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Info 101: Movieclips 210: The good and the mundane open this weekend

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"EARTH TO ECHO" from Relativity Media (Disney) opens Wed., July 2, 2014.

STARRING: Teo Halm, Brian "Astro" Bradley, Reese Hartwig and Ella Linnea Wahlestedt.

DIRECTOR: Dave Green (Feature debut)

SYNOPSIS: When a group of young friends begin to receive bizarre encrypted messages on their cell phones, they embak on an incredible adventure to discover the meaning behind these communications. Soon enough, they realize that the messages they are receiving are from a mysterious being from another world--one who desperately needs their help.

This film is being billed as the "E.T." for the modern age, an apt description. It's also being panned for the same reason. It has all the elements to become a classic. It's fun, interesting, well-acted by appealing young actors who are nicely developed through the storyline. That storyline incorporates all the technology that makes life so easy for the younger generation and so frustratingly hard to learn for the (ahem) elders.

Also opening:

"TAMMY" from Warner Brothers opens Wed., July 2, 2014.

STARRING: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Allison Janney, Gary Cole, Mark Duplass, Toni Collette, Nat Fox, Dan Ackroyd and Kathy Bates.

DIRECTOR: Ben Falcone ("Bridesmaids", "Identity Thief", "The Heat")

SYNOPSIS: Tammy (McCarthy) has totaled her clunker car, gotten fired from her job at a greasy burger joint and found her husband getting friendly with the neighbor in her own house. She decides it's time to take her boom box and book it but since she's broke without a car, her grandma (Sarandon) is her only option--with a car, cash and an itch to see Niagara Falls.

This is an old joke movie starring a one-trick pony directed by that ponies' husband. McCarthy is funny the same way that finding out your house was leveled by a tornado is funny. She plods through another stupid storyline like Godzilla on valium. At least Dan Ackroyd is consistent. He has a knack for showing up in really bad movies then wonders why he can rarely get work.

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