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Earth to Echo

Blu Ray

  • Score
    70
    from 2 reviewers
    Review Date:
  • 'Earth to Echo' charms with its found footage style, appealing to the young at heart; recommended despite derivativeness.

    Earth to Echo Blu-ray Front Cover

    Disc Release Date:

  • Video
    73
  • 'Earth to Echo' Blu-ray offers an authentic found footage feel with varied visual quality, reflecting its intentional use of mixed camera tech, achieving a natural, if sometimes murky, aesthetic.

  • Audio
    73
  • Earth to Echo's DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix offers clean dialogue and notable sound effects, highlighted by a few immersive set pieces, though it lacks the full immersion of top sci-fi films.

  • Extra
    60
  • Insightful extras explore the making of 'Earth to Echo,' featuring casting insights, behind-the-scenes fun, themes of friendship, deleted scenes, and the theatrical trailer.

  • Movie
    65
  • 'Earth to Echo' mingles E.T. and Super 8 vibes with youthful adventure, emphasis on friendship amid a familiar sci-fi plot and found-footage style.

    Video: 73

    Earth to Echo" is delivered on Blu-ray by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, featuring an AVC encoded 1080p transfer that navigates between the aspect ratios of 1.85:1 for the majority of the film and 1.33:1 for specific archival segments. This visual presentation embraces the authentic aesthetic of a found footage film, utilizing an array of recording devices including smartphones, camcorders, and spy glasses to varying effect. Throughout its runtime, the video quality spans a spectrum from sharp and clear instances, notably during daylight sequences, to rougher, occasionally pixellated moments under less ideal lighting conditions. The inherent fluctuation in video fidelity reflects the filmmakers' deliberate stylistic choices rather than shortcomings in the transfer itself.

    Detail tends to be at its peak during well-lit scenes, revealing fine textures in faces and costumes, albeit these moments are sporadic given the film’s preference for nocturnal settings. Night scenes are characterized by weaker contrast levels, resulting in somewhat milky blacks and a general lack of clarity. Despite these limitations, CGI elements, including the character Echo, integrate smoothly within this gritty aesthetic, appearing intentionally soft to align with the film's low-budget and raw visual narrative.

    Color reproduction remains a strong point, with natural and organic tones throughout the presentation, even if they never quite leap off the screen due to the limitations imposed by consumer-grade recording equipment. Black levels and skin tones maintain a degree of naturalism amidst the varying quality, underscoring the intentionality behind the film's visual approach. Ultimately, "Earth to Echo" on Blu-ray upholds the directors' vision of a raw and immersive found footage experience, balancing technical constraints with artistic ambition.

    Audio: 73

    The audio quality of "Earth to Echo" on Blu Ray, featuring a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, strikes a competent balance between the demands of a science fiction narrative and the limitations of its design. While it may not stand at the pinnacle of audio achievements within the genre, it delivers a satisfactory acoustic experience. The mix capitalizes on key moments, such as an intense car-truck chase and the climactic reassembly of Echo's spaceship, to showcase its muscular low end and dynamic surround sound capabilities. These scenes emerge as auditory highlights, offering a semblance of immersion that is both appreciable and engaging.

    Notwithstanding its strengths in specific set pieces, the audio presentation does not consistently offer the immersive soundscapes that have become somewhat expected in contemporary science fiction cinema. The mix does excel in realism and clarity, particularly with sound effects that remain sharp and atmospheric ambient noises that add depth to the experience. Directionality is competently handled, allowing for a coherent audio narrative that complements the on-screen action without overwhelming it. Dialogue maintains prominence throughout, delivered with crisp clarity devoid of any distortion or undesirable artifacts, ensuring that every spoken word is easily discernible.

    In sum, "Earth to Echo's" audio mix on Blu Ray may not redefine the standards for sonic grandeur in science fiction films, yet it sufficiently supports the movie's narrative and visual feats. It navigates its auditory landscape with precision, albeit without venturing into the awe-inspiring territories occupied by its more illustrious peers. The mix does well to amplify key moments with a noticeable boost in bass and surround sound activation, making for a few standout sequences. However, it primarily serves its narrative purpose, ensuring clear dialogue and realistic sound effects dominate the auditory experience.

    Extra: 60

    The extra presentation of the Blu-ray for "Earth to Echo" offers an engaging behind-the-scenes look at the creation and themes of the film, catering well to fans and newcomers alike. It kicks off with "Creating the Truck Scene," providing a humorous insight into a sequence wherein the young actors pretend to drive - a memorable venture given their inexperience with vehicles. "Casting the Characters" and "We Made That!: The Making of Earth to Echo" delve deeper into the casting process and film's production, respectively, mixing interviews with cast and crew alongside scenes from the movie. Furthermore, "Friends No Matter How Far" examines the core theme of enduring friendship, enhancing the film's emotional impact. Additionally, viewers are treated to a selection of "Deleted Scenes" that, despite their omission from the final cut, offer a glimpse into the editing process. Lastly, the "Theatrical Trailer" rounds out the extras, completing the experience with a concise overview of the film.

    Extras included in this disc:

    • Creating the Truck Scene: A fun look at the kids attempting to drive.
    • Casting the Characters: Details the casting process.
    • We Made That! The Making of Earth to Echo: A standard EPK with interviews and scenes from the film.
    • Friends No Matter How Far: Explores the film's themes of friendship and loyalty.
    • Deleted Scenes: A compilation of scenes not included in the final cut.
    • Theatrical Trailer: The official trailer for the film.

    Movie: 65

    Earth to Echo" intertwines the charm of 80s science fiction with a contemporary found footage style, creating a narrative that, while derivative, is engaging chiefly due to its focus on the heartfelt dynamics of friendship and loyalty amidst the adventure. The film, directed by Dave Green and written by Henry Gayden, utilizes modern technologies like smartphones, spy glasses, and Go-Pros, allowing its young characters to document their journey in an attempt to assist Echo, an alien stranded on Earth, in returning home. This method serves not only to advance the plot but also adds a layer of authenticity to the storytelling, setting it apart from the potentially artificial feel often associated with the found footage genre.

    The narrative unfolds in a Las Vegas suburb doomed for demolition, where three friends—Munch (Reese Hartwig), Tuck (Brian Astro Bradley), and Alex (Teo Halm)—stumble upon Echo through bizarre smartphone anomalies. Their subsequent endeavor to aid Echo offers a dual storyline of adventure and a touching exploration of impending separation due to the external threat of relocation. The inclusion of Ella Wahlestedt as Emma adds depth to the group's dynamic, emphasizing themes of camaraderie and transition. Despite its conventional plot elements and recognizable sci-fi tropes, "Earth to Echo" manages to captivate with its emotional undercurrents and the genuine performances of its young cast.

    Furthermore, the film cleverly addresses contemporary issues like the ubiquity of digital documentation and the erosion of privacy through its plot mechanics without overshadowing its primary focus on friendship. The special effects are commendably executed given the film's modest budget, enhancing the believability of Echo's alien form. Although it may not break new ground in the science-fiction genre, "Earth to Echo" presents a satisfying blend of adventure and emotional depth that resonates with both young audiences and those nostalgic for the era it homage.

    Total: 70

    The Blu-ray presentation of "Earth to Echo" serves as a nostalgic trip with a modern twist, particularly favoring a younger audience who may not be familiar with its spiritual predecessor, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial. The film cleverly utilizes the found footage style to deliver a distinctive narrative in the children-and-alien genre, engaging its viewers with an endearing story of friendship and adventure. While it may not reach the iconic status of classics like 'E.T.' or 'The Goonies,' it stands on its own merits with commendable performances from its young cast. The technical aspects of the release, from video to audio quality, are solid and contribute well to the overall viewing experience, with the addition of enjoyable extras that enrich the package.

    Despite its obvious nods to earlier works, "Earth to Echo" offers an accessible and sweet narrative that captures the essence of childhood friendship faced with external challenges. The found footage format is effectively used here, adding a layer of originality within a familiar setup. The technical presentation on Blu-ray is notably strong, ensuring that both video and audio qualities support the intimate, adventurous feel of the movie. This aspect, combined with the impressive acting by the child actors, provides a refreshing take on the genre, making it a recommended watch for families and fans of heartwarming sci-fi adventures.

    In conclusion, "Earth to Echo" on Blu-ray delivers a satisfying home viewing experience that balances technical merits with storytelling. While it navigates through familiar territories, it does so with a charm and sincerity that resonate well with its target audience, making it a recommended addition to the family film collection. Its blend of nostalgia, innovation, and solid technical presentation on Blu-ray formulates a compelling reason for both young viewers and those young at heart to embark on this extraterrestrial adventure from the comfort of their living rooms.