This World!
I was going to buy this classic for my Blu-ray collection. However, no matter how desirable the title, at this price (CAN$50.36) I must pass. Read more
Published on Nov. 13 2007 by Peter Iden
5.0 out of 5 stars They're HERE!
I will always love this movie What do they want? Who are they? The questions, the fear, the immense intimidation, the complications and the implications come through in brilliant... Read more
Published on July 30 2007 by Candance Fields
5.0 out of 5 stars Several version floating around
The basic story is of a line repairman who encounters a UFO and has trouble relating this to his wife that is in denial. There are parallel stories of others encountering UFO's. Read more
Published on Nov. 25 2006 by bernie
5.0 out of 5 stars *The* Classic UFO Film! Awesome Suspense & Climactic Ending
Richard Dreyfuss and Teri Garr portray the average Midwestern family living in rural Indiana. The mystery and suspense of the film contrasts well with the ordinairy lives of this... Read more
Published on June 15 2006 by Erika Borsos
5.0 out of 5 stars When you wish upon a star
Director Steven Spielberg's classic 1977 follow-up to "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" stars Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary. Read more
Published on Nov. 6 2004 by Bill Brunner
1.0 out of 5 stars Stay away from this release
The film "Close Encounters" is one of the best Spielberg ever directed,some would argue THE best and I would be hard pressed to counter that assertion. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2004 by Robert Badgley
5.0 out of 5 stars The Neary Family is as impressive as the light show
For me the portrayal of the Neary family is equally as stunning as the portrayal of the spacecraft throughout the movie. Read more
Published on June 27 2004 by ScooterJ
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