Episode 252 – E.T., The Extraterrestrial (1982)

Welcome to another in our “…But An Incredible Simulation,” where we pair blockbusters with mockbusters, in an attempt to tease your cinematic palette (ooo, sounds naughty!). This week, we’ve got a classic Steven Spielberg blockbuster about a young boy and his carefully-maintained backup glass container holding earth and plants, creating a closed biosphere: “E.T., The Extra Terrarium.” Hmm. It’s possible everything in that previous sentence is wrong. Well, that’s nothing new. Yes, as you’ve probably sussed out, it’s the story of a young boy who introduces a gentle alien visitor to the pinnacles of human achievement: high-fructose corn syrup and artificial peanut butter flavoring. Oh, and probably love and compassion or some other junk. The boy is aided by his annoying but lovable older brother and his slightly shrill but lovable little sister, who actually teaches the alien to speak and later goes on to host her own daytime talk show. Way to go, Gertie! So how does this one-time tear-jerker from the 80’s hold up? Does it still make us want to phone home or does it make us want to phone a cab to get us to the nearest bar? Give a listen and find out!

Poll question: who is your favorite alien character?

3 thoughts on “Episode 252 – E.T., The Extraterrestrial (1982)”

  1. I was so sure I was going to get the E.T. porn title out there first! Damn you Max Levine! A curse of penguins upon you! I loved this movie when it came out and took a Spielberg hating friend who cried like a baby throughout the entire third act. I rewatched it more recently and didn’t really like it much. The emotional manipulation was just too over the top for me as an old man I guess.

    Klaatu is likely my favourite alien, Michael Rene is so good and does so many little things like smiling when he figures out how the flashlight works, like he had never seen one before. If the Alien in “Alien” is a character I would include that as well. I saw Alien at a preview showing and everyone there was ready to laugh at it. Some people were so scared and grossed out they left. It was truly something alien and I was totally amazed by it.

  2. Ahahaha, Walrus-rider! Truly, this round goes to me! But the game continues…..
    I can’t really disagree that E.T. is emotionally manipulating but Spielberg has a fairly light touch with such things and hell, he can manipulate me all he wants!
    Michael Rennie is indeed an awesome Klaatu. It was really painful watching Keanu Reeves trying to fill his shoes.

    1. When did the reeves thing happen? The answer is… IT DID NOT!!!!!!
      I could not even sit through the trailer!

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