E.T. The Extra Terrestrial is a story about a lonely young boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas) who is dealing with being the middle child and his parents' divorce, who also happens to find an alien in his backyard. His older brother Mike (Robert McNaughton) doesn't believe what Elliott saw that night, until he's faced with the creature in Elliott's bedroom, and his adorable little sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore) at first fears E.T., but then makes him her playmate, even teaching him how to talk.
Elliott and E.T. soon become inseparable and even begin to share emotions, something that becomes all too evident when E.T. hits the beer while Elliott is at school, and hilarity ensues. However, E.T. was left on Earth by mistake when his ship's party was disturbed by human intervention and he longs to go home, so Elliott and E.T. work together to build a communicator so the charming little alien can finally return to his own planet. Unfortunately, E.T.'s health takes a nosedive, and consequently so does Elliott's, and the aforementioned human intervention shows back up in force, as they've been searching for E.T. since the beginning. Led by "Keys" (Peter Coyote) and his band of government agents and scientists, they are determined to discover E.T.'s secrets, but, in doing so, they cause more harm than good. However, the little alien still has a few tricks up his sleeve and his newfound human family will be there for him.
There are some movies that you remember seeing as a child and you hold them dear to your heart, then you see them again as an adult and the rose-colored glasses come off and you realize that they just don't stand the test of time. I can, without a doubt, say that E.T. The Extra Terrestrial is just as moving, wonderful, and beautiful a story as it was when I saw it all those years ago. Even though there aren't any cell phones and the hair and clothing styles are totally dated, the film still strongly stands the test of time and I felt the same emotions watching it now as I did way back when. It's a classic film that hasn't lost an ounce of shine in all of these years and the version you'll be treated to here is the original, only remastered on 4K. So don't worry about seeing walkie-talkies replace federal agents' guns or any digital effects having been added. This is the real deal here, and it comes jam-packed with over three hours of bonus features.
These include deleted scenes; a one-hour compilation of behind-the-scenes footage in chronological order of the film's scenes; a featurette where Spielberg discusses the film; a featurette on John Williams and his incredibly moving soundtrack; the E.T. Reunion with cast and crew members discussing their memories of the film; the 20th Anniversary Premiere, which is a featurette on the amazing presentation of the film in conjunction with John Williams conducting an orchestra along with the film; the theatrical trailer; a Special Olympics TV spot; and, finally, a bevy of production photos and artwork. I am typically not big on behind the scenes stuff, but I felt like I was there, in the moment, watching these featurettes. They are fantastic snapshots in time and really give the viewer an in-depth look into the love that went into this production. I'm only dinging the release one point because there were a few deleted scenes discussed and partially shown in the special features that weren't included in the Deleted Scenes section of this release. Harrison Ford had a scene in this movie and I never knew it, and I wish it has been included in its entirety here.
If you haven't figured it out yet, this is an incredible release and on gorgeous 4K. If you don't yet have E.T. The Extra Terrestrial in your film library, now is the time to pick it up. If you already have one of the earlier releases, chances are you already have all of these special features since none of them appear to be brand new, but the film looks exquisite on 4K and this is the version to own. Highly recommended.