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:
Anyone who played the Transformers War or Fall of Cybertron games will be in for a treat in the opening act of Bumblebee. I heard about the buzz and still had a bit of trepidation with the designs. I’m glad I was wrong and when I found time to see this film, not only did it take on familiar tones from How to Train Your Dragon in the relationship of a troubled young girl and her “pet” car but also, the nostalgia play was bang on. Anyone who saw Transformers: The Movie (1984) will know what I am talking about.
Ready Player One gets a full on review and deep analysis in Ed Sum’s review of the movie that’s loosely based on the novel.
By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
The virtual reality (VR) interfaces we have today has not drastically changed in Steven Spielberg‘s adaptation of the book, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Futurists have to believe advancements in neural interfaces and holo projection will fill in the gap instead of advancements in the hardware used today. The former is vaguely suggested and the latter, none is even considered. This movie is not comparable to The Matrix or The Congress. Amusingly, a joke is made when nature calls. Unplugging is required.
Even in the future 30 years from now, folks are still wearing those darned headsets! I am having neural seizures since not everyone is going to have full command of their senses to believe the world they are jumping into is real. The IMAX 3D presentation hardly jumped; much of the visual treatment was flat. The music featured, however, was amazing and it spoke to me. Although for this glimpse into virtual reality, when my first exposure into this discourse is with William Gibson’s Neuromancer, the bar is set high. This work is neither at Masamune Shirow’s Ghost in the Shell level of exploration, even though the story offers a fleeting tease of what could be.
I’m willing to bet that in North America, those who grew up on CBC’s The Friendly Giant (which had its roots in radio) will get what The BFG is all about. In this film, although the concept is different and written by Roald Dahl who most likely had little awareness of this television show, to have a gentle grandfatherly figure recount tales of yore would really add to this product more. If only some of those ideas could have been put into this film, then just maybe, it would draw those who probably have not read Dahl’s work — but at least heard of the children’s television program — into checking out this film.
The lead, The BFG (Big Friendly Giant), is nicely cast. Mark Rylance has this air of gentleness and his performance must have been motion captured for computer rendering. This modern version certainly pays tribute to the design featured in the animated 1989 film, and while I have not looked at the original books in ages, I certainly took note of the elephantine ears presented in that version. This movie certainly respects the roots and plays with the story somewhat to make it “current” to its timeline. The sets are gorgeous to look at.
Spielberg who is returning as director first worked together with Ford in 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. The original film saw Indiana chase after Nazis in order to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant. The film introduced the characters of trusted ally Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), museum curator Dr. Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott), and love interest Marion Ravenwood (Karen Allen). Elliott passed away in 1992. Kingdom of the Crystal Skull saw the introduction of the son of Indiana Jones, Mutt Williams played by Shia LaBeouf (Fury, Transformers). It is not known at this time if Davies, Allen and LaBeouf will reprise their roles in this latest outing.