REVIEW: NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM

CAST

Ben Stiller (Zoolander)
Dick Van Dyke (Mary Poppins)
Carla Gugino (San Andreas)
Mickey Rooney (Revenge of The Red Baron)
Bill Cobbs (Oz The Great and Powerful)
Jake Cherry (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice)
Ricky Gervais (Muppets Most Wanted)
Kim Raver (24)
Charlie Murphy (Norbit)
Paul Rudd (Ant-Man)
Anne Meara (Zoolander)
Robin Williams (Hook)
Patrick Gallagher (Sideways)
Rami Malek (Battleship)
Pierfrancesco Favino (The Last Kiss)
Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers)
Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder)
Brad Garrett (Finding Dory)
Mizuo Peck (A Case of You)
Matthew Harrison (Watchmen)
Jody Racicot (Flash Gordon)
Matthew Walker (Highlander: The Series)

Larry Daley is a divorced man from Queens, hoping to find a good job to impress his ten-year old son Nick, his ex-wife Erica believing he is a bad example for their son. Larry is hired at the American Museum of Natural History to replace the retiring security guards Cecil Fredericks and his colleagues Gus and Reginald. Larry meets the museum’s neurotic curator Dr. McPhee, and museum docent Rebecca Hutman, who plans to write a dissertation on Sacagawea. On his first night, Cecil hands Larry an instruction manual on what to do in the museum, warning him not to let anything “in or out.”Larry soon discovers that at night, the museum’s exhibits come to life and cause havoc for him. Amongst the lively exhibits are a playful Tyrannosaurus skeleton named Rexy; a mischievous capuchin monkey named Dexter who destroys the instructions; the warring factions of cowboys and legionnaires led by Jedediah and General Octavius; violent Attila the Hun; a talking Easter Island Head that desires gum; the fire-seeking neanderthals; and a wax model of Theodore Roosevelt, who is in love with Sacagawea.Roosevelt explains to Larry that the exhibits have come to life every night since the arrival of an Egyptian artifact, the Tablet of Akhmenrah, the mummified pharaoh trapped in his sarcophagus. He also explains to Larry that as night guard, it is his job to make sure that no exhibit sets foot out of the museum, otherwise they will disintegrate into dust if the sun rises while they are outside. The next day, Cecil advises Larry to research history to make up for the instructions’ destruction. He studies in libraries and from Rebecca. Larry puts his new knowledge to good use on his second night, but some of his plans backfire and the neanderthals set their exhibit on fire, leading to one becoming dust after venturing outside. After having doubts and almost getting fired the next day, Larry offers to introduce Sacagawea to Rebecca, but she thinks he is mocking her.On his third night, Larry brings Nick to the museum to watch the exhibits come to life, but they strangely do not. They catch Cecil, Gus, and Reginald stealing artifacts, who explain the tablet’s magic has allowed them to feel physically young in their old age, and plot to frame Larry for the theft while they enjoy a happy retirement. Nick activates the tablet, but Cecil steals it, locking Larry and Nick in the Egyptian exhibit. They free Akhmenrah, and rally the exhibits to stop the thieves and retrieve their colleagues who fled out into Central Park. Gus and Reginald are captured, but Cecil escapes by stagecoach.Larry and several exhibits give chase, where they stop Cecil and recover the tablet, using its magic to escort all of the exhibits back into the museum before sunrise. Rebecca witnesses this and makes amends with Larry, subsequently introduced to Sacagawea. The next day McPhee fires Larry, but when they go into the museum, they find it is crowded due to last night’s strange activities, and Larry is rehired. During the credits, Cecil, Gus, and Reginald were granted mercy by Larry and work as janitors.While the story could have been a little better, that’s a minor quibble. For the most part, this is exactly what it sets out to be, fun entertainment the entire family will enjoy.

REVIEW: SUCKER PUNCH

 

CAST

Emily Browning (Sleeping Beauty)
Abbie Cornish (Limitless)
Jena Malone (Donnie Darko)
Vanessa Hudgens (Spring Breakers)
Jamie Chung (Once Upon A Time)
Carla Gugino (Watchmen)
Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
Jon Hamm (Mad men)
Scott Glenn (The Silence of The Lambs)
Monique Ganderton (Smallville)
Peter Bryant (Dark Angel)
Patrick Sabongui (The Flash)
Chrstine Willes (Dead Like Me)
Ian Tracey (Bates Motel)
Gerard Plunkett (Travelers)
A.C. Peterson (Shooter)
Michael Adamthwaite (Stargate SG.1)

 

Like many men, when I saw the trailers appear for the film a number of things caught my eye immediately. First and foremost was the cast of hot scantily clad young women with cool sounding names like Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, Rocket, Amber, and Blondie. The next thing noticed was that it seemed to blend fantasy with a lot of ridiculously over the top action that involved zombie Nazis, fire-breathing dragons, robot samurai, and other entirely bizarre and irrational things that would surely only come out of the imagination of a weirdo who has a strong affection for anime, video games, and everything else considered genuinely bizarre: this was not the kind of thing I expected to see for a big-budget spectacle showpiece. The end result was that Sucker Punch ultimately looked to me like something that would only appeal to young men looking for thrills or pop-culture junkies. It seemed like it would have plenty of pretty images and little substance whatsoever. What could possibly be worthwhile about the film beyond some mere thrills.MV5BODk0MDI3NDI5N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzc2MjA3NA@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,825_AL_Sucker Punch begins with what essentially adds up to being a music video stylized opening that aims to bring audiences into the start of the story. Prepare to see a lot of this throughout the entire experience. I actually embraced it because it’s in part the kind of thing I always felt Snyder should be doing: making music videos or commercials. By placing an emphasis on the music and striking imagery I felt allowed to have a visceral experience that actually grabbed on to me and wouldn’t let me go. We discover early on that the girl we would soon know as Baby Doll (Emily Browning) was being sent to a mental institution by her stepfather. It’s no fault of her own mental health – she witnesses the murder of her younger sister who I presumed was also raped beforehand. The stepfather doesn’t stop there as he tries to rape and murder them both, and when Baby Doll fights back he somehow arranges it so that they believe the murder of her sister was why she was being committed into the mental institution in the first place.MV5BMTg1MjM1ODk3N15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTc2MjA3NA@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,828_AL_Upon entering the mental institution Baby Doll enters a fantasy-world she creates where the storyline of Sucker Punch allows her to enter a dream within another dream state of mind (and this really made me wonder if this had anything to do with why Christopher Nolan picked Snyder for the Superman reboot). She visualizes the mental intuition as actually being a dance hall – but the truth of the fantasy is that the director of the asylum, Blue (Oscar Isaac), is really trying to prostitute the girls out to clients in his role as the owner of the dance hall. The doctor of the mental institution, Dr. Vera Gorski (Carla Gugino), is now seen as the dance instructor and every time one of the characters ‘dances’ they are actually entering a deeper fantasy world where all of the crazy video-game/anime like qualities truly step in to play (such as the dragons and robots – oh my!). The dancing in the film is never visualized in the way most men probably want or expect – there isn’t a lot of ‘sexy moves’ on display in these moments and to my disappointment I have heard some complaints about this as a detractor. The dances in this movie are not ordinary dances at all but are in fact moments when Baby Doll enters her deeper fantasy state.MV5BMjA1MzYxNDUwOV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNDY2MjA3NA@@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,829_AL_Baby Doll has met the other girls Rocket (Jena Malone), Amber (Jamie Chung), Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), and Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens). Eventually, the girls team up in each of these sequences. During the first ‘deep dream’ sequence Baby Doll encounters a seemingly wise old man (Scott Glenn) while alone. He informs her that in order to become free she must collect five items: a map, knife, fire, key, and another item that she must discover on her own. He also gives her a handgun and sword that can be used while inside her dream world. Over the course of the story, Baby Doll convinces the other girls that following this plan of action is the only way for them to escape. Some of the girls are on board with the idea while others (mainly Sweet Pea) seem against it.MV5BMTM0NjM2MjgxN15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDc3ODIxNA@@._V1_SX1500_CR0,0,1500,999_AL_I realized at some point that there began to be a correlation between the first layer of the fantasy world and the second one. Actions taking place within the dream-world fantasy affected the other. Characters died unexpectedly and the result was their death and removal from both of the fantasy plot-lines taking place. Towards the end of the film the items gathered are used for the last surviving girls to escape and they are used in the film . In concluding the story, Baby Doll realizes that the fifth thing needed for her to escape was simply her, and then she helps one of the other girls to find freedom while she stays behind. Upon entering into the reality of the situation – in the mental hospital – we find that Baby Doll is about to have a lobotomy. Dr. Gorski enters the room and talks to the man performing the lobotomy (Jon Hamm). She questions why such a thing is happening, and soon realizes that a forgery was done of her signature for someone to make the lobotomy occur. Yet it was already far too late as the operation had just been completed.Baby Doll is led away by some guards to a room where Blue awaits her. He tells her that he can now do anything with her that he wants to do. The guards seem reluctant; saying something about being sick of letting him do what he wants to these girls. Dr. Gorski breaks into the room and stops whatever was about to happen. In a scene that appears as an epilogue thereafter, we see the lone girl who escaped get onto a bus with the same old man from Baby Dolls dream world as the driver.The audience just got sucker punched. The conversation held between Dr. Gorski and the man performing the lobotomy revealed that Baby Doll had actually done some of the things the audience witnessed in the fantasy world she created. In other words, the film blends reality and fantasy in a way that makes it hard to state what moments were real and what moments weren’t. Some will call this a cop out. I actually disagree for once. It had my own imagination going rather wild.

REVIEW: THE SPACE BETWEEN US

Starring

Gary Oldman (The Dark Knight)
Asa Butterfield (Hugo)
Carla Gugino (Watchmen)
Britt Robertson (Tomorrowland)
B.D. Wong (Gotham)
Janet Montgomery (BLack Swan)
Trey Tucker (The Matchmaker’s Playbook)
Scott Takeda (Everything Must Go)
Logan Paul (Baywatch)

Asa Butterfield in The Space Between Us (2017)In the near future, multi-billionaire Nathaniel Shepard, CEO of Genesis, launches the first ever mission to colonize Mars. During the journey, the lead astronaut, Sarah Elliot, discovers that she is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from eclampsia while giving birth to the first human born on Mars, Gardner Elliot. The father of the child is unknown. In a dilemma, Nathaniel eventually decides to keep the child on Mars as a secret, to avoid a PR disaster for his company and also keep the child safe.Britt Robertson and Asa Butterfield in The Space Between Us (2017)Sixteen years later, Sarah’s son Gardner has grown up into an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who has met only 14 people during his very unconventional upbringing. One day, in order to find out more about his mother, he hacks into Centaur, a robot he helped build, to gain access to the ship’s storage. There, he retrieves his mother’s items. Among them are a wedding ring and a USB drive, from which he plays a video of her and a man in a beach house. Convinced that the man is his father, he becomes determined to find him.Britt Robertson in The Space Between Us (2017)Gardner logs on to an Internet chatroom, where he has struck up an online relationship with Tulsa, a street-smart girl from Colorado who is constantly being shuffled from one foster home to the next. Under the guise of being confined to a penthouse due to osteogenesis imperfecta, they discuss their plans for the future. Gardner promises to come see her someday. He then watches the German language film, Wings of Desire, where an angel falls in love with a human, and thus falls to Earth.His mother figure, astronaut Kendra Wyndham, video calls Nathaniel and Genesis director Tom Chen to inform them of Gardner’s extraordinary intelligence and to beg them to allow him to go to Earth. Nathaniel refuses, as Gardner would have to undergo a highly risky surgery to increase his bone density and then train to adapt to Earth’s atmospheric pressure. Gardner undergoes the surgery anyway and after training, he, Kendra and some other astronauts board a space shuttle for Earth.On the day of the space shuttle’s arrival, Nathaniel discovers that Gardner is on board. He angrily confronts Tom, who hid this from him. Despite his anger, Nathaniel visits Gardner, who is being quarantined in NASA while undergoing medical tests to determine whether he is fit for life on Earth. After a visit from Kendra, Gardner manages to discover that he is not fit for life on Earth. Upset, he stages a daring escape and hitches a ride to find Tulsa. Upon seeing him, Tulsa slaps him as she is upset at Gardner for “ghosting” her for 7 months. However, she forgives him and he convinces her to help him find his father. They stop by her house to get supplies for the journey, but are found by Nathaniel and Kendra. While trying to convince him to return to NASA, Gardner angrily confronts Kendra with her own admission of not wanting children and escapes with Tulsa on an old plane which her foster father was working on. The plane abruptly loses oil pressure while still in the sky. Tulsa manages to crash-land the plane into an old, abandoned barn, causing a fiery explosion. They escape safely to a diner where they determine the location of the shaman who married Gardner’s parents, Shaman Neka.Britt Robertson and Asa Butterfield in The Space Between Us (2017)Believing that Gardner has died, a grieving Nathaniel and Kendra let out their rage at one another. After discovering that no bodies were found in the wreckage, they receive some devastating news – Gardner’s body contains dangerously high levels of troponin, meaning that he has an enlarged heart. His heart is unable to stand Earth’s atmospheric pressure and so Gardner must be returned to Mars immediately if he is to survive. The search is resumed with renewed fervor and they discover CCTV footage of Gardner and Tulsa in a supermarket parking lot, where they have bought clothes and supplies for the journey. During the journey, Gardner tells Tulsa the truth – that he was born and raised on Mars. Unwilling to accept the truth, she forces him out of the car but forgives him once he promises never to lie to her again, although she still does not believe him.Britt Robertson and Asa Butterfield in The Space Between Us (2017)At night, they kiss by the campfire and set up their sleeping bags to sleep under the stars. In the morning, they are discovered by a follower of Shaman Neka and are brought to him. He agrees to help them. Gardner’s nose starts bleeding, a fact he conceals while Tulsa accesses the records to get the location of the beach house, which is in Summerland, California.Gary Oldman and Janet Montgomery in The Space Between Us (2017)Before they begin their journey, they make a detour to Las Vegas so Tulsa can show him the world. Gardner’s nose starts to bleed again and he collapses and is taken to a hospital. After seeing the carbon tubes in his bones on the results of an X-ray at the hospital, Tulsa tells Gardner she now believes he was born on Mars, but plans to leave him in the hospital, before foster care can come, as he is too sick to continue their journey. Gardner reveals that he knows he won’t last on Earth anymore and all he wants is to meet his father before he dies. Tulsa gives in and helps him escape. They steal a car and drive to the beach house. There, they meet the man from the video, who reveals that he is not Sarah Elliot’s husband, but her own brother. However, he thinks that the two are lying to him. Gardner runs down to the sea, where he tells Tulsa that this is where he wants to die. He collapses.Tulsa tries frantically to drag him to the shore, but he is too heavy for her. Nathaniel and Kendra arrive just in time to save him. After Nathaniel performs CPR on him, Gardner asks him about his mother Sarah and reveals that he knows that Nathaniel is his real father. Nathaniel, Kendra, and Tulsa rush Gardner to a Dream Chaser. They plan to launch into the stratosphere to stabilize him. When that proves to not be enough, a desperate Nathaniel takes the controls (since the regular pilot is not authorized to exceed the design limits) and rockets the vehicle into orbit. Free of Earth’s gravity, Gardner is revived and temporarily stabilized. Soon, Gardner boards a space shuttle to Mars. Tulsa and Gardner have an emotional parting. Kendra, who is staying on Earth because she is retiring from active flight status with NASA, adopts Tulsa. Determined to join Gardner on Mars, Tulsa joins Kendra’s training program. Back on Mars, with his father Nathaniel, Gardner is glad to be home.I don’t imagine myself watching this again, but also the film doesn’t really give you a reason to. The romance that I praise is cute but not awe inspiring, the story may have all these characters with some kind of tragedy yet you never feel them put the weight of their life on you. Then, to top it off, the women who like and love Gardner aren’t allowed or developed into full people. Tulsa doesn’t really evolve past being the girlfriend and she ends up seemingly abandoning her dream to be and do things with Gardner. Then with Kendra, she never evolves past being a surrogate mom and, like Tulsa, as the movie ends they still are but characters in Gardner’s life and not people with some semblance of their own.

 

25 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS REVIEW: MR. POPPERS PENGUINS

CAST

Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty)
Carla Gugino (Watchmen)
Angela Lansbury (Murder, She Wrote)
Ophelia Lovibond (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Madeline Carroll (Flipped)
Clark Gregg (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover)
David Krumholtz (Sausage Party)
Phillip Baker Hall (The Insider)
Andrew Stewart-Jones (Gotham)
Frank Welker (Transformers)

Thomas Popper (Jim Carrey), is a divorced real estate entrepreneur whose father traveled around the world during his childhood in the 1970s. He learns that his father has died during an adventure to Antarctica. The following week, a crate containing a gentoo penguin, named Captain, shows up at his door as a souvenir from his father’s last adventure. A few days later, five more penguins arrive. Popper intends to give them away but changes his idea when his children, Janie (Madeline Carroll) and Billy (Maxwell Perry Cotton), think that the animals are Billy’s birthday present. At work, Popper is given the task of buying Tavern on the Green, the only privately owned real estate in Central Park that is an old restaurant where he used to eat with his father when he was a child. However, its elderly owner, Selma Van Gundy, will only sell it to a person of true value. Popper has unsuccessful meetings with her, and she refuses to sell the restaurant to him. Having the penguins around helps Popper become closer to his children. He also begins dating their mother, Amanda Popper again. The penguins lay three eggs. Two eggs hatch, and one doesn’t. Popper becomes obsessed with seeing the last egg hatch, losing his job. Popper realizes that the egg can’t be hatched so he decides to donate the penguins to the New York Zoo. Then, he is re-employed but his children and ex-wife are disappointed by his decision. Popper finds a lost letter from his father telling him to hold his children close and love them. Popper asks his children and ex-wife to help him get the penguins back from the zoo. They find the penguins, free them and they get away and flee to the tavern. Upon seeing how Popper had reunited his family and saved the penguins, Van Gundy sells him the restaurant. Popper decides to renovate and reopen the restaurant. Popper and his family travel to Antarctica with the penguins, allowing them to live with their own kind. Popper’s first penguin, Captain, reveals to have laid another egg. Popper tells his children that they’ll visit them when the baby is born.Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a great family time movie.  You will have a lot of fun watching Jim Carrey in this relaxed, gentle and positive comedy. You will be left with a feeling of warmth, confidence and the feeling that everything has a silver lining. My opinion is, the funnier, the better.

 

REVIEW: SAN ANDREAS

CAST

Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious 8)
Carla Gugino (Faster)
Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D)
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
Archie Panjabi (The Good Wife)
Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Art Parkinson (Dracula Untold)
Will Yun Lee (The Wolverine)
Kylie Minogue (Sample People)
Colton Haynes (Arrow)
Robin Atkin Downes (Babylon 5)

Raymond “Ray” Gaines is a Los Angeles Fire Department Air Rescue pilot in the midst of a divorce from Emma and planning a trip to San Francisco with his daughter Blake. Meanwhile, Caltech seismologist Dr. Lawrence Hayes and his colleague Dr. Kim Park are at Hoover Dam doing research for a new earthquake predicting model when a nearby and previously unknown fault ruptures. This triggers a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that collapses the dam and kills Park after he rescues a little girl and throws her to Hayes as he falls to the collapsing ground. When Ray is called into work because of this, Blake goes with her mother’s new boyfriend Daniel Riddick to San Francisco, instead of Ray.Hayes discovers that the entire San Andreas Fault is shifting and will soon cause a major earthquake, thereby destroying cities along the fault line. Emma is having lunch at a hotel in Downtown LA with Daniel’s sister Susan when the fault shifts triggering a 9.1 magnitude earthquake, with Susan among the casualties during the event. Rather than reporting for emergency rescue duty, Ray saves Emma from the collapsing building, and they escape the city aboard his helicopter, barely managing to swerve around the US Bank Tower as it comes crumbling down.In San Francisco, Daniel brings Blake to his office where she meets Ben, an engineer from England seeking employment and his brother, Ollie. Daniel and Blake leave the premises, but they become trapped in their car in the parking garage after a string of earthquakes, with Blake getting her legs pinned in the event. Daniel flees but Blake is found by Ben and Ollie, who help her escape. They then find a working phone in Chinatown and Blake calls Ray and Emma, who fly to San Francisco to save her.En route, Ray’s helicopter fails, forcing him to make an emergency landing at a shopping mall in Bakersfield. Amid the chaos of looting, he steals a truck and he and Emma escape. They come across an older couple broken down on the side of the road where the San Andreas Fault has opened up, blocking the road and the couple, who happen to own an airplane, agree to give it up in exchange for Ray’s vehicle. In San Francisco, Blake, Ben and Ollie are trying to find a place to signal Ray, as the point they agreed to meet at, Coit Tower, is engulfed in flames. On approach, Ray and Emma are forced to parachute in the city when a 9.6 magnitude quake hits the city, becoming the largest earthquake in history. Much of the city is left in ruins and Blake, Ben and Ollie narrowly survive. Ray and Emma, realizing they cannot make their way through the destroyed city, are able to commandeer a boat only to see that the water in the bay is beginning to recede, indicating that a megatsunami is approaching.As it approaches, Blake, Ben, and Ollie run into a building under construction which Daniel helped design. Ray and Emma, accompanied by dozens of other people in boats, manage to make it over the wave before it crests, barely avoiding a huge cargo ship getting caught up in the wave. They then watch in horror as the giant tsunami hits the Golden Gate Bridge with the enormous cargo ship, which snaps the center span cleanly in two; Daniel is among those killed when a loose shipping container crushes him. The wave then proceeds into the ruined city, swamping cruise ships, killing thousands and flooding the building Blake is in. Emma and Ray make their way through the flooded downtown area and are finally able to locate Blake, Ben, and Ollie as the building begins to sink beneath the water. Ray dives into the building to save Blake as she becomes unconscious while trapped underwater, while Emma breaks into the building with the boat and rescues everyone just as the building also collapses; however, it appears too late as Blake has seemingly drowned. Ray, however, manages to resuscitate her, and the family is happily reunited.They head to a relief camp where the reconciled Ray and Emma talk about their future; on the remains of the Golden Gate Bridge, an American flag unfolds, giving hope that the city will recover and rebuild as rescue vehicles descend on the radically altered landscape of the San Francisco Bay Area. Then the camera zooms out to see the whole Bay Area, showing that the bay now extends south from San Jose to Santa Cruz, turning the San Francisco peninsula into an island.Typical Rock actioner with great special effects and so so acting but I don’t think anyone expected an Oscar. The Rock does what he does best and it makes for an enjoyable watch.Classic popcorn movie.

REVIEW: RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN


CAST

Dwayne Johnson (G.I. Joe Retaliation)
AnnaSophia Robb (Bridge To Terabithia)
Alexander Ludwig (The Hunger Games)
Ciarán Hinds (The Woman In Black)
Carla Gugino (Sin City)
Garry Marshall (Soapdish)
Cheech Marin (Machete)
Chris Marquette (Freddy vs Jason)
Tom Everett Scott (Scream: The Series)
Billy Brown (Starship Troopers 2)
Meredith Salenger (Lake Placid)
Christine Lakin (Family Guy)
Bob Clendenin (That 70s Show)
John Kassir (Tales From The Crypt)
Jonathan Slavin (Santa Clarita Diet)

An alien spaceship crashes near Searchlight, Nevada, outside Las Vegas. Project Moon Dust, a secret Defense Department unit led by Henry Burke (Ciarán Hinds), arrives in black helicopters. Men in Black seize the ship and search for its passengers.
Jack Bruno (Dwayne Johnson) is a former mob get-away driver who drives a cab to avoid returning to jail. One of his passengers is Dr. Alex Friedman (Carla Gugino), a failed scientist who is in Las Vegas to speak at a UFO convention at the Planet Hollywood hotel.
After resisting two thugs who seek his services for a mob boss, Bruno finds two teenagers, Sara (AnnaSophia Robb) and Seth (Alexander Ludwig), in his cab. They offer $15,000 to drive to a certain destination. Burke’s men follow the cab; Bruno believes that the government agents are more mob thugs, and evades them with his driving skills. Seth’s ability to vary his molecular density helps the group to escape.
When they arrive at an abandoned house, Bruno follows them out of concern and curiosity. The teenagers retrieve the device they were looking for within a hidden underground laboratory, but the three are attacked by a “Siphon” (Tom Woodruff, Jr.), a powerful armored alien assassin. The Siphon pursues the group until its spaceship crashes into a train and the creature is wounded. The three again escape Burke’s agents, in part due to Sara’s telepathy and telekinetics.
The teenagers explain to Bruno that they are from a dying planet 3,000 light years from Earth. Its government intends to invade Earth, despite the idea being unpopular among the majority of their race, so that their kind may survive. Seth and Sara’s parents are scientists who sought a way to save their planet without invasion but were arrested before completing their experiment. The teenagers came to retrieve the successful results, but the alien government sent the assassin to stop them. To save both worlds, they must retrieve their spaceship and return home.
Bruno brings Seth and Sara to Dr. Friedman at the UFO convention, who realizes that the teenagers are what she has been searching for and joins the group. Fellow UFOlogist and conspiracy theorist Dr. Donald Harlan (Garry Marshall) tells them that the spaceship was taken to the secret California government base Witch Mountain. Harlan and his men distract the soldiers with Bruno’s taxi while the others escape to Witch Mountain on Harlan’s RV. The group arrives at the base but are captured; Burke orders that the teenagers be prepared for vivisection, but frees the adults as no one will believe their story.
The Siphon attacks Witch Mountain and battles the soldiers, allowing Bruno and Friedman to infiltrate the base and free Seth and Sara. They launch the ship, escape through the mountain’s tunnels, and finally kill the assassin who has stowed away on the spaceship. The teenagers give Bruno and Friedman a tracking device that will allow the aliens to always find them, tearfully wish them farewell, and return to their planet. Bruno and Friedman become successful authors of Race to Witch Mountain: A True Story. They promote their book and knowledge on the UFO convention circuit, explaining that the publicity protects them from government reprisal. As they leave a convention the alien device activates, implying that the teenagers may be returning to Earth.

Race to Witch Mountain is a typical movie from Disney, i.e., a delightful family entertainment. The story is predictable and uses the usual clichés of the genre, with the heart-warming hero; the despicable villain; the chase and the car race; the corny conclusion after the first contact; despite of that, I liked Race to Witch Mountain a lot. The pleasant cast performs enjoyable characters, and I particularly like The Rock, AnnaSophia Robb and Carla Gugino very much. A very enjoyable film.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE UNBORN

CAST

Odette Annable (Cloverfield)
Meagan Good (D.E.B.S)
Gary Oldman (Red Riding Hood)
Cam Gigandet (Easy A)
James Remar (Judge Dredd)
Jane Alexander (Glory)
Carla Gugino (Watchmen)
Idris Elba (Thor)
Rhys Coiro (Straw Dogs)
C.S. Lee (Chuck)

Casey Beldon has nightmarish hallucinations of strange-looking dogs in the neighbourhood and an evil child with bright blue eyes following her around. While babysitting Matty, her neighbor’s son, she finds him showing his infant sibling its reflection in a mirror. Matty attacks Casey, smashing the mirror on her head, and tells her: “Jumby wants to be born now”. She puts him to bed and leaves in shock.Casey’s friend Romy tells her of a superstition that newborns should not see their reflections in the mirror for at least a year because otherwise they will die soon. Casey’s eyes begin to change color; a doctor asks if she is a twin, and explains the change as tetragametic chimerism and heterochromia, and that is completely normal. Her neighbor’s infant dies, supporting the superstition.

Casey’s father admits that she had a twin brother years ago who died while he was in the womb when her umbilical cord strangled him, and whom he and Casey’s mother had nicknamed “Jumby”. She begins to suspect that the spirit is haunting her and that is the soul of her dead twin wanting to be born so it can enter the world of the living as evil.

Casey meets Sofi Kozma—whom she later learns is her grandmother—who explains that as a child she had a twin brother who died during Nazi experiments in Auschwitz during World War II. A dybbuk brought the brother back to life to use as a portal into the world of the living. Kozma killed her twin to stop the spirit, and now it haunts her family for revenge, which is why Casey’s mother became insane and committed suicide.  Kozma gives Casey a hamsa amulet for protection; instructs her to destroy all mirrors and burn the shards; and refers her to Rabbi Joseph Sendak, who can perform a Jewish exorcism to remove the dybbuk out of her soul. Sendak does not believe Casey’s story until he sees a dog with its head twisted upside down in his synagogue. The dybbuk kills Kozma and, soon after, Romy. Casey and her boyfriend Mark—who both see the spirit after it kills Romy—realize that it is getting stronger.Sendak, Mark, Episcopal priest Arthur Wyndham, and other volunteers begin the exorcism, but the dybbuk attacks them and several are wounded or killed. The spirit, having possessed the priest, chases Casey and Mark. Mark knocks Wyndham unconscious but gets possessed. Casey stabs Mark in the neck with the amulet; Sendak arrives and he and Casey complete the exorcism. The rite draws the dybbuk out of the human world, but Mark falls and dies during the separation. Casey mourns her boyfriend but still wonders why the dybbuk became suddenly active in her life now, and why it didn’t attack her earlier. She takes a pregnancy test, and learns that she is pregnant by Mark, with twins.I didn’t think it was all bad. I have seen better horror movies, but this certainly wasn’t the worst.  I thought that the plot was quite.  I thought Odette Yustman was a fair leading actress as Casey and I thought her best friend Romey was quite entertaining.