This is the grandfather of all those U.F.O. movies that would show up later and it is still the one with the greatest visual lights and most memorable music. A masterpiece even if there exist three different versions of it and has a lot of sentimentality.
3-4. Visually astonishing for its expressionistic lighting, and varied, powerful shot compositions. But also feels like a special film for Spielberg in how unashamedly conceptual, and personal it is, given the way he funnels his childhood experiences into the movie, and bridges his father and himself through the main character. Music was a tad overbearing at points, but mostly worked okay; especially the diegetic.
The populated earth is stranger than any science flicktion. Seems that in 1977 Spielberg was looking out at the world w/ the eyes of a child, and it served him well. Incidentally: how many shots are in this movie of people staring in wonder? The movie itself is a staring-in-wonder. Speaks to a market-driven post-ideological age that somebody'd follow up something as fascist as JAWS w/ something as Marxist as this.
I went and saw the 40th anniversary on the big screen - and it was my first time viewing the film. I think the film carries a much heavier resonance if you were around 40 years ago, and the way it holds some accuracy to the period especially with its relation to watergate. Nonetheless, an enjoyable watch for its influence on the genre and to watch Spielberg have fun creating.
Original release version. Celebrating its' 40th anniversary Spielberg's science fiction classic continues to provide a feeling of awe and hope. The degree of ingenuity in its creation is staggering and its practical effects stand the test of time quite well. Dreyfuss gives an iconic turn here as everyman Roy. One of the director's best.
8/10. Thin on plot and the characters existing mostly as archetypes, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is nonetheless an engaging, retro sci fi adventure. Mostly depicted as bright beams of light and the iconic musical theme, the aliens take on a dreamy, inexplicable quality. Viewing the universe's unknowns with childish wonderment is one of the film's most endearing strengths.
Forty years ago we saw a Hoover sweep across the floor as toys jingled and jangled from the enigmatic forces spilling out from the alien spaceship. In his innocence, the young boy is physically enthralled by what he may encounter ahead of him. One of Spielberg's great early films.
The same joy and wonder directed toward the innocent child and the UFOs is shockingly absent in most of our human characters. I have always been distressed and sad after watching this film - Spielberg turns Drefyuss into a Real Boy by whisking him away, an escapism with hints of celestial suicide.
For the good. The lighting was exceptional. Cool color palate in Technicolor. The story was unique and had a great mixture of suspense and childlike wonder. The soundtrack helped reinforce the PG rating and kept the story as balanced as it was. The bad. Terrible performances. Pacing was dreadful. Too many periods of boredom in the narrative. Predictable ending. Wasn't as good as I expected.