E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial

With Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote
Directed by Steven Spielberg

While kids of recent years grow up with the likes of
Tellytubbies and Pokémon, some of us were fortunate enough to grow up with the movies of Star Wars and this, admittedly one of Spielberg's most personal films, E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial. The basic but magical tale of a boy who finds an alien stranded on earth gets treated with so much emotional depth, humanity, humour and action that even those who were not fortunate enough to see this film on its original release will still find it magical. The brilliant performances by the kids, especially Henry Thomas and a tiny, sweet Drew Barrymore make this film beyond moving and believable - not to mention the innovative E.T. creature effects innovations of the time. For this 20th anniversary release (2002), technology allowed Spielberg to add and alter some details he couldn't back then. While some of us may wish to remember the film in its originally created form, the alterations and additional footage does not detract from the film's intrinsic sense of wonder. For example, cops' & agents' firearms were digitally replaced by walky-talkies! This double disc features some wonderful extras. There is the look at how E.T. was created, a piece on John Williams' incredible soundtrack, designs, photography and marketing, the 20th anniversary reunion with cast interviews, trailers, the anniversary premiere and even a space exploration portion where E.T. gives you info on the planets in our solar system. The footage of Thomas' audition is absolutely jaw-dropping and behind-the-scenes footage show how emotionally the kids got involved with this creature (basically a puppet), who became their friend, for real! In stead of a directors' commentary (which would've been great, although the film speaks for itself), is the addition of the live orchestral soundtrack John Williams conducted at the 20th anniversary premiere (complete with audience cheers) - a piece of logistic, artistic, timing and rhythmic brilliance. Winning 4 of its 9 nominated Oscars, E.T. is one of those magical, timeless films that moves all who allow it to sweep them up in its near flawless narrative and execution. The chance of another commercial film like this seeing the light in our digital age is highly unlikely, so take this opportunity to get transported into a truly amazing cinematic accomplishment.

6 / A
- PB

1 2 3 4 5 6
A - B - C

never let a review decide for you, but for those who need a rating, see the Flamedrop scale below
6 - Volcanic
5 - Blistering
4 - Hot
3 - Smolder
2 - Room Temperature
1 - Fizzled
0 - Extinguished

A: Multi-Viewing Potential

B: Could Enjoy A 2nd Look

C: Once Should Suffice

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