E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on BluRay

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore

Synopsis: A squat, ugly (yet still somehow adorably cute) alien is stranded on planet Earth and is hunted by a number of government types.   He finds refuge and friendship in the house of a young boy, Elliott.   While Elliott helps E.T. get a message to his people, E.T. helps heal the wounds that result from a broken home.



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The Adventures of Tintin (TV series) – A Review by Film Nerd

Created by: Herge

Voice Actors (English): Colin O’Meara, Susan Roman, David Fox, Wayne Robson, Dan Hennessey, John Stocker

Synopsis: In 1991, Herge’s Tintin graphic novels were adapted into an animated TV series that adhered quite closely to the source material.   21 of these novels were adapted into half an hour segments, with many stories being split over two episodes.   These have recently been made available on Blu-Ray, the format in which the series is here reviewed.

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Spielberg Double Bill Part 2 – The Adventures of Tintin

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg, Toby Jones

Synopsis: Herge’s most famous creation is brought to animated life with the latest motion capture techniques.   In this adventure, the simple purchase of a model ship leads Tintin on a mystery for sunken treasure, an adventure which introduces him to long time friend Captain Haddock.   Based on the Tintin graphic novels “The Crab with the Golden Claws” and “The Secret of The Unicorn”.

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Spielberg Double Bill Part 1 – War Horse

Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Jeremy Irvine, Peter Mullan, Emily Watson, Niels Arestrup, David Thewlis, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch

Synopsis: Primarily, this film is the story of Joey, a horse raised and trained by young Albert.   To cover expenses on the farm, Albert’s father sells Joey to the army at the onset of WWII.   What follows is an anthology film, as Joey experiences different treatment from a variety of owners.   Meanwhile, Albert himself joins the ar effort, with the hope to be reunited with his horse.

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30 Day Film Challenge Day 21 – Your Favorite Sci-Fi/Fantasy Film

Film Nerd’s Choice: E.T. – The Extra-Terrestrial


Director: Steven Spielberg

Cast: Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, Drew Barrymore

Synopsis: Elliott is a lonely boy from a broken home, who one day discovers an alien hiding in his backyard.   He forms a strong bond with this alien, and helps him make a very important long distant phone call…


Okay, so having already listed the Lord of the Rings as my favourite film in this 30 day film challenge, technically perhaps that should occupy this spot.   However, I think repeating a film for this challenge would be just plain lazy, so I decided to get more creative.   I could have also chosen any of the ten Trek films that have not yet appeared in an entry here, but having been a sci-fi fanatic for many years, I thought I really had to get serious about this post.   So I delved into my personal history to rediscover this gem.

Thew simple fact is, despite the film being dated and the iconic images being ingrained in the consciousness of western culture (I mean, seriously, the above poster is not instantly recognisable??), the simple fact is that this remains a strong film that loses none of the power it had in childhood, and in fact resonates to greater levels for an older audience rediscovering it.   There were subplots and thematic concerns that completely escaped me as a child, which now have significant impact.

When remembering that E.T. wants to phone home and that he can make bicycles fly, this is more fundamentally a film of two lost souls discovering and helping each other, so that they can both find their path home to comfort and safety.   Elliott is clearly missing the presence of his father, and E.T., while not replacing this role, at least fills a void in Elliott’s life.   Of course, he cannot stick around forever, but his presence teaches life lessons that by the end of the film help pull together pieces of a family that is holding on by a thread.   It is a story of true friendship, and the risks and sacrifices that one would make if the friendship is truly significant.   So even without the clichéd images, it is a very strong film.

In this commentary though, I by no means wish to downplay the iconic moments.   It is truly a film filled with great visual and aural wonders.   The visual effects are timeless… what kid hasn’t dreamt of flight, or healing simply with a touch.   When the fugly but cute alien starts speaking, it is a truly awe inducing moment.   Then to have his plea to phone home tinges the film with heart in the midst of all this wonder.   Then to have all this topped off by one of John Williams’ most memorable scores (and when you are talking of the guy who composed for Star Wars, Superman, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, and Jaws, that is saying something).   The music itself seems to capture the wonder and the joy of freewheeling flight.

This film does not put a foot wrong, and is a true classic for the ages.

5 stars out of 5.


E.T. on IMDB

E.T. on Rotten Tomatoes

Trailer [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7-2PB4jj2o]

Upcoming Genre Films for 2011 Part Deux – A Preview by Film Nerd

First of all thanks to Urban Fantasist for that awesome post.   Consider my appetite whetted.   As you referred to yourself though, there are certain tastes of mine that were not catered to, so here is a preview of 2011 from the perspective of someone who collected comics in high school.

I will be using the same list as Urban Fantasist from io9, but I will extend from there a little bit from a post by blastr featuring the top 55 trailers for films coming out in 2011.   I will of course avoid overlap between these lists.

The Green Hornet (io9, blastr)     January 14

A remake of the series that first captured hearts on radio serials then on television, featuring a rich guy turned vigilante.   The character was created by the guy who brought us The Lone Ranger, and at one point in the radio series it was indicated that the Hornet is descendant of the Ranger.   Directed by Michael Gondry of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind fame, it could prove interesting.

I Am Number Four (io9, blastr)     February 18

A group of nine aliens hiding out as teenagers on Earth are hunted down for extermination by the government.   With three down, this film follows the story of the fourth to be targeted.    Based on a novel of the same name.

The Adjustment Bureau (io9, blastr)     March 4

Matt Damon plays a congressman destined for big things, before he meets and falls for Emily Blunt’s ballerina.   He was supposed to never meet her again, but somehow does, and falls in love with her.   The mysterious agency of the title steps in to prevent the relationship, and put our heroes life back on the set path.   Escaping, running, and hiding ensues….

Battle: Los Angeles (io9, blastr)     March 11

Gritty war film with hand-held camera work with visceral closeups, etc.   Oh yeah, and humans are fighting aliens.   Sounds like a great big B-movie, but with a cast headlined by Aaron Eckhart, may prove a hidden gem.

Red Riding Hood (io9, blastr)     March 11

Amanda Seyfried and Gary Oldman star in this retelling of the classic tale, with the wolf recast as a werewolf connected the past of she with the hood.   Don’t know how Urban Fantasist missed that one, sounds like her cup of tea!!

Paul (io9, blastr)     March 18

Comedy starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, as two mates on an American road trip that meet foul mouth alien Paul, voiced by Seth Rogen.   Some of the gags on the trailer are foul, but delightfully so!!

Sucker Punch (io9, blastr)     March 25

A film by Zack Snyder, who previously brought us 300 and Watchmen.   He does have a talent for absolute visual splendour on-screen, and the trailers indicate this will be no different.   It is hard to get a grasp on what it is about, but seems to be the story of five girls attempting to escape the clutches of evil authority in a mental asylum…or is it a war zone???   Or a bordello??

Super (io9, blastr)     April 1

Okay, so the concept of this sounds very similar to Kick-Ass… average bloke dons a costume to fight crime.   So lacking in originality on that count perhaps.   Just watch the clip posted on blastr though and I dare you not to show some interest!!

Hanna (blastr only) April 8

Eric Bana’s ex-CIA agent trains daughter Saoirse Ronin to be the perfect assassin, with the goal to target Cate Blanchett.    A lot of talent there in that sentence, and a pretty cool concept to boot.    The trailer also kicks butt!!

Your Highness (io9, blastr) April 8

Danny McBride and James Franco reteam with the director of Pineapple Express to star as royal brothers on a rescue mission… a comedy that drags Natalie Portman and my favourite Zooey Deschanel along for the ride.   I am still giggling at the trailer… “What a coincidence, I was just about to finish thinking of you!!”   Hehe.

Thor (io9, blastr)     May 6

The Norse god is exiled to Earth, as reimagined by Marvel Comics.   Mjolnir was spotted after the credits to Iron Man 2, resulting in my second Nerdgasm for that film.   Those that don’t know that this is part of building towards Joss Whedon’s The Avengers should be stripped of their geek badge immediately!!

X-Men: First Class (io9 only)     June 3

The second Marvel movie for 2011.   With James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and January Jones on board, and Kick-Ass’ Michael Vaughn directing, can we put the travesty of X-Men: The Last Stand behind us???

Green Lantern (io9, bkastr)     June 17

A film based on a DC universe second tier hero.   Ryan Reynolds is good casting, but the CGI costume is still a little off-putting for me.   However, has the potential to be the next Iron Man, whom was one of Marvel’s second tier heroes.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part Two (io9, blastr)     July 15

You really want a synopsis for this one?

Captain America: The First Avenger (io9 only)     July 22

The source of my first Nerdgasm in Iron Man 2 was spotting Captain America’s shield partially constructed in Tony Stark’s work room.   Like Thor, this is building to Whedon’s The Avengers, and has Chris Evans donning the tights in what can only be called great casting!

Cowboys and Aliens (io9, blastr)     July 29

James Bond and Indiana Jones!!   The old west!!   Aliens!!    Daniel Craig waits from unconsciousness with a strange device on his arm.   Harrison Ford plays the villain of the piece, that teams with Craig when the bigger threat arrives.   Why didn’t they think of this earlier???

The Thing (io9 only)     October 14

Prequel to John Carpenter’s iconic original.   Stars Joel Edgerton, and personal favourite Mary Elizabeth Winstead, last seen in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

Sherlock Holmes 2 (io9, blastr)     December 16

Downey Jr. and Law return to 221B Baker Street, this time to face the infamous Professor Moriarty.   Be warned, blastr screwed up, the trailer from the first film, not the first trailer for the second!!

The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (io9 only) December 23

Steven Spielberg directs his first fully motion capture film.   Peter Jackson produces.   They will be swapping roles for the sequel!!   Stars Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.   Some writing was even done by Doctor Who‘s Steven Moffatt!! Add that element of retro charm and I am sold!

Man, that is a lot of movies…. I hope Bride of Film Nerd doesn’t kill me when we need a second mortgage!!