Admittedly, a big part of the appeal of "Shelf Life" (as a film writer, anyway) is having a legitimate excuse to go back and watch a lot of movies we remember loving, partially for the hell of it, and partially because we wonder if our feelings have changed significantly over time. Interestingly, this has thus far not begat a lot of pure reassurance, nor transformed initial or even evolved/ devolved reactions; rather, it's given us a window into – and more specifically, a stronger argument for – some of the appetites and interests we've developed as our sensibilities as moviegoers (much less critics) has evolved.

This week's case in point is Contact, Robert Zemeckis' 1997 film about humankind's first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence. Released during the summer after my college graduation, when I was at the height of my pretentiousness as a cinephile, it nevertheless knocked my socks off when I saw it, combining a sense of wonder with technical proficiency and an emotional sophistication that wouldn't register with yours truly until much later. If it still has – which is precisely why it's this week's "Shelf Life" subject. (Well, that and the fact it's just been released on Blu-ray by Warner Home Video.)
categories Cinematical