Friday, 24 March 2017


LIFE
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Fergusson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, 
Ariyon Bakare, Olga Dihovichnaya
Written by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick
Directed by Daniel Espinosa

Reviewed by Patrick & Paul Gibbs

Displaying 2 stars.png Out of Four

Space movies are back, and we're not just talkig about Star Wars, or even Guardians of the Galaxy. Ever since Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity set the box office on fire (or would have if fire could burn in space, which it cannot, despite what Star Wars might say), astronauts have been in vogue, with movies such as Interstellar and The Martian. People seem to be interested in reaching for the stars again, if not on a launch pad, at least in a darkened theatre.  We've seen the interest wane as the quality drops (think The Space Between Us). so it's hard to say how much longer it will last. But it was, of course, inevitable that at some point this trend would lead to amother painful remake of Alien, but actually watching it happen, and watching a strong cast and top notch production values being wasted on it, is genuinely infuriating.


Life follows the crew of the International Space Station, who capture a probe returning from the red planet with a sample inside. Upon further study, the speicimen indeed proves to be the first proof of extraterrestrial life, in the form of a wibbly wobbly mass that intitally looks like pink astroturf. The astronauts rejoice at the discovery, with Dr. Hugh Derry, the token black and token Brit (they have limited space up there, so they killed two birds with one stone) in charge of studying it, while Dr. Miranda North (Rebecca Fergusson) is in charge of looking dour and mysterious to indicate she knows something the others don't. Rory Adams (Ryan Reynolds) is in charging of providing Ryan Reynoldsesque soundbites, and Dr. David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal) is in charge of being the nominal lead, while the remaining crew members are Japanese and Russian.

The citizens of earth rejoice at the news, and an Elementary school from America wins the enviable right to name the alien, which they dub "Calvin", after their school. But when an accident renders Calvin unresposive, Dr. Derry (Ariyon Bakare) decides to "stimulate" Calvin. This does not go well.

From there, it's just Alien all the ways, with the threatened and Calvin breaking free, and growing in size and hostility. Calvin squiges, squadges and squdges through the station, picking off the crew one by one. We kept waiting for the moment when the terrible Calvin, mighty and fearsome, would be trying to rip someone apart and we'd hear "Calvin! Stop breaking all of your toys" and the action would switch to a bedroom where a little boy and his stuffed tiger complained that Mom never lets them have any fun.

The strong cast is horribly wasted, with Gyllenhall fairing best of the leads, giving some nuance to a potentially intersting but underdeveloped character (his reading of "Goodnight, Moon" is by far the best thing in this film.). Reynolds is solid, and adds a likable and humorous presence, but it's a one note part even for him.  He is reaching a problem point in his career, in that he has usually played "the Ryan Reynolds character", which has worked out ok, but now it is officially the Deadpool character. From now on, whenever he is on screen scracking wise, it feels like Deadpool suddenly showed up in another movie. It's just not going to work. He's going to have to give more against type performances (like The Women in Gold) if he wants to have a career outside of the Merc with the Mouth (admittedly, these are the kind of problems you want to have.). Fergusson, who made such an impression in Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, is really quite dull, and Hiroyuki Sanada (The Last Samurai, Mr. Holmes) provides the most emotional heft, but his plot is frankly becoming a tired and tacky fixture of horror/monster movies.

The plot holes and scientfic eyeroll moments abound (does Calvin require oxygen, or can he move around outisde the ship? which is it?), and the "How stupid are these people?" monents are even more prevalent. And while director Daniel Espinoza does a capable job of building suspense, there is just such a feeling of "been there, done that" as to render any skill in filmaking moot. For anyone complaining about disney remakes and slightly derivitive Star Wars sequels, we would argue that this kind of cheap ripoff of an established property (albiet under a different name) is far less original than, say, Pete's Dragon. We'd rather have high quality soft remakes that show respect for the original by standing on their own than this kind of shameless rehash. Admittedly, this plays all the worse coming on the heels of Arrival, but even without thst comparison it doesn't hold up.

Life is strictly for the easily pleased horror fan (and if you are seeing it  because you just love Ryan Reynolds, and you think you'll enjoy it regardless because of him, all we will say is: take a look at the fact that he has lower billing than Rebecca Fergusson, who is hardly a household name, and think about what that might mean in a horror movie.).



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Following on from our article last week where we listed 35 random facts on Steven Spielberg's E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, I felt it was only fitting that I assemble a bunch of random facts on one of the my favourite Spielberg movies, Jaws.



1 - According to Box Office Mojo the movie’s budget was $7 Million and took $470 million at the box office worldwide and domestic.

2 - The original budget for the movie was set at $3.5 million


3 - Several decades after the release of Jaws (1975), Lee Fierro, who played Mrs. Kintner, walked into a seafood restaurant and noticed that the menu had an "Alex Kintner Sandwich." She commented that she had played his mother so many years ago; the owner of the restaurant ran out to meet her, and he was none other than Jeffrey Voorhees, who had played her son. They had not seen each other since the original movie shoot.

4 - When composer John Williams originally played the score for director Steven Spielberg, Spielberg laughed and said, "That's funny, John, really; but what did you really have in mind for the theme of Jaws (1975)?"



5 - You only hear the signature piece when the shark is actually present on screen.  The kids with the fake fin for example didn’t have the music playing.  This was to condition you that the music was associated with the shark.

6 - Robert Shaw’s Quint and Richard Dreyfuss’ Hooper had a wonderful tension on film.  This may have something to do with the two in actual life hating each other.

7 - Robert Shaw could not stand Richard Dreyfuss and the two argued all the time, which resulted in some good tension between Hooper and Quint.
Jeff Bridges

8 - Jon Voight, Joel Grey and Jeff Bridges were all considered for the role of Hooper, which eventually went to Richard Dreyfuss.

9 - The famous line “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” came about from a catchphrase on set after the crew saw the boat they had to contend with.  It was too small for all the crew and equipment and was nicknamed S.S. Garage Sale.  Roy Scheider, who played Brody would often ad lib the catchphrase in different scenes.  Obviously the one in the movie stayed.

10 - The mechanical shark while filming was nicknamed “Bruce” after Spielberg’s lawyer.  From time to time, if Spielberg was really angry he would call it the “great white turd.”

11 - Brody’s dog in the film was played by Spielberg’s dog, Elmer


elmer spielberg's dog

12 - At one point while shooting the Orca unintentionally sank causing the camera to get wet.  Fearing they had lost a load of shots they quickly rushed the film to New York where they were able to save the footage.

13 - Robert Shaw enjoyed his drink.  He would often turn up on set and be more than a little razzled.  At one point he couldn't deliver his lines for the famous Indianapolis speech.  He asked Steven Spielberg if he could come back the next day.  When he did, well we got the incredible and captivating scene we see today.

14 - The shooting star that appears during the night scene where Brody is in the foreground on board the boat is actually real and not a special effect.

15 - The movie was scheduled for 55 days shoot.  It actually took 159 days.

16 - Bob Mattey who built the shark also built the giant squid in 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea and also worked on the Disney classic Mary Poppins to name a few.


17 - In one of the scenes you can see a person taking a photo of the filming going on outside their house.



18 - Ben Gardner actually had more lines in the movie but unfortunately were cut and destined to the land of deleted scenes.


19 - Another deleted scene shows Quint buying piano wire from a musical store.  When he enters he notices a kid playing ODE TO JOY on a clarinet.  Quint starts humming along in harmony.
When the child messes up Quint responds by shouting the notes.

20 - Other names considered for the novel were A Silence in the Deep, Leviathan Rising, The Stillness in the Water, Jaws of Death and Jaws of Leviathan

21 - Lee Fierro, who plays the bereaved Mrs Kintner actually slaps Brody hard as she said she couldn't fake the slap.  Her scene became such a hit (no pun intended) with fans that she would get requests from devoted Jaws followers to slap them across the face.



22 - Charlton Heston was considered for the role of Brody.  When he found out he didn't get the part he said he would never work with Steven Spielberg again.

23 - The book, Jaws is different in many ways to the movie.  for example in the book by Peter Benchley Hooper has an affair with Chief Brody's wife.  This was actually in the first draft for the movie.  Also in the book Mayor Vaughn had dealings with the mafia and was under pressure from them to keep the beach open.

24 - Spielberg didn’t direct the shot of the shark exploding. In fact, he had already returned to Los
Angeles to begin post-production on the film after the film’s gruelling shooting schedule and left the shot up to the production’s second unit.

25 - The famous Jaws poster is now ingrained in movie history. Regarding the swimmer at the top of the poster, artist Roger Kastel was sketching the female artist at his studio for an ad in Good Housekeeping. He asked her to stay an extra half-hour and had her pose for the image by standing on a stool and pretending to swim.

26 - Jaws won three Academy Awards: Best Film Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score, and Best Sound. It was also nominated for Best Picture, and lost to One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Steven Spielberg was not nominated for Best Director.

27 - This gem of a video show Spielberg watching the nominations for Jaws coming in and you can see the disappointment when he wasn't nominated for best director.  He was also disappointed that the movie was only nominated in four categories calling it a "commercial backlash."



28 - Although the movie is set in midsummer, producers began filming in early May 1974 to avoid an actors' strike that was scheduled to begin July 1. If you look closely in the background of some scenes, you can see trees with no leaves.

29 - British actor Robert Shaw was so concerned about owing taxes to the IRS on his income that he flew to Bermuda or Canada on almost all his days off to limit his work hours in the United States.

30 - Steven Spielberg really wanted to direct Jaws after Duel calling it Duel on the water.  He was even inspired by a Polish poster for Duel that showed the truck engulfing the car in its mouth.  He later said on filming Jaws that it was an experience he would never want to repeat but admitted the whole project made him stronger.


duel polish poster


Assembled by Rob Wainfur
@thebeardedtrio

More Jaws from The Bearded Trio:
Looking Back at Jaws. Happy 40th Anniversary
Celebrating Jaws with pictures
Memories Of Jaws By The Fans

35 Random Facts On E.T. The Extra Terrestrial




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Thursday, 23 March 2017


Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg evidently proving that 'Anything Goes' while on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

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Wednesday, 22 March 2017

the boss baby new clip

A brand new clip from THE BOSS BABY titled ‘We Need To Talk’ has been made available by Twentieth Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation. Featuring the voice talents of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow and from the director of Madagascar, THE BOSS BABY is due to arrive in cinemas from April 1.



DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby. He wears a suit, speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Baldwin, and stars in the animated comedy, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby. The Boss Baby is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby's arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim. With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, DreamWorks' The Boss Baby is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages.




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star wars rebels zero hour

In final preparations for their attack on Lothal, Phoenix Squadron's plans are disrupted when Grand Admiral Thrawn discovers their location.

Catch the exciting one-hour, two-part season three finale of "Star Wars Rebels" at an earlier time when it first airs SATURDAY, MARCH 25 at 11:00 a.m. ET/PT on Disney XD with additional encores throughout the day at 5:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and 12:30 a.m. ET/PT!



star wars rebels zero hour


star wars rebels zero hour

star wars rebels zero hour

star wars rebels zero hour


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Tuesday, 21 March 2017


Here's a rather interesting behind the scenes featurette from the 80's on the making of Poltergeist.  It shows a lot of Steven Spielberg's efforts in making the horror movie but also the director, Tobe Hooper.




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Monday, 20 March 2017


Sue and the panel discuss a joke that was taken too seriously, leaving many to believe that Steven Spielberg hunts dinosaurs.  From the BBC comedy panel show, Insert Name Here.



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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Unboxing  John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection

Here's my unboxing video of the new CD Album boxset, John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection (Deluxe Version.)

I must say I was slightly disappointed with the packaging which is very minimal.  As you'll see in the video the discs are black with white text and have no artwork on them.  The booklet has a few photos and the original write up from Steven Spielberg on the 1991 disc is included but the booklet tends to just repeat the track listings which are on the disc covers anyway.  This, of course is a slight nitpick.

I love the boxset music content and the added bonus of the autorip service provided by Amazon is a nice feature.  Within a few minutes of purchase I had the tracks in my Amazon Music library.

Amazon link

Hope you enjoy the video



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coco pixar

The first trailer for Pixar's Coco has been unveiled.  "A love-letter to Mexico" is how director, Lee Unkrich describes Coco. The new animated movie follows Miguel, a young boy captivated by the musicianship of dead guitar player Ernesto de la Cruz. When he breaks into Ernesto’s mausoleum and touches his enchanted guitar, Miguel finds himself whisked off into the Land of the Dead and a journey into his family history.

Coco is released in cinemas on 22 November in the US, and 8 December in the UK.



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full throttle hd

One of my favourite Lucasarts titles is getting a glorious HD make over.  Tim Schafer's 1995 point and click biker adventure, Full Throttle is set to be released on various formats and will only cost $14.99.

If you're familiar with previous Lucasarts HD remakes then you'll know the game will come with all new hand-drawn art, remastered audio and the option to swap between the remastered version and the original 1995 classic.  Actually in this version you can mix and match between the two versions, so you could play with the original graphics but enjoy the remastered audio.  A nice touch.


The game comes out April 18th and you can pre-order it now on PSN and GOG.com.




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Saturday, 18 March 2017

jiminy glick interviews steven spielberg

Jiminy Glick is a fictional character portrayed by Martin Short in the TV series Primetime Glick.  Here he interviews Steven Spielberg.



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Friday, 17 March 2017

lego jurassic park

Beyond the Brick's Joshua Hanlon talks with James Burrows about his custom CoasterSaurus II roller coaster and dinosaur theme park built with about 125,000 LEGO pieces.

See more from BrickFair Alabama 2017: https://goo.gl/y8MRA4




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back to the future sports almanac

Remember in Back to the Future Part II when old Biff Tannen gave the Grays Sports Almanac to his younger counterpart (see video below to refresh your memory)? The book gave Marty McFly’s arch enemy the correct sporting result from every game for twenty years, and enabled the antagonist to get seriously rich in an alternative future. Now expert mathematicians are trying to recreate something similar in real life. Can it actually work or should these boffins make like a tree and get out of here?



A lot of sports fans would certainly kill for the knowledge in the Almanac that Biff gets his hands on in Robert Zemeckis’ classic 1989 adventure. Most would probably not wish to recreate the chaotic dystopia that Marty and the Doc return to after Biff’s accumulation of infinite riches, however. Having the knowledge of an outcome would certainly be a prosperous way of betting, but in reality most bettors have to make use of free bets such as 100% deposit bonuses to limit their risk. This is perhaps the closest way to a win-win scenario in the real world.

Or is it? Right now arithmetic connoisseurs are in the process of attempting to create a similar system to the almanac that could be used to assist in betting. That’s right, it doesn’t involve time travel - sorry. The experts from Cardiff University believe that they can use big data to predict the results of future sporting events. This involves collecting astonishing numbers of stats and figures, analysing them, and using them to predict logical outcomes. This by no means sounds infallible, and it seems that the number crunchers are getting ideas ahead of their stations here. Could the stats have possibly pointed towards Leicester City’s famous Premier League title win last season, for example? Or would they have expected the reigning champions Chelsea’s descent at the same time?



Bookies probably shouldn’t be too concerned at the moment. The joy of sport is the fact that there are frequently unexpected results. Even when old Biff introduces the book to young Biff in the film there is a shock result on the radio. It would be nice to have the knowledge of all sporting results before they happen, though. The best chance of getting that information would probably be to befriend a mad inventor (see video above) and hope that he stumbles upon a means of travelling through time. Good luck!  

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Thursday, 16 March 2017


It’s back to New York to wrap up the International Toy Fair, that took place last month. Host James Burns is joined by RADIO 1138’s Mark Newbold to cover all the products and licensees from the show floor, featuring interviews with representatives from Kotobukiya and QMx. As always Steve Sansweet joins James to discuss the latest news, including what the Rancho Obi-Wan exhibit will feature at next month’s Celebration in Orlando. Email us at podcast@jedinews.co.uk with your comments, views and opinions to be a part of the show.

If you like the show, please vote for it at the Star Wars Podcast Awards where the Star Wars Collectors Cast has been nominated for best collecting show – thank you!



Some generous reviews on iTunes would be greatly appreciated. Head over there to let us know what you think of the show and check us out on our new Jedi News YouTube channel.





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Wednesday, 15 March 2017

dreamworks the boss baby

“Choo Choo on that!” - The Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin)
In eager anticipation of the upcoming release of THE BOSS BABY, a brand new clip has been released by Twentieth Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation.

Featuring the voice talents of Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel and Lisa Kudrow and from the director of Madagascar, THE BOSS BABY is due to arrive in cinemas from April 1.


DreamWorks Animation and the director of Madagascar invite you to meet a most unusual baby. He wears a suit, speaks with the voice and wit of Alec Baldwin, and stars in the animated comedy, DreamWorks’ The Boss Baby. The Boss Baby is a hilariously universal story about how a new baby's arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator, a wildly imaginative 7 year old named Tim. With a sly, heart-filled message about the importance of family, DreamWorks' The Boss Baby is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy for all ages.






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Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Argos 1985
Argos 1985

For those who are not familiar with Argos, it is a UK store that is generally situated on the high street and in town/city centres.  Here's the thing, even though they have stores, generally nothing is on display.  Instead you walk in and order your item from a catalogue, find the item you want in the rather large book, write down the item number and take your ticket to the till.  Within a few minutes your item will appear on a conveyor belt from the depths of the store room.  I always imagined the store room to be like the end scene from Raiders Of The Lost Ark with one man in a vast room filled with wooden boxes.

Anyway I thought you would like to see the Star Wars pages from the 1984 and 1985 catalogues.  Many kids right across the land would use the Argos catalogue to choose their favourite toys and hopefully what would be under the christmas tree.  I'm no exception.  At-At for £29.99?  Yes please.

Rob Wainfur
@thebeardedtrio

Argos 1984
Argos 1984


Argos 1984
Argos 1984



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Monday, 13 March 2017

titanic soundtrack

Few Hollywood films can match the heartbreaking climax of Titanic, where Kate Winslet tells Leonardo DiCaprio that she’ll “never let go” – and James Horner’s unforgettable music kicks in, well according to the British public.

That classic, Oscar-winning score has today been named Britain’s favourite movie soundtrack of all time.

A poll, commissioned by the Royal Albert Hall as part of its celebration of Great Escape composer Elmer Bernstein, being staged in June, asked 2,000 respondents to choose their favourite film score. Titanic topped the charts beating out the likes of Chariots of Fire, Star Wars, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and The Lord of the Rings, to scoop the top spot.

The film got the full Royal Albert Hall treatment last night, with two sell-out, 20th anniversary-screenings in high-definition, featuring James Horner’s classic score played live and in full by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. It received a record-equalling 11 Oscars in 1998, including gongs for Best Score and Best Song.

John Williams is also well represented with three entries in the top ten.

The nation’s top 10 film soundtracks:

1. Titanic
2. Chariots of Fire
3. Star Wars
4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
5. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
6. The Great Escape
7. The Magnificent Seven
8. Back to the Future
9. Gladiator
10. Jurassic Park

In addition the survey asked the 2,000 respondents to reveal what music scores mean to them, and how important soundtracks are to films.

The research revealed that 20 per cent of Brits will tolerate a film they dislike, if they love the music. Equally, 59 per cent of the nation thinks a bad musical score can completely ruin a film.

A third (33 per cent) of Brits agree that music is their favourite part of a film, with a dramatic score being the nation’s preferred style for almost half (46 per cent).

Lucy Noble, Artistic Director at the Royal Albert Hall, said: “You never forget a great film score: from the epic to the intimate, movie music has an unparalleled ability to evoke emotion. We asked film fans to pick their favourite, and there’s no doubt about the winner: James Horner’s sumptuous, heartbreaking score for Titanic.

Noble continued: “It’s great to see the love for The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape, two classics that will feature in our unique celebration of Elmer Bernstein’s life and legacy, hosted by movie legend John Landis.”

The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape and More! The Best of Elmer Bernstein, presented by John Landis is at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 18 June. www.royalalberthall.com

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Sunday, 12 March 2017



Video - Behind the Scenes - Jaws​. Bruce the Shark.  How Bob Mattey built the shark and how it would work in the water

Saturday, 11 March 2017


Harrison Ford as a carpenter with friends.

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e.t. 35 years

Here's 35 random facts on the 1982 classic, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial which was directed by Steven Spielberg.  It's hard to think that the movie starring Henry Thomas will be celebrating it's 35th anniversary this year.  Now that makes me feel old.

rick baker night skies1 - The original idea for the. E.T. movie was Night Skies, a semi-sequel to Close Encounters of the
Third Kind and had a whole darker story.  The aliens were set to terrorise  the people of Earth.  The evil aliens would communicate with various animals including chickens and cows to see who was sentient.

2 - $700,000 was spent on the animatronics effects for Night Skies by horror effects wizard, Rick Baker.

3 - The movie was changed to the more tranquil story we know today after Spielberg decided he wanted a change of pace after filming Raiders of the Lost ark which had explosions and evil Nazis.

4 - The working title for E.T. The Extra Terrestrial was "A Boys Life."  The working title is the name of the movie being shown at the cinema in Gremlins.

a boy's life gremlins

5 - The movie held the record for highest grossing movie until another Steven Spielberg came along in 1993, that movie was Jurassic Park.

6 - Carlo Rambaldi, who designed the aliens for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was hired to design the animatronics of E.T. Rambaldi's own painting Donne del Delta (Women of Delta) led him to give the creature a unique, extendable neck.

Women of Delta e.t.

7 - E.T's face was inspired by those of Carl Sandburg, Albert Einstein and Ernest Hemingway

8 - It's unusual for a director of a movie to change the edited sequences to suit the music but Steven Spielberg loved the music to the final chase so much that he edited the sequence to suit it.  The music of course was by John Williams.



9 - The late and great Michael Jackson owned one of the E.T. puppets

10 - Steven Spielberg asked Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones to write an album for the story book album after listening to the song "Someone in the Dark."  The LP included a book, poster of E.T. with Michael Jackson and of course the vinyl disc.

11 - Steven Spielberg shot most of the movie from the eye level of a child in order to connect audiences with Elliot and E.T.  Apart from Elliot's mother (Dee Wallace) we don't get to see the top half of an adult until the second half of the movie.  "I wanted to suggest them like in a Tom and Jerry cartoon where, when the Mom comes in you only see her from the waist down" said the director.

12 - Steven Spielberg worked on both E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Tobe Hooper's Poltergeist at the same time.

13 - Pat Welsh, an elderly woman from Marin County, Calif., provided the voice of E.T. Sound effects creator Ben Burtt found that her gravelly voice, coarsened by nearly two packs of cigarettes a day, was perfect for the part. Welsh earned $380 for her nine-and-a-half hours of recording work.

14 - John Roesch was the Foley Artist for E.T. The Extra Terrestrial.  He said to create the noise of E.T's waddling walk he filled a wet T-shirt with jelly (jello.)

15 - Cory Feldman was originally set for a role in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial but due to a script re-write (probably to the more tranquil version) his role was no longer required.  Steven Spielberg felt so sorry for Feldman that he promised him a part in a future movie.  Subsequently we see Feldman in Gremlins (1984.)

UPDATE - Thanks to a comment from James Cole over on the excellent EveryThing E.T. Facebook Group, Feldman would have likely played the character of Lance, a friend of Elliott's but an all-around pain who is too nosey. He exists in the book but was thankfully cut from the final shooting script before shooting began.

16 - Steven Spielberg screened E.T. The Extra Terrestrial to the President of the United States at the
White House on June 27th, 1982.

17 - Yoda from Star Wars appears in the movie. George Lucas said  "I hadn't seen the movie and when it was completed, we had a screening for ILM which I attended.  Steven warned me there was something special in the movie for me.  So we are watching and suddenly Yoda showed up in the film.  Everybody in the audience cheered, of course, being it was an ILM screening.  I was amazed and flattered.  It was a very funny moment."

18 - E.T's species makes an appearance in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.  The name of these species in the Star Wars Universe are Grebleips which is Spielberg backwards.



19 - The prop of E.T. was insured for a staggering $1.2 million

20 - In the original script the boys are playing Dungeons and Dragons but this had to be cut when the production company was not allowed to use the name.

21 - Spielberg explains ET is more plant than anything else.  "He's not a mammal, or bird, or fish.  I think he's a vegetable."  He also mentions how they decided to make his insides when they glow to look more like a plant.

22 - Some scenes that never made the final version includes E.T. healing J.R. from Dallas after watching him get shot on TV.  Harvey the dog being healed after being hit by a car, E.T. going into a fox's den and seeing several cubs and their mother, and of course the famous one featuring Harrison Ford as Elliot's school principal.



23 - Another scene that was cut featured the film's screenwriter, Melissa Mathison who was playing a nurse.

Melisa Mathison

24 - According to the novel, E.T. is over ten million years old.

25 - By pure coincidence Steven Spielberg's first feature film, Sugarland Express had a character called E.T. Elliot.

ralph mcquarrie e.t.
26 - E.T's spaceship was designed by the legendary Ralph McQuarrie.  McQuarrie said he wanted the ship to have a Jules Vern Victorian look.

27 - This was Steven Spielberg's first feature film that was shot in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio.

28 - Henry Thomas would have another encounter with aliens 11 years later as he played Grey Hayes in the alien abduction thriller, Fire in the Sky based on Travis Walton.

29 - Sarah Michelle Gellar auditioned for the part of Gertie.

30 - A sequel was penned called E.T. II Nocturnal Fears by Spielberg and E.T. writer Melissa Mathison.  The sequel that never was, was going to, more or less pick up straight away from the end of the first movie and with one distinct feature.  The E.T's are evil.  Steven Spielberg said himself in a past interview "I think a sequel to E.T. would do nothing but rob the original of its virginity. People only remember the latest episode, while the pilot tarnishes."  You can read the script here.

31 - Elliot's last name is never mentioned in the film,

32 - At the auditions Henry Thomas thought about the day his dog died to help with his expression of sadness.  Steven Spielberg was watching and so impressed with the performance he offered him the job on the spot.



33 - The budget for E.T. The Extra Terrestrial was $10.5 million.  The movie at the box office took $435 million in the U.S. and $357 million worldwide.  Not a bad return.

34 - The film was nominated for 9 Oscars at the 55th Academy Awards including best picture.  It lost that category to Gandhi which was directed by Sir Richard Attenborough.  He would later appear in Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park as John Hammond.

35 - E.T. The Extra Terrestrial won 4 Oscars for Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects and Best Visual Effects.











Be good.

Rob Wainfur
@thebeardedtrio

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