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CGM Reviews: Earth To Echo

The 80s were a magical time for family entertainment. After the titanic success of E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Steven Spielberg founded the production company Amblin and started cranking out a series of suburban fantasy films about kids and teens from broken families going on genre movie adventures. The titles Spielberg produced in this run include Gremlins, The Goonies, Back To The Future, and Batteries Not Included. It was an incredible slate of films that burrowed their way into the imagination of every impressionable child and teen of the era. Given those films’ continued success, other studios started copying the Amblin model which led to some fantastic films like Explorers and a ton of crap like Mac & Me or Flight Of The Navigator. As always, Hollywood overexposure killed the trend, but not before Amblin essentially created a genre that remained fondly remembered through nostalgia. When the generation of kids who grew up in the Amblin era started making their own films, Amblin homages slowly started to slip out. JJ Abrams’ Super 8 was the biggest and boasted the Spielberg stamp of approval as producer, while smaller efforts like Monster House kept the Amblin heart pumping.

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