Just in time for the extraterrestrial friendly Fourth of July weekend, Earth To Echo lands in a theater near you on July 2nd. If you've seen the trailer, then you've realized one of two things. The first is that this is definitely a kids flick for the current generation. The second is that it's a kids flick that also looks like it's going to borrow heavily from a certain kids flick from the 1980's. We won't spoil the surprise and tell you which film that is, especially because the trailer pretty much does the job it's supposed to do and telegraphs its influences in its sleeve. This got us to thinking: what do we really want Earth To Echo to borrow from our childhood memories, only to get polished up and re-offered to the children of today? Where are the bike chase moments, or those moments where we make contact with an alien civilization – only to find out they're total goofballs and put way too much stock in video games?

In celebration of Echo's arrival on earth, we'd like to present a list of six films we hope Earth To Echo lovingly uses as influences towards its story and it's approach to film-making. In one case, we've even named a more recent film that feels like it belongs in the 80's, and still stands as a good example of a modern film acting as a proper mimicry of those classic films that held our gaze and our imagination captive way back when. We can't promise that Earth To Echo will follow our suggestions, or even follow them correctly. What we can promise is that at least one or two of these gems will strike a chord with you, and probably even make you look more forward to seeing the film.

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
Plot: A Californian family is in for the adventure of a lifetime as an alien who was separated and left behind by his landing party decides to make contact. He's a stranger to our customs, he doesn't quite understand how beer and classic movies don't mix with telepathic powers, and he does this neat trick with dead houseplants and/or people! Yes, he's the lovable product placement pitchman Resse's Pieces was always looking for: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. While E.T. doesn't quite have a handle on the social skills of the common earthling, he does have a bottomless sense of wonder and entertainment. He also has a heart as big and strong as any spacecraft that could get him home, and he'll need it if he ever thinks he'll get there. You know the music, you know the last scene, and if you're not tearing up when you hear the soundtrack's huge finale, you're obviously not paying enough attention.

What We Hope Carries Over: E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial is the base code for this sub-genre of films, so there's a lot we could want to cross over from this film to Earth To Echo. Steven Spielberg and writer Melissa Matheson had such a finger on the pulse of the kids in that era that the product placement doesn't feel like pandering to the companies it benefits. Instead, it makes the film feel like it belongs to that era of film and product consumers, simply because it knows what they enjoy and knows what brands they identified with. In addition to the actual alien's messianic/lovable disposition, we're really hoping that Earth To Echo remembers that the film doesn't exist to sell products, it exists to sell children memories that will last into adulthood... that just happen to contain those specific products. After all, we don't remember Reese's Pieces being E.T.'s favorite snack because they were so inescapably pushed in the film, we remember them because E.T. really loved the damned things in the first place!

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