Ain't It Cool News (

Close Encounters on DVD, or not'

Glen here…

CLAUDE LACOMBE sent in this message about the release of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND Collector’s Edition Laserdisc, and whether or not we should expect to see a DVD counterpart to this release arrive anytime in the foreseeable future.

After doing some hand exercises and putting on his sunglasses, MR. LACOMBE said:

The recently-released Collector's Edition laserdisc box set of Close Encounters will be the only digital version of this film you'll see on the home viewing market. I just wrote an extensive article on DVD for a local newspaper and two of the six retailers I spoke to for quotes said Close Encounters is a very sought after DVD title, but it may never see the light of day.

On a high note, I was told that if the laserdisc box set sells well, then a DVD may be considered sometime down the road. But even coming to that "may be" decision may take a long, long time. Thanking the Gods I still have my laserdisc player, I ran right out to buy the new edition of CE, even though I already have the Criterion Collection edition. The new two hour documentary (where Spielberg was interviewed extensively on the "Saving Private Ryan" set) is incredible. Interviews with Cary Guffey, Melinda Dillon, Terri Garr, Dreyfuss, Bob Balaban, etc. round out the set, including additional suppliments like long-lost deleted scenes that NO ONE but the crew filming them have ever seen until now.

DO NOT wait for the DVD. It may never happen. If you still have a laserdisc player, then buy the CE: Collectors Edition right now. It's a limited release.

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus
    + Expand All
  • Aug. 19, 1998, 8:52 a.m. CST


    by maulman

    Thats a disgrace close encounters on dvd ..the whole idea of dvd is too watch the good movies we once saw in theaters and to be able to relive the expierence. Now they are not going to release dvd's of this and other titles makes no sense i hope this is not there way of screwing the public for some unknown reason.

  • Aug. 19, 1998, 9:31 a.m. CST

    Missing Scene from CE3K

    by TJ Bateman

    What was that missing scene on the Special LD that only the crew saw? TJB

  • Aug. 19, 1998, 11:44 a.m. CST

    citizen kane dvd

    by Orson Welles

    Look for the citizen kane dvd in mid/late 1999, ORSON

  • Aug. 19, 1998, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Laser Disc's days are over,don't Buy it, it'll be on DVD

    by Norm

    JUST WAIT IT OUT, SPIELBERG IS NOT THAT STUPID.When he see's he not selling many LDs then he will come running fast to DVD!Plus now that Fox & Paramount are in,its over for LD!

  • Aug. 19, 1998, 2:27 p.m. CST

    DVD's of all titles will eventually happen

    by Lamberts

    DVD's will come out sooner or later for every hit movie from the silent film era on, if DVD has any kind of endurance as a format. For Speilberg or the studio to say otherwise would be the same as the Beatles' and Apple Records saying "No, we already have Abbey Road out on vinyl and cassette tape; no CD version will ever ship". Take my word for it...CEOTTK and every other film, Speilberg and otherwise, will hit DVD if the format sticks around like we expect it to!

  • Aug. 19, 1998, 3:03 p.m. CST


    by Jay Garrick

    I watched the documentary, it was really informative and highly entertaining. A hell of a lot more entertaining than the movie it was about will ever be.

  • Aug. 20, 1998, 7:10 a.m. CST

    DVD vs. LD

    by gonk

    I held out on DVD for a long time. I thought it sucked and I thought everyone was stufpid for buying it. It came to pass that I had some extra money and Starship Troopers was about to come out, so I bought a used DVD player and rented some DVDs. After I saw how much better than LD the picture was, I rushed out and charged a Dolby Digital receiver. The sound is amazing, The color is amazing, and the features are badass! While I still keep my LD player around for a few titles, I rarely watch an LD. Only if I'm desperate and the movie isn't on DVD...yet. This is just a slice of life story from a ex-skeptic.

  • Aug. 20, 1998, 10:31 a.m. CST


    by FALCON_X-0N_

    Apearently, the DVD release of the movie GHOSTBUSTERS will be coming out, but just not for quite a while. same with many other movies. DVD is still in it's infancey. It will become more popular so my buess is to buy one now. or around Christmas, when they are cheeper. the Average one is $300-$800 and you can get a DVD that you can play on your TV and computer anywhere from $250-$1200 and some you can even play on your regular stereo.

  • Aug. 20, 1998, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Laserdiscs are NOT digital

    by Matt Fisher

    Just a quick correction. There is no digital information on a laserdisc. They are completely analogue. Even the digital tracks are stored in an analogue format and converted. They still have a pretty good picture, though. (Don't know about the AC-3 discs. They might have some actual digital stuff on them. The picture is definitely component analogue.)

  • Aug. 21, 1998, 8 a.m. CST

    Um, Laserdisc is not digital

    by Nefarious

    I have seen people say that Laserdisc is a digital format a couple of times in this forum. It_is_not_a_digital_format in audio or video.

  • Aug. 21, 1998, 8:51 a.m. CST

    I Wrote the Above Article!!!!!!!!

    by chris

    First off, Harry got my name wrong on the above article. I NEVER called myself Claude Lacombe...just Chris. Anyway, as a journalist I get my sources from the top. Bullshit to many of you, but in the real newspaper world, still the best. I called Columbia/TriStar three times when this article was written. Spoke to a guy named Les Briar (please call him if you still don't believe me). He told me his list of upcoming DVD's for the next three years DID NOT include CEOTTK. This is because Spielberg WILL NOT put the film on DVD...only laserdisc. The laserdisc special edition was limited to 10,000 and has since (according to Briar) sold briskly. Store owners back this up. Spielberg owns DTS...that's why he wants all of his DVD's to have DTS (Jesus, I'm sick of acronyms). Oh yeah...a real nail in the head for DVD. Studies show that many DVD buyers purchase movies in the format solely for the widescreen format. They can care less about audio and picture. I get my results from my own interviews and from legit sources like Home Theater, Widescreen Review, etc. All home video companies are releasing ALL their titles in THX Widescreen videotape within the next year. All will be high quality SP mode and will retail at no higher than $15.00. Most will even include supplemental materials like documentaries, trailers, etc. Looks like DVD and LD has more competition that they thought...

  • Aug. 21, 1998, 11:29 p.m. CST

    Spielberg Does Digital

    by platform

    The Special Edition of CE3K is fantastic. But what I want to know is when is Dreamworks going to get their ass in gear for releasing their films (most notably Amistad, and eventally Saving Private Ryan) on laser and DVD? I am stating right now that I will buy them. Just start selling them. Or at least tell us when.

  • Aug. 22, 1998, 9:23 p.m. CST

    laser versus dvd

    by DwDunphy

    As a longtime laserdisc fan, I'm more than disturbed by how DVD is cutting in on the market with inferior, yes inferior, product. When I say this, I know full well that I'm begging to throw down the wrath of recent digital converts, but my goal is not to pick fights... mine is to ensure that I can get letterboxed editions of the movies that mean something to me. DVD is, and has been said by their manufacturers from the start, not a collectors medium but a general retail medium. The general retail market doesn't seem to like letterbox, or hasn't a trip to any Blockbuster in the US already confirmed this? I'm not really weeping tears for the lack of Close Encounters on dvd, but let's not forget... One of the format's primary supporters is Sony, who owns Columbia-Tri Star, who releases... guess what? Greed will out.

  • Aug. 24, 1998, 6:22 a.m. CST


    by Brian

    Just wanted to weigh in on the DVD/LD debate. First, let me say that I've never owned a laserdisc player and I've owned a DVD player for 5 months. A previous post said that DVD was inferior to LD. Well, having no LD to make comparisions to, I can't comment on quality. I only know that my DVDs look and sound better than anything I've ever seen. Plus, the DVDs themselves are generally $20 and under, as opposed to $100 for laserdisc. And with RSDL formatting, I can watch the entire movie, uninterrupted. With LD, you have to keep switching discs. As for the widescreen vs. Pan and Scan issue, most DVDs either have both versions (one on each side), or are widescreen only. A few titles are pan and scan only but they are rare. Oh, and one last thing: when I got my DVD player 5 months ago, I started renting them from a place call Digitainment. This place sells and rents DVDs and LDs only (no VHS). Five months ago, the store was about half and half DVD and LD. Now, its about 3/4 DVD and 1/4 LD. What does that tell you?

  • Aug. 24, 1998, 11:06 a.m. CST


    by Dash Rendar

    Well, Digitainment has closed (I think back in July) This store was great. A friend of mine bought a DVD and a laserdisc player together so he got 104 free rentals! Damn, well never see that anywhere again... I guess this is same Digitainment that the guy above was talking about...Ilive in North Jersey.

  • Aug. 24, 1998, 8:55 p.m. CST

    Close Encounters in region 4

    by Simon Walmsley

    On the region 4 "Legends of the Fall" DVD htere is an add for a bunch of movies coming soon to DVD. Close Encounters is one of them. I don't know about the USA or Europe, but the region 4 DVD specifically showed scenes from Close Encounters. No release date, and no other comments than "coming soon to DVD". regards, Simon

  • Aug. 25, 1998, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Widescreen & Digitainment

    by Brian

    I agree that most people don't understand letterboxing. You just can't reason with these people. This is one reason I like DVD; I can almost always get the widescreen version off the shelf. With VHS, I always had to special order. The great thing about DVD is that the studios either give us both versions on the same disk, or widescreen only. So the idiots that want to watch pan and scan can do so, while we can watch widescreen. And to the guy from North Jersey - I was not referring to your Digitainment store. Mine is in Wilmington, Delaware, and is doing fine. Apparently, Digitainment is a chain.

  • Aug. 25, 1998, 10:04 a.m. CST


    by The chuggmiester

    I was a besotted LD fan for years, and laid down the scorn highway whenever DVD was first mentioned. But I must admit that once I had witnessed the fine quality of DVD, there was no going back! LD had, and still has, the appeal of vynal. Big discs glossy covers - all with high qualitat pic and sound. I love LD, but it's days ARE numbered. It's only saving grace will be it's back catalogue. DVD has a little more res - but not so much that it blows LD away! - better colour representation, richer brighter colours. And as for releases? Studios are in it for profit - not art! If it sells you can bet your bottom $$$ that it'll come out. Quite why Mr.speilburg insn't going to release anything on DVD is beyond me - I don't put it down to DTS because you can get hid LD's in DTS and non-DTS flavas anyway. As for widescreen? Any film not released in widescreen ain't worth dick! People who think they're getting less picture should be skinned alive. They don't know film, so leave them to they're tv dinner, soap-opera riddled, commmercial whore ways. Film ain't for you! ta la "the chuggster"

  • Aug. 28, 1998, 4:20 p.m. CST

    "They can care less"

    by MF

    I would have thought that someone so concerned with moronic behaviour would be aware that the correct idiom is "couldn't care less." What he wrote actually means the opposite, as in, "those people really care a lot about letterboxing." duh

  • Aug. 31, 1998, 2:38 p.m. CST

    Well, there's always VCDs

    by sinople

    Well if you have a computer that's at least a pent. 133 with a 4 speed cd-rom player, some dvd players and most dvd-rom drives you can play video cds AKA VCDs. There's a lot more titles available on VCD than DVD currently... Some are legal some are, well, not.

  • Sept. 20, 1998, 12:58 p.m. CST

    More image on "pan/scan" Titanic

    by Matt Fisher

    I think people here don't realize that Cameron shoots in super 35. This means that there is more image at the top and bottom of the screen on the pan/scan tape than was shown in the cinema. The letterboxed video just covers these areas up. So the Pan/Scan version is actually just unmatted. mf