E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial (10/3/12)

E.T.Movie Two Hundred Twenty

E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial is the touching story of a lost alien and the boy who helps him find his way home.

A large spacecraft lands in a forested area of California and a group of small aliens are collecting local plants. A group of men from the government appear in trucks and the aliens flee and fly away, leaving one member behind. The alien winds up in a storage shed in a family’s backyard and is discovered by Elliott (Henry Thomas), who cannot believe what he is seeing. The following evening, after his mother (Dee Wallace), brother, Michael (Robert MacNaughton), and younger sister, Gertie (Drew Barrymore), don’t believe him, Elliott lures the alien into his room with a trail of Reese’s Pieces. After staying home from school with his new friend, Elliott and E.T. begin to form a mental bond and as his family finally sees the truth, the government is closing in on capturing the extra-terrestrial, but all E.T. wants is to go home.

First off, I want to extend my deepest thanks to Brandie from True Classics for their giveaway to see E.T. live in theaters for one-night only! It has probably been about 20 years since I had last watched E.T. and I knew that I couldn’t miss it in theaters. Also, my wife had never seen the movie, which was too shocking to let slide.

E.T. is one of those magical films that someone from any age can likely relate to because the themes are universal; friendship, sacrifice, love, etc. The magic of E.T. largely comes from the cast, primarily comprised of the three children, who bring a sense of pure childlike wonderment onscreen. Barrymore was about 6 during filming and she honestly gives perhaps the best performance of her career here. Even E.T. himself is kind of cute and human enough that he is easy to relate to. You understand his plight, you can imagine how scared you would be winding up stranded on a strange planet and then finding a friend. The premise is simple but incredibly touching.

The theatrical presentation of E.T. is based on a newly restored theatrical print of the film for its 30th anniversary. I note this because I learned that the previous restoration had been edited to remove the guns of the FBI agents. Well, the guns are back for this print, which is the same version as the newly released 30th anniversary blu-ray. The restoration was crisp, vibrant, and sounded clear. The theater was pretty crowded with families and children, so I’m glad they were able to experience E.T. in its true form (likely looking better than ever) on the big screen.

After seeing E.T. again as an adult, I teared up a bit, laughed, got tense, smiled, and got chills and it’s rare that a film can evoke all these emotions without skipping a beat. E.T. is also further proof that Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest directors of all time. After I came home from the theater I immediately went online and purchased the blu-ray of E.T. so I could watch it again and get behind the scenes.

I give it 5 E.T. makes a surprisingly attractive woman out of 5.

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