The highly publicized new ending in 1980 for this 1977 film turned out to be a matter of a few shots that didn’t alter the plot substantially. When Richard Dreyfuss enters the spaceship, the effects he “sees” simply expand on the original ending’s suggestion of a fantasy Manhattan: a forest of cool, soaring skyscrapers. You half expect Fred and Ginger to come tap-dancing out of one of the corridors. I suspect the alterations in the ending were mainly a commercial pretense, allowing Steven Spielberg to do some major retooling on the sputtering middle third. The film is cleaner, more coherent, and much more linear now, though those aren’t necessarily virtues. The quirky, obsessive pull is gone, replaced by a sleek, straight-ahead narrative; the added efficiency only serves to increase the sense of elegant, well-oiled machinery at work. 132 min.