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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

4K Ultra HD

Blu Ray

  • Score
    87
    from 6 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • E.T. shines in 4K UHD, with Spielberg's classic emotionally resonant, visually stunning, and a must-own for fans.

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 4K UHD Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    88
  • E.T. on UHD delivers unparalleled clarity, rich colors, and deep contrasts, making Spielberg's classic feel newly vibrant and preserving its cinematic essence.

  • Audio
    86
  • The DTS:X track of E.T. dazzles with immersive sound, detailed atmospherics, and John Williams' iconic score elevated for a rich, 3D audio experience.

  • Extra
    84
  • The E.T. Blu-ray anniversary edition is packed with behind-the-scenes insights, from Spielberg's reflections, creation stories, a cast reunion, to iconic John Williams scores, offering fans an in-depth look at the film's legacy and production.

  • Movie
    89
  • 1982 shone in film with hits like E.T. and Blade Runner. Spielberg's E.T. captivated with its heartwarming story, innovative effects, and has been celebrated on 4K UHD, maintaining its timeless appeal.

    Video: 88

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial receives an exemplary 4K UHD Blu-ray release that represents the pinnacle of current home entertainment technology. Utilizing a 4K scan and restoration completed in 2017, which likely serves as the source for this UHD edition, the film is presented in its original 1.85:1 aspect ratio. It features a native 3840 x 2160p resolution image, employing the HEVC (H.265) codec for HDR10, showcasing 10-bit video depth, High Dynamic Range (HDR), and a Wide Colour Gamut (WCG). This results in a picture quality that offers an outstanding level of detail across various textures— from skin and clothing to foliage and suburban landscapes. Colors are naturally enhanced without losing Spielberg's cinematic intent, providing flesh tones with authentic warmth, enriching reds and blues, and deepening blacks for excellent shadow detail—crucial for the film's numerous night scenes. However, the restoration isn't without its minor flaws, such as occasional softening indicative of the source material and slight banding in select scenes, although these issues are limited in scope and do not significantly detract from the overall viewing experience.

    Comparisons with previous releases highlight the superior clarity, sharpness, and color depth of this UHD version. The fine grain structure maintains the filmic essence of the original photography while enhancing detail and texture, bringing E.T.'s unique physical characteristics and the suburban environment to vivid life. Dynamic range improvements are immediately noticeable, with luxurious blacks and refined whites bringing new dimensions to nighttime escapades and interior scenes alike. The HDR treatment enriches the palette with more vibrant primaries and nuanced secondaries, making every scene come alive with previously unseen detail and realism.

    Despite minor observations regarding black levels not being as profound as expected and some instances of over-aggressive HDR, the transfer exhibits no significant source or encode flaws. It successfully preserves Allen Daviau's intentional lighting choices and Spielberg's directorial vision. The 35th anniversary presentation marks a significant improvement over its predecessors, offering viewers an almost theatrical experience of rediscovery, with all elements—contrast, brightness, color fidelity—working in concert to render E.T. more beautifully than ever before on home media. This release not only maintains but elevates the emotional impact and visual splendor of this classic film for current and future generations.

    Audio: 86

    The DTS:X audio track for the 4K UHD release of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" marks a substantial yet subtle upgrade from its DTS-HD predecessor, focusing on enhancing the enveloping experience without drastically altering the original’s essence. The track skillfully utilizes height and surround channels to create a dynamic and immersive auditory environment. Specifically, during key scenes such as E.T.'s frantic journey through the woods and the iconic bicycle chase, the overhead and surround channels actively contribute to the realism and excitement of these moments, with natural atmospheric sounds and precise directionality of movement. Meanwhile, John Williams’ timeless score benefits immensely from the DTS:X mix, boasting an expanded soundstage that allows for clearer distinction and depth of instruments, enveloping viewers in its emotional and thematic richness with renewed vigor.

    Dialogue remains crystal clear and well-prioritized across the center channel, ensuring that every line delivers its intended impact without distortion or overshadowing by the score or environmental sounds. Bass is tight and controlled, providing a solid foundation for both the score and the variety of sound effects without ever overwhelming them. The use of height channels, while not overly aggressive, adds a layer of depth to the soundscape through well-placed ambient sounds and discrete audio cues that enhance the on-screen action without distracting from it.

    Fans will appreciate the meticulous care taken in preserving the integrity of the film’s original audio elements while employing modern advancements to offer a more engaging listening experience. The result is a balanced, dynamic audio presentation that respects its roots yet breathes new life into a beloved classic. This DTS:X track not only supports but elevates the emotional weight and narrative drive of "E.T.," proving to be a worthy addition to this home video release. Whether reliving childhood memories or experiencing the movie for the first time, viewers are in for an auditory treat that complements the visual splendor of the film.

    Extra: 84

    The 4K UHD Blu-ray release of "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" presents a comprehensive collection of extras that retain the enchantment and behind-the-scenes magic of this timeless film. Though the UHD disc itself does not contain extras, the package includes a Blu-ray disc overflowing with valuable material previously released and cherished by fans. Highlights include in-depth documentaries like "The E.T. Journals," offering a day-to-day look at the film’s creation through behind-the-scenes footage, and "Steven Spielberg & E.T.," where Spielberg shares insights into his experience and the film's impact. Other notable features are deep dives into the iconic score by John Williams, cast reunions, and detailed explorations into the film's design and marketing. This release cleverly complements the high-definition remastering of the film with substantial background content, preserving its legacy for new generations.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Deleted Scenes: Unseen footage adding to the narrative.
    • Steven Spielberg & E.T.: An intimate interview with Spielberg.
    • The E.T. Journals: Behind-the-scenes footage documenting the creation process.
    • A Look Back: Reflections on the making of E.T.
    • The Evolution and Creation of E.T.: Insights into the film's development.
    • The E.T. Reunion: Cast and crew reminisce about their experiences.
    • The Music of E.T.: A Discussion with John Williams: Exploring the film's memorable score.
    • 20th Anniversary Premiere: Behind-the-scenes of the live-score premiere.
    • Designs, Photographs and Marketing: Visual development and promotional materials.
    • Theatrical Trailer: Original cinematic promotion.
    • Special Olympics TV Spot: A unique E.T.-themed advertisement.

    Movie: 89

    Steven Spielberg's 1982 classic, "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial," remains an unparalleled cinematic journey even when viewed through the advanced technological lens of its 4K UHD Blu-ray presentation. This release not only brings back the unaltered magic of the original theatrical version—with guns rightfully remaining guns—but enhances it with the vivid clarity of 2160p/HDR video and a new immersive DTS:X soundtrack, promising viewers an unparalleled home theater experience. The mastery behind Spielberg’s direction is ever clear, immersing us in a story that, at its core, explores themes of friendship, acceptance, and the endurance of familial bonds across any divide.

    Anchored by the remarkable performances of its young cast, particularly Henry Thomas as Elliot, "E.T." succeeds in weaving a narrative that transcends the science fiction genre to delve deeply into the emotional dynamics of a child's world. Spielberg's innovative filming techniques—capturing the story from the children’s perspective—coupled with John Williams' iconic score, further reinforce the film’s timeless appeal. This technique not only highlights the innocence and wonder of childhood but also accentuates the narrative's tension and emotional stakes, making the adventure of E.T. and Elliot resonate strongly with audiences of all ages.

    Conditioned with a lens flare that mirrors Spielberg’s visual hallmark, the impeccable cinematography and sophisticated visual effects make this 4K UHD version a visual feast that honors the film's legacy. Despite its age, "E.T." showcases a blend of practical effects and storytelling prowess that stands tall amidst modern digital advancements. It's this combination of pioneering filmmaking and technical enhancement that places "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" 4K UHD release not just as a revisitation of a beloved classic but as a celebration of cinema that continues to capture hearts decades after its original release.

    Total: 87

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" stands as an indelible hallmark within Steven Spielberg's illustrious directorial career, its narrative richness and emotional depth etching it as a timeless classic in American cinema. With its arrival on Ultra HD Blu-ray, the film's visual and auditory experience has been elevated to a remarkable extent. The native 4K resolution breathes new life into its visuals, offering an unparalleled clarity that highlights the meticulous detail and vibrant coloring of Spielberg's world, while preserving the film's original aesthetic integrity. Similarly, the DTS:X audio track brings an immersive depth to the soundscape, with John Williams' iconic score benefiting profoundly, ensuring a highly engaging audio-visual spectacle that both complements and enhances the original cinematic experience.

    The UHD version succeeds not only in technological refinement but also in adding a layer of contemporary accessibility to a film that has already proven its worth across various formats. The advantage of 4K lies not in revolution but in refinement; it provides a textural enhancement and color depth that surpass earlier Blu-ray releases without compromising the film's inherent qualities. Though the physical extras echo previous releases, they remain a valuable collection for enthusiasts, supplemented by collectible items that fans will appreciate. The combination of these factors makes this release not just an optimal way to enjoy "E.T.," but also a celebration of its enduring legacy.

    In conclusion, for those who have yet to introduce "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" into their 4K library, this Ultra HD release offers a compelling argument with its visually stunning and sonically immersive presentation. While it may not necessitate an upgrade for owners of the initial UHD version, newcomers and long-time fans alike will find in it a definitive experience that honors Spielberg's masterpiece. This release is not merely about owning a critical piece of cinema history; it's about experiencing "E.T." in a manner befitting its status, making it an essential acquisition for cinephiles and collectors, affirming its must-own recommendation for an enriched appreciation of this timeless film.