E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) — Just watched this movie… what? No, I’m not crying… there’s something in my eye, okay? Anyway, this review is of the original 1982 Theatrical Edition. Important to distinguish because I really hate some of the changes made to the 2002 Special Edition. Perhaps what makes E.T. one of the single greatest movies ever for kids is that it doesn’t condescend to kids the way so much of their entertainment does. Teenage Michael and his friends are sort of testing the waters as far as language goes (and get in trouble for calling each other “douchebags”) the way teenagers really do (though in real life it gets a lot more R-rated but the movie can be easily forgiven for not going all the way with that one). Eliot calls Michael “Penis-breathe” in one part (that I believe got cut from the 2002 version) which is perfect because despite its “vulgarity” that is SUCH a little-kid style insult. The mom even cracks up laughing when he says it. The other big thing is that there are real stakes in the movie. What happens matters: E.T. could DIE. [SPOILER ALERT] In fact he does die, sort of, but comes back. [END SPOILERS] Things MATTER. As a kid I always loved movies where the kids knew what was really going on and the adult were oblivious. This movie has to be one of the best examples of that. E.T. is one of my favorite depictions of childhood ever. I love this movie and can never get through it dry-eyed.

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