Tuesday, November 5, 2013

217 of 1001 Movies: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a landmark movie as far as CGI. You will find movies to be rare that are this good in effects before the 2000s. And even after that they are still some who falter. Of course the movie does have a very 70's quality about it, but Spielberg is about more than telling a story, which is obvious than in this one as the story is a bit weak. He wants to make sure his movie looks just as spectacular to the viewer. He doesn't cheap out to get a story he loves out there without making sure he has the bucks to bring it to life. This might explain advertisement after advertisement in this movie though. Got to find the money somewhere.

Summary:  Roy is a line worker who like many others, has an encounter with an UFO, and then finds strange things happening to him. He begins making and finding triangles everywhere, and feels drawn to a location. What is happening to Roy though is happening all over Earth leading people from all walks of life to the location. Roy though meets another woman who lives in the same town as he does affected by the strange occurrence.

Acting: I recognized Richard Dreyfuss from Jaws, and he seems to be one of the actors that Spielberg commonly worked with. I think had Dreyfuss not been playing the role of Roy that the role would have lacked a lot. There isn't much dialogue or character development to get me involved with his character, but the way the actor portrays him brings out something we wouldn't otherwise get. Melinda Dillon is the woman who finds herself caught up in the UFO's after her son's disappearance. Dillio's portrayal of Jillian doesn't give us much insight to who she is though besides the fact she looks terrified the entire time.

Filming: The strongest aspect of the movie is the filming. The CGI is done well, and for the time it looks way ahead of the 70's. It blends in well with the setting that Speilberg puts the UFO's in. The night sky is over done with stars and colors but it works well to add to the mysterious atmosphere that he works great into the movie at the beginning. The first hour or so of the movie is way riveting.

Plot: The plot is the weakest part. There are many stories in the movie that don't seem to align or feel thrown in just to be feeling time. Roy's family seems to play no major part on his development. He would have worked just as well being single. His romance with Melinda seems to only be caused by their tie through the UFO's but even his random disloyalty to his wife seemed out of place for me. There also isn't much dialogue. There is plenty of moments where the characters are just gazing, but nothing major is said. Somewhere into the second hour I just found myself zoning out more and more.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind provides some great special effects that have aged well over time. It shows that Speilberg is the master of creating a very high budget special effect movie. In this one he has to rely a lot more on enlisting advertisers to pay for the movie though, and at times I feel I am watching paid programming weaved into a movie. The movie is nice to look at though, and the actors are good, they are just given dull characters.

Rating 7 of 10.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) on IMDb

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