Journal: News & Comment

Friday, March 15, 2002
# 9:24:00 AM:

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Always room for improvement

The re-release of E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial apparently contains some modifications, à la the Star Wars: Special Edition re-releases of 1997.

Some of the changes to Star Wars were supremely lame: for instance, making Greedo the bounty hunter shoot first -- very unconvincingly -- before Han Solo blasts him in the cantina, presumably in order to make Han look more chivalrous. Others were okay but unnecessary: the realistic lizards the stormtroopers ride while looking for C-3PO and R2-D2 are neat, but not nearly as ominous as the single one looming motionless on the horizon in the original. Sometimes, first tries and the limits of low budgets make better films, never mind the special effects improvements.

E.T. will apparently lose some of the guns, a reference to a terrorist, and maybe even the phrase "penis breath," which so many kids liked so much at the time.

Slate has some excellent suggestions for fixes Steven Spielberg could make to his other films.


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