LowComDom Performances Presents
Film Review - Contact
This may be the first intelligent movie of the year. Well, let me re-phrase that: It IS the first intelligent movie of 1997.
What a relief to find quality movies are still being made. This year we've gotten The Saint (ho hum), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (dinosaurs don't sniff, they chew!), and Batman and Robin (with the Valley-Bat-Girl). OK, so there was Face-Off, but c'mon, did you really have to think during the movie?!
This is a film about an advanced alien race reaching out to humans for the first time, and humans reacting to them. Based on Carl Sagan's book (which I have not yet had the privilege of reading), it is based in scientific fact, and feels true-to-life. There are politicians and religious groups fighting themselves and each other. Ellie Arroway (Foster), our heroine, is fighting to prove herself to the misogynistic science community and the world. She denies the idea of God because she can't prove it, yet comes to realize the close relationship between faith and truth.
The characters are fully developed (even the supporting cast), and the story is rich. Carl Sagan and his wife, Ann Druyan, worked for many years to get his book to film (I believe since 1978). As it goes in Hollywood, the movie rights were purchased by one film company, only to be stuck in pre-production for years, then bought by another movie company, who wanted to completely change the story (think Paul Verhoeven of Starship Troopers and Showgirls). Sagan fought for this movie to be made with his own specifications, for many, many years. Zemekis, who finally got a hold of it, did full justice to Sagan and Druyan. Unfortunately, Sagan croaked before he got to see the final cut.
Bring your brain to this movie; it will get some great exercise. You may even want to see this movie more than once, like me. So why the "slight suction" rating? It sucks in only that I'll have to pay my $8 to see it again!
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Released in 1997
MPAA Rating: PG
Reviewed by Smiley