Day 317: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind (1977)

close_encounters_of_the_third_kind_1977_theatrical_posterI thought since I checked out the new sci-fi sensation Arrival yesterday that I would check out a real sci-fi classic for today. A friend suggested that I watch Close Encounters Of The Third Kind which was directed by Steven Spielberg (E.T.the Extra-Terrestrial) and it so happens to be today’s film. Everything is normal around the country until planes that went missing in the 1950’s mysteriously show up looking like they were brand new. It sets off a chain reaction of events where people around Indiana and other parts of the country come in contact or experience an encounter with UFO’s. One man named Roy (Richard Dreyfuss) and Jillian (Melinda Dillon) whose son was kidnapped want answers as to what it was they saw and why the government is lying about the events. They may just get the answer, but it might be more than they were looking for. The film also stars François Truffaut (Shoot The Piano Player) as Lacombe, Teri Garr (Young Frankenstein) as Ronnie Neary, Bob Balaban (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as David Laughlin, J. Patrick McNamara (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure) as Project Leader, Lance Henriksen (The Terminator) as Robert, George DiCenzo (She-Ra: Princess Of Power) as Major Benchley, and Carl Weathers (Rocky) as Soldier. 

closeencounters15657One thing that I will say is that the soundtrack to this film is absolutely amazing and we shouldn’t be surprised by that considering John Williams (Star Wars) composed the whole thing. The score did exactly what it was supposed to do and that it is it helped move the film and it complimented it. Now as far as the film was concerned, this is actually an amazing motion picture especially for it’s time. Of course the film was overshadowed by Star Wars: A New Hope, but it deserves some mention and merit because the special effects were great for 1977. The aliens that you see in the film were kind of weird looking and OK, but it does the trick for the time. The shots of the spaceship are awesome and it’s incredible looking. The acting in the film was great especially from Richard Dreyfuss and Melinda Dillon who stole the show. Carl Weathers has a cool cameo as a soldier in the film who threatens Drefuss’s character and a lot of 80’s greats are in this film like Lance Henriksen, etc. Just like in the Arrival, they too have to learn the language of the aliens in order to communicate with them, but this was a better film. The end kind of made sense because you understood why and such. It wasn’t a huge build up to be let down by what the end result was. If you’re a fan of cinema then definitely give this one a watch because I loved it. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.

Day 235: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

220px-LifeaquaticposterI honestly believe that one of the greatest comedy movie actors of all time or at least in the last 30 to 40 years is Bill Murray (Ghostbusters). Every decade, he surprises us with how relevant he continues to be with every film that he stars in and that is the case with today’s film The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. Steve Zissou (Murray) is a world famous oceanographer who has produced great documentaries of his voyages over the years. After one production, his partner Esteban (Seymour Cassel) is killed by a mysterious shark called the Jaguar Shark. The public questions the existence of the shark, so Steve gathers up a crew that includes his estranged wife, a man who is quite possibly his son, and a pregnant reporter who has a low opinion of him along for the ride. The film stars Owen Wilson (Zoolander 2) as Ned Plimpton, Willem Dafoe (Spider-Man) as Klaus, Cate Blanchett (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button) as Jane Winslett-Richardson, Anjelica Huston (The Adams Family) as Eleanor Zissou, Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park) as Alistair Hennessey, Michael Gambon (Gosford Park) as Oseary Drakoulias, Noah Taylor (Edge Of Tomorrow) as Vladimir, Seu Jorge (City Of God) as Pele, Robyn Cohen (Burned) as Anne-Marie, Waris Ahluwalia (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as Vikram, and the film was directed by Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom).

life-aquatic3I definitely have to check out more films from Wes Anderson cause he definitely has his own style of films that you instantly recognize as his. He is in part the true definition of what François Truffaut and his colleagues coined Auteurs. Wes wrote and directed the film meaning he took full artistic responsibility for the film like an author would for a book. The thing that made me fall in love with this film was the various tones and colors that are present in this film. There are just so many colors that take precedence in this film that makes it truly amazing. Even the wildlife that are presented in the film are very colorful and cool looking even though we know that they are fake. This is probably one of the most amazing films to feature Bill Murray and it was just so well written that he was a natural fit for the part. All of the subplots within the film were even written so well that it was hard for me to find any faults. The film isn’t your typical comedy because it doesn’t contain stupid comedy or slapstick comedy, but it is otherwise a parody tribute to French diver Jacques-Yves Cousteau. The film may have bombed in the box office, but that doesn’t mean that the film is awful, it just means it takes time to recognize real art. I am a  huge fan of this film and I think that this is one to put on your list. That is why I am going to give the film The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou an A- because the production sets and the story was excellently done.