Contact (1997-07-11)

Drama | Science Fiction | Mystery |

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  • Status: Released
  • Runtime: 150m
  • Popularity: 20.637
  • Language: en
  • Budget: $90,000,000
  • Revenue: $171,120,329
  • Vote Average: 7.411
  • Vote Count: 3787

  • talisencrw

    I would readily admit this is one of my favourite science fiction films from the 90's. It's intelligent, well-acted and directed, and the special effects it has HELPS the story rather than IMPEDES it. Though she hasn't done much lately, either in the director's chair or acting, Jodie Foster is one of my favourite contemporary American actresses, and it's intriguing how her great talent's been utilized of late (ie., 'Elysium', and I'm still very mad at Spike Lee for having Christopher Plummer call her a 'cunt' in 'Inside Man'). Personally, I must admit that I myself have worried what other worlds' inhabitants would think of our civilization from the messages it might get from Earth. Though I thankfully haven't lost any sleep over it (I have 'Thumper' in the apartment above me to thank for that), as Led Zeppelin would say in the classic 'Stairway to Heaven', '...and it makes me wonder'. As what happens in most of these movies, it's rather anticlimactic once the different cultures meet. I'll say to my dying day that the most difficult thing to do in cinema is end a film. Here (unlike perfect sci-fi masterpieces, like '2001: A Space odyssey' or the more recent 'Children of Men') the decent but otherwise unspectacular ending makes me avoid a perfect rating here. But it's awfully close, worth both owning and rewatching, and provides fairly early evidence (which would come to bold fruition in 'Killer Joe') that Matthew McConaughey could actually act. It's also a tossup between this, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' and 'Back to the Future' for my favourite Zemeckis moment.

  • JPV852

    Random viewing but decided to finally watch after its been in my to-do bin for a while now. It didn't strike an emotional cord that I thought it would but Jodie Foster was quite good as were a respectable supporting cast. Never quite bought into the relationship between Foster and McConaughey though in fairness, probably due to the lack of screen time together (felt like maybe 15 minutes in a 2.5 hour movie). Some of the effects were alright for its time including integrating Clinton footage with the cast and the sci-fi specific visuals were alright. In the end, never was bored and found it to be entertaining. **4.0/5**

  • JPRetana

    Early on in Contact a character is introduced who goes by the name “Kent Clark,” and for the remainder of the film I simply could not get over the fact that no one ever even mentions that he is named after Bizarro’s alter ego. My theory is that this is a figurative wink to the audience, letting us know beforehand what we otherwise discover at long last: that the events that are about to unfold are nothing but an elaborate prank on the audience and, possibly, the cast. This movie exists in a limbo somewhere in between Close Encounters of the Third Kind’s unabashed childlike wonder and Ad Astra’s adult ‘we’re alone in the Universe’ pragmatism – which is a polite way of saying that Contact is neither fish nor fowl; the moral of the story, in a nutshell, is that there might be intelligent extraterrestrial life, but then again, there might not be. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with some ambiguity, but let’s consider this: untold amounts of money, physical resources and manpower are spent in the movie (but not by the movie, which prefers to cut corners and follow the unconvincing route of CGI – technology which, by the way, has not aged well nor improved a lot ever since), while we spent two and half hours of our precious time, and it’s all only to learn that, maybe, aliens don’t exist except in overly complicated hoaxes and the minds of impressionable people. That’s a lot of work to do as well as a long way to go to arrive at a conclusion that for many, myself included, is of the foregone variety. And even if the extraterrestrials in the film were real, they’d still be rather disappointing – though I shouldn’t speak in plural, since we only see one in the form of Dr. Ellie Arroway’s (Jodie Foster) long deceased father. The good news is that Ellie’s dad is played by David Morse, and you could certainly do a lot worse than that (and that goes for the rest of the ensemble cast); the bad news is that Ellie’s close encounter takes places on a beach that is supposedly meant to mimic a drawing she made when she was nine years old. This is bad because the drawing, which looks like an actual preteen might have drawn it, is a veritable Monet compared with the computer-generated beach where Ellie has a very anticlimactic meeting with the alien, who tells her nothing she, or for that matter we, didn’t already know or believe – which in turn doesn’t mean that the place itself has to be equally underwhelming; why not a real beach? Or, perhaps even better, a set made to resemble a real beach? This would doubtless speak to either Ellie’s imagination or the aliens’ handicraft much more than what we end up getting.