CON: Race to Witch Mountain
Every once in a while I'll sit in on a panel that gets destroyed by fans asking stupid questions. Welcome to the RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN panel where the cast is hot & sexy and the audience is sad & stupid. We're joined on stage by a rather skinny looking Dwayne Johnson and the lovely Carla Gugino whom I've been a fan of since she guest starred on ALF back in '89. I'm f*cking with you of course, I never watched ALF. Too scary. The director, Andy Fickman, also grabs a mic and is a real treat to listen to. The guy is genuinely happy to be sitting up there and it rubs off on the two superstars.
RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN is yet another re-imagining. The original film, ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN (1975), the 1968 novel of the same name, and the film's sequel, RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN (1978) are all guilty of influence but technology and the bolder, riskier Disney are the reason for the updated version. The story surrounds two kids, Tony and Tia, with paranormal powers and the evil organization that plans to use them. The original film stars, Ike Eisenmann and Kim Richards will have significant roles in the new film.
We were shown the trailer to kick off the panel and it came off pretty well. A lot of intensity, a lot of action, a lot of The Rock. The first shot of electro-static as we're traveling down a dark highway almost made me shit myself. I played it off and tried to act cool as the clip showed shot after shot of Johnson driving his Las Vegas taxi into the side of a train, the new kids (Alexander Ludwig and AnnaSophia Robb) looking creepy, explosions, evil agents, a couple Stormtroopers riding in the back of a taxi, and Cheech.
- Dwayne Johnson thinks him and Disney is a good fit. After this film and THE GAME PLAN he's confident he'll work with them a lot more since the type of film's they do fit well with his career.
- To kick off the string of idiotic questions, some dude asks why he hasn't done any action movies since "The Round Up" and if he'll be kissing any dudes in this film. Dwayne corrects the loser by telling him it was THE RUNDOWN and that the last man he'll ever kiss was Steve Carell. I assume this is a reference to GET SMART.
- The next special question is whether or not "The Rock gives the people's elbow in this film". I'm trying not to slam my face into the chair beside me as Johnson plays along and says "yes, there is plenty of smack down" in the film.
- Sixty-six girls in a row get in line for questions to tell "The Rock" how much they love him and ask generic questions to justify their being in at the mic. "What did you do to prepare for this role", "What's it like working with Carla?", "Will you take your shirt off?". I think there are tears running down my face.
- Fickman says the filmed should be compared to 48 HRS and a BOURNE film.
- The production talked to as many "abduction" experts they could get their hands on.
- By this time everybody knew something about the TRON 2 clip that was about to be shown and stopped listening.
- Johnson spent about five minutes making homosexual jokes about himself. He and Fickman talk about a "friendly cowboy" movie he did with the tag line, "Try to stay on for eight seconds." Random men cheer as I stare at Carla Gugino's lips.
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