Close Encounters of the Third Kind: Anniversary Ultimate Edition

30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition

For the very first time, all three versions of Spielberg’s classic are released On DVD and High Definition Blu-ray TM Multi-Disc Sets November 13, 2007. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of this picture, the set incorporates all three versions of the film, including the first-ever home video release of the 1977 Original Theatrical edition, as well as the re-edited 1980 theatrical Special Edition and Spielberg’s definitive Director’s Cut, released in 1998 as the Collector’s Edition.

Bonus material on the 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition includes a never-before-seen interview with Spielberg created specifically for this release, a retrospective documentary and more.

The stunning high definition presentation of Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition contains all three cinematic versions on just one 50 GB Blu-ray Disc, with bonus material included on a second disc, and is made possible by new breakthroughs in home entertainment technology. This marks the first classic Spielberg film ever to be released on a pre-recorded high definition disc format.

The Original Theatrical version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind was released on screens in 1977 and was never available on home video. Spielberg released a re-edited Special Edition theatrically and on VHS in 1980 wherein he deleted several smaller scenes and added other sequences including scenes of Dreyfuss inside the alien mother ship at the end of the film.

In 1998, the Collector’s Edition was released on home video with a limited theatrical run and featured Spielberg’s definitive director’s cut with changes, some small and subtle, as well as a change eliminating the interior mother ship scenes from the end of the Special Edition, thus restoring the original ending. The Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30thAnniversary Ultimate Edition is the first collection to include all three versions of the film.

The Blu-ray release provides for all three versions of Close Encounters of the Third Kind to be included on one 50GB disc through a process known as “seamless branching,” made possible with the added interactivity of Blu-ray’s software and the robust processing power of the second generation players. This process identifies the differences between each version of the film and segments the footage accordingly. These segments are then encoded and assembled into three unique playlists, thus allowing footage used in all three films to be included on the Blu-ray disc only once. Based on the viewers’ selection of the Original Version, Special Edition or definitive Directors Cut, each film will be presented seamlessly in its original form by use of its respective playlist.

Both the Blu-ray and the DVD of Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30thAnniversary Ultimate Edition are packed with bonus features, including an exclusive interview with Spielberg and a Close Encounters of the Third Kind Retrospective Documentary.

Available only with the Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition high definition Blu-ray Disc, are additional bonus features including all-new “Storyboard-to-Scene Comparisons,” the original 1977 “Watch The Skies” featurette and an original theatrical preview.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition will be available November 13, 2007–nearly 30 years to the day after its original theatrical release.

Blu-ray Disc Bonus Features Include:

* All New Interview with Steven Spielberg on Close Encounters of the Third Kind
* All New Storyboard to Scene Comparisons
* Close Encounters of the Third Kind Retrospective Documentary
* The Original 1977 Watch the Skies Featurette
* Original Theatrical Preview

DVD Bonus Features Include:

* All New Interview with Steven Spielberg on Close Encounters of the Third Kind
* Making Of Close Encounters of the Third Kind Retrospective Documentary

Film Review

Made with awe and meticulous attention to detail, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated, critically acclaimed sci-fi, is one of the most spectacular movies he has made, on par with the previous 1977 “Jaws” and later 1982 “E.T.”

When the saga begins, electrical lineman Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) is one of several people who experience a close encounter of the first kind, witnessing UFOs flying through the night sky. At first intrigued, Roy is subsequently haunted by a mountain-like image. Gradually, he becomes obsessed with discovering what it represents, much to the dismay of his family, particularly his wife (Teri Garr), who can’t understand his obsession.

Meanwhile, government agents around the world have close encounters of the second kind, discovering physical evidence of extraterrestrial visitors in the form of lost fighter aircraft from World War II and a stranded military ship that disappeared decades earlier, only to suddenly reappear in the Sonora and Gobi Desert. Joining hands, Roy and the agents then follow the clues they have been given to reach a site where they will have a close encounter of the third kind: contact.

Dramatic suspense occurs when Dillon’s young son (Cary Guffey) is kidnapped by UFO, and an electric company worker, Richard Dreyfuss, encounters one when he goes to check a strange power outage. Both subsequently find themselves mysteriously drawn to the Devils Tower, a huge extinct volcano in Wyoming, where humankind has its own first meeting with extra-terretstrial life.

Perhaps Spielberg’s greatest achievement is to make a warm, likable sci-fi feature, deviating in spirit, tone, and ideology from the dark, noirish sci-fi films that dominated the 1950s and Cold War mentality. This trend would continue with his next sci-fi, “E.T.” in 1982.

The film’s stellar cast includes Dreyfuss in one of his best performances, given in the same year in which he won the Best Actor Oscar for. Equally good are Melinda Dillon as the distraught mother, Teri Garr as Dreyfuss hopelessly uncomprehending wife, and the famed and beloved director Francois Truffaut, who plays a French scientist-UFOlogist, Claude Lacombe.

Visually distinguished, the film’s look and special effects were overseen by Douglas Trumbull, the F/X maestro of Kubrick’s 1968 classic “2001: A Space Odyssey,” who later became a director, departing from the cool effects of Industrial Light and Magic film projects.

Cast

Richard Dreyfuss (Roy Neary)
Teri Garr (Ronnie Neary)
Melina Dillon (Jillian Guiler)
Cary Guffey (Barry Guiler)
Bob Balaban (Interpreter Laughlin)
J. Patrick McNamara(Project Leader)
Warren Kemmerling (Wild Bill)
Roberts Blossom (Framer)
Franois Truffaut (Claude Lacombe)
Jean Claude (Philip Dodds)

Running time:
135 minutes for the Original Version
132 minutes for the Special Edition
137 minutes for the Collector’s Edition.

MPAA Rating: PG.