Tuesday, December 11, 2007

(:)(:)(:) for Escape to Witch Mountain

Three enthusiastic snouts up for Escape to Witch Mountain the 1975 Disney classic. What is happening to me? I'm in this movie period where I have to recover from the violence and gore of today's hollywood with Disney drivel. Yet, there it is, the night after I subjected myself to No Country for Old Men, I watched Escape to Witch Mountain with my 12 year old.

We both liked it a lot. I, however, was distracted by the residual effect of the carnage from the night before. Essentially I saw two movies: one, the Disney classic, and two, the movie as the Coen brothers might have made it.

My son giggled as I worried that the two super-powered orphans would be brutally torn apart by the hounds that pursued them. I was sure that grouchy man with a heart of gold Eddie Alpert would be shot in his skivvies at point blank range by the millionaire who desperately wanted the children (whom Eddie was saving) back.

I knew that the helicopter and car filled with angry vigilantes who hated the children would crash, burn, explode on the kids, fire machine guns, etc. None of this happened.

When a car crashes into a tree, the guys laugh and get out of car. When the children hold the millionaire's minions at gunpoint with a pistol that floats in the air, the pistol drops to the ground after detaining them in their pursuit. It does not blow their brains out.

The 1975-level special effects of this film do not hold up over time--they seem comical by 2007 standards. And the acting and writing are a bit wooden and contrived (especially the kids). But the story is sweet, suspenseful and hopeful. A nice change from the Coen brothers.

My son informs me that the sequel, "Return to Witch Mountain" is much bloodier. Apparently the kindly high-powered uncle who whisks the kids away at the end of the first film becomes a hired killer out for revenge.

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