Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
Astronomer Dr. Ellie Arroway has long been interested in contact to faraway lands, a love fostered in her childhood by her father, Ted Arroway, who passed away when she was nine years old leaving her then orphaned. Her current work in monitoring for extraterrestrial life is based on that love and is in part an homage to her father. Ever since funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was pulled on her work, which is referred to some, including her NSF superior David Drumlin, as more science fiction than science, Ellie, with a few of her rogue scientist colleagues, have looked for funding from where ever they could get it to continue their work. When Ellie and her colleagues hear chatter originating from the vicinity of the star Vega, Ellie feels vindicated. But that vindication is short lived when others, including politicians, the military, religious leaders and other scientists such as Drumlin, try to take over her work. When the messages received from space are decoded, ... Written by
The movie establishes that the signal was launched from planet Earth in 1936, during the Berlin Olympic Games' opening. Since Vega is 26 light-years from planet Earth, the earliest the signal would have returned could have been in 1988. However, since we see the characters in the film using things such as Netscape, the year in which the signal was received would have been the mid-1990s, suggesting a span of several years between the aliens on Vega receiving the signal and them sending it back to Earth. See more »
The suggestion that a man-made Earth-orbiting satellite could have been used to simulate a signal emanating from a star is absurd. A satellite within Earth's or the Sun's gravitational fields can not carry enough fuel to maintain a position in front of a distant star for more than a fraction of a second out of every several hours. And since the signal was tracked from several locations on Earth, the sky would have to be filled with hoax satellites to fool more than one listening station. Moreover, the VLA alone would be able to confirm the distance of the signal from parallax. See more »
My only regret about CONTACT is that I didn't see it in a theater.
This movie works on so many levels. It is a fabulously balanced concoction of thrills, suspense, action, politics, acting & characterization, awe, and...(ahem)...INTELLIGENCE! (And not just the alien kind!)
Some have compared this movie to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY...with, perhaps, some justification. There certainly are more than just passing similarities. However, whereas 2001 relied on hardware to (almost) the exclusion of all else and placed a greater emphasis on "spectacle", CONTACT strives for more substance on the human and sociological level. It touches one's emotions in a way that most movies never attempt to, much less succeed. In this, CONTACT could just as well be compared to Steven Spielberg's masterpiece, E.T. But whereas E.T. was meant to wake up the "child" in us, CONTACT succeeds in waking us to the next level! This most definitely is THE movie for BRAINIACS!
I rate CONTACT a STRONG 8 out of 10.
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