Henry Thomas and E.T. still soar to magical heights after three decades.
E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL - 30th ANNIVERSARY EDITION (Universal, 1982) D: Steven Spielberg, w/ Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore. Rating: NNNNN; Blu-ray package: NNNNN Rating: NNNNN
E.T.'s charm hasn't dimmed a bit in the 30 years since its initial release. Its simple kids' tale of the friendship between a lonely boy and a stranded alien remains so funny, thrilling, touching and beautifully made on all fronts that it would be mean-spirited to point out that Steven Spielberg oversells his poignant climax like a chef who scatters icing sugar all over an already perfect peach cobbler. Sweet isn't enough - your teeth have to ache.
Two new extras highlight the disc: a 12-minute interview with Spielberg and a stellar hour-
long making-of doc made entirely of on-set footage that goes from inception to release, via rehearsals, takes, technical moments, much goofing around and spontaneous interviews with Spielberg, his young cast, producer Kathleen Kennedy, writer Melissa Mathison and others.
The movie is the original 1982 theatrical version, but most of the other extras come from the 2002 disc, so you get a good look at the CG tweakage Spielberg did for that re-release. The package also includes excellent docs on the creation and operation of the creature and the live musical accompaniment for the re-release premiere.
EXTRAS New Spielberg interview, new making-of doc, creature design and operation doc, music doc, cast and crew reunion interviews, 20th anniversary re-release docs, more. English, French, Spanish audio and subtitles.