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Close Encounters of the Third Kind (30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition)

4.5 out of 5 stars 975 customer reviews


Geek Boutique 2016 Geek Boutique HQP

$12.49 & FREE Shipping on orders over $49. Details Only 16 left in stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Steven Spielberg's classic film is back now on this never-before-released Ultimate Edition DVD, which includes all three versions of the sci-fi blockbuster. Richard Dreyfuss stars as cable worker Roy Neary, who along with several other stunned bystanders experience a close encounter of the first kind - witnessing UFOs soaring across the sky. After this life-changing event, the inexplicable vision of a strange, mountain-like formation haunts him. He becomes obsessed with discovering what it represents, much to the dismay of his wife and family. Meanwhile, bizarre occurrences are happening around the world. Government agents have close encounters of the second kind - discovering physical evidence of extraterrestrial visitors in the form of a lost fighter aircraft from World War II and a stranded military ship that disappeared decades earlier only to suddenly reappear in unusual places. Roy continues to chase his vision to a remote area where he and the agents follow the clues that have drawn them to reach a site where they will have a close encounter of the third kind - contact.

Additional Features

It's promised as the final word on the subject, and it certainly seems definitive. Steven Spielberg's wonderful Close Encounters of the Third Kind is here collected in three different cuts, each with its own specific history. There's the original theatrical release, never before issued to home video, which Spielberg said was rushed and not completed to his satisfaction. There's the 1980 Special Edition, which allowed Spielberg a re-edit, some new effects and scenes, and a controversial new ending that went inside the alien craft. Spielberg later said that ending was dictated by Columbia Pictures as a marketing ploy, and that he regretted showing the interior of the spacecraft. Amends were made with the 1998 Director's Cut, yet another re-edit that restored elements from the first version and eliminated the shots inside the Mother Ship. (For all the fuss, there are still fans who prefer the original version.) A thorough, previously-available 100-minute documentary on the film is included in the package, as well as a 5-minute featurette from 1977. New this time is a 20-minute interview with Spielberg, looking back from the perspective of 30 years. A 30th anniversary collector's booklet offers some pretty pictures but a rather desultory collection of mini-biographies and quotes (some credited to the "International Movie Database," by which they presumably mean the "Internet Movie Database"). Most helpful is a glossy fold-out timeline charting the differences between the three films, a useful tool for sticklers. --Robert Horton

Special Features

1977 Featurette "Watch the Skies"
Steven Spielberg 30 Years of Close Encounters
Close Encounters of the Third Kind Making of Documentary

Product Details

  • Actors: Melinda Dillon, Francois Truffaut, Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr
  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Producers: Michael Phillips, Julia Phillips
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: French, Portuguese, Korean, Mandarin Chinese, Thai, English, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 13, 2007
  • Run Time: 404 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (975 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000VECAD0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,111 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Close Encounters of the Third Kind (30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Now this is the way it should be. You get all three cuts, all remastered in 5.1 surround and all have been digitally transferred. Thank you so much Mr. Spielberg because this without a doubt has to be one of your best (along with the original ET).

Last night, I watched the original theatrical version and forgot how much was removed for the "Special Editions" and the final "Director's Cut". In my mind, the original version is the best and to finally have it in all it's uncut 5.1 surround sound (which didn't exist back then) glory is simply wonderful.

The packaging is nice, although I found it very difficult to remove the DVDs without fearing I might snap them because the locking mechanism seems to not want to let go of the DVDs no matter how hard I press down on them. I suppose I could look at it in that I shouldn't fear them coming off during shipping and getting scratched up.

The box is nicely designed and inside are some wonderful items. It comes with a poster that gives a time line for each movie and where each cut differs which I found really interesting. It also comes with a book full of bios on the actors and other people that worked on the film. Plenty of in-movie and behind-the-scene shots. Finally, the three DVDs are housed in a tri-fold container. Inside and outside are colorful shots from the movies and it really makes the entire set look nice.

In addition to the three editions of the movies, there is also a new "30 Years" documentary looking back over time at how CE has been a favorite movie that has stood the test of time. Also, the making-of documentary that was on the original Director's Edition that came out a few years ago has been split across the three DVDs.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I will not go into detail on how I feel about Steven Spielberg's wonderful science-fiction odyssey, probably one of the best movies ever made and a classic in the science-fiction genre, despite what the knucklehead academics say. Instead, I will address the minor controversy surrounding the Blu-Ray editions of the movie.

As everyone knows, there are two types of Blu-Ray editions of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind". One is the 30th anniversary box set, which includes the three versions of the movie (Theatrical, Special Edition and Director's Cut) on one disc; a plethora of bonus features on the second; and a booklet (the 3-disc DVD version of the set contains one version on one disc each, a making-of documentary scattered on all the discs, and the rest of the bonus features on the director's cut disc). The other is the cheaper, newly released "Blu-Ray Essentials" version, which only contains the first disc of all the three versions but no booklet and zero bonus features (except for the Blu-Ray exclusive "A View from Above" feature, whose main purpose is to show viewers the difference between all three versions).

The reason I'm addressing this is because some Amazon.com reviewers (including myself) have expressed dismay over buying the wrong edition. Unlike these reviewers, I am not entirely angered by this since I already have the 30th anniversary edition on DVD and that I bought the "Essentials" version just to upgrade to Blu-Ray (it also helped that it was on sale for a meager $7). But I can understand the frustrations looming in the reviews section and I wish Amazon would have notified this and state the differences.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I bought a Blu ray player a few months ago. At 39 years old I was really hoping to see some of my favorite movies in this new HD format. Some movies seem to really benefit from this format (Kubrick's re-releases, Fifth Element, etc.). And some movies don't seem to take full advantage of the HD format.

So it is with great pleasure that I say that this edition of Close Encounters of the Third Kind is quite simply "amazing!" Yes, the film is 30 years old. And some grain is to be expected. But wow, what a transfer! The colors pop off the screen. The contrast is nice and sharp, but not in a bad way. The dark scenes are virtually flawless. The color tones and overall look of the entire film is breahtaking. The audio easily makes this a reference Blu Ray disc and will really test your system.

I'm not sure how much of the look of this film is due to the recent digital remastering and how much is simply due to the HD format, but the end result is enough to give you goose bumps.

The movie may be 30 years old, but this transfer makes it look as though it was released this year.

Worth noting is, thanks to the Blu Ray format, this release is just two discs (not 3 discs as in the standard def format). All three versions of the film (original Theatrical release, Special Edition release, and the edition for this set, Director's Cut) are ALL on the first disc. Disc two contains all the special features. And there's hours of non-filler, must-watch stuff on this disc too. A 2007 interview with Spielberg and cast talking about the versions, an almost 2-hour documentary from Collector's Edition release, 42 minute "Making of" documentary. After watching all the special features I want to go back and watch the film again.
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