Thursday, November 01, 2007

Netflix: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

(I'm basically going to tell you everything that happens in the movie, so if you really want to see it then don't read on, but you're like 30 years behind.)

It's a really dumb movie.

Ok, these aliens sail their spaceship around the US/globe (?). Said spaceship/alien power compels humans to follow it/do stupid shit/Spearsian levels of insanity. The spaceship also gives you a rash/sunburn. Dale Carnegie would not approve.

Richard Dreyfuss is out on a work service call when he spots the alien spacecraft. From that moment forward his is a complete pain-in-the-ass to his family and friends. He begins sculpting things - anything - into a giant monolithic shape (we later find out it's a rock/alien landing beacon). Naturally, his family deserts him because who hauls 10 yards of mulch into their living room in order to construct a giant phallus? Better yet, who stays with a person that does it? Apparently, this is the aliens' way of clearing your schedule for you. If the sunburn/psoriasis doesn't scare people away, how about your husband/father seemingly constructing sex toys with his mashed potatoes?

Eventually, he meets the mom from A Christmas Story. She's crazy too (her son ran after the aliens into the woods in the middle of the night, fucking bears and wolves walking around out there - thanks a lot Alf) and draws pictures of the rock (crazy, but less destructive) too. Oh we have so much in common! So they meet and are crazy for each other.

They see the rock on TV and go there where the government is staging a big, crazy-fake syphillis epidemic or something. Mr. Holland is not scared though. Eventually, he gets someone to admit something or whatever and they leave/escape the military compound. Then they're all hiking over to the rock. Eventually they get there and - WHEEEEE - there's the spaceship.

The aliens and some government scientists/Liberace play this weird-ass protracted game of "name that tune"/Simon (fuzzy here). The hatch opens up and all these skinny-ass aliens come walking out. Because the aliens have exercised complete mind-control over these sun-burned yokels they all want to hitch a ride on the Olsen Twin mobile. You know Dreyfuss wants in on that. Out of their probe-mobile, the aliens dump out all these "old" (but not aged) WWII pilots, in full uniform and completely disoriented. Said abductees have obviously not achieved any higher realm - they're just looking around like, "WTF is going on?" These douchebag aliens capture all these people, take them from house and home, drop them back off 40 years later into a strange world which they don't understand (it's the disco era for God's sake) - they're soon to discover all their loved ones have long passed or are wearing diapers - and I'm supposed to want to believe people were clamoring over each other to hitch a ride? Fuck that Spielberg. When the aliens come here to harvest your brain for their cinematic benefit and you go running out of your giant mansion to greet them, don't say I didn't warn you. Aliens are bad news. Did V teach us nothing?

(Oh - Truffaut is in the movie. I liked Shoot the Piano Player.)

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Anonymous Bestman said...

Disagree. Loved that movie. Maybe it's because I was a kid when I first saw it. I was totally spooked by the aliens coming to take that kid. Wasn't Terri Garr the wife? Those dudes went with the aliens because they are pioneers, dude. It's the American way! Also, Dreyfuss was obsessed. "This MEANS something..."

1:16 PM


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