Come see what Josh and Violet each thought about Earth to Echo, directed by Dave Green, in their spoiler-free male vs. female perspective reviews!
His Movie Review of Earth to Echo:
Earth to Echo is a very interesting film premise. It is a cross between a few familiar film franchises. If you throw E.T., Goonies, Super 8, and Blair Witch Project into a blender, and juice out what these films are known for, you get Earth to Echo. It is a film about children meeting an alien, who sends the children on a wild goose chase with a map, with “The Man” trying to stop the children, all shot “home footage” style.
It is a very intriguing premise. The film stars 4 children: Teo Halm as Alex, Astro as Tuck, and Reese Hartwig as Munch, three friends that are around 14 years old. Ella Wahlstedt stars as Emma, a girl around the same age who becomes a part of the story more towards the middle of the film. The film is directed by Dave Green. He seems to be a fairly fresh face to the directorial chair, with one a few short films and TV show to his name on IMDB. But after this film, I expect to see his name coming up a lot more in the future.
The film revolves around the kids dealing with a devastating childhood problem. They all have to move away from each other. It just so happens, their last night together turns into the biggest adventure of their childhood lives–meeting Echo. Echo is an alien robot-ish type creature, that crash landed on Earth and is trying to reassemble his ship. The three children make it their mission to help rescue the cute little Echo.
On their journey, the plot thickens in regards to the reason for the children having to move, and the antagonist of the film begins to surface. That is when the film really gets interesting. Even though the film was obviously written for children, the premise of the plot is interesting even as an adult. If conspiracy theories are your cup of tea, this film does a good job of giving you a taste of it. A slightly watered down, simple version, but enough to keep you interested.
The four children actors did really well in the film. I have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more of these kids in the future.
The film has kind of an odd feel to it. In a way it feels like a small indie film. There are really no major actors in the film to speak of. In fact, 90% of the story revolves around the 4 main children. On the other hand, the special effects for creating Echo and much of the action scenes made the film feel much more grand in scale. I was very impressed with how the film was able to convey both ideas within the film.
My favorite part of this film is probably the innocence the film evokes. Children moving from their best friend is one of the most terrifying things that can happen to a normal kid. Being a kid that moved around a lot, that aspect of the film really hit home with me. Especially towards the end, when things play out fully, is when I really felt emotions come through in the film.
At the same time, the part I disliked about the film was probably not the film’s fault at all. This film is obviously shooting to be a new generation’s E.T.. That is what it seems like at least. If this is the case, the film’s audience is obviously kids rather than adults. That means some of the humor isn’t going to strike me as funny, and some of the “important” moments of the film won’t resonate as much. That’s okay though, since I know that this film isn’t written for my demographic, and at the same time, it is still an enjoyable film despite its younger anticipated audience.
All in all, I think I have to give this film a 7 out of 10. I struggled with scoring this film, because it is hard to judge a film that isn’t really meant for me as an audience. If I was a 10 year old kid again, I would most definitely be giving this movie a full 10 out of 10. But since I am now an old man, and have had the innocence washed away, there were some things that just didn’t ring with me that I know would ring better with kids today.
But again, enjoy the ending of the film. I did, and I think it is the best part of the movie. That part of the movie specifically reminded me of The Sandlot. As soon as you see the film, you will see why. But if you enjoyed E.T. as a child, or have children that are in range of liking E.T., this would be a great film to get out and see!
Her Movie Review of Earth to Echo:
Last month I was looking around on the Los Angeles Film Festival website to see if there were any movies we might be interested in seeing that would fit our schedule (in other words, on the weekend). I found a listing for Earth to Echo, which I had never heard of before, and watched the trailer. It seemed pretty interesting. I also noticed that it would be screening on June 14, which was a few weeks before its release date of July 2, so I jumped at the chance to get tickets. When we arrived, it turned out it was the world premiere of the film! We had to go in a special entrance, and walked right beside the red carpet and the stars of the movie! In fact, when we got into the theater, one of the stars ended up sitting in the row behind us with his family. Anyway, so Earth to Echo is directed by Dave Green in his first full length film effort, and stars Teo Halm, Brian “Astro” Bradley, Reese Hartwig, and Ella Wahlestedt, each making their big screen debut.
Earth to Echo is about three friends, Alex, Tuck, and Munch, whose neighborhood is about to be demolished due to a highway expansion, so they’re all getting ready to move away, even though they wish they didn’t have to. In the days leading up to the move, the boys start getting odd messages on their phone, and figure out that the messages are trying to lead them somewhere. So on their last night together, they plan to sneak out and go to where the messages are leading them. When they get there, they find a small, robotic alien that they name Echo. The boys spend some time trying to figure out how to communicate with it, and find out that Echo just wants to go home. Echo proceeds to direct the boys in how to help him get home, but with unexpected enemies trying to get in their way, the boys discover that’s easier said than done.
Just from hearing the premise of the film, and watching the trailer, it already sounded like it would be an updated version of E.T. and looked a little reminiscent of Chronicle and Super 8. Upon watching the film, those inclinations were confirmed, but it also felt like it had elements of The Goonies and Stand By Me. Although these inspirations were fairly obvious throughout the film, I didn’t think that it detracted from the enjoyment of the film, which I would describe as a fun, family adventure film. It was nothing groundbreaking, and hardly original, but it was still fun, and quite humorous.
Sometimes child actors can be annoying and not very believable in their roles, but I felt like all of the kids in this movie did a really good job. I was never once taken out of the film due to poor acting, and the three boys made me believe that they were actually best friends. Friendship is definitely one of the big themes in this movie, and I must admit that these boys really sell it.
I felt like a lot of time was spent leading up to finding the alien, almost too much time. It’s like, we already know what they’re going to find, so why take up so much time in the journey leading up to finding it? I suppose it was so that the film could establish the close bonds of friendship between the boys, and give the movie a “treasure hunt” feel, but it seemed a bit unnecessary in the grand scheme of things.
I also have to mention the manner in which Earth to Echo was filmed. It’s actually supposed to be a video filmed by one of the characters, Tuck, documenting their discovery of the alien. Therefore, most of the footage is shot from the perspective of the characters from their own camera phones and a small GoPro type camera. As a result, the majority of the film is very shaky. I don’t know about you, but I get motion sickness very easily. I got sick when I saw The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield in theaters, and yes, I unfortunately felt sick during this film. The only thing I could do was to close my eyes anytime I started feeling sick, and try to keep taking quick peeks so I wouldn’t miss what was going on! It didn’t start to affect me until the last third or fourth of the movie, but still, not a fun way to watch a movie. So, just thought I’d warn you in case you suffer from motion sickness.
I probably would have liked the movie a lot more if I was a kid, but I was still able to appreciate it as an adult. I thought it was interesting how the movie incorporated so much use of technology by the kids in the film, showing us just how much technology is a part of our lives, even with kids at that young age. In that way, I think kids in the tween age group will really be able to relate to the kids in the film.
My rating: 7/10