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ET: The extra-terrestrial - special edition

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

He is afraid. He is alone. He is three million light years from home.

A group of aliens visit earth and one of them is lost and left behind stranded on this planet. The alien is found by a 10-year-old boy, Elliot (Henry Thomas). Soon the two begin to communicate, and start a different kind of friendship in which ET learns about life on Earth and Elliot learns about some new values for the true meaning of friendship. ET wants to go home, but if Elliot helps him, he'll lose a friend...

Also starring Dee Wallace-Stone as Mary, Peter Coyote as Keys, Robert Macnaughton as Michael, Drew Barrymore as Gertie, KC Martel as Greg, Sean Frye as Steve and C Thomas Howell as Tyler. Written by Melissa Mathison, directed by Steven Spielberg.

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Hey, that was cool!

When I first saw ET: The extra-terrestrial I was just a young pup, getting all excited just seeing spaceships on the big screen. Star wars figured large in my imagination, Close encounters of the third kind made me think about the world and then along came ET.

ET: The extra-terrestrial is the emotional side of the triangle caused by the big three science fiction films. (They are big because they turned SF back into a mainstream genre. Star trek: the movie became possible, Battlestar: Galactica, Saturn 3, Star trek: The next generation... suddenly the world became heaven on earth for sci-fi freaks and geeks of all kinds.) It is about love, companionship, friendship, sacrifice and that most painful of occurrences, letting go. Guaranteed to produce a warm, fuzzy feeling despite the horrendously kitsch "heart light".

Meanwhile, the effects have been brought up to date such that the film could have been made today if not for the flares, the polyester and the sugary wholesomeness of it all; Steven Spielberg and Melissa Mathison are trapped by their white bread, suburban roots. Steven even went to the extent of having the government guys' guns turned into walkie talkies as that was "more appropriate" even if less accurate. See if you can spot the scenes with which his technicians have been tampered, it will help to pass the two (yep, count 'em: two) hours of family fun. If you bring kids, make sure that you're prepared to go outside for toilet breaks.

On the up side, the kids are great actors, especially the extremely young Drew Barrymore in her first major role. She possesses every scene in which she appears, giving her character exactly the right measures of charm, innocence and worldliness. Her silent moments are delivered as perfectly as her dialogue. Truly, she upstages even ET himself.

ET: The extra-terrestrial is a fun, light and airy film for kids that an adult can also enjoy, as long as they haven't lost their sense of child-like wonder.

Security censorship classification

PG

Surveillance time

120 minutes (2:00 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 28 March 2002
DVD rental: Undated November 2002

Cinema surveillance images

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