Restored and remastered from the original 35mm negatives, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (30th Anniversary Edition) lands on Blu-ray with a terrific MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.85:1 encode, supervised and approved by Steven Spielberg himself. Colours are warm and pleasant, with wonderfully saturated skin tones, bright primaries and punchy and firmly defined contrast. Black levels are consistent and inky throughout. The cinematography of Allen Daviau is well preserved and remains faithful to the intentions of the filmmakers. A large portion of the film was shot indoors with poor lighting conditions, an artistic choice which reflects the story's many themes. Despite the amount of heavy shadows and limited light, details come through without issue, revealing many of the small trinkets and pieces of furniture scattered throughout the family house. Fine lines are distinct with excellent lifelike textures on the faces of the cast and on a variety of clothing. E.T., in particular, looks especially realistic with a never-before-noticed slimy sheen, allowing fans to fully appreciate Carlo Rambaldi's creation. Knowing the notorious history of how Universal tampered with the picture quality with excessive noise reduction and filtering, we can now finally breathe a sigh of relief because the final picture quality was excellent. (4/5)
The sci-fi family classic also arrives with a spectacular and immersive DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 soundtrack.
Without a doubt, the track's greatest and most thrilling aspect is the memorable score of John Williams, breathing life to the sound system with rich detail and clarity in all seven channels. Every time the haunting, fairytale-like motif comes on, the front soundstage fills with warmth and fidelity, generating a wonderfully engaging image. Dynamics and acoustics are crisp with sharp, almost lifelike precision in the instrumentation. Vocals are clean and well-prioritized in the center with remarkable intonation, allowing for viewers to hear every tearful piece of dialogue. Low bass is appropriate for a movie of this vintage, mostly reserved for providing depth to the music. A most enjoyable and immersive soundtrack. (5/5)
E.T. (The Extra-Terresrial) won 4 Oscars in 1983:
Best Effects, Visual Effects
Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing
Best Original Score (John Williams)
It was nominated for 5 Oscars:
Best Picture (lost to Gandhi)
Best Director (Steven Spielberg)(lost to Richard Attenborough, Gandhi)
Best Cinematography (Allen Daviau)(lost to Billy Williams, Gandhi)
Best Film Editing
E.T. (The Extra-Terrestrial) has an estimated budget of $10 million, but has grossed $792 million worldwide!
Thirty years since its initial theatrical run, the story of the friendship between a boy and an extra-terrestrial still manages to bring me to tears again, after just watching the recent blu ray release of Titanic. This sci-fi masterpiece, about friendship, family, and dealing with feelings of loneliness, is simply a timeless classic, that has universal appeal to future generations. The fact that the film can still work its magic and be just as effective as ever is a testament to the work done by the filmmakers and of Spielberg's mastery of the craft. E.T. as a film still holds up beautifully as a wondrous, delightful fantasy of friendship and love, one that spans generations. Spielberg took an excellent script by Melissa Mathieson, cast it beautifully (fun to see the debut of a very young Drew Barrymore…Oh, how time flies!), and hired award-winning cinematographer Allen Daviau to shoot it like an art film. Almost expressionist and surreal, yet wholly, remarkably accessible and universal, E.T. is that rare modern masterpiece that still matters.
This 30th Anniversary blu ray edition is definitely very highly recommended and is a Must-Own.