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Now in our third calendar year
PCR # 105 (Vol. 3, No. 13) This edition is for the week of March 25--31, 2002.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
(the re-release)

Movie review by Michael A. Smith

4 stars  out of  4 stars

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Universal Studios    
Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote and Drew Barrymore
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Rated: PG
Approximate running time: 2 hours

On June 11, 1982, I was still stationed in Germany. Because of this, I was not able to participate in the original phenomena that was "E.T." Made for a modest $10.5 million, this was Steven Spielberg's follow up to "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and, according to the director, his most "personal" film.

The story concerns the adventures of a stranded alien being who suddenly finds himself alone in suburbia. He is discovered, and befriended, by Elliot, a small boy who is still trying to deal with his parents' recent separation. Slowly, the two begin to learn from each other and it is apparent that they are bonding physically as well. While ET is home drinking beer from the fridge, Elliot is slowly becoming intoxicated during his science class. Seeing ET is growing sick from being away from his kind, Elliot helps him find the material needed to build a device to enable him to "phone home." The adventure grows when the government discovers ET's presence, leading to one of the most famous chases in movie history!

OK, let's begin by saying this: ET has, indeed, held up over these past 20 years. I have stood in front of the theatre and watched the faces of a new generation discovering the thrill of a classic story on the big screen. The newly remastered soundtrack simply jumps out at you, and John Williams' Oscar-winning score seems even more triumphant then I remembered.

As to the "new look" and extra footage: There is only about 3 1/2 minutes of extra footage, the majority being ET discovering the joys of a warm bath. As for the political correctness that has crept into the film, let me just point out that on the Special Edition Laser Disc of "E.T.," Spielberg lamented the fact that his government agents had guns. "Maybe one day I'll go back and take them out," he adds. Well, he has, in fact done that. In the place of the guns are walkie-talkies. The only bad thing is that the men holding them are holding them like GUNS! Cupped in their hands with their index finger extended as if on the trigger. The word "terrorist" has been excised, replaced with the word "hippy." Other then that, it's still the classic it was 20 years ago. If you have young children, by all means take them to see this film as it deserves to be seen, on a screen with a room full of wide-eyed youngsters. If not, go by yourself and relive that quieter time when, like the Beatles said, "love is all you need."

This week's movie review of "E.T" is ©2002 by Michael A. Smith. All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2002, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2002 by Nolan B. Canova.