E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982): 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray Review, a movie directed by Steven Spielberg and starring Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, Sean Frye, C. Thomas Howell, and Erika Eleniak.
Release Date: October 9, 2012
During it’s original theatrical run, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial became an instant box-office smash, breaking records all over the world and further cementing Steven Spielberg as a juggernaut of quality filmmaking. The film follows Elliot, a 10-year-old Californian boy, who encounters a small alien hiding in his family’s tool shed. The alien, whom we later come to know as E.T., was stranded when his group had to flee back to their space ship. Elliot (expertly played by Henry Thomas) lures the creature from the forest to his room with a trail of Reese’s Pieces candy (in the first huge film product placement). Elliot’s older brother Michael and his 5-year-old sister, Gertie (Drew Barrymore) learn of the alien and together, the siblings decide to keep him hidden from their mother. Elliot grows to have a psychic connection with E.T., who is learning to speak English and imitate Elliot and the other children. E.T. begins to grow weaker due to his absence from his home planet; this weakness manifests in Elliot as well due to their link. Homesick, E.T. is inspired to try to build a communication device to “phone home” using a Speak & Spell toy. The children sneak E.T. out of the house dressed as a ghost on Halloween, leading to the iconic scene of Elliot peddling E.T. on the handlebars of his bike in front of the moon accompanied in flight by his neighborhood friends.
The next day, Elliot and E.T. both decline in health as government agents descend upon their home. E.T. appears to expire while Elliot recovers only to be surprised by E.T.’s miraculous recovery as he feels his people traveling back to rescue him. Aided by the neighborhood children, the siblings steal a van to spirit away E.T. to the rendezvous point to meet his people.
E.T.’s heart begins to glow as he prepares to say goodbye and E.T. assures Elliot “I’ll be right here” pointing to his forehead with a glowing finger. E.T. ambles to his spaceship and takes off leaving a rainbow trail.
The film’s themes of alienation and rebirth resonated with young and old alike and held the world record as the highest grossing film of all time for 10 years straight, unseating Star Wars. Thirty years later it’s message of tolerance, communication, and mutual understanding still have a place in the lesson book of a new generation.
The E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 30th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray is a BD-50 dual layer region free disc and comes accompanied by a DVD-9 copy in a nifty blue eco-lite keepcase with glossy title-embossed slipcover. The Blu ray includes code for a mobile game download and a code for an UltraViolet Digital Copy. The disc’s main menu features full motion clips with musical score in the background. It comes in spectacular full 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode remastered from the original 35mm negatives and rendered in the original 1.85:1 ratio.
Some scenes were difficult to see due to the indoor lighting conditions in the shoot; still, the detail of the house—the ‘lived in’ feel—come through. You understand there is a real family with real children here. The interior shots do display a lot of shadows and color is slightly affected, but both primaries and secondaries come through and are true throughout the film owing to adequate contrast. There is a slight grain, but this is no doubt due to the age of the negative and not mastering of the Blu-ray. Outdoor shots display much stronger contrast and range of hue, as is expected due to lighting.
This timeless family classic is presented with a lush DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack scored by John Williams. The audio utilizes all seven channels and acoustics are crisp and bright, full and emotional. Speech is centered with clear intonation and well balanced with the polytonal music. Effects are immersed in the soundfield so as to provide a finely-woven full emotional experience; the listener is just as much a part of the action as the characters.
Steven Spielberg & E.T. (13 minutes)
Spielberg covers some of the same ground he explored in The Evolution of & Creation of E.T. With added technical details and discussion of the script.
The E.T. Journals (54 minutes)
A meaty documentary constructed from behind-the-scenes footage and interviews edited in the same order as the scenes appear in the actual movie; it allows fans to see how the movie evolved scene by scene while visiting with the actors as they were thirty years ago.
A Look Back (38 minutes)
A making-of documentary that was previously included in the 3-disc DVD release, it includes interviews with the cast and crew and behind-the-scenes footage.
The Evolution of & Creation of E.T. (50 minutes)
Spielberg discusses his personal influences, the overall themes, the inspiration for the story interspersed with behind-the-scenes footage. It looks at casting and development and compares and contrasts the original 1982 effects and the digital alterations for the 2002 release.
The E.T. Reunion (18 minutes)
Kathleen Kennedy and Steven Spielberg reminisce with the cast and crew on the experience of making the film and the impact it has had on all their lives.
The Music of E.T. (10 minutes)
Composer John Williams discusses scoring the film.
The 20th Anniversary Premiere (18 minutes)
A behind-the-scenes look at the rehearsal for the 20th Anniversary Premiere that included a live performance of John Williams’s score.
The two deleted scenes that were restored to the 2002 re-release of the film.
Designs, Photographs, and Marketing
Production stills and marketing photos for the film by Ed Verreaux, Carlo Rambaldi, and Ralph McQuarrie.
Includes the original theatrical trailer and a Special Olympics Spot featuring E.T.