Kyla’s Movie Review

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TAMMY (R) - Starring Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Kathy Bates, Sandra Oh, Allison Janney, Dan Aykroyd, Nat Faxon, Toni Collette, Mark Duplass, and Gary Cole. Written by Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone (McCarthy’s husband). Directed by Ben Falcone. The movie starts with Tammy (McCarthy) being fired from a fast food restaurant (managed by Falcone) for being habitually late. When she is kicked out of the restaurant, she exits by throwing ketchup packets at the manager and then touching all the food in the kitchen so it can’t be sold. She comes home to find out her husband (Faxon) has taken up with a neighbor (Collette). So she storms out to her parents’ house where she demands car keys from her mother (Janney). When mom refuses she finds herself hitting the road with her alcoholic grandmother Pearl (Sarandon). The bulk of the movie is their road trip where they see who can be more irresponsible. Pearl encourages Tammy to drink while driving and buys beer for kids at a convenience store. When they are arrested and there’s not enough bail money for both, Tammy gets out and commits a robbery. They also meet guys on the road–because Tammy believes herself to be irresistible to men–but it’s grandma who ends up with Earl (Cole) while his son Bobby (Duplass) slowly falls for Tammy. It all leads up to what is described as a “lesbian Fourth of July party.” The only good thing about this is that it brings in Kathy Bates and Sandra Oh, who are so much better than the movie they’re in. As we’ve learned in previous films (Bridesmaids, Identity Thief, The Heat), McCarthy is not afraid to make fun of herself. Unfortunately, the script isn’t as good as previous films. I can’t help but think McCarthy is channeling the late Chris Farley in some of these stunts. RATING: B-

EARTH TO ECHO (PG) - Starring Teo Halm, Astro, Reese C. Hartwig, and Ella Wahlestedt. This is based on a story by Henry Gayden and Andrew Panay. Three childhood friends - Alex (Halm), Tuck (Astro), and Munch (Hartwig) - are spending a final night together. The next day, they all have to move out of their development to make way for a highway. Strange things have been happening with their cellphones and they set out to investigate. This takes them on a night journey across the desert where they discover a small robot alien that has been damaged in a crash and is trying to find its way to a spaceship. Joined by classmate Emma (Wahlestedt), the boys help out the robot while being pursued by Federal Agents who want the alien for other purposes. You can’t help but think of the film E.T. when you watch this movie. A group of youngsters discover what turns out to be an alien mechanism of some sort and dub it “Echo.” With the help of the kids, Echo is trying to reassemble itself from pieces scattered over many miles. Meanwhile, a group of scientists and government officials are also looking for the pieces, but for very different purposes. Their suburban community is being taken by the authorities and they all have to move away. On their last night together, they’re going to have an adventure. These kids have grown up in an age of smartphones and GPS and the Internet. They don’t use candy pieces to attract the alien, they use electronics. For those viewers who measure their ages in single digits, this will prove to be one of the best films of the summer. It’s just a shame it couldn’t have been made a little more bearable for the adults who will accompany their offspring to theaters. RATING: C

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