In brief, because I'm angry, I would like to sell my copy of this release but I don't want to pass the burden on to someone else - everyone should enjoy the film in its original form: remastered yes, but tampered no. Unfortunately, as it stands you can only buy the 1982 version remastered WITH the crappy 2002 version. Well, I'll just have to do that and throw the spare DVDs away. Please believe me. I adore this film.
Originally released to stunned cinema audiences worldwide in 1982, ET is a movie containing all of the basic elements required to make it a box office hit. There are comic moments (like ET blowing bubbles in the bath), there are moments of suspense (like when ET tried to run back to his spaceship and we are all wondering if he'll make it), there are haunting and harrowing moments (like the bit when the men in spacesuits invade the house) and there are pure emotional moments (for example, the final scene when ET says goodbye).
The 20th anniversary edition has been digitally remastered and a few extra scenes have been added. John Williams has also brushed up his award-winning score and added a few new tracks to the soundtrack, available on CD.
The DVD contains plenty of interesting and informative extras - especially the option of watching the movie in sync with John Williams' live performance of the score from the premiere at the LA Shrine in March 2002. This basically means that as you watch the movie, the music you hear will be 'live', so the speak - you can ever hear the amazing standing ovation during the end credits! There is also a featurette on reuniting the cast and Spielberg himself, who talk openly and emotionally about their experiences of filming and the effect ET had on their lives.
This DVD is an absolute must for any respectable DVD collection. In my opinion, ET is the greatest film made since the Hollywood boom.
I've actually only seen it about 4 times in my life. I like to come to it fresh at each viewing. I love it because I think it's a wonderful story, flawlessly told.
I was a little disappointed by the remastered version - I don't agree with Spielberg's assertion that the changes are discreet and almost unnoticeable. For someone who has only seen the film a handful of times, I could spot the changes a mile away.
I'm not a fan of CGI - I think it makes many modern films look utterly fake and soulless. The beauty of E.T. is that the special effects were merely secondary to this timeless tale, and very adequete. Touching them up makes the film a teeny bit blander. What harm to leave them as they were? The original film has aged beautifully. I especially take umbrage to dickeying with E.T.'s face - making him too cutesy and removing much of his poignancy. Seeing the extra bathroom scene was interesting, but I agree with its original deletion. It just didn't sit with the tone of the rest of the film - it was unnecessarily comical.
It was good to see Spielberg's new director's cut, but I'm surprised at him for feeling the need to alter his most personal film. It was perfect the first time - so why change it, and water it down slightly?
This 20th anniversary box set does include the original film, though, and I've more or less decided to only watch this version in future. I also enjoyed all the little documentary pieces about the making of the film and the reunion of the cast. So I am still thrilled to have the DVD - just a little underwhelmed by the new and 'improved' version!
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