Earth to Echo
Release Date: 17 November
2014 | PG | Blu- ray/ DVD
ET gets a makeover for the iPhone generation in this derivative tale of teens befriending a crash- landed alien. Where Spielberg ’s visitor used a Speak & Spell to phone home, Earth To Echo unleashes a full arsenal of modern- day tech, both for telling the story ( the heroes “film” the movie themselves) and communicating with the tiny, über- cute extraterrestrial. Every story beat feels overfamiliar as the gang help the eponymous Echo rebuild his spaceship, and go on the run from the not- very- threatening authorities. But despite the lack of dramatic tension, the kids are charming, and there are a few decent laughs for the grown- ups.
Extras: Four brief featurettes go behind the scenes – the best breaks down the setpiece in which Echo telepathically dismantles a truck. There are also six forgettable deleted scenes.