Thursday, June 30, 2005
E.T. Phone Home
This movie was so powerful for me. It is the second movie that I remember seeing in my life. I remember crying when E.T. died. It was horrible I couldn't believe it. Then Eliot is allowed to say goodbye to E.T. before they take the body away. He was crying, and I was crying because I felt the same thing he did. As he closed the lid, E.T. chest began to glow. Eliot did not notice, but I did. I wanted to scream for him to look, but I knew that he couldn't hear me if I did. Turning around and walking away, Eliot notices the plant on the table by him is beginning to blossom. I was as amazed as he was. He turned around, opened the freezer that E.T. was in, and unzipped the body bag. E.T. shouted, "Eliot, Eliot." Eliot was so happy to see E.T. alive, and so was I. In the course of about five minutes I had gone from heartbreak to extreme joy. I was 11, and would have no idea how much this film touched me, for 20 more years. It would end up being the best movie experience of my life.
Cut to, 20 years later, and my friend wants to go see E.T. the 20th anniversary edition at the theater. I told her that I had only seen the movie once when it first came out. She was going with her husband and her stepson Taylor, and I thought that it would be good to be there and experience the movie with him for the first time. Also it wouldn't hurt to see the new edition of the movie.
Now, we're in the theater and the movie is playing and I'm drawn in completely. I'm not even watching Taylor, just the movie. The same scene comes up with E.T. dying, and even though I know the movie, tears are rolling down my cheeks. Once again, I am as hurt as Eliot is. The flower blooms, and I get a chill up my spine. Eliot opens the freezer and the bag, and I have a big smile on my face and a lump in my throat. E.T. says, "Eliot, Eliot.", and I am laughing. I knew that I had been manipulated by this movie and it was a great thing. It takes a real genius to do that, and his name is Steven Speilberg.
I'll give you a few examples of his work, that you may be familiar with.
Dr. Grant saving the children from the T-Rex in Jurassic Park,
Indiana Jones running from the giant boulder in the cave in Raiders of the Lost Ark,
Richard Dreyfuss when he first sees the spaceship in Close Encounters of the Third Kind,
the attack on the beach in the beginning of Saving Private Ryan,
the woman being attacked by the shark at the beginning of Jaws,
and the robotic spiders looking for Tom Cruise in the bathtub in Minority Report.
All of these made you feel something whether you noticed it or not. The power of movies can do that to you.
I am a big Speilberg fan as you can tell, and I couldn't wait for War of the Worlds. I knew that it was going to be huge. I went on opening day, first showing, by myself, and it was great. I cried, laughed, and felt scared. He had done it again.
That is what I love about a Steven Speilberg movie, it has everything.