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Everybody's favorite squishy brown alien gets a serious high-def boost on this must-have Blu-ray edition....
Universal / 114 Minutes / 1982 / Rated PG / Street Date: October 9, 2012
E.T. as a film still holds up beautifully as a wondrous, delightful fantasy of friendship and love, one that spans generations and the very universe itself. Like the first time you saw a rainbow or tasted a hot fudge sundae, E.T. has that pure sense of childlike wonder infused into the very celluloid it was shot on. A filmmaker working at the top of his game, Spielberg took an excellent script by Melissa Mathieson, cast it beautifully, and hired award-winning cinematographer Allen Daviau to shoot it like an art film. Almost expressionist and surreal, yet wholly, remarkably accessible and universal, E.T. is that rare modern masterpiece that still matters.
Seeing it again in high-def, I'm amazed at how dark and sinister a film it really is. Poor little E.T. Is lost all alone here on Earth, as young an alien as Elliott (Henry Thomas) is a boy. The father long since gone, it is up to Elliott's mother (Dee Wallace) to keep the family together (not easy with little Gertie (Drew Barrymore) around), and the early scenes of the awestruck Elliott trying to convince all around him of E.T.'s existence is not the light fare of most childlike fantasies.
When the government begins its inexorable, terrifying march towards capturing Elliott's little friend, the film achieves a rare power, an uncanny evocation of the primal pull of early separation. I challenge anyone not to wipe away a few tears before this one is over.
Yet despite all the awards, critical accolades and mega-millions it raked in at the box office, I'm sure there are many who will forever resist E.T.'s charms just on principal alone. Some will hate it because it was so popular. Some will hate it because it's Spielberg. Some will hate it simply to... hate it. But I for one don't care. I'm probably as unsentimental as they come, yet I continue to love E.T. unconditionally. Don't expect me to diss the squishy little brown guy just because I'm all grown up and supposed to be over it by now.