Monday, 25 November 2013

Movie Review: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

Now I watched this movie with somewhat trepidation, because, I was terrified of this film when I was a child, you are probably laughing but yes believe it or not. 

To explain my infant self, there is a scene near the beginning where Elliot finds ET with a torch and they stand there screaming at each other, well infant me was terrified of that. Since that day I have only seen bits and pieces of this film, and never seen the beginning since. Now that has changed. Now more older and wiser, (in some aspects), I bought the Blu-Ray and thought you know what let's give this film a chance, I'm glad I did!.

ET tells the story of a young boy called Elliot whom lives with his older brother, younger sister (a very young Drew Barrymore) and his mother. The family have no father around and they don't seem to get on that well. Until Elliot find and befriends a lost alien, which changes the family forever. Thanks to Ridley Scott showing us aliens are evil and kill humans back in 1979 with  "Alien" it is nice to see this film came out a few years after and it's aimed at the whole family. That been said, it isn't all candy coated and sugary sweet like the aliens favourite snack Reeces Pieces. Spielberg managers to draw a fine line between comedy and drama. It works as a brilliant adventure that will grip everyone's inner child, but, it will reduce even the more hardened viewer to tears by the grand finale.
Elliot and E.T. develop such a wonderful relationship in this film. The boy whom has one parent and no friends, with the alien who was left behind by his family, they perfectly contrast each other, different on the outside but so much the same in side. Elliot teaches E.T. all about Earth, our ways of living life and dressing... Well sort of poor E.T. ends up dressed in Drew's clothes poor little alien.  One stand out bit for me for comedy is ET discovering the effects of our favourite beverage Beer!. Worth seeing for that alone. 

Spielberg has some very clever cinematography techniques going. Because this film is aimed out our inner child, when we see a mysterious man whom is looking for ET, Spielberg decides to do something extremely clever why not show it from the eyes of what would be a child's point of view. What we get is, camera angles where we see this man only at waist height and lower as if it's a child looking, now it's only a simple trick but I for one find it a genius touch. You will find yourself hoping that little ET can find his way home, and, when he starts speaking English, and saying he wants to phone home, it somewhat gives you a little emotional nudge, that by the time it arrives to the climax, you will find yourself blubbering like a wreck because of Spielberg's wonderful storytelling and pacing.

The special effects for the time is amazing ET is made alive from various things, for example animatronics and even a woman with long finges for hi hands, it works amazing. I for one feel sad that films have lost that hand craft feel that we saw in special effects in the days of ET. The most famous scene of the bikes flying does look dated but back in 82' this had wow factor all over. The musical score has the usual John Williams bravado, with a wonderful central theme like his other works. 

I you haven't already you need to see this film and make a place in your heart for Spielberg's friendly Alien. Heartwarming and beautiful, this one film you need to see.
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