Purchase tickets to see EARTH TO ECHO:

Director: Dave Green
Writers: Henry Gayden and Andrew Panay
Cast: Teo Halm, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Reese Hartwig and Ella Linnea Wahlestedt
Studio: Relativity Media

“Earth to Echo” is what happens when someone remembers a bunch of VHS tapes they used to watch as a kid and then they force it into one movie. Basically, it’s like a lazy production team cribbed together “The Goonies”, “Wall-E”, “Batteries Not Included” and threw in a bit of “Super 8” to give the FX team something to use. From there, they told the most hackneyed story possible. It made my heart go pitter patter to hear little kids actively decrying the movie for being boring and repetitive.

I can see why Disney passed on it, but I hope that doesn’t put Relativity off doing more kiddie movies. There is material out there that can create stories that teach kids about the greater world while entertaining them. However, you have to be able to create a story that stands on its own creative merits. If you can’t do that, then you’re not really creating a fiction narrative that will stand the test of time. You’re just trying to hit a certain number on the weekend to make your boss happy.

Alien robots fall into the Sci-Fi fantasy creative double dip. Echo offers up a ton of those moments, as it tries to fly around and force our three kid heroes to bond in the face of adversity. At the same time, he can do tricks and use magnetism to make things happen. But, none of that matters except to forward the plot. If anything, you’d figure that Echo had a meter up his butt that measured how much emotional manipulation was needed to drive home the film’s point. Distance doesn’t mean anything to real friendship.

RELEASE DATE: 07/02/2014

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