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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Film Clips: July 3

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Deliver Us From Evil R

Eric Bana portrays Bronx police detective Ralph Sarchie, who, along with his partner (Joel McHale), responds to three calls involving perpetrators having lost their minds. Soon enough, the detectives’ inquiries reveal that a trio of U.S. Marines were on patrol in Iraq when they were exposed to a cave believed to be possessed by evil spirits. At the center of each disturbance is one of the three Marines. Enter Father Mendoza, a priest claiming special knowledge of the supernatural. Sarchie scoffs at the priest’s warning that a demonic spirit is spreading itself throughout the Bronx, until further events persuade the detective to alter his perspective. Although the film’s soundtrack features suitably spooky songs by The Doors, it all but fails to create a sense of dread until the final act when a difficult exorcism delivers the chills. (Lisa Miller)

 

Earth to Echo PG

With their suburban Nevada neighborhood slated for demolition, teen friends Tuck, Munch and Alex (Brian “Astro” Bradley, Reese Hartwig and Teo Halm, respectively) follow mysterious messages on their cell phones to a desert location. Here they meet Echo, a small but powerful alien marooned and separated from his kind. After naming him Echo, and establishing his good intentions, the boys attempt to hide him from U.S. government agents, while helping Echo to return home. Similar to Steven Spielberg’s 32-year-old E.T., this updated version relies on social media, video recording and texting, as part of the boys’ strategy to enact a daring plan. Played by largely unknown, likable actors, the film uses its limited special-effects budget well, and gives us a homesick little alien that resembles a floating metallic owl communicating via electronic chirps and huge blue eyes. You can almost hear the collective “awwww.” (L.M.)