E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
35th Anniversary Limited Edition
Blu-ray + 4K
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Relive the adventure and magic in one of the most beloved motion pictures of all-time, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, from Academy Award-winning director Steven Spielberg. Captivating audiences of all ages, this timeless story follows the unforgettable journey of a lost alien and the 10-year-old boy he befriends. Join Elliot (Henry Thomas), Gertie (Drew Barrymore) and Michael (Robert MacNaughton) as they come together to help E.T. find his way back home, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is "one of the great American films" (Leonard Maltin) that forever belongs in the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere.
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So I had high hopes when this great movie was released in 4K. And I have to say I am somewhat disappointed. The extras are everything you would want them to be. Documentaries, deleted scenes, original trailer. The daytime scenes have not looked this good since the 80's. The Halloween shots at sunset look stunning. But I do have a complaint to register. I think that the night time scenes do not look good at all on the 4K version. I have noticed a disturbing trend on 4k releases where they tend to up the contrast and saturation to ludicrous levels and compensate by dropping the brightness. The result is mixed... in some scenes this results in eye-popping color and detail. But in poorly lit scenes it produces distorted, over saturated colors and distracting noise. In the opening chase through the woods at night I find the picture to be very dark and detail I remember from previous versions is lost. Beams of light from the spaceship and headlights are so noisy here that I was thinking only about how bad the noise looked and not enjoying the movie. I think I actually prefer the 1080P version of ET.
One of the classics! If you haven't seen this, you have to! Touching, magical, and hopeful.
Having watched the original 1982 version numerous times it was a bit of a shock seeing what was added/changed in this newer release. There are a handful of short scenes added from the editing room floor in addition to some very heavy handed modifications of E.T. himself using computerized graphics (CG). The CG isn't completely bad, and in parts improves the original film (the levitating "planets" and phone-building scenes especially) but other scenes when E.T. is frightened or experiencing some kind of drama Spielberg replaced the original E.T. with a CG version that moves and contorts its face in a manner completely different than the original (which was admittedly rather stiff and expressionless). Technically, they did an admirable job of fusing this CG version into the existing scenes, and kids won't notice the difference one bit, but adults could be bothered by the modifications and jumping back and forth between the CG and original versions of E.T.