I probably watched it like a hundred times on video, but before other than once during the 20th anniversary theatrical re-release ten years ago, I hadnít seen the movie in ages. I was eager to revisit it on Blu-ray, especially as itís the original, theatrical version of the film- with the í02 ďwalkie-talkieĒ version seemingly having been consigned to the Ambliní vaults (good riddance).
How does the film hold up? Quite beautifully actually. While some of the FX may be a little dated, E.Tís less about the eye-candy, and more about the bond between Elliot and E.T. While a total innocent, E.Tís appearance frightens adults, but kids (and dogs)- in their innocence, can see the goodness within this benevolent creature. Their story is beautiful, and if you donít find yourself getting misty-eyed during E.Tís ďdeathĒ- you might be made of stone (even Law and Moreno got chocked up during their recent podcast commentary).
The kid actors are ridiculously good, with Barrymoreís cuteness, MacNaughtonís protectiveness, and Thomasí compassion winning the day. Dee Wallace is also quite good as their loving, in fragile mother, while Peter Coyote puts a compassionate face of the forces hunting E.T. As for the alien himself, E.Tís design is superb- with him being cute enough that we all had E.T dolls as kids, but not cutesy in a cookie-cutter way. And of course, the other star of the film is John Williamsí soaring score- with the last twenty minutes of the film (contrasting the near total-lack of music in the first half) being like a mini-symphony, and perhaps his finest work- although who can say?