Close Encounters of the Third Kind

1977, EMI Films

Steven Spielberg is in top form with this seminal film about bug-eyed space aliens visiting the Earth. While it was an enormous hit, and certainly deserved of praise, I'm not able to give it full marks; it suffers from being over-long. Not to mention the musical "conversation" at the end is just too silly and overwrought, in contrast to the reasonably plausible build-up to the climax. And the "special edition" version where we go inside is nothing to write home about; all it does is needlessly drag out the ending, not unlike A.I. Artificial Intelligence. But kudos to Spielberg for making a friendly alien story for a change.

       

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