Close Encounters of the Third Kind rereleased to theaters

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by primejive, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. captainsolo

    captainsolo Forum Resident

    Murfreesboro, TN
    The 4K release is great, but I'm not a fan of the color tweaking that goes on when Spielberg supervises new transfers. With this it seems like a handful of times the image gets a tad bit of teal and stuff here and there but it's never in your face. Of course I'm only currently able to review the 1080p new disc and not the 4K one. I absolutely hate what happened to Raiders, which I first saw on an advance 35mm new print screening (and wondered why does this look so odd?) and then got a chance to see the untouched new scan that aired on Japanese and other HD channels. (Which was much better.) Unlike Raiders which loses the original mixes in favor of a new IMO crummy remix, CEOT3K seems to use the same 5.1 remix that was on the 2007 Blu-ray and earlier Deluxe DVD. It's a great track that perhaps not as amazing as the 70mm original release Dolby mix we read of on some threads here, is very good and shows how much they were able to with sound design at the time for this particular film. Of course it's standardized as it has to sync to all three cuts much like the Blade Runner archival disc has a single 5.1 track to match three cuts so it could lose out on some of the very subtle differences in mixing just like the BR disc does between 1982 and 1992 soundtracks. However, the mix is 16 bit on the new 4K releases where the 2007 BD had it as 24 bit.

    I prefer the theatrical cut hands down and hate how the Director's Cut loses important character flaws and details that in a way that reeks of more modern Spielberg tastes. He's stated many times that he would do it differently today particularly redoing the ending (now that he is himself a father), which I understand but of course that would have been a different film altogether. The graininess should be there I think as most of the film was shot by Vilmos Zsigmond and reminds me of his work on the similarly grainy Sugarland Express. As much as I appreciate CE it's not one I often return to and has never quite resonated with me as much as the big Spielberg classics of Duel, Jaws, Raiders, and Temple. But it is a hell of a great film that is truly the adult SF film whereas I find E.T. to be literally aimed at children. Every time I hear E.T. brought up, I immediately bring up Close Encounters to usually some blank stares and perhaps some general recognition. I think it's very weird that this film is not as well known as it should be.

    I too re-fell in love with this strange mix of hope and 70's era Spielbergian realism with the Criterion Laserdisc and then starting looking at all the different video releases.
  2. questrider

    questrider Forum Resident

    Middle, Nowhere
    I'm usually not a fan of revisionism but I prefer the the Collector's Edition over the Theatrical and Special Editions. Primarily because it gets rid of the insipid inside-the-alien-ship footage at the end of the Special Edition and cleans up some of the pacing issues of the Theatrical Edition. And, because it retains one of my favorite scenes in the film that originated in the Special Edition.


    I love the scenes where the team are discovering things from the past inexplicably reappearing back on Earth and this is one of my favorites that is not in the Theatrical Edition.
    Galley, Ghostworld and yesstiles like this.
  3. yesstiles

    yesstiles Senior Member

    Yes at the time, CE was a huge film, almost as big as Star Wars. But it has since faded into relative obscurity considering.
    questrider likes this.
  4. Squealy

    Squealy Forum Hall Of Fame

    The fact that it never became a series might have something to do with that... though until two years ago you could have said the same thing about Blade Runner, but then that had an offscreen narrative to keep people interested over the years.

    Though I’m not sure how “forgotten” Close Encounters actually is.
  5. yesstiles

    yesstiles Senior Member

    Younger people who love Star Wars and Indiana Jones, etc. have never heard of CE. At least in my experience.
  6. Downsampled

    Downsampled Formerly PlusMinus

    Galley, Ghostworld and longdist01 like this.
  7. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    I think Close Encounter is STILL the best encountering intelligent extra-terrestrials movie.

    From the brilliant slow build-up to the extended and moving climax is masterful filmmaking. The original theatrical is still my favorite cut. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a masterpiece in the sci-fi genre.
  8. Downsampled

    Downsampled Formerly PlusMinus

    I'll weigh in to vote for the original theatrical cut. It's a personal preference -- I saw CE3K when it came out (I was 10 years old) and it made a massive, permanent impression on me. To this day, my affection for it is strongly tied to that version. I'll admit that this makes me somewhat blind to whatever pacing deficiencies are inherent.

    I always notice the subtle quality differences with the new scenes (for example, the Cotopaxi scene) where the typeface used for the subtitles is different than the original. Like most people, I was (and am still) horrified by the new "inside" scenes. Otherwise, I do generally enjoy the director's cut.

    (Holy cow, I had no idea the Cotopaxi was a real ship!)
    longdist01 and Ghostworld like this.
  9. SimonSaysCake

    SimonSaysCake Forum Resident

    Sorry if this was already discussed but I've always found it interesting how myself, at least at first, and the film itself as it presents the events, make the aliens somehow seem good. Good for us and I guess the universe.

    But... they really aren't are they? They kidnap people, heck whole military squadrons, and keep them for a while, maybe a long long time. They steal vessels (ships, who knows what else) and randomly return them, perhaps empty this time. They ruined Neary's family. What do his kids do now? When will they see their Dad again? Ever? Was Neary brainwashed into going aboard or do we assume he's just sick of his naggy wife and annoying kids?

    Granted my post is ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek but, think about it. Aliens be holding all the cards.

    It reminds me a little of movies like Heat, where they somehow get you to root for the bad guys, y'know, the killers.

  10. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident


    They kidnap kids.
    Frozensoda likes this.
  11. Downsampled

    Downsampled Formerly PlusMinus

    Well clearly Barry was glad to see his mom again, but seemingly he was going to miss his new alien friends.
    Ghostworld likes this.
  12. HiFi Guy 008

    HiFi Guy 008 Forum Resident

    New England
    Good point. And I'd bet that everybody thought the same thing.

    I think the point was that with all of their technology, and wisdom, they were unable to achieve what they did in the end, which is to take willing travelers with them.
    Why? Well, for one thing there wouldn't have been much of a movie.
    The thing seems to be that there's more to the story of the aliens than we're allowed to know. That there was a higher purpose we couldn't fathom.
  13. tvstrategies

    tvstrategies Multicast is dead

    Parrrrty Poooooprrrrr!
  14. SgtPepper1983

    SgtPepper1983 Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    Always strange to reply to an old post.... anyway: those two films you mentioned - Jaws and CE3K - are very special examples of two eras meeting not yielding. You can still see huge chunks of 'old' Hollywood in them. Whole scenes and setups in terms of pacing and framing recall (back then: continue) a way of filmic storytelling that was soon to be gone. Spielberg as a filmmaker clearly felt the obligation and need to cite the style movies were made when he grew up. Even in Raiders you can still detect tiny traces of it. By E.T. his style had fully taken over: maybe the first modern looking movie?
    Also: to this day it's still humbling to see how pretty much EVERY scene of Jaws and CE3K has been copied, cited, parodied endless times and have become parts of our collective consciousness. Jaws founded a genre! CE3K already features every detail (AND already subverts many of them) of the UFO craze of the eighties and nineties. Both of these films invented so many setups that are still used in modern cinema while harking back to a era now gone that they now feel like a strange melange of styles!
    Vidiot and Old Rusty like this.
  15. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    I think the "blinding shafts of light" and the heavy smoke/diffusion used by cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond in CE3K were a big part of what won him the Oscar for that film. Zsigmond told me he was hurt when Spielberg fired him from the film, blaming him for delays (when there was only a couple of weeks left to shoot), and also tried to get the replacement DPs included for the nomination. The Academy didn't accept them and only Vilmos won. He and Spielberg did not speak for more than 15 years because of it, and even after they both apologized and shook hands, he never worked with Spielberg again. Sad but interesting story... and Vilmos did great work with every movie he ever made, including the bad ones.
  16. SgtPepper1983

    SgtPepper1983 Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    As much as I enjoy Kaminsky's work, I wish Spielberg would team up with somebody else once in a while....
    budwhite likes this.
  17. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    Janusz is an amazing cinematographer who I think has shown a variety of different styles over the years. I don't think Catch Me if You Can looks like Bridge of Spies, neither looks like A.I., none of these look like The Post, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skulls looks more like the 1980s films and not contemporary at all, and they're all different from Ready Player One. To me, Kaminsky is a chameleon and can change his look to suit the film.
  18. Downsampled

    Downsampled Formerly PlusMinus

    Can you please elaborate on this? Perhaps with a specific example? I'm not familiar with the term "framing recall".
  19. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    There is the famous "Spielberg Face," which existed before Spielberg used it but I think it's fair to say he perfected it... and maybe to some degree, overused it.

    GLUDFSSR and Galley like this.
  20. SgtPepper1983

    SgtPepper1983 Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    He really is great. The screen is literally overflowing with light when he lights a movie. I do think that Catch Me If You Can does look like Bridge Of Spies, though. As you said, Crystal Skull is a strange one since they tried to evoke those older eighties movies AND some kind of cheap fifties sci fi feeling. For me - while I enjoy that movie more than most - it falls rather flat at doing so. I remember thinking in the cinema that I would have never thought an Indiana Jones movie could look...... well, a bit boring.
    Kaminsky is one of the best DPs today, easily the most recognisable, but I'm not sure I would call him a chameleon.
    budwhite likes this.
  21. SgtPepper1983

    SgtPepper1983 Forum Resident

    Berlin, Germany
    Meant like: the framing let's you recall another era.
    I'm sorry, second language and all that.....
  22. carrolls

    carrolls Forum Resident

    I watched this recently on TV and it's spectacularly dated.
    The poor special effects, the quasi 70's hipster indecipherable dialogue between Drefus and his family, the Moses vision of a mount narrative running through the movie. And the FBI cover-up story of the air being poisoned.:D
    And the French scientists seeing the 5 number pattern being repeated for hours and then printing out the whole thing because seeing it on a video monitor was somehow hiding something. After staring at the reams of the same numbers hard copied to printer paper, they have a revelation that they have to be co-ordinates. :D
    Hard to take in even when drunk.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
    John B Good likes this.
  23. Vidiot

    Vidiot Now in 4K HDR!

    Hollywood, USA
    I would in that he will change his style for the project. There is no one look for Janusz Kaminski. I've done a couple of BMW car commercials for him, and the stuff is stunning... and absolutely does not look like a Spielberg movie.
    SgtPepper1983 likes this.
  24. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    I'd only seen CEOTTK for the first time in the last few years.
    I bought this, and I was buying it for the other film!
    I was on a Bridges bender at the time.
    I couldn't believe how great 'Close Encounters' was!
    How have I not have seen this even as a kid during the 80's?
    Even on TV, they always ran 'Star Wars' and 'ET' and those other classic films.
    Never this one.
    In my mind and experience, it never gets the love on the same level it deserves.
    Brilliant piece of sci fi.
    SgtPepper1983 and FACE OF BOE like this.
  25. rebellovw

    rebellovw Forum Resident

    Prescott, AZ
    I remember in the 80's - my BMX bike had been stolen a month or so back - and my parents took me to Hank N Franks - Oakland, CA - fronted me the cash for a new BMX bike - found an awesome FmF - but the condition was I had to go to the movies with them.

    Man that movie was long- I thought it would never end - I couldn't wait to get out on my bike.

Share This Page