Also playing at Victoria IMAX Oct 27-31.
It’s hard to believe E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is 40-years old. This movie was developed hot after Close Encounters of a Third Kind, and to say it belongs in the same universe is a feasible fan theory. To say this has been confirmed isn’t in the new featurettes in this celebratory re-release, but I get the sense that Spielberg would be okay with it. He interest in UFOlogy may have been limited to these two films, but when we consider his War of the Worlds adaptation, the idea does fall apart.
Anyone who didn’t purchase the prior versions isn’t missing much. I could have picked up the 35th anniversary release, which had a 4K restoration, but I don’t always count this year as a seminal milestone. This latest release does one better, and it’s all in the two new featurettes made for this release. In terms of collectables, the ultimate set (available on Amazon USA) offers a collectible tin tote, thermos, booklet and Certificate of Authenticity for the die-hard collector to proudly display. Another release adds a Bendy Figs figurine for Walmart, and the Steelbook updates the art (Target). Anyone wanting either just needs to ask a friend in the States to buy or one can order online.
All the material from prior releases (deleted scenes, the evolution, and creation of E.T., and 20th anniversary premiere) are offered in this collection. The old content are:
- Deleted Scenes (2 scenes from the previous “special edition” – 3:40 in all)
- Steven Spielberg & E.T. (12:31)
- The E.T. Journals (in 2 parts – 53:38 in all)
- A Look Back (37:43)
- The Evolution and Creation of E.T. (50:16)
- The E.T. Reunion (17:56)
- The Music of E.T.: A Discussion with John Williams (10:04)
- The 20th Anniversary Premiere (17:49)
- Designs, Photographs, and Marketing (6 video galleries – 45:01 in all)
- Theatrical Trailer (1:57)
- Special Olympics TV Spot (1:02)
One piece I’ll never tire of watching is “The E.T. Journals,” which traces the movie-making process. To see how this director does his job can provide new budding filmmakers insight in how to handle their talents, so they can put on their best performance.
In what shines are the two new featurettes. We have “40 Years of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial,” an all new retrospective of the film, and “TCM Classic Film Festival’s An Evening with Steven Spielberg,” where he talks about his work 40 years later. They offer a bit of new content in regards to the process of making the film, but in what I liked is that we have perspectives from the stars too, namely from Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore (who remembers some bits like it was yesterday), Dee Wallace, Robert McNaughton, and Peter Coyote.
Anyone who hasn’t picked up this release for their collection will like this latest. And as for what’s in store for a 50-year anniversary, let’s hope no retrospectives (in the sense that someone has passed) are planned. By then, we may have an super-ultra-high def (16K) as the norm for home theatre enthusiasts to enjoy, and wouldn’t that be huge?