When E.T., an alien visiting Earth, gets left behind when his ship quickly leaves, Elliott (Henry Thomas) helps him contact his home world.
When E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial released 40 years ago in 1982, no one, not even Steven Spielberg, predicted that it would be the phenomenon that it has become. After finally viewing it myself, I can see why this film has become a beloved classic. The movie tells a story about a boy befriending an alien while also examining the affect of divorce on children. It’s a very unique story combination that few filmmakers without Spielberg’s expertise could pull off. All of the relationships, Elliot’s relationship with E.T., Elliott’s relationship with his siblings, and Elliott’s and his siblings’ relationship with their mother, are all thoroughly developed and fleshed out. The score, created by Spielberg’s regular composer John Williams, excels at elevating the emotional undertones of every scene. One particular moment that stands out is the iconic moment when Elliott, with assistance from E.T., flies his bike in the air with the moon behind them. It’s already a fantastic scene but Williams’ score makes it even better. Even without the score, the script does a wonderful job of building emotion. By the end, you’ll no doubt have become attached to the characters, particularly the lovable E.T. himself, culminating in an emotional ending.
I thought E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was GOOD 🙂 Filled with heart and relatable characters, Steven Spielberg crafts an epic tale that everyone can enjoy and hold dear.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial holds the record for the longest ever theatrical run, staying in theaters for over one year after it’s release on June 11, 1982. (via IMDb)
Cast & Crew
Steven Spielberg – Director
Melissa Mathison – Writer
John Williams – Composer
Henry Thomas – Elliott
Robert MacNaughton – Michael
Drew Barrymore – Gertie
Dee Wallace – Mary
Peter Coyote – Keys
KC Martel – Greg
Sean Frye – Steve
Tom Howell – Tyler
Pat Welsh – E.T. (voice)
Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is a computer hacker who was fired from the company Encom. When searching for proof that his rival in the company, Ed Dillinger (David Warner), stole his code, he gets transported to inside of the computer system. With the help of a security program called Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), Flynn must make his way to the Master Control Program to escape the system.
With movies like Rogue One and Furious 7 literally reviving diseased actors on screen and recent visual marvels like Doctor Strange, it’s truly impressive to see how far CGI has come in cinema. Considering where we are today, it can be a bit jarring to see animation that was done with less computing power than the phone currently in my pocket. But as the old saying goes, it had to start somewhere. There is a lot to like and be fascinated with in Tron but it has its flaws, too.
Tron‘s director Steven Lisberger was ahead of his time when he wrote Tron, particularly in where he saw the future of computers. Being a programmer myself, I always enjoy when movies try to visualize and create a world inside of computer. In the early 80s, personal computers had just become a thing, with the Apple I and Apple II being released only a few years prior to this film’s released. Most people were in the midst of entering a world where computers were more than just an academic tool used in universities. For Lisberger to imagine this world inside this fledgling technology, as in-depth and detailed as he did, is impressive to me.
Now having geeked out about some computer history, I’m going to disappoint a lot of people. There is a very distinct feel to the world inside of the computer compared to the real world. Everything is monochrome with bright colors running through as highlights. I like the idea of the black and white color palette because it mirrors the binary nature of computer data and the color highlights could be imagined as data flowing through everything. Despite the uniqueness about it, I found it to be very distracting. Other movies have used this type of effect before with beautiful results, so I don’t think it was the idea of black and white with color highlights but rather its execution. It’s not very crisp here and it ends up being a distraction.
I don’t really know what it was but I couldn’t get into the story. With this featuring scientists and computer hackers, you would think this would be something I would be into. As flashy as the visuals are, they merely act as a distraction to catch your eye so you don’t notice the relatively flat characters and uneven pacing. The move is only an hour and a half long, so it breezes through the story quickly. With the two worlds, the computer world and the real world, it has two sets of characters to juggle. As a result, no one gets much development.
All the story focuses on is getting Flynn (Jeff Bridges) from point A to point B within the computer. It never stops to breathe, moving from one computer animated display to the next. This movie is more focused on showing off this new technology rather than using it to enhance the story. One of the reasons that Toy Story works so well is because although it was revolutionary in a similar vein as Tron, it told a story first then put the technology on top of that. I feel like I am watching an extended 1980s tech demo when I am watching Tron.
I thought Tron was OK 😐 At the time, films like Star Wars were pushing the boundaries of special effects while Tron was pioneering what was possible with the infant field of computer animation. It’s not hard to see it hasn’t aged well but to some, that turns into part of the film’s charm. I appreciate this movie for its historical significance and what it accomplished in computer animation but for me, I didn’t get into the story or behind the characters. It is quite the dazzling spectacle, unfortunately that isn’t enough this time to carry the film.
Cast & Crew
Steven Lisberger – Director / Writer
Bonnie MacBird – Story Writer
Wendy Carlos – Composer
Jeff Bridges – Kevin Flynn / Clu
Bruce Boxleitner – Alan Bradley / Tron
Cindy Morgan – Lora / Yori
David Warner – Ed Dillinger / Sark / Master Control Program
Barnard Hughes – Dr. Walter Gibbs / Dumont
Dan Shor – Popcorn Co-Worker / Ram
Peter Jurasik – Crom
During the maiden voyage of the first commercial flight to the moon, a faulty computer sends the shuttle hurtling towards the sun. Ted Striker (Robert Hays), who is aboard the shuttle to win back Elaine (Julie Hagerty), must once again assume control after the captain become incapacitated.
Review Airplane! is one of my favorite comedies of all time. I think I have been staying away from Airplane II: The Sequel because I have heard it pales in comparison to its predecessor. After finally seeing it for myself, I would have to agree. Honestly, how could it not be? When Jim Abrahams and David and Jerry Zucker created Airplane!, they caught lightning in a bottle and that type of film is really hard to reproduce. Airplane II reuses many of the same jokes as Airplane!, which is not unusual for a comedy sequel. Many of the new jokes were either hit or miss. I did found myself laughing out loud regularly but not as many jokes hit this time. One of the best aspects about Airplane! was the rate at which the jokes flew at you. Even if one missed, they were already at the next joke and you didn’t have time to dwell on it. The jokes per second didn’t seem as high this time so if one missed, it lingered around longer. It was very self aware, making fun of itself and that it was a sequel. Plus William Shatner has a great cameo that pokes fun at science-fiction, which is priceless given his history with the genre.
I thought Airplane II: The Sequel was OK :-|. Airplane II: The Sequel has its moments but it can’t escape the big shadow of Airplane! and ends up feeling it is trying to ride a wave it can’t stay on.
Cast & Crew
Ken Finkleman – Director / Writer
Elmer Bernstein – Composer
Robert Hays – Ted Striker
Julie Hagerty – Elaine
Lloyd Bridges – McCroskey
Chuck Connors – The Sarge
Rip Torn – Kruger
Chad Everett – Simon
John Dehner – The Commisioner
Peter Graves – Captain Oveu
Kend McCord – Unger
James A. Watson, Jr. – Dunn
William Shatner – Murdock