Review Detail

9.7 5 10
closeencounters_complete_front
Extended Edition April 17, 2021 820
Overall rating
 
9.7
Audio/Video Quality
 
9.0
Visual Editing
 
9.0
Audio Editing
 
9.0
Narrative
 
10.0
Enjoyment
 
10.0
Excuse me if I ramble in this review, but this film means a lot to me. 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' is one of the first films I remember seeing at the cinema with my family as a kid. From subsequent viewings, I believe I saw the later edition with the extended Mother ship scene, although I've seen both versions so many times since, I can't be completely sure. What I do recall is how deeply this film resonated within me. More than any other, this film gave me my love for the cinema, and for sci-fi films in particular.

I've owned this film so many times - I have the DVD, the Anniversary Edition blu-ray with the light-up case, and the 4K. So why did I spend part of my day off and watch an SD version of this film on a 4k TV? Because Wraith has cobbled together the most complete version of my favourite film I am ever likely to see.

Taking off my nostalgic glasses for a moment, I can see that 'CEot3K' in any of its iterations is not a perfect film. Spielberg admits that it's a film that dates him, and that he would not have a father leaving his children behind were he a father himself back when he made it. It is an odd inclusion, especially as Spielberg captures childhood so well in many of his films, and this one in particular. (The child actors are extraordinary here across the board.) The ships themselves are still amazing to my eyes, but the aliens - particularly the spindly one - don't hold up so well anymore.

This edit, too, is not perfect either, but it's as near as dammit. The deleted scenes are necessarily & noticeably lower quality than the rest of the film, which are beyond the scope of improvement even with Wraith's skills, but I would have liked to have seen some more of the red tint removed from many of them. What does work on the whole, though, is the transitions from a deleted scene to a theatrical one, especially with a seamless and, I assume, added soundtrack (the edit from Roy on the roof to the evening meal is a good example of the skill on display here). The deleted scenes are inserted in logical places on all counts except one, where we see Roy buy gas followed by a theatrical scene which ends with him stating they need some. They are a couple of audio anomalies - two back-to-back scenes early on (Gillian searching for Barry in the woods and Roy getting lost on the road) had very noticeable echo, and there were occasional volume changes in the soundtrack in places (just before Neary enters the ship at the end is one I remember).

Overall, though, this edit took me right back to my childhood and why I left the cinema wide-eyed and, yes, staring up at the skies, wondering what was up there. For that, I thank you.

User Review

Do you recommend this edit?
Yes
Format Watched?
Digital
Owner's reply May 01, 2021

Thank you so much for that. It is very generous of you especially given that this appears to be a review of the WORKPRINT version. I have revised the HD version of the edit to correct an inherantly poor ORIGINAL music transition as Neary walke up the ramp. There is also now a SPECIAL FEATURE added which, due to there being some dislike regarding the SPECIAL EDITION addition of the the Mothership Interior, I have also made a version WITHOUT this one scene, but everything else still in the edit. This should give you two more versions to watch :)

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