TV Party Tonight! #127

TV Party Tonight! #127

Friday, 07 July 2023

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
[4K/blu-ray combo]

Let’s go back to a time when kids’ movies would scare the living daylights out of you. Let’s talk about ET. This is a movie I remember seeing once as a little kid and don’t really think about much. Sure, it’s cherished by a select few, but those are also the people who won’t stop talking about Sandlot and have a shuffle truffle tattoo on their arm. How are you supposed to take these overgrown infants seriously? Mind you, this is coming from someone who still watches lots of cartoons. But, a revisit to ET proved to be inspiring to say the least. The story, the themes, the production, it’s all impressive.

I guess what I love most about ET on this new watch is how it’s a movie for kids that brings them into an adult world, to some extent. Sure, we’re dealing with plant-aliens here, but the world Elliott is in plays up to him, not down to adults. There are some true dangers throughout this story and many moments where Elliott has to grow up quickly, do the adult thing, or someone might die. Death! In a kids movie! It’s heartbreaking in a way. But what about the movie as a whole? Aside from the multiple product placements, ET can get very dark but it has  it’s light moments and can also be a very sweet movie. Yes, the action sequences still hold up. And the funny parts (like a drunk ET) are more bizarre than funny. But this is just the kind of movie where you don’t know what’s going to happen next. As long as you can accept that, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Through it all, we get to see this wonderful cast of characters interact, develop, and form a bond you can truly care about. I don’t know a lot of movies these days that can claim that.

There’s no question that this movie is a classic and belongs in every collection. This new 4K transfer also boasts OVER 4 HOURS OF BONUS FEATURES, with retrospectives, features, behind the scenes, deleted scenes, and looks back. It’s everything you’d want from a great reissue.

ET walks the slippery slope between adults and children. It’s smart and memorable and maybe deserves to be seen with fresh eyes to truly be appreciated.

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