I wish so badly that I could recommend ‘Earth To Echo’ to you. It is a film that evokes the memory of so many movies I love dearly. When I was a kid, watching Steven Spielberg films (produced or directed) was one of my favorite past times and ‘Earth To Echo’ is like their reject cousin. There are wonderful traces of ‘E. T.’, ‘batteries not included’, and even ‘The Goonies’, but it’s all ruined by a new age gimmick we call the “found footage” genre.
You know what I’m talking about. The movies that give you a headache because you spend the whole time staring at the ground. We have begun to overlook this now due to the whole You Tube generation, but I still can’t stand it and there is no denying that it kills the magic of a movie like this. Imagine if Spielberg had shot ‘E.T.’ like this. Do you think that it would be a classic? Do you think Amblin would have it’s logo?
Of course there wouldn’t be. All the classic images that stick in your head when you think of these films would be gone and replaced with a shot of the ground, a forehead, or perhaps an unfocused flicker of light. If that is what you go to the movies for, then this film will work wonderfully for you. Although, it seems to me that you could just illegally download an even crappier looking version of the same movie to get that. Up to you, I guess.
The good news is, for those of you that can over look these horrible visuals, there is actually an enjoyable group of kids to watch (or listen to) here. The kids, named Alex, Tuck, Munch, and Emma, are played by newcomers Teo Helm, Astro (literally), Reese Hartwig, and Ella Wahlstedt. In their casting lies one of the few things you can give the production team some credit on. They are all quite good and have no problem delivering whatever is deemed necessary of them. Hopefully, some casting agents will be able to look past this film to see that these kids deserve some other movies.
The basic plot here is ‘The Goonies’ meets ‘E.T.’ and if you know those movies you will know exactly what I’m referring to. For those who don’t, basically the group of kids that I mentioned before are being forced to separate because some crew is coming in to destroy their Nevada community. So, this is going to be their last night together. The way they choose to spend it is by following some strange map that has appeared on Alex’s phone. What they find their is an alien that they name Echo. Echo is just searching for pieces to make his ship and he needs the kids to help him.
This leads to a series of events that makes up the film. There really isn’t that much to it and the movie is certainly missing some of the sense of discovery that made the Spielberg films classic, but even without that I would have liked the film. I just like these type of movies a lot and the young actors do a fine job. Yet, I can’t give it a pass with visuals this terrible. If you are really interested in watching it down the line then I suggest you watch it on your computer. That’s what it seems to have been made for. Not the big screen.
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