Race to Witch Mountain (2009) [Blu-ray]

Genre(s): Action / Adventure / Family / Science Fiction
Disney || PG - 98 minutes - $44.99 || August 4, 2009
Reviewer: Brad Lowenberg || Posted On: 2009-08-10


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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

S P E C I A L
.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.
Video

.:: A U D I O ::.
Audio

B L U - R A Y
.:: EXCLUSIVES ::.

Blu-ray Exclusives

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Overall
.::MOVIE INFORMATION::.
Director: Andy Fickman
Writer(s): Alexander Key (book "Escape to Witch Mountain"); Matt Lopez (screen story), Matt Lopez and Mark Bomback (screenplay)
Cast:


Theatrical Release Date: March 13, 2009


.::DVD INFORMATION::.
Supplemental Material:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Featurette
  • Gag Reel
  • DVD Copy
  • Digital Copy


Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Widescreen (2.40)
  • English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1), Portuguese (Dolby Digital 5.1), Thai (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai

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.::THE FILM::.

I won't lie - it's been years since I've seen any of the Witch Mountain movies and I don't remember even caring for them that much as a child. Disney Channel seemed to run them on a loop before they got into doing original children's programming so it's safe to say anyone that was lucky enough to have cable in the early 90's (and access to the premium Disney Channel) has probably seen the originals a few times by now.

Plot: Jack Bruno (Dwayne Johnson) is a Las Vegas cab driver trying to live the 'clean' life. But when two kids (AnnaSophia Robb, Alexander Ludwig) magically appear in the backseat of his cab with a large amount of money on the table, Jack agrees to drive them to a deserted location where he finds a world with pods and a huge metal monster that tries to destroy the trio. After getting the truth out of the kids (they're aliens who want to save mankind!), Jack agrees to help them return to their home planet. But there are a few problems along the way like the mob chasing Jack, the FBI and a destroyer from their home planet! Will they ever make it back?

I've been gaining some respect for Dwayne Johnson over the past few years. Scorpion King, The Rundown, Get Smart... he was actually pretty decent. But in Race to Witch Mountain, I almost feel kind of bad for him since he has nothing to do in this film besides driving two kids around. I suppose he is needed a few times for his excellent driving skills and obvious brute, but these kids are Aliens and if they can do things like make a car move with their mind do they really need The Rock tagging along? He's not what one may call inconspicuous. There is also a very lame attempt at getting a silly romance started when Jack brings the kids to see a Science expert he met earlier in the day who just has to tag along till the conclusion of the film.

There's an odd plot-point I'd like to talk about. Mentioned early in the film, we get the rundown on Jack Bruno's life. Apparently he was a driver for a big mob guy before going 'clean'. We see a confrontation with his former employers right before the kids magically appear in the cab, but after that its a footnote to the story at hand. It really serves no purpose and I'm a bit surprised to see Disney even included it in this family-friendly film.

After it's all said and done I really can't say this film is actually any good. It's certainly a decent rental for kids, but I found myself staring at the time display waiting for the film to be over. The kids themselves are not particularly great at acting and Dwayne really feels asleep at the wheel (pun intended).



.::SPECIAL FEATURES::.

Deleted Scenes (24 Minutes; SD) - Ouch. I already thought the film ran 15 minutes too long and here we have some Deleted/Extended scenes that don't add much to the mix.

Which Mountain (8 Minutes, HD) - If you've seen the original films you may want to check this out as it gives you all the details of the cameos and nods. ** Blu-ray Exclusive **

Also present on Disc 1 is a short Blooper Reel (3 Minutes; SD).

Disc 2 is a DVD Copy and Disc 3 is a Digital Copy.

Another Disney Day and Date Blu-ray with 30 minutes of features, sigh.



.::AUDIO & VIDEO::.

Race to Witch Mountain is presented in 2.40:1 (MPEG4) on a 50GB Disc. Since this was literally just in Theaters I'm a bit disappointed in the transfer. Blacks are not strong and contrast seems to be a bit boosted (which it has been with all of Disney's titles this month, very odd). It's not bad, but itís clearly not the quality I'm use to with Disney Day and Date releases.

Disney has included an English 5.1 DTS MA Track for this release. What it lacks in the Picture department it makes up for in the Audio. The movie has some really great car chase scenes, train explosions and other things that will make your house thump with pleasure. French, Spanish, Thai and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 Tracks and Subtitles also included.



.::OVERALL::.

A mediocre film for kids only. Unlike other family-fare, Adults will not be entertained by this one. With below average Picture Quality and a short offering on features I'd recommend a rental on this one only.