27. Contact (B+)
This used to run on TBS a lot, so I saw it a few times, but this was my first watch in several years. If nothing, it reminds one how good it is to have Robert Zemeckis back making live action movies, after a squandered decade, because few directors would attempt a movie like this (or get the money for it).
All the same, not a perfect movie by any means. The idea to focus on the real-world political/societal conflicts around first contact is a good one, but some aspects are seriously oversimplified; notably, the science/religion dichotomy more or less treats religion as a monolith, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Drumlin wins the initial job by making a big show of his belief in God, by which he presumbly means the Christian God, but you would think this would raise a huge interfaith controversy that the movie totally ignores (it's a bit unfair, I guess, but one tends to be more rigourous with movies that obviously have a brain in their head). As well, the "realistic" explanation proposed by James Woods' character at the end of the movie is so transparently preposterous that it's very hard to see why anyone would believe it.
That said, it's quite an interesting piece of work, featuring an amazing lead performance from Jodie Foster. Matthew McConaughey is a really odd choice for the sort of role he plays; he's not bad, by any means, but it's weird. The whole thing also makes a very interesting time capsule of mid-1990s culture and concerns (and technology).
Home Video: 19 (+1)