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Alexandra DuPont dissects that E.T. 20th Anniversary Edition thing

Hey folks, Harry here with the lovely Ms DuPont's look at that refurbished E.T. Personally I'd love to just hear a straight digital sound version of the original in theaters... without CG stuff being done to it. But that's just me. This weekend I'm going to watch BLADE 2 again, RIKI OH at the Drafthouse and somewhere in there I'll catch ICE AGE and maybe BLADE 2 again. I'll catch this E.T. on its third week... just as a protest thing. I'd rather support the non-tampered films before the rebuilt films. Maybe it is just me. Here's Alexandra...

Alexandra DuPont's Brief "E.T. 20th Anniversary Special Edition" FAQ

Say, Alexandra -- seen that "E.T. 20th Anniversary Special Edition"?

I have.

Is it a mangling and a betrayal of Spielberg's 1982 masterpiece?

Not by a long shot. In fact, as with Lucas' "Special Edition" treatment of Episode IV's Death Star dogfight (though not his handling of, say, the cantina scenes), this is a mostly seamless technical intervention -- and an actual enhancement at times -- over the 1982 original.

Heresy! You're kidding! Didn't they digitally erase the shotguns?

They did. But the government goons were already a pack of complete weenies. (See below.)

Didn't they change it so Elliot's mom says Michael looks like a "hippie" instead of a "terrorist"?

They did that, too. But he never looked like a "hippie" or a "terrorist" -- he always looked like a hobo with a knife through his head. I'm angrier that they didn't change it to "hobo."

Does Elliot still say "penis breath"?

He does.

I rejoice at the preservation of the "penis breath" insult!

That's kind of a strange thing to say.

What else didn't they change?

The overall thematic arc of the movie and its high craftsmanship, which is manipulative as hell and pretty shamelessly buttressed with a soaring 747 of a John Williams score (which I re-purchased yesterday, BTW) but is also skillful and impeccable and general good family fun. Also its Haley Joel-caliber child performances, which are still staggeringly good.

I mean, listen -- there's definitely a good debate to be had about this whole "Special Edition" nonsense, where already-solid flicks are revisited and tweaked because of ethical concerns (Lucas) or a desire to expand the story (Coppola) or a desire to digitally milk more money out of a classic (Lucas, Coppola). But for my money, "E.T. '02" really doesn't have a "Greedo shoots first" moment to rally around. Its tweaks are subsumed into the overall storytelling arc, which is very much intact.

So what changes did you notice?

1. Some extremely well-done shots where the mechanical E.T. was replaced with a more ambulatory version that can do things like, say, swallow beer convincingly. (I freely admit these may end up looking flatter as all digital enhancements seem to on home video, but they looked great on celluloid, even the mouth enhancements. And I'm sorry, but even as a child I hated that E.T. was so obviously on a dolly track during the opening chase. Now he sort of hops like a cross between a whithered kangaroo and Linda Hunt. It's ginchy.

2. An utterly pristine sound remix. Williams' score -- love or hate its operatic qualities -- never sounded better. (Be sure to pick up the 20th-anniversary edition of the score if you're so inclined.)

3. A new, somewhat tepid scene in which Elliot shows E.T. le toilette and E.T. submerges himself in the bathtub. Nifty effects-wise, and mildly funny, but it does little to advance the plot.

Was the audience still sucked in by the movie, 20 years on?

With surprising efficiency they were sucked. My emotions were duly smote. Even those around me who resented the manipulation respected its skill.

Say, Alexandra -- what did you notice in "E.T. '02" that you didn't in '82 (or in '90, when you last watched the entire "un-special" edition)?

1. Why, Elliot's kissing none other than "Baywatch"/"Under Siege" vixen Erika Eleniak while hooched!

2. Also, keeping up with the B-list cameos, there's C. Thomas Howell as one of the BMX bandits! (But I guess everyone but me remembered that.)

3. Dee Wallace-Stone really wears that Halloween costume. Otherwise, she's white-bread in more or less the exact same lapsed-hippie way Melinda Dillon was in "Close Encounters" (and Kate Capshaw is in real life, I'd imagine).

4. More crucially, the government lockdown of Elliot's home is really low-security and toothless when viewed in these less-naive times. I remember that lockdown scaring the absolute bejeezus out of me in '82; now I kept wondering (a) why they were wearing visored spacesuits instead of clean-suits, and (b) when the Smoking Man was going to step in with a scalpel and open E.T. up like a walleye fillet.

Putting it another way: The X-Files" and their ilk have conditioned us to expect hard-assed government paranoia, and in the gentle fable that is "E.T.," it's pathetically easy for Elliot and Michael to steal a van carrying the most important frozen corpse in human history. Frankly, this was more jarring to me than any digitally erased shotguns; I don't believe this group of NASA janitors (abetted by leftover cops from the "Sabotage" video) had the stones to open fire on the kids anyway.

5. E.T. purrs when he's happy.

6. Finally, I noticed on a hard-core technical level how really truly good Spielberg used to be at (a) rendering suburban life, (b) never pushing too hard during the smaller, human moments, and (c) orchestrating cinematic tension and release. While I've appreciated moments and scenes in all his latter-period, flawed, ambitious, politically correct "mature films," I really miss the gung-ho, pitch-perfect showoff Spielberg of old.

Here's hoping "Minority Report" re-kindles the whiz kid,

Alexandra DuPont

Click here to send me a selection of Victoria's Secrets!!!

Readers Talkback
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  • March 22, 2002, 1:41 a.m. CST

    Good enough for me.

    by Fred4sure

    I guess I'll pitch in my nine bucks.

  • March 22, 2002, 1:44 a.m. CST

    Like Alexandria, I miss the badass, showoff Spielberg

    by Keyser195

    Just watched "Jaws" again today, and that moment where he introduces the "on the boat" sequence of the film, where he pushes the camera through the preserved maw of a shark, is just perfect...sigh...

  • March 22, 2002, 1:45 a.m. CST

    Alexandra...I knew that...

    by Keyser195

  • March 22, 2002, 1:47 a.m. CST

    get naked

    by whiteboyrage

    can we get some nude pics of alexandra? There are all sorts of other scantily clad hotties on this site, why not one that writes well to boot?

  • March 22, 2002, 1:48 a.m. CST

    Jaws at 30

    by Uga

    Can't wait for "Jaws: The 30th Anniversary" where we have a CGI shark that appears full-force in the opening scene. Or when Ben Kingsley morphs into a machine gun in "Schindler's List 2003."

  • March 22, 2002, 2:40 a.m. CST

    King Kong

    by Darth Melkor

    Han didn't step on Jabba's foot because Jabba doesn't have feet.. he stepped on his tale.. jeez get it right dude :P The only thing I didn't like about the SE's was the whole Greedo fiasco but loved everything else.. I just wish they'd fix the blasted lightsabers in ANH... and Yes I'm very glad they made ET hop when he runs. I too always thought him plowing through on rails looked horrible.

  • March 22, 2002, 2:41 a.m. CST

    Alexandra DuPont Could Rhapsodize About "Crocodile Hunter" For E

    by jollydwarf

    Alexandra, if this site is a Pandora's Box of cynicism, pettiness, hypocrisy, and malice (and unannounced spoilers), then you are truly the Hope that somehow redeems it. Why can't they find anyone else who can even approximate your skills? The downside of course is that your contributions are all too infrequent and they make everyone else's look that much worse by comparison. I can't even write about "E.T." now. Too insecure. I really need to retreat to the anger management/Star Wars talkbacks. Otherwise, I'll just incessantly fawn, and that's using bandwidth and being the most benevolent kind of jerkwad loser. I bow my head in respect, grateful and humble. (Go 'head, fanboys, wretch away!)

  • March 22, 2002, 2:45 a.m. CST

    Riki Oh

    by bombardon3

    Good for you Harry. Wish I could see it on the big screen.

  • March 22, 2002, 3:24 a.m. CST

    not to be anal, but elliot kisses drew barrymore

    by bluelou_boyle

    although Erika Elinek would certainly suffice.

  • March 22, 2002, 3:27 a.m. CST

    Screw those other cereals.....

    by TheGr81SLASH

    I WANT MY URKEL-Os. With free bottle lens glasses in every box. DID I DO THAT??

  • March 22, 2002, 3:50 a.m. CST

    E.T. was Spielberg's last great 'working-class family&#3

    by Cash Bailey

    Remember when he used to make such honest, endearing screen families that were totally real? After E.T. he started having kids, moved to Malibu and made movies about rich people with rich people problems. Okay, maybe that is a bit of a stretch, but he sure lost his dynamic with creating great screen families. Case in point: that annoying, whiny little b**ch from THE LOST WORLD. Was she the most slappable child in cinema history or what? Remember that magnificant scene from JAWS with Brody and his son? It STILL brings a fuckin' tear to the eye. Yes, Spielberg is still a great film-maker, but the Spielberg we are celebrating with this re-release is dead.

  • March 22, 2002, 4:52 a.m. CST

    ROTFL ceedog

    by exit272

    Stop dude, you're killin' me! BTW, I hate ET, always have. Mega-manipulative schmaltzy ick. Sue me.

  • March 22, 2002, 6:08 a.m. CST

    Elliot does not kiss Drew Barrymore...

    by zacdilone

    ...in the scene Ms. Dupont is referring to, which takes place at the school after The Great Frog Liberation.

  • March 22, 2002, 6:49 a.m. CST

    MONSTERS INC. cereal is delicious.

    by workshed

    I'm going to have a bowl right now. It's from the box with Scully's face on the front.

  • March 22, 2002, 6:56 a.m. CST

    Scores at half time = ET 5, AI nil.

    by Rhett Butler

    Let

  • March 22, 2002, 7:49 a.m. CST

    What we really want is...

    by Tokyo Joe

    BMX Bandits - Special Edition. It's about 20 years by now isn't it? Absolute classic (as far as my then 4 year old mind remembers it...)

  • March 22, 2002, 8:17 a.m. CST

    Well done, miss Dupont

    by Silvio Dante

    That's pretty much how I feel about this anniversary edition too...but (you knew there was going to be "but", right?) I think the bath-tub scene, while not essential to the plot, was a great way to establish the conditions of E.T's home planet. Later, when Elliot's brother finds the half-dead, turned-to-whiter-shade-of-pale extra-terrestrial, it (he...or even she?) is reaching for the stream, longing for water. There's lots of stuff like that going on in this movie: Spileberg doesn't explain, he hints. And I thought it was priceless how Elliott's on the phone with his mother and then fakes vomiting with the aid of soda-can. And another point (you knew there would be another point, you just knew, didncha?) it's GOOD, that the government agents and scientist are not more menacing or "more x-filesy" - that's such a cliche these days, these seemed more like human beings doing their jobs (similar to the ufologists in CE3K)than mysterious men in black. This approach makes the overall story more realistic and I do believe that was a conscious choice from the film-makers, since they needed pretty much everything that reminds the viewer of reality and real life, so we could believe in the story of the friendship between a little boy and the florist from outer space. Anyhow, the film still works and I can't recommend it enough for those who have not seen it or have not seen it on the big screen.

  • March 22, 2002, 8:28 a.m. CST

    As a NASA janitor...

    by Roguewriter

    ... err, a NASA media writer (same thing, in this latter age), I can whole-heartedly concur -- the cops and feds in E.T. are about as efficient and smoothly functioning as your American Space Program. Thanks for those tax dollars. =) Seriously, Alex -- another great review. Could you may thwack Harry repeatedly over the head with his book til he listens to your guidance about how to deliver the goods? ;)

  • March 22, 2002, 9:01 a.m. CST

    Ethical concerns?

    by CosDashit

    Lucas didn't make the SWSEs for ethical concerns. He got exactly what he wanted when he released those films the first time. Later, however, he became so obsessed with CGI that he couldn't stand to have a movie without them, so he decided to add a bunch of superfluous extra effects. He'd have you believe he always wanted Greedo to fire first, but he didn't. Also, about 5 years ago, Spielberg talked about rereleasing E.T., but said he wouldn't be tweaking him at all, because part of E.T.'s charm is that he waddles about and can't walk properly. What happened to that Spielberg?

  • March 22, 2002, 9:04 a.m. CST

    BMX Bandits... Brings Back Memories....

    by TechLord

    Man, I remember back when I was 15 or so (1986) and that movie was played on HBO about every three hours. And I watched it every time. Not many know that was Nicole Kidman's third movie... Probably her best performance.

  • March 22, 2002, 9:21 a.m. CST

    Sounds good...

    by CoolDan989

    I liked the Star Wars: Special Edition anyway, so I wasn't expecting the worst with this. What I can't wait for is the E.T. DVD release this August (with both versions of the film, for those who don't know). Bring it on, Universal!

  • March 22, 2002, 9:23 a.m. CST

    LE TOILETTE??!?!

    by rev_skarekroe

    Le toilette?!?!? I don't speak French, but does that mean we actually see Elliot squeezing out a Clevaland Steamer?!? Crispin Glover was right! sk

  • Uh, how could anyone have missed that in 1982? It was one of the cute surprises in that version. I still ain't gonna see this piece of revised shit. Changing anything made in the PAST to reflect the "sensibilities" or changes in attitude of its creator later on of a latter day is just bullshit. Changes made or scenes restored should only be because they were cut out by TPTB and not the first choice of the director, as in Blade Runner, although I strongly disagree with Scott's choices in that matter. I think the original theatrical version of BR is superior. Oh well, here's hoping Minority Report will actually be watchable.

  • March 22, 2002, 9:46 a.m. CST

    I'm afraid..

    by Fawst

    that if I watch this in the theaters, I am going to lose it and bawl like there's no tomorrow. I was only 4 when this movie first came out, but I remember that it was the first movie I ever saw in theaters (Empire Strikes Back was the second). I'm afraid I will be so overcome with nostalgia... the Star Wars toys in the room, the bad 80s clothes... Anyone remember the E.T. Happy Meals at McDonald's that had all kinds of stupid word games? Something like "Sound out these letters! 'O' 'E' 'T' 'U' 'R' etc (I dunno what the hell it spelled out). Point being, that this is great cinema. What has been said before about Spielberg making REAL suburban family life is so right on. It's amazing how different the world can become in 20 short years. Especially when most of your entire life has passed by during those years. I'll be seeing Blade 2 today, but you bet your ass I'll be seeing E.T. sometime after. Christ, I'm tearing up already just thinking about it...

  • March 22, 2002, 10:56 a.m. CST

    You can do it/ you can do the Pac - Man/ Pac - Cereal ..

    by durhay

    I'm scarred by the commercial for Pac-Man cereal. As well as the one for OJ's ("keep those oranges rollin'/Move 'em out!"). Did anyone else scarf down bowl upon bowl of "Halfsies" hoping to win a free Pengo(TM) arcade game?

  • March 22, 2002, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Spielberg's Unfulfilled Promise

    by pgsle

    I saw "E.T." twenty years ago at The Cinerama Dome in Hollywood as I will this afternoon, but the event has brought about a sad realization. Spielberg essentially went from "Jaws" to "Close Encounters" to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" to "E.T." (I am skipping "1941" on purpose). That's a progressive build that left extrordinary hope for the future of the then only 35 year old filmmaker. You were sent reeling from the theater with hope for the future of great film after great film from him. It hasn't happened. I'm still as big of a Spielberg fan as they come, but the ensuing years have been a very gradual dissapointment. Let's be honest; the second and third "Indy" films (and I am assuming the fourth if it ever happens) are not in the same league as the first. "Jurassic Park," while a hell of a ride, is not a great film and relied on the novelty of CGI (which is why you were bored early at "Lost World")"Color Purple" "Empire of the Sun" (I think his most underrated film) are well-made adaptations, not originals. Only "Schindler's List" since E.T. belongs in the cannon of Spielberg classics. That's one film in twenty years. The genuine magic you feel from E.T. fails in films like "Hook." While all his films have been so well crafted, entertining to a degree, and worthwhile to watch, they are not the films I metnioned at the beginning. "A.I." was my last hope for the old Spielberg to return; for me, that last half hour just feels like a tack-on and a failure. I'll still be there opening day for "Minority Report" and "Catch Me If You Can" and all that he cares to make. But I'll be missing the handful of classics that can be compared to "E.T." that I assumed he would have made by now that he hasn't

  • March 22, 2002, 11:51 a.m. CST

    Elliot does NOT kiss Drew Barrymore, man ... and SCHINDLER'S

    by FrohikesGirl

    Ew! Icky! Henry Thomas didn't make shnookered kissy-face with Drew Barrymore, Bluelou! She was what, five years old? She played Gertie, you goob! His SISTER!! :)Henry made out with Erika Eleniak, which probably hurtled the kid head-first into puberty a few years early ... ;) And in response to the "Spielbreg has only made one good film in 20 years" rant from PGSLE -- If you are going to bemoan Spielberg, at least be accurate. You stated that THE COLOR PURPLE and EMPIRE OF THE SUN are great films, but they are adaptations, "not originals," and that SCHINDLER'S LIST is his only great work of the last two decades. However, under that mentality, SCHINDLER should be on your crap list too, because it is the ADAPTATION of Thomas Keneally's 1993 book. And since when is a film's quality lessened because it is an adaptation? Do you think it is any easier to tell a story just because it was written out in novel form first? It is harder to adapt a book into a screenplay than it is to write an original, and I speak from experience. I disagree with you about the quality of Spielberg's work since the early 80s -- I think both JURASSIC PARK and HOOK possessed the innocence and wonder of his early works, while SAVING PRIVATE RYAN and A.I. showed how much Spielberg has grown up as an artist. A.I. was his homage to Stanley Kubrick, who Spielberg felt should have made the film in the first place. It blends Kubrick's storytelling style with Spielberg's sense of wonder. As for the ending, watch it again some day when you are not trying to recapture ET every time Spielberg releases a film. Spielberg is not your personal automaton, and he is not the same man he was in 1980; it's time the audience grows up with him.

  • March 22, 2002, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Bono, Sting, and Spielberg

    by jollydwarf

    All three of these artists came up around the same time. Perhaps they were tapped into the urgency of the late '70s/early '80s zeitgeist, clinging to humanity in an increasingly plastic world. But then they got famous and rich. And they couldn't help but get older. I don't see Bono writing "I Will Follow" or "Two Hearts Beat As One" today, nor do I see Sting conjuring up "Can't Stand Losing You" or "When The World Is Crumbling Down (You Make The Best of What's Still Around)". Similarly, I don't see Spielberg having that sense of whiz-bang adventure today. I don't even know if that's a good idea. Because then we might be talking about how he's the Hollywood equivalent of AC/DC. He's given us more than what we can fairly expect from one man in a lifetime of work. It's all gravy from here. I just think that it's better for him to conduct symphonies rather than try and make urgent, passionate rock 'n' roll. Hey, and at least he hasn't become some morose recluse making poor decisions consistently (See: Ford, Harrison).

  • March 22, 2002, 12:35 p.m. CST

    Growing up as an artist is crucial

    by Renata

    For everyone who's pining for the days when Spielberg made great movies about suburban families confronting extraordinary events, I have a message: Forget it. Spielberg has been doing what all filmmakers/artists should be doing: He's growing and evolving. Yes, his Sugarland Express to E.T. days was one of the great runs for any filmmaker. But if he had just stayed on that thematic track, then, by now, he'd be one of the big jokes in Hollywood, not its reigning emperor. Over time, for any creative person to survive, they have to evolve. Some filmmakers don't, so you have washed up hacks like Coppola and Freidkin floundering around in their old age. Along with Scorsese, Spielberg's film sensibilities reflect his life attitude now, which is significantly different from when he was in his twenties and early thirties. How could they not be? You're a different person when you're 20 and when you're 50. If nothing else, his change in sensibility is a reflection how underrated a "personal filmmaker" he truly is. I'm not suggesting this is always for the best. I personally loathed Amistad and found the middle act of Private Ryan weak and pandering, not to mention the recklessness of the ending of A.I. But to say he should turn back the clock isn't logical. Nobody wants to see Spielberg (or any great filmmaker) become the cinematic equivalent of the Rolling Stones; ie, ripping off their audience with subpar variations on their greatest hits.

  • March 22, 2002, 1:16 p.m. CST

    Did It Have The Omitted, Legendary Probing Scenes....

    by Buzz Maverik

    You've all heard about it. E.T. buttprobes Elliot and Michael then proceeds to create a human/alien hybrid with Gertie.

  • March 22, 2002, 1:44 p.m. CST

    Rejoice I with the conservation of the insult " of breath of pen

    by Maturin

    Here's a fun game. You go to the Babelfish translator (http://babelfish.altavista.com/tr) type in an English phrase, translate it to French, then take the French phrase and translate it back to English again. I rejoice at the preservation of the "penis breath" insult! becomes this: Rejoice I with the conservation of the insult " of breath of penis "!

  • March 22, 2002, 1:47 p.m. CST

    I sent her my Vistoria's Secret...

    by Darth Pixel

    Hope she likes my photos! I look hot in drag!

  • March 22, 2002, 3:37 p.m. CST

    first time

    by drjones

    it will be the very first time i`ll see this movie on the big silver screen....*sigh*..hope it will still be a nice ...a fantastic exprience...

  • March 22, 2002, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Hey, thanks Maturin!

    by Zarles

    That is a fun game! "Chilled monkey brains," the dessert in "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom," translated to "alarming brains of monkey." Awesome!

  • March 22, 2002, 6:16 p.m. CST

    Is Alexandra DuPont hot?

    by CaptainFantastic

    I bet she's hot.

  • Nuff said.

  • March 22, 2002, 10:45 p.m. CST

    E.T. is, always has been, and always will be, one of the greates

    by a goonie

    it is truly one of the most profound stories of friendship ever told. and it drives me nuts when you have people revisiting the movie after all these years, and not mentioning how affective the "connection" between Eillot and E.T. is. how the filmmakers slowly ease us into the notion that these two characters REALLY ARE CONNECTED. like when Gertie first meets E.T. and is all freaked out, and E.T. is freaked out, and he hides in the stuffed animals, and Elliot pets him and says "he won't hurt you, Gertie." but then he says it again, and instead he says "WE won't hurt you, Gertie." and how about the fact that E.T.'s word for physical pain is "ouch," which he learns when Elliot pricks his finger on the circular saw. THIS IS AN ALIEN, REMEMBER. he's learned a new word here. he makes the connection that physical pain can be described as "ouch." but then when Elliot and E.T. go out to the forest to try and contact E.T.'s family with the homemade contraption, and there is no response after several hours, E.T. says "ouch." he uses the word he knows for physical pain to describe what he is feeling: emotional pain. in one word, and one touching moment, E.T. comes to life and explains that his feelings are hurt. and how about the scene where Elliot tries to educate E.T. about life on Earth. he gives E.T. a crash course in human existance. and he's excited, so he can't stay on a single topic for long. but also, ELLIOT IS A CHILD. and therefore, E.T. learns of the world through the eyes of a child. so what does he learn about? Star Wars toys. man, if that isn't profound, i don't know what is.

  • March 22, 2002, 11:16 p.m. CST

    Hopping ET is better than a dolly visibly pulling him along.

    by Batutta

    I thought the digital enhancements in the first scene were perfect. In the original, you can literally see the dolly pushing E.T. along the truck. That always bothered me. The only thing I disliked in this verison was taking out of the shotgun just before ET sends the kids into the air. The music transition is very awkard now. Another odd thing was that they removed a shit when Michael looks through the fridge "Nothing but health ---", but left in "What's all this shit." when he sees E.T. in drag. It's still a great movie.

  • March 23, 2002, 2:15 a.m. CST

    I'll tell you what's REALLY profound...

    by Tokyo Joe

    If you enter "The answer to life the universe and everything is 42" into the babelfish thing and translate from English-Japanese and back then it all becomes clear..."The answering to life is outer space and entirely 42" More sense? Less sense? Dunno. Only the salmon of doubt will answer that one (although probably not).

  • March 23, 2002, 2:35 a.m. CST

    Reason NOT to see this:

    by Robert Blake

    E.T. was shit 20 years ago, and it certainly is still shit now. Just like EVERYTHING that Spielberg has ever done (except Schindler's List, but everyone gets lucky sometimes...).

  • March 23, 2002, 3:49 a.m. CST

    Dork....

    by FunnyManJake

    Shut up, Robert Blake. You killed your wife and lied about it, so you don't get to talk any shit at all.

  • March 23, 2002, 9:42 a.m. CST

    How about Nintendo cereal?

    by zsasz

    NINTENDO, ITS FOR BREAKFAST NOW! NINTENDO ITS A CEREAL WOW!

  • March 23, 2002, 12:19 p.m. CST

    Manipulation in cinema

    by MAGGA

    Why are some of you complaining about E.T being manipulative? Sure it is, as is Citizen Kane, Star Wars, LOTR, Lawrence of Arabia and any other great film you can mention. A movie that doesn't somehow manipulate it's audience doesn't connect, even if it hides it's manipulative strategies well. E.T is undoubtedly one of the great movies of our time.

  • March 23, 2002, 2:24 p.m. CST

    To FunnyManJake...

    by Robert Blake

    I got this username from a computer game character ("Marathon 2: Durandal", by Bungie Software); and that character's name is neither a reference to that actor, but to this man: (http://www.xrefer.com/entry/211192)

  • March 23, 2002, 4:02 p.m. CST

    Home Alone: Special Edition!!

    by SamWave

    Let's make it happen!!!

  • March 24, 2002, 12:48 a.m. CST

    Harrison Ford as Principal..?

    by BurnMother

    I'm rusty on my "E.T." trivia, but didn't morose-but-beloved Harrison Ford play the school principal in a scene cut from the picture? I'd like to see that on the "Special Edition" DVD, and I'm sure Ford could use the royalty checks.

  • March 24, 2002, 10:21 a.m. CST

    The best alteration that nobody has mentioned yet...

    by ReindeerFlotilla

    ...is the fact that this time around, ET doesn't flinch when Robert MacNaughton goes to pat him on the head at the end of the movie. That always used to bug me - with all they've just gone through, surely ET would have trusted him by now?!

  • March 24, 2002, 4:57 p.m. CST

    ET GOES HOME

    by TomVee

    ET has always struck me as Spielberg trying to get CLOSE ENCOUNTERS right. Not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you. CLOSE ENCOUNTERS always lacked a clean, understandable ending, through several versions. ET got it right the first time.

  • March 24, 2002, 6:03 p.m. CST

    E.T. manipulation

    by darth kubrick

    Watching the new version I realized how manipulative the movie is during E.T.'s death scene which lasts for about ten minutes. E.T. and Eliott are both on the tables then E.T. goes into arrest and they take Eliott away. Then Michael goes into the bedroom closet where E.T. stayed and curls up and falls asleep. The sun rises, the geranium dies and Michael freaks out. He runs down stairs and the NASA guys are STILL not sure what to do with E.T. "Should we call it?" "I want to call it." "What's the time?" To me, this time, the effect was totally blunted by stretching it out for so long. On the other hand, I was crying like a baby. The running through the forrest was cool, but when we see E.T. from the back at the end of the chase in full CGIness. That was kind of a crappy intro to the new E.T. In general the CGI looks to rubbery and soft and it is alway animated to move TOO FAST. Therefore it appears not to have the mass and weight of a real object.

  • March 25, 2002, 3:32 p.m. CST

    he's dressed like a Hobo cuz Mom DIDN'T LET HIM dress li

    by treadwell

    Otherwise, nice review!

  • March 25, 2002, 4:46 p.m. CST

    E.T. Still kicks all kinds of ass!

    by ILoveJarJar

    As usual most of you are ALL wrongo! Manipulation is there in every freaking thing you watch, listen to or read!!!!!!! you are fucking idiots to not know this! If manipulation is so offensive, then stop watching horror movies to be grossed out or scared, stop watching action movies to be thrilled, stop watching comedies to laugh and stop watching sci-fi to be 'wowed'. If art does not elicit some sort of response out of you then it has failed. As for ET, it's still one of the best movies of all time and in my top five. A beautifully emotional well-plotted modern masterpiece. If anyone does not respond to the emotions in this flick, you are emotional retards who need to experience other feelings besides anger. I have a theory to those who object to Speilberg's sentiment, or any filmmaker with a human soul; they don't have one. If fact, by bashing ET because they think they appear to be too cool for school and just can't go for that kooky kids stuff. *yawn* I feel sorry for any of those who think ET stinks. You are a cold and obviously very bitter person to not connect with this story. Why do i know this? I knew someone who used to say the same thing and he of course was a bitter, mean-spirited, emotionally retarded, one-way thinking, bigoted asshole. I hope there are not others who are like him?..*shudder. ET, I stil love ya.

  • March 26, 2002, 12:43 a.m. CST

    You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll kiss eight bucks go

    by JMYoda

    E.T. is one of those rare movies that magically transports me back to my childhood. It was the biggest movie of 1982 and just about everyone was caught up in it's magic at the time, young and old alike. Like Gertie in the film I was six years old at the time and I had all the same toys Elliot had. (Especially all the Star Wars toys, I still have'em all too.) I remember riding home after seeing it and looking up at the stars as if I was expecting to see E. T.'s ship on the way home. Even now after twenty years I still laugh, cry and get genuinly excited (and downright giddy) when I watch it. I am however worried about this SE though. I didn't get a chance to see it this weekend. However I don't get why Lucas replaced the puppet with CGI in over one-hundred shots. IMNSHO there was NOTHING wrong with the puppet. When I watched my old video last week I only saw only about 3 shots of I would want to fix with CGI. I think Spielberg should have heeded the words of Ian Malcolm in his own 'Jurassic Park': "You were so preoccupied with whether you could you didn't stop to think whether you should!" I also don't see what was wrong with the puppets of the kids on the bikes. I didn't even know they used puppets until Sci-Fi Ch. had a special on Dennis Murren several years ago. The rest of the changes reek of PC revisionism ala "Greedo fired first!". I see nothing wrong with the feds having guns, not to mention it's silly for them to have flashlights in-hand in broad daylight The terrorist line is no big loss since it's not in my old 1988 video either. I know Dupont claims the classic "Penis Breath" line is still there but Peter Travers of Rolling Stone and several other reviewers say it's gone. If it is gone I'll really be very disappointed. Just from what I seen I like the puppet better then the CGI. Not that the CGI is bad, it's just different. Plus like I said there was nothing wrong with the puppet. It had charm. It's like if Lucas decided to replace the Yoda puppet with the AOTC CGI Yoda. I'd really be ticked off with him. I'm just glad the DVD will have both versions of E. T. (Or released separately, not sure which). I wish Lucas would take a clue... Even though I liked the SW SEs except for the Cantina Scene and the unneeded Shuttle shots in 'Empire'. Oh well. I noticed E. T. didn't do very well this weekend, coming in third. I also heard it made less then all three SW SE's on their opening weekends in '97. I hope it's because people are leery of the changes and NOT because a film like E. T. can't be appreciated by today's audiences who need lots of explosions to stay interested. Oh and I'm sick of people saying E. T. is manipulative. OF COURSE IT IS! All movies are made to manipulate our emotions. Every time you laugh, cry, scream etc at a good movie it was all preprogrammed long before. Those emotional response are why we watch movies! It's when a film FAILS to manipulate us, when we don't laugh at the comic bits, cheer at the heroics and cry at the sad (or extremly happy) parts... That is when the film really fails.

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