Universal, out now
The classic story of an alien stranded on Earth and his friendship with an unhappy little boy…
If you’ve seen E.T. countless times before, and don’t want to invest in all the extras of the Blu-ray edition, but want a good copy of the film, then it’s well worth picking up this simple edition. But before you watch the film again, have a look at the forty-minute documentary contained on this DVD. It’s not going to spoil the movie for you but it may give you some interesting insights into the way it was put together.
There’s not a lot in there factually that we haven’t heard before, but the release of the B roll footage, showing the filming of the movie, gives a new perspective on some of the scenes, Steven Spielberg’s inspirations for them, and how the young actors themselves dealt with them. There are interviews with Spielberg, Henry Thomas (Elliot), and Drew Barrymore (Gertie) from 2002 as they look back at the film, often counterpointed directly with things they were saying and doing at the time – watch Barrymore pointing at the queues around the block for the movie, for example, and you can see exactly why Spielberg chose her for the role.
As far as the film goes, it’s a good clean transfer of the original movie (rather than the version with assorted “enhancements” from 2002). If you’re after far more on the making of the film, and its various changes over the years, the Blu-ray offers a good package of extras.
Verdict: If you’ve not watched it by now, you should – and Christmas is a good time to introduce it to the next generation. 9/10