It looks like the found footage genre has now embraced '80s nostalgia.
The lovable sci-fi flicks of the Reagan era get remixed with one of today's most popular visual tricks in "Earth to Echo," a fantasy adventure tale that looks to provide a sweet, sentimental alternative to Michael Bay's big robot movie opening around the same time this summer.
The trailer introduces us to a group of self-described misfit kids who embark on an impromptu adventure after their cell phones go all kablooey and reveal what looks to be a map. They don their helmets, jump on their bikes and commence with a 20-mile (gosh!) secret journey that leads them to an adorable alien being that communicates only through beeps and whistles that somewhat mimic their own speaking tones (thus the nickname they give it, "Echo").
With the discovery of an alien comes antagonism from the government, of course, and soon the young heroes are on a race against shadowy grown-ups as they try to get their new friend back to outer space where he belongs. Luckily, Echo's got some super powers up his sleeve (if he had a sleeve), such as being able to instantaneously break apart a semi truck and re-assemble it a good distance away.
It's no stretch to say that "Earth to Echo" looks familioar — it's a little bit "The Goonies" (1985), a little bit "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982), a little "Batteries Not Included" (1987) and a lot of "Explorers" (1985), mixed with the more recent "Super 8" (J.J. Abrams' somewhat more menacing '80s nostalgia sci-fi flick released in 2011) and "Chronicle" (2012). But it also looks to have a big ol' heart, providing what may be one of this summer's few sweet, family adventures as Godzilla stomps San Francisco, mutants mope around in "X-Men" and other alien robots beat the mechanical snot out of each other in the new "Transformers."
As Norville Barnes once said, "You know, for kids!" And for kids at heart, which is pretty much everyone.
"Earth to Echo" opens on July 2.