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Blu-ray Review: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Anniversary Edition

by Blogger ‎10-13-2012 07:33 PM - edited ‎10-13-2012 10:00 PM

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For many, Steven Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was a classic among coming-of-age stories.  Some might beg to disagree but it's hard to deny the sense of fantastical humanity, even during some of its slower moments.  The seemingly simple story opened up into something far more complex than anyone would have expected for the time, especially when children's films were all too prevalent.  To put it simply, it's a story about belonging, friendship and loss.

 
There's very little to say about E.T. that hasn't already been said by critics before.  While it was never one of my favourite films as a kid, Spielberg never hesitated to take risks in the film's final, traumatic act. He took your typical children's story and breathed some life into it, and left us feeling uncertain, frightened and sympathetic.  I might not have enjoyed the film when I was younger, but its darker elements have given me a deeper sense of appreciation.  
 
While the visual restoration is outstanding, free from any unnecessary tweaks, noise reduction or or anything else that might subvert Spielberg's intentions, it's almost good to a fault.  With the vibrant, new colours and sharp detail comes a greater awareness of the SFX.  For the time, these effects set the mood for this bittersweet story, but compared to today's standards it's apparent how off-putting they become.  I'm not even talking about E.T. himself, the puppetry involved in creating the gentle little alien is something I still can't help but marvel over, but the amount of fog in this film is ridiculous.  While that effect may not have seemed quite so evident before, instead hiding imperfections in a practical way, in a remastered setting outdated effects like that stand a little too close to the limelight.  Aesthetically, it's distracting (sometimes I'd wonder why Elliot's bedroom was so absurdly dusty) and can take away from the experience, at least until you've put it in the back of your mind. 
 
E.T.'s audio is just as wonderful, but without any of the sacrifice.  The film's rich DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround sound propels the film forward without distancing itself away from the original sound design. The beautiful, orchestrated score (one of my favourites to date) couldn't sound better and the dialogue is crispy and clear.  I couldn't expect anything more  from this remaster.  
 
In terms of the packaging, we get yet another Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy bundle, which is pretty good for the value ($24.99).  In addition, there are several features worth checking out, particularly Steven Spielberg & E.T. , The Music of E.T. and The E.T. Journals, each of which offer an intimate, honest look at Spielberg's film.  
 
This remastered release of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is definitely worthy of your time if you're looking to reminisce with this classic film.  There may be some sacrifices involved along the way, but overall the visual and audio quality is superb.  This release has given me a whole new appreciation for the film, and has given me the chance to delve deep into the rich story and presence.  There aren't many films quite like it.  
 
If you'd like to check out E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial for yourself, you can check it out at Future Shop: 
 

SKU: M2200119

The 2002 rerelease of E.T., which marks 20 years since the film's 1982 debut, includes never before seen footage, enhanced visual effects, and a new remastered soundtrack. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL is Steven Spielberg's warmhearted classic delight for both children and adults. It tells the story of an alien creature, E.T., mistakenly left behind on Earth. When a young boy, Elliott (Henry Thomas), finds E.T. and hides him in his home, both their worlds are changed forever. E.T. teaches Elliott and his two siblings (Drew Barrymore and Robert MacNaughton), whose parents have recently separated, about caring and love while the children protect E.T. from the malevolent world of grown-ups. Elliott and E.T. become so close that they share emotions; as E.T. becomes ill, so does Elliott. The children end up going on a fabulous adventure trying to help E.T. find a way back to his home planet. The movie was originally going to be based on a story idea by director John Sayles, but after he removed himself from the project, screenwriter Melissa Mathison (Harrison Ford's wife) took over the script and made it her own. John Williams's beautiful soundtrack became forever linked to E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL.




 
 
SKU: M2200203

The 2002 rerelease of E.T., which marks 20 years since the film's 1982 debut, includes never before seen footage, enhanced visual effects, and a new remastered soundtrack. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL is Steven Spielberg's warmhearted classic delight for both children and adults. It tells the story of an alien creature, E.T., mistakenly left behind on Earth. When a young boy, Elliott (Henry Thomas), finds E.T. and hides him in his home, both their worlds are changed forever. E.T. teaches Elliott and his two siblings (Drew Barrymore and Robert MacNaughton), whose parents have recently separated, about caring and love while the children protect E.T. from the malevolent world of grown-ups. Elliott and E.T. become so close that they share emotions; as E.T. becomes ill, so does Elliott. The children end up going on a fabulous adventure trying to help E.T. find a way back to his home planet. The movie was originally going to be based on a story idea by director John Sayles, but after he removed himself from the project, screenwriter Melissa Mathison (Harrison Ford's wife) took over the script and made it her own. John Williams's beautiful soundtrack became forever linked to E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL.



 

SKU: M2200192

The 2002 rerelease of E.T., which marks 20 years since the film's 1982 debut, includes never before seen footage, enhanced visual effects, and a new remastered soundtrack. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL is Steven Spielberg's warmhearted classic delight for both children and adults. It tells the story of an alien creature, E.T., mistakenly left behind on Earth. When a young boy, Elliott (Henry Thomas), finds E.T. and hides him in his home, both their worlds are changed forever. E.T. teaches Elliott and his two siblings (Drew Barrymore and Robert MacNaughton), whose parents have recently separated, about caring and love while the children protect E.T. from the malevolent world of grown-ups. Elliott and E.T. become so close that they share emotions; as E.T. becomes ill, so does Elliott. The children end up going on a fabulous adventure trying to help E.T. find a way back to his home planet. The movie was originally going to be based on a story idea by director John Sayles, but after he removed himself from the project, screenwriter Melissa Mathison (Harrison Ford's wife) took over the script and made it her own. John Williams's beautiful soundtrack became forever linked to E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL.


 

SKU: M2200198

The 2002 rerelease of E.T., which marks 20 years since the film's 1982 debut, includes never before seen footage, enhanced visual effects, and a new remastered soundtrack. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL is Steven Spielberg's warmhearted classic delight for both children and adults. It tells the story of an alien creature, E.T., mistakenly left behind on Earth. When a young boy, Elliott (Henry Thomas), finds E.T. and hides him in his home, both their worlds are changed forever. E.T. teaches Elliott and his two siblings (Drew Barrymore and Robert MacNaughton), whose parents have recently separated, about caring and love while the children protect E.T. from the malevolent world of grown-ups. Elliott and E.T. become so close that they share emotions; as E.T. becomes ill, so does Elliott. The children end up going on a fabulous adventure trying to help E.T. find a way back to his home planet. The movie was originally going to be based on a story idea by director John Sayles, but after he removed himself from the project, screenwriter Melissa Mathison (Harrison Ford's wife) took over the script and made it her own. John Williams's beautiful soundtrack became forever linked to E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL.




Comments
by Exalted Expert / Community Ambassador on ‎10-13-2012 08:02 PM

As a little piece of trivia... can you see difference original and the revised versions?  Hint.... it's in the hands.

by Blogger on ‎10-13-2012 10:05 PM

Yeah, the revised version has some subtle iterations here and there.  I really enjoyed how it didn't try to take too much away from the original version.  

 

I still wish the visual quality didn't make some of these effects seem so outdated, but I've noticed that happening alot with hi-def releases.  Great film regardless, glad I got to revisit it! 

by Trusted Expert on ‎10-15-2012 03:58 AM

Are both versions of the film on the Blu-ray?  Or is it only one of them?

by Blogger on ‎10-15-2012 09:58 AM

The one marked just "Anniversary Edition" is DVD, all others are Blu-ray. 

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