The 2.35:1 anamorphic picture is something of a let-down. There's a white spot at top left throughout the first shot, and things don't improve much later; the night scenes when Barry disappears lack contrast, there are some very fuzzy shots inside the Neary home, and almost every shot with a brightly-lit UFO is grainy. The red jumpsuits of the contact team aren't bright, and this signals an overall lack of colour in the image. Disappointing.
You get a choice of Dolby Pro-Logic, 5.1 or DTS. The DTS version is certainly superior; listen to the sequence where the UFO buzzes Neary's truck in Chapter 5. The DTS sound has much more depth and clarity, and the same is true in the sequence in Chapter 7 where helicopters buzz the ship in the desert, and indeed with the glass-shattering rumble of the Mothership in Chapter 22. John Williams' terrific score comes over with force and vitality, and if your volume is turned up high you will certainly mess yourself at the opening orchestral stab.
Neither the original version nor the later Special Edition, this disc uses some added footage from the Special Edition but omits the final shots inside the Mothership (included as deleted scenes). Disc one has the movie with 16 subtitle languages. Disc two has a great 101min Making of... doc from 1997 which makes up for the lack of a commentary, a five-minute featurette from 1977, trailers, filmographies, and 11 deleted scenes. The extras mothership has landed!Though picture quality is disappointing, this unmissable sci-fi classic gets the disc treatment it richly deserves
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