Sunday, July 6, 2014

Earth To Echo Ain't E.T., But It Ain't Bad Either

After Super 8, I kind of figured E.T. "remakes" were done. Super 8 seemed to prove to me that the magic of E.T. was really just a one time thing. Because it had never been seen before, E.T. hit audiences in just the right way and left them thinking about family and other life in the universe in a way movies hadn't really done before that. And Super 8 just didn't manage to capture my heart in the same way. So I was surprised to be getting another "sort of" attempt with Earth To Echo.
Well, it didn't exactly fail. Earth To Echo was a good family movie. Kids will definitely like it... especially boys... for it's attempt at creating a fun video game-esque puzzle. And parents will most likely be able to tolerate it because it has just enough heart and momentum to not be boring the entire time. But it's not E.T. Attempting to recapture that magic feels like a pipe dream.
Regardless, the concept for Earth To Echo is pretty fun. Let's make a found footage movie that kids can enjoy. What with the way the sub genre has taken off over the last decade I'm honestly surprised this idea hadn't reared its head sooner. And the cool thing about it is, despite all of the gimmicks that people can never seem to let be with found footage, it does work in a kids film. Or at least, it doesn't negatively impact the movie. I do wonder though if the gimmicky nature of some of the dialogue would seem false to children... something I usually wouldn't consider in a kids film... if the youngest generation is growing up with technology at their fingertips from such an early age, is it compelling to them to see a bunch of kids running around with cameras... what's actually special about that these days (ignoring, of course, the alien aspect of the film)?
But I digress. Earth To Echo was good enough for what it was. And the young actors did a pretty good job considering they had to carry a movie. In that way, it does bring back memories of other 80s flicks. Because somehow these kids definitely understood everything they had to do which really makes me respect first-time feature director Dave Green for getting those performances out of Teo Halm, Astro, Reese Hartwig, and Ella Wahlestedt.
Earth To Echo is a good enough distraction for the kids. And sometimes that translates to good enough for parents as well.

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