Friday, July 28, 2017

News: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS Returns To Theaters In September

On September 1st, Sony/Columbia Pictures will be re-releasing Steven Spielberg's 1977 sci-fi classic, Close Encounters Of The Third Kind to theaters with a 4K remastered digital presentation. A couple weeks later, on September 19th, this version will be released on both HD Blu-ray and 4K UHD Blu-ray.

Based on this official trailer, it looks as if virtually all of the film grain has now been digitally scrubbed from the movie, giving it a modern, digital video appearance.

I have mixed feelings about this. The 2007 Blu-ray was gorgeous, and had a truly "filmic" appearance, awash in glorious, vintage 1970's 35mm filmstock grain. The new transfer looks very sharp and clear, but just doesn't look like a Seventies movie anymore. I get that that's probably what Sony wants - they're trying to keep the property commercially viable - but it bugs me. I'm also annoyed by the fan response to this which is praising it for "cleaning up" the film. But that's where we are today, I'm afraid. 

Countdown: this is Space: 1970 post #998...


  1. Hey, I just picked up the Blu-ray. Happy to know I got it before they ruined it. I can put it next to my Star Trek DVDs and my Star Wars VHS.

  2. CE3K is my favorite Spielberg film and I've never seen it projected, so I must admit this seemed like good news at first. But when I considered how JAWS looked after the digital scrubbing process, I began to have mixed feelings myself. The earthy quality of '70s film is a big part of the experience.

  3. Agree, the '70s film grain is something special and should not be lost. Similarly, it is why some like music on vinyl only.


  4. I wonder if this celebratory rerelease will be of the original cut of the film as seen in 1977, or the so-called Special Edition, which in my opinion ruined the film.

    1. I think it's the version first released in 1998 as the "Collector's Edition", later known as the "Ultimate Edition." This seems to be Spielberg's preferred cut, utilizing elements from both 1977 and 1980.