The Steven Spielberg masterpiece "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" arrives on a two-disc Anniversary Edition consisting of a Blu-ray disc and a DVD. This digitally enhanced package houses the film's HD, SD, and UV digital copies, as well as a wealth of bonus materials. Still thrilling, touching, and powerful today as it was in 1982 during its initial release, this iconic offering follows the simple story of friendship between a bullied boy struggling through his parents' recent divorce and a stranded extra-terrestrial finding a way to get home. It stars Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, and K.C. Martel.
"E.T." dazzles with a refreshing wave of nostalgia that certainly tugs at the viewers' heartstrings. Its enduring legacy remains pure and tangible that people can look past its parts with less-than-seamless special effects. Its natural performances and quite soft and foggy cinematography continue to carry a palpable and timeless appeal. Rich with aptly fitting metaphors and raw emotions, its perspective of a young boy who bonds with an alien is layered with excellent lifelike textures, which clearly defy the production's low-budget shortcomings.
Despite the heavy shadows and limited lighting, this beautifully restored and faithfully reproduced Blu-ray presentation remains true to the movie's deliberate look. Nothing undermines the integrity of the images' textures, which come through surprisingly well despite the intentional haze showcased in HD format. The suburban color palette is accurately presented and the edges are always clean and defined. The picture doesn't exhibit signs of problematic filtering, unnecessary tweaks, and overly manipulative digital noise reduction. Its minimal and forgivable flaws only include some very slight hints of intermittent ringing and a tinge of color banding.
This Blu-ray package hosts a boisterous seven-channel lossless mix, along with five-channel alternative options in Spanish and French. Amidst the low-key nature of the film, its broadened listening area makes good use of the surround elements for a more evocative listening experience. This relatively modernizes this cinematic piece without annoyingly distancing its original sound design from the new mix. The lifelike precision of the track aptly fills the soundscape with warmth and fidelity.
The classic musical score remains a dominant element in conveying the story's emotional impact. Speaking lines are rightfully prioritized. The discrete effects never sound artificial or forced and the subtle atmospherics greatly supports the picture's rich emotional depth without overwhelming the mix. The reserved but precise directionality helps pull the viewers into the middle of the story's drama and suspense. There are no high-end crackles, hisses, or distortions to contend with anywhere in the presentation.
This Blu-ray combo pack features many hours of supplements including the HD exclusives "Steven Spielberg & E.T." and "The E.T. Journals" and a number of SD extras including documentaries, music and production featurettes, retrospective and anniversary materials, interviews, behind-the-scene footage, deleted scenes, image galleries, and trailers. Subtitles are available in English SDH, Spanish, and French.
With Steven Spielberg's capable and brilliant hands, this alien and suburban youth picture continues to charm many generations of fans. It is a dramatic piece of cinema genius that works as an intensely personal family classic about a boy's symbiotic relationship with his alien friend. With a tale simply told with enchanting conviction, this more-than-three-decade-old opus is truly worth owning in Blu-ray format.