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

Starring: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, K.C. Martel
Directors: Steven Spielberg
Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Studio: Universal Pictures
Release Date: October 9, 2012
Run Time: 115 minutes

Film: 5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

“E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” is celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year and this film time being released on Blu-ray.  It has been digitally remastered from the high resolution 35MM original film elements,  supervised and approved by Spielberg himself. This release also only the original theatrical version of the film.  The 20th Anniversary edition version with the alternate cut is not present here.  Not sure the reasoning for that but the original is always the best especially for this classic.  I wish they would release the original cuts of the “Star Wars” trilogy.  E.T. reminds me of a time when Spielberg was at his best. Let’s just say this film’s today don’t have the charm that they once did.  Fans of this film should be thrilled with this high-def upgrade.

The Blu-ray presentation is honestly one of the best of the year.  The combo pack includes Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet.  I am very excited about the digital streaming copy since this is one of those films that I would want to watch whenever/wherever. The did a wonderful job on restoring this film in its 1080p transfer.  The real stare of this release has to be its DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track.  It sounds like it’s from another planet…and works perfectly with John Williams’ timeless score.  Overall, this film has honestly never looked or sounded better.

The special features are just as amazing as the film.  There is a new retrospective called “Steven Spielberg & E.T.”, which the director reflects on the film and its response through the years.  Another Blu-ray exclusive is “The E.T. Journals”, which runs about an hour consisting of original behind-the-scenes footage shot during the production.  To sup up the HD extras, there are two short deleted scenes, which are well cut.

The rest of the extras are presented in standard definition and ports from the 20th Anniversary Edition DVD. “A Look Back”  is a documentary on the production, which runs about 40 minutes. “The Evolution and Creation of E.T.”  includes some good interviews and behind-the-scenes footage. “The E.T. Reunion” is a reflections with Spielberg, Thomas, MacNaughton, Barrymore, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote and producer Kathleen Kennedy on the film. “The 20th Anniversary Premiere” is featurettes with composer John Williams and a full symphony orchestra. “The Music of E.T.” is an interview with the master composer John Williams. There are six images galleries including designs, photographs and marketing.  Lastly, there is Special Olympics TV Spot and Theatrical Trailer included.

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