CONTACT (Released to Theaters in the USA 1997)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 3.9|5.0 Stars ììì

imagines earth’s first contact with alien life forms via the Arecibo Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence program, the New Mexico Very Large Array program, the Vega star system, and earth’s astronomers. It’s a large deviation from the Hollywood action movies that depict first contact as a struggle against alien domination with the resultant mayhem, bloodshed, and war (see Independence Day, War of the Worlds, Battle: Los Angeles). Contact, an original Carl Sagan movie concept, revolves around Astronomer Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Arroway’s (Jodie Foster) life challenges before being the first person to discover decipherable incoming messages from the Vega star system. Ellie encounters serious challenges to her work in the form of withdrawal of funding, withdrawal of credibility support, greedy usurpation of her ability to speak about her findings, denigration of her status as a free thinker, and promotion of others ahead of her to travel into deep space to solve the mystery of the source of the messages. But, as in real life, small breaks come when all seems lost. In this case, she receives a new post at New Mexico’s satellite array; a billion-dollar engineer, S. R. Hadden (John Hurt), funds her work and tells her about a Japanese launch capsule that will transport her to Vega. There is an interesting scene where Ellie is transported to a previously imagined Florida beach and is approached by a materialized form that looks like her dad who tells her that this is first contact as if promising there will be much more to come. When she arrives back on earth, high level officials show her video footage that seems to support that she never left earth and her story becomes entirely discredited. The movie ends with a White House cover up.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia

Additional Thanks

Really good work for Director and Producer Robert Zemeckis. Thank you to Executive Producers Joan Bradshaw and Lynda Obst for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Young Ellie (Jena Malone), Fisher (Geoffrey Blake), Kent (William Fichtner), Vernon (SaMi Chester), Ted Arroway (David Morse), and Davio (Timothy McNeil).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. It is an interesting, good watch because it is different from the usual alien movie.

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

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