Entertainment Movie Reviews

Blu-ray Review: Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Made in 1977 by Steven Spielberg, Close Encounters of the Third Kind was (and still is) an epic science fiction adventure. The story revolves around an ordinary cableman Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) who gets caught up in very extraordinary happenings. One night, Roy is sent out to investigate a power failure and experiences a close encounter of the first kind. He, along with other people witness UFOs flying through the night sky. In other parts of the world, scientists experience close encounters of the second kind — military objects that have been missing for decades suddenly re-appear in odd locations.

After his encounter, Roy starts having strange visions of a mountain-like object, and five musical notes play over and over again in his head. He is compelled to discover the meaning of his visions, so much so that he is prepared to give up his job and forsake his wife Ronnie (Teri Garr) and children to find out the truth about the UFOs.

Will Roy discover the source of the music and ultimately meet the visitors from across the galaxy? Find out after the jump.

As Roy tries to figure out of his visions,  French researcher Claude Lacombe (François Truffaut) believes he has discovered a way to communicate with the alien visitors, and together with the US Government, determine the location of a special “site” where they think the extraterrestrial visitors plan to land. The US Government creates a cover-up and evacuates the site of all unnecessary people. Roy’s obsession leads him to Gillian Guiler (Melinda Dillon), whose son disappeared during her encounter, and they too are subconsciously drawn to the very same site. Roy and Gillian get past the security checkpoints in the hope that they, along with the scientists, will be able to experience a close encounter of the third kind: contact with actual alien life…

Close Encounter of the Third Kind has a run time of 132 to 137 minutes and is rated PG. This Blu-ray release is the 2-disc, 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition. Disc 1 presents the film re-mastered in High Definition (HD) and contains the film in not one, but three versions!

  • Original cut (1977) — 135 minutes
  • Special edition (1980) — 132 minutes
  • Director’s cut (1998) — 137 minutes

For those not intimately familiar with the different versions, this disc comes with a noteworthy feature that integrates the three versions of the film. The feature is called View From Above, and it displays in-movie pop-up graphics and text commentary to point out the differences in the special edition and director’s cut as compared to the original theatrical version of the film.

Disc 2 houses the myriad of special features including:

  • Steven Spielberg: 30 years of Close Encounters — a one-on-one interview with Steven Spielberg
  • The Making of Close Encounters — an extensive 101-minute long documentary with the cast and crew
  • Watch the Skies — a 1977 press kit to promote the film
  • Storyboard Comparisons — split-screen showing storyboards and associated film footage
  • Photo galleries — storyboards, portraits, behind-the-scenes, mothership drawings, poster concepts, and locations
  • Deleted scenes
  • Original theatrical trailers

Close Encounters of the Third Kind was kindly supplied for review by Nelmari Claassens, SterKinekor Entertainment Marketing Manager for Sony Pictures. Go to to view the latest Blu-ray news, reviews and competitions featured on SterKinekor Entertainment’s newsletter. Sony Pictures can be found on the Web at