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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Starring: Dee Wallace Stone, Peter Coyote
Director: Steven Spielberg
Rated: PG
RunTime: 115 Minutes
Release Date: June 1982
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Classic, Family, Kids

*Also starring: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Robert MacNaughton, C. Thomas Howell, K.C. Martel, Sean Frye

Reviewer Roundup
1.  Steve Rhodes review follows movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewmovie review
2.  Harvey Karten read the review ---

Review by Steve Rhodes
4 stars out of 4

Steven Spielberg's much beloved film treasure, E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, is coming to the big screen in a theater near you in celebration of its twentieth anniversary. If you see it there, your heart will likely soar just like Elliot's does when E.T. lifts them both into the air on Elliot's bike.

Real classics improve with age as does E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, but, just to make sure that the film is in tip-top form, Spielberg has tweaked it some by adding a few new scenes, including a hilarious bathtub one, improving the special effects some and remixing the sound to take better advantage of today's speaker systems. The reality, however, is that the original was already great so the improvements aren't that important. The real treat is being able to see the movie on the big screen again. (It should be pointed out that a widely reported change, the removal of the infamous "penis breath" epithet, did not happen. It's still there to worry worry-wart school administrators about the appropriateness of showing the movie at school.)

As most of us know by now, E.T. is an alien who is accidentally left behind on earth. With gigantic, soulful eyes and arms so long that his hands drag the ground, E.T. is easily the most adorable alien ever to grace the screen. A sad but sweet creature, he waddles his way to a house where three kids, Elliot (Henry Thomas), Michael (Robert MacNaughton) and Gertie (Drew Barrymore), are sort of watched over by their busy mom, Mary (Dee Wallace). Like most parents, she's oblivious to the obvious for way too long.

Elliot is the first to discover E.T., whom he treats rather like the world's most fascinating stray dog. When they first meet, it's not clear who is more scared. With eyes almost as big as E.T.'s, Thomas could have stolen the show were it not for Barrymore. Her sassy rendition of a big mouthed little charmer lays waste to anyone else who might try to upstage her. If every kid were this cute, we'd have nothing but kids' movies at the multiplex. But even she is outshined by E.T., who redefines cute.

The movie, which is much slower paced than most movies today, especially kids' pictures, contains some great lines and wonderful sight gags. The best of these is E.T.'s hiding amongst a bunch of stuffed animals.

You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll have a great time. Be like Gertie, who can never keep a secret. Tell everyone you know that they don't want to miss this rare opportunity to view this great motion picture on the big screen.

E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL runs 2:00. It is rated PG for "language and mild thematic elements" and would be a great choice for all ages.

My son Jeffrey, almost 13, gave it *** 1/2, commenting on how extremely funny the film is. His friend John, age 13, gave it *** 1/2 as well. He liked the new scenes but thought E.T.'s motions aren't as good as they used to be. John's twin Steven, gave it ****, saying that it is his favorite film. He thought the changes made the movie slightly more dramatic and less scary. (Note: The guns, which used to appear briefly, have been digitally changed to walkie-talkies.)

Copyright 2002 Steve Rhodes

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