After 20 years, 'E.T.' still a heartfelt film
By Geronimo Rodriguez
Daily Cougar Staff
Don't think that just because you are one of the many people who have
seen Steven Spielberg's 1982 sci-fi family film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
more than a couple of times that the re-release won't get those childhood
laughs and tears going.
Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures
The re-release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial features
enhanced effects and deleted scenes, including the scene above with E.T.
and Elliot (Henry Thomas).
The 20th-anniversary edition features a few new scenes and some minor
technical changes and, more importantly, gives kids a chance to see
what all the fuss is about.
Some might think watching E.T. on the big screen is not all that big
a deal, but it is. Like a piece of history, E.T. is a filmmaking milestone
sense that it began the idea of sentimental films being made with audiences
of all ages in mind.
Mind you, previous filmmakers had made such attempts, but the overall
product Spielberg created from the efforts of child actors and minimal
technological resources has held steady through the years and is surely
worth its time.
This version isn't altered to the point where audiences will feel E.T.
has gotten 20 years newer. The young characters are spewing out the same
comebacks, the bicycles aren't replaced by the fading scooter trend
and guess what ... Henry Thomas wasn't digitally replaced by Haley Joel
Spielberg simply tweaked the editing flaws that only he could have possibly
seen in the first version, added a bathtub scene that shows how
long E.T. can hold his breath and replace guns with walkie-talkies.
By the time he helmed E.T., the gifted director had already made a name
for himself with the 1975 thriller Jaws and given birth to the
swashbuckling adventurer Indiana Jones with 1981's Raiders of the Lost
For those who've been in solitary confinement for the past 20 years
or just abhor the idea of moving pictures as a form of entertainment, E.T.
about a beer-drinking, cross-dressing, wide-eyed alien who points to
the sky with his elongated fingers any chance he gets.
Thomas as Elliot, E.T.'s newfound friend, and Drew Barrymore (she plays
the pig-tailed Gertie) give compelling performances for such young
actors. The two were young enough to sue their parents when Spielberg
decided to go with them. The idea turned out well for everyone involved,
especially audiences, who are treated to acting that is sure to pull
at the heart.
Film purists may have issues with the re-release, but just remember
that E.T. is a more entertaining, better-quality film for kids than most
those released today. If the idea of spending seven dollars to see
an old film doesn't bode well with you, it wouldn't hurt at least to rent
it for you
or the young ones.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
**** 1/2 (out of five stars)
Starring: Henry Thomas, Drew Berrymore, Dee Wallace