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mdtinney's Movie Reviews (315)

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind 
What made Spielberg and Dreyfuss a STAR!!
3.5/4 stars

Steven Spielberg is not a director fully appreciated by everyone. Some dismiss his works as mere popcorn entertainment, and believe he is over-rated. But he is not. No one posses the rare kind of talent that he has; to create an unparalleled sense of suspense, to so amazingly capture great child performances, and even more importantly he has the ability to be so versatile. No other director can range from war epic to action film, to vengeance story, to alien visitation stories, to ocean horror, to suspense, and back around again a few more times. And this is one of the many displays of his extraordinary skill to tell a story and keep us waiting. It was the same year George Lucas took us to a galaxy far away, that Steven Spielberg brought them home to us in the greatest movie where aliens come down to see us. He used a mixture of original techniques, absolutely brilliant lighting effects, a perfect cast, amazing camera shots, brilliant visual effects, and stunning cinematography to do it, and the project came together so cohesively, it dares you to find a flaw. Richard Dreyfuss with uncanny ability plays the man obsessed with learning the meanings of the many strange happenings around the world (ships appearing in the desert for example; an amazing shot). You can understand him and feel what he is going through, though it is "unexplainable". Melinda Dillon provides great support, as the mother drawn to the aliens to find her son who has followed them. Francois Truffant is a French gov. official, also wondering what is going to happen. John Williams creates another of his master scores, that elevates Spielberg's power to maintain suspense even further and throughout. It is majestic and musically moving and brilliant. The entire way through, none of the visuals drop out either. The effects look terrific, though old they may be. The ships are dazzling. Almost as dazzling as the perfect lighting effects in every scene. Never have I seen such clever usage of lighting. And the perfect example: when a door is opened and orange lights pour in setting an unparalleled atmosphere of wonder and amazement. And the cinematography of the many world landscapes, looks brilliant. And the whole time, Spielberg shines behind the camera. It is all brought together by him. He keeps you waiting, wondering and shows true originality in this piece of work. The aliens communicate through an enjoyable play of notes, and they have chosen certain people to come seek them out. The shot of the mother-ship coming over the mountain near the end, will leave viewers breathless. The film is so cleverly put together by Spielberg, by the time the end comes, you will not only be wanting more, you will not be disappointed.


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