Anybody who has written him off because of his string of stinkers--or anybody who's too young to rememberThe Goodbye Girl--may be shocked at the accomplishment and nuance of Richard Dreyfuss's performance inClose Encounters of the Third Kind. Here, he … see full wiki
It feels so self-important and plodding. The pace is slow and the special effects no longer have the power to stun. And the movie doesn't really surprise. There is no ultimate mystery to the plot. Yes, one might wonder what the aliens are like, but we never doubt that they're there, that Dreyfuss will get to see them and that nothing bad will happen. The movie never builds up any truly engrossing tension. We feel safe throughout, and wouldn't you think that the world, getting ready to see aliens for the first time, would feel more frightened (and the viewer more frightened)?
It's fun to hear the "alien theme" music again, and Richard Dreyfuss is very good. But Francois Truffaut?? Why did Speilberg cast him? He's usually so assured with his ununsual casting choices (Anthony Hopkins as John Quincy Adams? Great idea! Roy Scheider in Jaws? Oprah Winfrey in Color Purple? He's so often gone with unknowns or unusual choices and we've usually been SO pleasantly surprised).
I don't want to dwell on this too much, but CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is a piece of movie history, but sadly, not a living, breathing one.
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