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Movie Review: Tammy, Earth To Echo

 

"Tammy"

Melissa McCarthy’s homage to “Thelma & Louise” so we’ll excuse the miscasting of Susan Sarandon as her grandmother.

I love Melissa McCarthy. I think she’s hands-down the funniest woman in Hollywood- the funniest since Lucille Ball. Despite its sweetness, this is her least funny movie. Maybe Melissa McCarthy is best when others are doing the writing. McCarthy co-wrote this with her hubby, Ben Falcone, who also directed and stars in the opening scene as her fast food eatery boss from hell.

The movie begins with Tammy having the worst day ever. She totals her car after hitting a deer who bashes Tammy’s nose as it runs off. Then, she’s fired for being late to her fast food job and comes home to find her hubby (Nat Faxon, who wrote and directed the highly recommended coming of ager “The Way, Way Back”) having an affair with a neighbor (Toni Collette- who also starred in “The Way Way Back”). Yeah- that kind of bad day. Tammy leaves home only to go a couple doors down to her mom’s (played by yet another “The Way Way back alumn- Allison Janney.

The movie is in large part an homage to “Thelma & Louise” with Tammy leaving her troubles behind , taking a road trip with her grandmother (Susan Sarandon). Now, Melissa McCarthy is 43. Sarandon is 68- and even with a gray wig doesn’t even look that old. Janney is 54 to McCarthy’s 43. So, yeah, miscasting all the way around.

Gary Cole has never looked better as a married man who ends up having a hot and heavy fling with the grandmom after meeting at a roadhouse (another aside to “Thelma & Louise”). Indie prince Mark Duplass (one of the creators of the indie dialogue-driven, heavily improved mumblecore movies) plays his son and McCarthy’s ultimate love interest. Kathy Bates is fun with Sandra Oh as her life partner .

There just aren’t enough laughs in this movie. There’s more sweetness than laughs.

2 stars




"Earth To Echo"

I was wondering why it looked like a Disney flick but said it was a Relativity Media production, so I dug a little deeper and found originally it was shot by Disney and then sold to Relativity. Disney usually holds on to everything I thought.

It's been called a modern day ET and maybe it will be perceived as that by some but it's not as great as ET was. Major difference is that the ET creature is a living organism and Echo is a robotic type creature that says it's not a robot.

"Earth To Echo," is set like a mock documentary similar to "Super 8." The kids in the movie have recently found out that they've been the subjects of eminent domain and a new freeway has made them lose their homes. They're all moving away and it's their last night together so they figured they document it by video. After getting mysterious disturbances on the cellphones that looks like a map they set off to find where the signal is coming from. That's when they discover, Echo a creature that looks like a mini-robot. The freeway construction workers are actually some type of government agents who shot down Echo's spacecraft but can't find him.

It becomes a series of out running the agents to help get, like in "ET", Echo home. The sad part of the film is that the families were duped into vacating their homes because of a fake freeway. The uplifting part is that it shows the power of love, friendship and a child's innocence to figure out that Echo was scared, lonely and a good being that just wanted to go home. The adults wanted to kill Echo because they were sure he was the key to a spaceship set out to destroy Earth. Were the kid's right or the adults. We'll have to wait for "Earth To Echo Pt. 2," Where giant robots come back to destroy Earth...oh wait, that would be "Transformers!"

We took a Girl Scouts group and they all said it was a sweet story but also thought it was very sad.

I loved the concept of a mockumentary BUT it's tiring to be spoon fed how they're getting the footage. They lay out the different camera's including spyglasses to prove it out. So one kid at a restaurant just happens to decide to put on spyglasses for no reason so they can get the next close up? No way! "District 9," was the first spoof documentary that didn't always do that. I'm thinking there's enough of these out now so we don't have to proceed like that anymore.

Kids give it 4 stars.

I give it a 2 and a half.

Marc Coppola for Shelli Sonstein

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