Saturday, 11 January 2014

Film Review: E.T.

One of the films I got Mr Click for Christmas was E.T. on Blu-ray. I think it was a pretty good gift as he'd mentioned it offhand when he saw it in one of my film magazines, so I bought it and hid it away (so well that I forgot I'd bought it until nearly Christmas time). He was very pleased when he pulled it out of his stocking.

If you're not familiar with the story, here's a recap; E.T. is an alien who's on a mission to earth with some others of his kind, they're collecting samples when some government guys almost stumble across them so they are forced to make an emergency getaway. Poor E.T. is left behind, to be found by a young boy named Elliot whose parents are divorced and he's struggling with his place in the family.

The more time Elliot and E.T. spend together, the closer they become, developing a sort of psychic bond. Elliot's older brother and sister learn about E.T. and together the kids work to help him 'phone home'. But the government are onto the visitor and E.T. is at risk of being taken away from Elliot and never getting home.

It's a film that used to really annoy me when I was younger. I'm not sure exactly why, though I used to think that E.T. looked a bit like a large turd. This time around I really enjoyed it. I think now that I'm older I can appreciate the way that the story is told.

For one thing, it's actually a really timeless film. Although it's obviously from the 80s the clothes and hairstyles aren't that dated. Yeah, the cars are old and yeah, the kids are lacking modern gadgets and electronics, and yeah, it's highly unlikely that ten-year-olds are going to be dissecting frogs in their science classes, but it's aged remarkably well.

It's also a really well constructed story. I love the way that the kids interact with E.T. and the way that Elliot and E.T. grow to love each other. I really like how the family relationship works as well, as far as Michael is concerned, Elliot is his annoying younger brother, but when he needs him, he's there for him. The same with little Gertie, it's really sweet.

The special effects are obviously of their time. The iconic scenes with the kids on the bikes being levitated by E.T. have that dark halo around them, like the unedited scenes in the original Star Wars trilogy. But you can overlook that, because it is a cinema classic. Speaking of Star Wars, I love the little nods to the trilogy, with Elliot showing E.T. his action figures and E.T. appearing to recognise Yoda when he sees someone dressed as him at Halloween. Apparently a group of E.T.s can be seen in the first Star Wars prequel, when we finally get that on Blu-ray I'm definitely going to look out for it.

The Blu-ray version of E.T. that we've got has quite a lot of special features and I'm quite curious about the making of it. There should be some interesting featurettes there. I'll let you know what I think.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Let me know what you think. :-)