"}
Film

Earth to Echo

Phone home, all over again

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Aimed, presumably, at young audiences who have never been exposed to a 32-year-old Steven Spielberg movie about a homesick extraterrestrial, Dave Green’s Earth to Echo flaunts its obvious influences with all the fresh novelty of an app update.

While the method of storytelling has been given a fitting technological upgrade, everything regarding this sci-fi adventure, right down to the movie poster, is blatant regarding its intentions: It clearly sees itself as E.T. for the Y2K set.

Still, give novice feature director Green and screenwriter Henry Gayden credit for more than just audacity—despite all those echoes of classic ’80s sci-fi fantasy adventures, Earth to Echo proves engaging in its own right.

Credit a youthful, energetic spirit, nicely conveyed by its cast of naturally acting newcomers, a workable raw-footage construct and a spare but smartly spent special effects budget for the satisfying end result.

The 89-minute film cuts quickly to the chase as the lives of teenage longtime best buddies Tuck (Brian “Astro” Bradley), Munch (Reese Hartwig), and Alex (Teo Halm) are about to be uprooted with a new highway development scheduled to level their suburban Nevada neighborhood.

But as they spend one final night together before the mass exodus, their cell phones start “barfing” up what appears to be maps and other gibberish, and the trio suspects something else could be responsible for attracting all those shifty-looking construction folks.

Their attempts at deciphering the images take them to the middle of the desert where a strange-looking cylinder embedded in the ground next to a transformer soon yields a frightened, wide-eyed inhabitant—no Reese’s Pieces required.

Even the previously uninitiated will know where all this is headed. Aside from the primary source of inspiration, you’ll also find bits of everything from The Goonies to Super 8 woven not-so-subtly into the Earth to Echo tapestry.

But having the characters’ constant reliance on video recording, texting and various forms of social-media-driven communication keeps it all in and of the moment, and that’s also true of the contemporary dialogued delivered by its likable young cast.

As for the homesick little alien they’ve come to name Echo—c’mon, who can resist something that looks like a metallic owl bobblehead with glowing neon-blue eyes and speaks in cute electronic chirps?

Sometimes even the most shameless of knockoffs can’t be denied.

SVCR-0604_GritsGlamour_770x150-CW
More Film...
Southside With You
Barack gets the girl

A 20-something woman living at home prepares for a day out. Her parents tease her as she fixes her hair. Is it a date? No, just a work associate, a Harvard law student with the firm for the summer, taking her to a community meeting to discuss “broken faucets and underfunded schools.”…

more »
Hell or High Water
Making them like they used to

Oh, they do not make heartland crime dramas like they did back in the ’70s—smart, ornery, low of budget and high of attitude. Steeped in seedy characters and lousy luck. Above all lacking in the least amount of body fat, moral or cinematic.

Two-Lane Blacktop, Vanishing Point, Badlands.

more »
Florence Foster Jenkins
The flat lady sings

Perhaps she was a tragic figure, or a clinical case worthy of Oliver Sacks, or the incarnation of a dishonest middlebrow culture. But in the end, Stephen Frears’s enjoyable, sentimental movie turns this bizarre real-life figure into a version of Eddie the Eagle, swooping and crashing…

more »
Events
Today
Skagit Tours

10:00am|Highway 20

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

We Grow Market

3:00pm|Northwest Youth Services

Music Enrichment Project Meet and Greet

4:00pm|Piper Music

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Get Out More Tour

7:30pm|Backcountry Essentials

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

Artifacts Wine Bar Swinomish 2016
Tomorrow
Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Hiking Basics

6:00pm|REI

Final History Sunset Cruise

6:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

All-Paces Run

6:00pm|Fairhaven Runners

Final BIFT

6:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Amnesty International Meeting

7:00pm|Community Food Co-op

Skagit Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Bayview Civic Hall

Swinomish 2016 Andrew Subin
Wednesday
Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bard on the Beach

12:00pm|Vanier Park

Bellingham City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Wednesday Market

12:00pm|Fairhaven Village Green

Lynden Book Club

12:30pm|Lynden Library

Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market

3:00pm|Hammer Heritage Square

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Brewers Cruise

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

The Gun Show

8:00pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

see our complete calendar »

Artifacts Wine Bar Andrew Subin Bellingham Farmer’s Market Northwood Steak and Crab Swinomish 2016 Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Village Books