Race to Witch Mountain

Disney rolled the dice with a remake of their now classic Escape to Witch Mountain, entitled Race to Witch Mountain, in which an alien brother and sister are trying to make their way back to their stolen spaceship after crashing on Earth. They appear to have come up with a winner here. I have of course seen the 1975 version a few times and I can remember a number of scenes in the movie and have always come away with the feeling that they were witches, kids with abilities, or whatever, but for some reason never remembered a thing about their spaceship or them being aliens.

That won't be a problem this time around. As the movie opens, you're treated to an immediate display of a military complex of some kind that is tracking their craft's entry into the atmosphere, and its eventual crash into the Nevada desert. The story more or less very loosely follows the original plot from there. The two kids end up in the city, and get help from a cabbie, everyone's new favorite guy, The Rock. He soon learns they have abilities. Seth can phase through matter, Sara can read minds and has telekinesis. All of which makes for some rather interesting situations later on.

Dwayne Johnson has certainly come a long way from his wrestling background and from the sort of cheesy stuff he did early on like in Scorpion King. I think this is one of the only other things I've seen him in in a long time and he really added a lot to the movie. The two kids also fit the parts very well, as did the scientist lady they meet up with later on. Even though things like IMDB say the scientist lady sought out the cab driver, it's the other way around. People, please WATCH what you're posting information about! The combination of these 4 people removed all of the cheese factor I remember in the original version. It just felt more natural. More believable this time. Definitely a much better film today than back then.

There was one moment about halfway in that had me worried they were about to pull a global warming propaganda bit but they recovered from it and things went on. I can't help but wonder if Disney realized people are sick of hearing about it. If they're not, well, WE'RE SICK OF HEARING ABOUT IT! Also, please, enough with the captive commercials run before the previews. I paid my $8. I don't do that to see Pepsi shove a 60 second spot they paid $500,000 for in my face. Either drop the Pepsi ads, or give me back my $8 and let me watch for free, because the movie has been paid for 100x over already. Especially since Pepsi wasn't the only one with a commercial. Seriously. Stop it.

So go see it. If you have kids, it's kid friendly. They'll love it too. You'll forgive me if I showed up to watch before you all got out of school though :)

No good previews in-house. Disney did their usual thing and monopolized it with all their dumbass cartoony things they're releasing in the next few months. Hopefully next week that will be different as Knowing isn't a Disney film.

On the Horizon

March 20 - Knowing: A person who gets psychic abilities and is able to predict future disasters. The advertising for it looks good. The plane crash scene they clipped looks creepy.
April is a complete dud.
But May, now there's the good stuff.

May 1 - X-Men Origins: Wolverine
May 8 - Star Trek
May 22 - Terminator Salvation

June also holds two gems.

June 5 - Land of the Lost. Probably not of interest unless you've seen the original 70s TV series. And made a MUD area loosely based on it :)
June 26 - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Which I didn't even know was supposed to be out this year until I saw the movie posters.

And for all you Harry Potter fans, July 27 brings you Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Which I'll probably go see since I watched the DVDs of the other ones and was surprised to find them not lame as I had once thought.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Mar 14, 2009 6:27 am by Samson in: | 7 comment(s) [Closed]
I'd been debating about this one, the ads have looked much better than I'd expected since you're last movie review when we discussed it as an upcoming flick.

Knowing - sounds like it's got the potential to be either a really cool hit or really bad flop...

X-Men Origins: Wolverine - what can one say, it's part of the X-Men franchise. ;)

Star Trek - Does this one have a subtitle yet? Like X-Men, it's a franchise that has carried it's own so far.

Terminator Salvation - yet another terminator movie? While we're at it, maybe we could bring out another Halloween and Rocky episode too?

Land of the Lost - never made a mud area based even loosely on, though I have incorporated one into my mud... but I did see the original series and would prolly watch a movie about it too.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - normally I'd categorically blow this one off, but the previous transformers movie was much better than I'd expected so I'll give the sequel a chance too.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - having read all the books, seen all the previous installments, and given the fact that my wife and children also like the series, you can count on my catching this one.

As for the captive commercials before the previews, I have to agree with you there, though when we do make it to the theatre for movies, rather than utilizing netflix, we rarely make it early enough to catch all the previews, let alone the ads before them.

Captive commercials are my biggest peeve these days with theaters. You may not have to deal with it where you are, but here they're tacked on immediately before the previews and in a couple of cases between the previews and the main feature. Clearly slimy tactics to ensure more people are forced to watch. Also with 3-4 ads average, that's $2 million for the ad space. They've paid for everyone in the house, even a packed house, hundreds of thousands of times over with that money. There's no longer any justifiable reason for charging admission. Just like there's no longer any justifiable reason for satellite and cable companies to charge for access. Commercials have long since paid for that millions of times over.

Star Trek has no subtitle. Which is fitting since it takes place before the 5 year mission in the time line. After Enterprise though.

There was another MUD who made a Land of the Lost area? I never knew that. :)

Nah, it's not that we don't get the captive commercials here, it's just that with all our kids we're usually lucky if we make it into the theatre in time to catch the last preview before the movie starts.. getting everyone organized and ready for 1.5-2.5+ hrs of quiet time takes awhile and the kids can't handle longer than that so we can't just get there earlier to accomodate the transition either, just as often the opening credits (a so-n-so production in cooperation with so-n-so of a so-n-so movie in conjunction with so-n-so present a so-n-so production of a so-n-so movie...) are already running while we're seat hunting. *shrug* But you're absolutely right in that regard, cable started out charging originally because they had no commercials and that's what you were paying for, some how over the last ~30 years we've allowed them to continue charging despite the fact that even the "premium" channels are commercial ridden now, and satelitte companies are doing the same thing. Once it was understandable that the charges weren't low because you were paying, not only to avoid commercials and to get extra channels, but also for the cable to be run (or dish to be installed), but these days they have more than enough advertisers to need our "pittance" each month.. movies on the other hand are now getting heavily subsidized by advertisers (I don't even mind the local ads between previews or the theatre's own turn off your cell phones type of ads, we're talking about the big full ads that match what we see on TV here, those few times I do get seated early enough to see them) and really can't justify the rising ticket prices except to say that hollywood is charging more per showing for each movie than they used to, which is nothing more than false inflation, also known as markup to increase profit revenues. Is it any wonder that newer movies have much higher grosses than the old ones did when the theatres are charging double (or much more than that) what they used to?

Hmm, how will they distinguish it on the movie lists then from the first Star Trek movie? Oh well, it's still a franchise that will bring me to the theatre even though Enterprise itself rather disappointed me.

I don't know that anyone else ever made an area truly based on Land of the Lost, I was thinking of areas like Prehistoria... more loosely based on it, in fact, it could just as easily be said they were based on The Land Before Time, or a number of others. *shrug*

Superman [Anon] said:
Comment #4 Mar 23, 2009 2:16 pm
Edited by Samson on Mar 22, 2010 7:35 pm
Well I suppose it's a good thing I don't deny that the climate is changing. I just deny that we're the ones causing it to do so :)

That's quite an amusing article link Superman, as Samson said, it's a good thing that none of us have been trying to claim that the climate isn't changing only that the changes aren't because of human intervention in our global ecosystem.

Race to Witch Mountain was quite good.

I'm extremely afraid of the new Star Trek. Why? J.J. Abrams.

Knowing I might go and take a look at, after seeing your review. I didn't know it existed.

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