There are some movies I find difficult writing about because I feel that the film is so beloved what more could I possibly add to the conversation. Case in point, E.T. The Extraterrestrial. Here is a film that continues to thrill audiences, move them to tears and make them cheer. E.T. triumphs because it touches the hearts of children and adults alike, reaching across generations. Using science fiction and fantasy elements, it’s a populist movie that, on the surface, is the adventure of a young boy and the alien he finds in his garage. Dig deeper and you find a movie about family, something all can relate to, whether you’ve met an alien or not. That E.T.is beautifully produced and features one of the greatest film scores of all time is icing on the cake.
This new Blu-ray of Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece presents a film that has not aged a bit in thirty-five years. It now looks as crisp as it did when it was originally released in theaters… maybe better. The movie has received an upgrade thanks to Universal Studios’ 100th Anniversary and the studio’s emphasis on restoring many of its landmark films. This Blu-ray (which also comes with a DVD copy, a digital download and an Ultraviolet code) was produced using 35 mm elements and it looks better than most films released this year. Seriously, I can’t recall E.T. ever looking this beautiful other than the initial release back in the 1980’s. On top of that, the audio has been remastered in 7.1 audio, allowing you to absorb every intricate twig snap, gasp, or piccolo trill featured in John Williams’ brilliant score.
Spielberg has also restored the films use of the original props that the threatening government agents carry during the climactic chase. Gone are the bullshit digital walkie-talkies that replaced guns, inserted into the 2002 20th Anniversary DVD release. Now, those menacing men is suits are carrying weapons, making the chase exciting and dangerous, the way it was always intended to be. Bravo to the famed director for admitting his mistake and correcting it. This Blu-ray represents the film the way adults remember it, and the film that we all want to introduce to our children and their children after that.
Bonus features contained in the E.T. Blu-ray include many that were released back in 2002, including “A Look Back” – an insider’s look into the making of the film and “The E.T. Reunion” – in which the cast and Spielberg discuss the film. New features include “The E.T. Journals” – which retraces the day-to-day experience of creating E.T.” and “Steven Spielberg & E.T.” – an all new interview with the director reflecting back on the film. There are also two deleted scenes featured in the 2002 DVD release that use a CG E.T. Yeah, not really that great, but worth checking out for their historical value.
I love this movie. I loved it the very first time I saw it in a theater. I loved it when I sat with millions at watched when it premiered on network television (even though I was supposed to be too cool to care). I loved it so much after college that I bought the poster and it still adorns my office walls for inspiration. And I loved just last weekend when I sat with my son and we watched it together.
In one hundred years, no matter how audiences will be watching movies, people will look back on the 1980’s and debate what the greatest film of that era was. Near the top has to be this film. With the holidays quickly approaching, now is the time to add E.T. to you library.