(Phone) Home Movie
If you crossed the DNA of Super 8 with Chronicle, you’d likely get something resembling Earth to Echo, which refreshes a familiar tale of kid-meets-alien with an inventive use of the found-footage format. After an erratic start, it makes light work of meshing story and style: on the eve of an event that threatens to set them apart, three friends take to recording their last experiences together (which, with the discovery of a cute, endangered extraterrestrial, turn out to be the most memorable of their lives). Though there are some surprisingly solid special effects, it’s the portrayal of youth that really catches the eye, with an earthy young cast giving it the wistful sheen of that summer you never forget.
It doesn’t always click into place, but Dave Green’s film ably captures that childhood yearning for discovery and friendship. A Stand By Me for the iPhone generation.