Starring: Henry Thomas, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote
Written By: Melissa Mathison
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Studio: Universal Studios
Buy On Amazon.com
E.T. is a classic and always will be. It’s celebrating it’s 35th anniversary and the theatrical edition has been released just in time for Halloween. I always think of this as a Halloween movie since it takes place around that time. If you don’t own E.T. on Blu-Ray, 4k or digital HD, now’s a good time to get this.
You all should know the story of E.T. so I’m not even going to discuss it here, so let’s just get into this release. I’ve been watching E.T. for most of my life. I was 4 when it was originally released and would watch it on VHS over and over. Then in 2002, it was re-released as a special edition so it was neat to finally see it in theaters. After all these years, the ending still chokes me up.
As much as it was cool to see some new scenes added to the movie, the special edition also was overly PC with the removal of the guns with walkie-talkies and having the mom not say “terrorist.” It was just stupid to replace those things, like why would the kids be scared of government suits chasing them with walkie-talkies? So when I saw that theatrical was being re-released, I wanted to own the true version of the movie.
As a kid watching this, we all wanted to be Elliot and find a friendly alien in the backyard of our house. The bond between the two is what makes the movie so sweet and great. Of course, John Williams’ excellent score helps all the dramatic stuff along, and will get you crying when you least expect it. I know that happens to me. If the kids weren’t good actors, the movie wouldn’t have been as good. The screenplay by Mathison was also strong so that certainly helps as well. The original special effects are back in, which they obviously look dated in some scenes but I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.
It’s been a long time seeing this version of the movie but I definitely think of it as the real version, and I guess Spielberg now does too. Since this is from a 4k transfer, the movie looked excellent on Blu-Ray. The blu-ray extras include a bunch of previously released stuff from other releases, but it’s still interesting stuff if you’ve never seen them before. A lot of this seems like it was from a 20th anniversary edition DVD 15 years ago.
If you don’t own E.T. on Blu-ray or want to upgrade to 4k, now’s the chance to get it! I guess you could wait in 5 years for the 40th anniversary edition on whatever the next thing will be? 8k?
Over 3 Hours of Bonus Features
Steven Spielberg & E.T.
The E.T. Journals
A Look Book
The Evolution and Creation of E.T.
The E.T. Reunion
The Music of E.T.: A Discussion with John Williams
The 20th Anniversary Premiere
Designs, Photographs and Marketing
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Widescreen 1.85:1 Color
Bottom Line: Still a classic, in it’s original cut.
Running Time: 115 mins