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The new, old aliens among us

Oh, what a fine line between adorably grody little aliens whose phone-home request only the heartless would deny and malevolent space horrors best left on call-waiting forever. We get a little of both this week with the hi-def debut of “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982; above) and the 3-D Blu-ray release of Ridley Scott’s “Alien” quasi-prequel, “Prometheus” (2012). For throwback entertainment, it’s no contest: “E.T.” is as heartwarming as you remember (and maybe slightly more edgy than you remember in its PG-scripted sibling rivalry). The disc includes a new interview with Steven Spielberg that packs a lot into 12 minutes, tracing the film’s roots in a divorce-themed project that Spielberg had been developing to revisit his own adolescence. “This was, indeed, my first personal movie,” he says, noting that he expected the film to play like Disney fare of the era — i.e., not a box-office draw of any major note, despite its family-friendliness. Another new segment offers nearly an hour’s worth of minimally edited on-set footage, including Spielberg directing a Halloween scene in drag to have a little fun with kid stars Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore.

“Prometheus,” meanwhile, is a dissatisfying case of 2012 effects technology not doing much to ratchet up ’70s sci-fi tension — although fatally curious space archeologist Noomi Rapace has a stomach-lurching moment to rival the original’s chestburster shock. Scott provides commentary, with co-writer Damon Lindelof (“Lost”) supplying another track. (“E.T.” Universal, $34.98; “Prometheus,” Fox, $49.99)

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