E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial: The 20th Anniversary Movie Review
Only twenty years ago, E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial hit theaters, and amazed crowds. Now, it has returned, and is just as good as ever. Most movies, even many of the classics, wither with age, but E.T., though new in some respects, is showing that it will be around for a long time to come, and will continue to be a movie that both young and old can enjoy.
The 20th Anniversary has updated sound, updated special effects, and a few new scenes here and there. The sound, and the soundtrack, is quite impressive, but that's not surprising. The graphics also look pretty good, and the most noticeable modifications take place with E.T. himself. Although I haven't seen the original in quite some time, it is obvious that E.T. is a little more animated than before, and some of his facial expressions are more vivid. For the most part, this helps the movie, but there were just a couple scenes were E.T. was obviously computer-generated (a bad thing), and many others where I felt they should have just stuck with the original footage. Even if E.T. isn't quite as animated, he still looks pretty good, and there is no need to modify him.
My only other complaint, and this is merely a personal annoyance, is the absolute pointless modification of a couple scenes. In one, the mother remarks that she doesn't want her son looking like a hippie, but in the original, she said "terrorist." Is hearing the word going to be so utterly harmful to today's youth that the original script should be changed? No, definitely not. The other scene that bothered me (the only other one that I have heard about) is one quick shot near the end, where a bunch of police officers come running up to the white van in the park, holding guns. In the new version, the guns have been changed to radios. You can update the graphics, but don't change something's physical properties, and especially not something as trivial as guns in a movie. Who cares? Thankfully, the word "shit" was not changed.
E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial is one of the greatest movies ever made, and its rerelease proves it. It was wonderful watching it on the big screen for the first time (I actually saw it in theaters when I was four weeks old, but that doesn't count), and I implore every fan, young or old, to do the same.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.