At this point in modern film history, I think it's a safe assumption that E.T. is a confirmed classic. It's a near perfect blend of the 80s family/kids movie genre with soft sci-fi (and maybe a hint of fantasy thrown in for good measure). Even though it's a bit dated after 30 years, time hasn't dampened its charms in the least. It's still got that early Spielberg flair, that aesthetic quality that J.J. Abrams was chasing in Super 8. The story itself still works, especially as viewed through the eyes of the three childen who love and shelter E.T. during his time on earth. There's a wonder and a joy present here, even in the midst of the looming threat of the government men who are tracking E.T.
Fans will be thrilled to know that this is a restoration of the original version of the film, not the digitally enhanced edition that was released for the 20th anniversary. Unlike his friend George Lucas, Spielberg recognized that the edits that were made to that version (including new CGI for E.T. and substituting walkie talkies for the rifles held by the government agents) were mistakes. The beautiful thing about this version, however, is just how good it looks. It's been digitally remastered from the original 35mm film elements and it shows. The Blu-Ray is phenomenal; clean, clear and vibrant. The soundtrack and score both sound fantastic and I found myself flashing back to the days when I listened to everything I could get from the genius composer John Williams.
In terms of special features, there are two key ones that are new to this release: "Steven Spielberg & E.T." and "The E.T. Journals." I believe that the rest have all been released in some form or fashion before this. That being said, there are are a ton of extras to explore. One of my favorites is the featurette on "The Music of E.T.", a look at the collaborative relationship between Williams and Spielberg. You also get the movie on DVD and a digital copy for your computer. This is the best edition of the film that's been put out so far. If you don't already own this, picking it up should be a no brainer. Kudos to Universal for such a solid release.