Tuesday, 8 March 2016

'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial 1982' Skittles! Now used for Alien Coaxing! 08/03/2016

Figure 1: 'E.T.' Poster
This film review will focus on the film 'E.T.', becoming a known favorite for many adults and children this film took Sci-Fi in the direction that didn't exactly play out like an expected alien film at the time, taking inspiration from his previous film 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind 1977' and the direction the narrative went in, this film really plays to Steven Spielberg strengths whilst creating new techniques to use in later films. The film was Directed and produced by Steven Spielberg, was written by Melissa Mathison, the music was done by John Williams and the cinematography was done by Allen Daviau.

E.T. is one of those films that was 'A first of its kind', being friendly for kids and also being a massive influence on other future media, showing that the Sci-Fi Genera did not always have to be filled to the brim with horror but can have a creature that we can bond and relate too even though they don't exist. The way E.T. is set up as a character and how quickly he became recognizable is down to Steven Spielberg's writing. "Although kids no longer dress as E.T. for Halloween or recite his famous line, "E.T. phone home," the kind extraterrestrial remains one of the most recognizable creatures in movie history, and that is due to director Steven Spielberg's genius." (S A-Chen, 2005)

Figure 2: Bike Chase Scene
Right from the start of the film we are thrown into a situation where we have no idea what in the hell is going on, making confusion and speculation of what is happening come into play. A large majority of this film is focusing on the perspective of our well know next-door-galactic-neighbor, E.T. We can see right from the start that the first opening sequence is set for the film 'An Alien in an Alien World', E.T. is walking around in our minds is what appears to be a normal forest, but to him there are these massive, tall, cylindrical structures that defy gravity and are a sight to behold. Just keep in mind that this is something that has never seen or even known of a tree, he has never been on this 'Alien' world called 'Earth'.

Something else to note about E.T. is his portrayal as a character is somewhat of a mixture of a small child and an animal. "As superlatively created by Carlo Rambaldi, the creature manages to project both a wondrous childlike quality and a sense of superior powers. Cutely awkward in its movements, the being has rubbery brown skin, an extendable neck and possesses eyes which dilate on cue." (T McCarthy. 1982) Whilst us not really being able to relate to E.T. as a character, we can see the impact he has on the people around him and it becomes immediate that he is something really special. Being able to forge a bond with not only the kids in the film but the movies viewers, you really feel for this little guy when he dies and its a moment where the heartstrings are definitely tugged at most.

Figure 3: The Kids
From what we have seen in another one of Steven Spielberg's films known as 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' tries to do well is setting a false belief right from the start of the film. Generally we think of the unknown or alien to be the most terrifying thing in existence, so when this small, wrinkly, slimy thing beings to creep out of nowhere it is terrifying, then as a token of friendship E.T. gives the child some skittles? Now normally this is where this film review goes wildly off the rails asking the question of how E.T. got skittles in the first place and his own gift to a small child could have been all his undoing, for all we knew the kid could have been like Sid from 'Toy Story 1', unfortunately this topic will not throw this film review off the rails so we shall continue.

E.T. is represented as somewhat of a small child, acting very goofy and silly when interacting with human objects, showing the more animalistic side to E.T., almost ape like. Over time he learns parts of the human language and develops the phrase "E.T. Phone Home", once again like a small child trying to learn its first words. Making this character seem human when he is clearly not is probably why we become so attached to him.

Figure 4: E.T.
The visual effects for this film are still a sight to behold, even the way E.T. was animated was quite clever, using a droid to control E.T. whilst he walks around a lot of the time some scenes are computer generated, it is quite noticeable if you look close enough but it is nice to see the experimentation with technologies. The sound effects for the film were really good, minus the one really odd scream that E.T. does right at the start of the film.

This film is a know modern classic, which can be said about very few films, the impact it had on the people was huge and set the bar for other films to come after it, E.T. is a legend that has been set in stone. "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" is a reminder of what movies are for. Most movies are not for any one thing, of course. Some are to make us think, some to make us feel, some to take us away from our problems, some to help us examine them. What is enchanting about "E.T." is that, in some measure, it does all of those things." (R Ebert. 2002)

Bibliography


Chen, S.A. (2009) E.T.: The extra-terrestrial - movie review.
At:
(Accessed on 8.3.16)

R.Ebert. E.T. The extra-terrestrial movie review (2002). [online]
At:
(Accessed on 8.3.16)

McCarthy, T. (1982) Review: ‘E.T. – the Extra-Terrestrial’.
At:
(Accessed on 8.3.16)

Image Bibliography

Figure 1: 'E.T.' Poster

Figure 2: Bike Chase Scene

Figure 3: The Kids

Figure 4: E.T.
http://www.technobuffalo.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/ET-phone-home.jpg

1 comment:

  1. Nice one Tom :)

    Be careful with your use of 'done' when introducing the film-makers etc... it makes it sound a bit 'clunky'. You can quite easily leave it out, so 'the music by John Williams and the cinematography by Allen Daviau.'

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