First off, the [R] in the title of this thread means "anything goes." Spoilers included. So stop reading right now if you want to be surprised. But then, what can Spielberg do to surprise us anymore. The Spielberg of Duel, Jaws and Close Encounters of the Third Kind is history. To be frank, I'd rather sit through the greatly flawed Independence Day again than this thing. I've seen ID4 several times since it opened, in fact. I won't be checking this out again unless it's DVD incarnation contains an extra half-hour of added footage or something. The 1953 classic is colorful and brisk. This has the muted colors that are in vogue in pictures today (being passed off as a realistic look) and, of course, Spielberg just has to kill us with Cruise and the kids and all the maudlin family crap. This stupidity stops the movie dead in its tracks several times. The screaming and yelling between Cruise, his son and his daughter can almost drive one out of the theater. Does Spielberg really think that garbage is entertaining? The over-emphasis on Richard Dreyfus in Close Encounters almost ruined that picture. Knock it off already, Steve. The effects look fine and are often great, but every movie can boast that nowadays. The aliens are rip-offs of those in ID4 but without the dreads. The only eerie and somewhat original part is when Cruise comes across Tim Robbins playing a kind of survivalist nutcase. When the both of them are struggling noiselessly over a gun as the aliens are foolishly and uselessly wasting time checking out a destroyed basement is supposed to be full of tension. This is where you know Spielberg has lost it, because you sit there feeling nothing. Jaws--where are you when we need you?