E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Featured In Issue 170, October 2012

WSR Score5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Language and mild thematic elements
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-50)
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Not Indicated
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Steven Spielberg
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DTS HD Lossless 7.1, DTS 5.1
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This is the 30th Anniversary Edition of the original classic and the first version to appear on Blu-ray Disc™. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial remains today an extraordinary film, one that will warm your heart with its wondrous entertainment and magic. Its story about human values, understanding, compassion, and love is timeless as told through the perspective of a young boy's (Thomas) friendship with a visitor from another planet. Along with the superb performance of Thomas, the rest of the cast is just as natural and believable as the film's feeling of reality. Director Steven Spielberg has digitally enhanced his Oscar-winning 1982 classic with current technology that was not available to him 30 years ago. Four other packages are available: the limited Amazon Exclusive Spaceship Edition, the Target Exclusive SteelBook Edition, the Best Buy Exclusive DigiBook Edition, and the Walmart Exclusive Plush Toy Edition. Also available is a new 30th Anniversary book: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial From Concept To Classic on the making of the film—the book Spielberg himself calls "Our E.T. family album."

Special features include deleted scenes (HD 03:40); Steven Spielberg & E.T. (HD 12:31); The E.T. Journals documentary, which is available to watch in its entirety or in two parts (SD 53:38); A Look Back (SD 37:43); The Evolution And Creation Of E.T. (SD 50:16); The E.T. Reunion (SD 17:56); The Music Of E.T.: A Discussion With John Williams (SD 10:04); The 20th Anniversary Premiere (SD 17:49); "Designs, Photographs And Marketing," which includes E.T. Designs By Production Illustrator Ed Verreaux, E.T. Designs By Carlo Rambaldi, Spaceship Designs By Ralph McQuarrie, Designs By Production Illustrator Ed Verreaux, Production Photographs, and Marketing E.T.; the theatrical trailer; a Special Olympics TV Spot; My Scenes; D-BOX® Motion Code™; and BD Live. Also included is the DVD and a Digital Copy of the film.

The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture is impressively restored—Spielberg himself supervised and approved the high-definition transfer. First reviewed as a 20th Anniversary edition in Issue 67, the anamorphically enhanced 1.85:1 DVD exhibited an impressive image. This new Blu-ray Disc release looks absolutely pristine and never dated. Resolution and sharpness is exceptional, with fine detail exhibited throughout. Contrast is perfectly balanced with deep, solid blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Colors are naturally hued throughout, with rich and warm tones. Fleshtones are natural rendered, and E.T.'s body texture is incredibly photogenic. Allen Daviau's cinematography is brilliantly presented, making this release as close to perfect as possible and faithful to its original presentation. Viewing the release far better connected me emotionally and is sure to enthrall loyal fans and new viewers no matter what their age. Brilliant! (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack heightens the emotional experience dramatically with a sweeping, immersive soundfield presentation largely supported by a magnificent orchestral music score composed by John Williams. Instrumental timbre is distinctive and beautifully captured. Soundstage depth and imaging is impressive, as in the subtle but prominent presence of the music in the surrounds, for an expansive soundstage that fully engulfs the listening space. Atmospherics and sound effects are natural sounding throughout and at times are sufficiently directionalized, to provide dimensional realism, especially providing ambiance during the many outdoor settings. Deep bass is not particularly prominent, yet the .1 LFE channel provides a solid, extended low-frequency foundation that never sounds exaggerated. The overall experience is one of a holosonic, spacious listening experience. While the dialogue's fidelity on the previous DVDs sounded slightly dated, this new presentation sounds as if recorded yesterday. John Williams' score has benefited the most from this remastering effort, with a far more emotional melody-rich flow emulating from every channel, to create a far more evocative experience. This release fully realizes the sonic impact of the telling of this wonderfully heartfelt story of compassion and hope. (Gary Reber)