Close Encounters of the Third Kind (US BD) in November - Artwork added

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment have announced the US Blu-ray Disc release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition on 13th November 2007 priced at $49.95 SRP. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi classic this set incorporates all three versions of the film, including the first-ever home video release of the 1977 Original Theatrical edition, as well as the re-edited 1980 theatrical Special Edition and Spielberg’s definitive Director’s Cut (released in 1998 as the Collector’s Edition). Bonus material on the 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition includes a never-before-seen interview with Spielberg created specifically for this release, a retrospective documentary and more.

A legendary film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind was nominated for eight Academy Awards. Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws) has the starring role of electrical lineman Roy Neary, as he sets out to investigate a mysterious power outage and experiences a life-changing “close encounter.”

The Original Theatrical version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind was released on screens in 1977 and was never available on home video. Spielberg released a re-edited Special Edition theatrically and on VHS in 1980 wherein he deleted several smaller scenes and added other sequences including scenes of Dreyfuss inside the alien mother ship at the end of the film. In 1998, the Collector’s Edition was released on home video with a limited theatrical run and featured Spielberg’s definitive director’s cut with changes, some small and subtle, as well as a change eliminating the interior mother ship scenes from the end of the Special Edition, thus restoring the original ending. The Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition is the first collection to include all three versions of the film.

The first classic Spielberg film ever to be released on a pre-recorded high definition disc format, the Blu-ray release provides for all three versions of Close Encounters of the Third Kind to be included on one 50GB disc through a process known as “seamless branching,” made possible with the added interactivity of Blu-ray’s software and the robust processing power of the second generation players. This process identifies the differences between each version of the film and segments the footage accordingly. These segments are then encoded and assembled into three unique playlists, thus allowing footage used in all three films to be included on the Blu-ray disc only once. Based on the viewer’s selection of the Original Version, Special Edition or definitive Director’s Cut, each film will be presented seamlessly in its original form by use of its respective playlist.

That sounds a lot like the seamless branching we see on DVD, but the Blu-ray Disc release does offer some additional extras not found on the day-and-date DVD release courtesy of a second disc…

  • All New Interview with Steven Spielberg on Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • All New “Storyboard to Scene Comparisons” (Blu-ray Exclusive)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind Retrospective Documentary
  • The Original 1977 “Watch the Skies” Featurette (Blu-ray Exclusive)
  • Original Theatrical Preview (Blu-ray Exclusive)

Category Blu-Ray News

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