E.T. is going home once again. When Steven Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was released in 1982, it captured the imaginations of audiences everywhere, young and old alike, earning nine Oscar nominations including Best Director, Screenplay and Picture. It took home four other Oscars and to this day, it remains one of the most well known films of Spielberg’s filmmaking career. Now, 30 years later, audiences can relive the extra-terrestrial experience with the film being re-released on DVD and for the first time on Blu-ray.
Elliott (Henry Thomas), a lonely but imaginative 10-year-old boy, discovers a creature hiding in the bushes behind his house. While most children would turn and run in fear, Elliott finds himself strangely drawn to it. Using a trail of candy, he manages to lure it out and the two almost immediately form an unusual bond — Elliott’s younger sister (Drew Barrymore) and older brother (Robert MacNaughton) even become acquainted with the alien. But it isn’t long before others discover the extra-terrestrial is hiding out among them and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get their hands on the creature. What they don’t realize is that its connection to Elliott goes much deeper than just friendship.
Even though the movie is three decades old, and even with the obvious advancements in film technology since it was first released, it still doesn’t feel like it lacks in any way. Obviously when paired against modern alien releases like the Men in Black series or even the recent Prometheus, the special effects aren’t as prominent. But the thing with E.T. is that it doesn’t even need all that. The simplicity of the alien and the spaceship combined with the touching storyline is more than enough to keep you entertained, especially with overarching themes like loyalty and friendship that are still very relevant even in today’s times. It also doesn’t hurt that you can’t help but fall in love with the alien every time he makes an appearance on screen.
The special Anniversary Edition of the film has been digitally remastered for a sharper picture and new 7.1 surround sound – a modern update to a classic story for a new generation of fans. Another bonus of the re-release is the long list of interesting additional special features. The Blu-ray combo-pack includes never-before-seen behind-the-scenes footage of the making of the film, interviews with Spielberg and his original cast, deleted scenes, “The Evolution and Creation of E.T.”, an inside look at the film’s music, behind-the-scenes footage of the 20th Anniversary Premiere at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and the original Special Olympics TV spot. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial — the 30th Anniversary Edition is available today on DVD and Blu-ray. ~Soriyya Bawa