American astronaut Captain Charles "Chuck" Baker lands on Planet 51 thinking he's the first person to step foot on it. To his surprise, he finds that this planet is inhabited by little green people who are happily living in a white picket fence world, and whose only fear is that it will be overrun by alien invaders...like Chuck!
For generations, the people of the City of Ember have flourished in an amazing world of glittering lights. But Ember's once powerful generator is failing ... and the great lamps that illuminate the city are starting to flicker.
A young girl discovers her father has an amazing talent to bring characters out of their books and must try to stop a freed villain from destroying them all, with the help of her father, her aunt, and a storybook's hero.
Upon moving into the run-down Spiderwick Estate with their mother, twin brothers Jared and Simon Grace, along with their sister Mallory, find themselves pulled into an alternate world full of faeries and other creatures.
Two siblings begin to develop special talents after they find a mysterious box of toys. Soon the kids, their parents, and even their teacher are drawn into a strange new world and find a task ahead of them that is far more important than any of them could imagine!
In Las Vegas, the regenerated ex-con Jack Bruno works as taxi driver. During an UFO Convention at Planet Hollywood, the skeptical Jack picks up Dr. Alex Friedman, who will present a scientific lecture in the event. Then he is pressed by two henchmen of his former boss, the criminal Wolff, that wants to talk to him, but Jack does not want to return to the crime life. Jack fights and gets rid of them; out of the blue, he finds two teenagers on the backseat of his cab. They tell that they are siblings, Sara and Seth, and they need to travel to a location outside Las Vegas in the middle of nowhere. Meanwhile the government finds a spacecraft that crashed nearby Las Vegas and is chasing the two aliens; after the investigation of the men of Major Henry Burke, they discover that the two siblings are the aliens. Jack Bruno, Sara and Seth are chased by Henry Burke's team and by the "Syphon", a killer from outer space that has been sent to kill them by the military of their planet that want to ... Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"Siphon," the alien assassin tracking the children and Jack, is referred to as "Duranian series." Mr. Duranian was the principle villain in the original "Escape to Witch Mountain." See more »
When Jack and Dr. Alex gain control of the truck that is taking them away from Witch Mountain, the gear selector is clearly in the "Park" position even though they are "driving" (most obvious when Jack is in the driver's seat). See more »
Dwayne Johnson plays Jack Bruno, Las Vegas cabbie, and Carla Gugino is Dr. Alex Friedman, UFO expert. Perhaps you saw the preview in which Bruno and Friedman are crawling thru a tubular tunnel and she admits to a bit of claustrophobia. Just then Bruno reaches an opening into a deep vertical shaft and asks "How are you with heights?". It was a good scene, with a bit of low-key but contextually appropriate humor that the former Rock has learned to deliver effectively, making him a big, strapping brute of a guy that you feel comfortable with. But that scene isn't in the film itself. Instead, we see the aftermath, in which Friedman is still a bit freaked out, for no apparent reason.
The rest of the movie was like that, too. People seemed to be doing things with no credible motives. The 2 adults flee from no fewer than 4 sets of pursuers exhibiting varying degrees of hostility (The Government, a space-alien cross between Predator and Inspector Javert, Bruno's former mob boss Mr. Wolf and his henchthugs, and the LVPD). They do so to protect 2 teenage Swedish, I mean space, aliens who are here to retrieve the mcguffin, um, recording device that will prevent their planet from launching a hostile takeover, uh, invasion. The gal of the pair, Sara, is played by AnnaSophia Robb. We know from her performance in Bridge to Terabithia (2007, 9*) that she can be a tremendously appealing young actress, but here she gets to do stuff like pointing her finger and monotonically saying "Go that way, Jack Bruno.". The boy, Seth, is played by Alexander Ludwig, a cipher.
The government's head alien tracker warns Bruno that the kids are not what they seem to be. Anyone who's ever seen a science-fiction movie (which apparently includes precisely zero of any characters who are actually IN an SF movie) can only begin to imagine what might lurk beneath those placid blond exteriors, but this proves singularly untroubling for Bruno, leading right up to the snuggle-bunny ending (Disney, y'know), which was likewise not well set up by any of the preceding events.
The scenes set at a UFO convention make good sport of fannish stereotypes, which some people might find offensive but I choose to treat as endearing. And I loved the sly humor that they DID leave in the script, wherein Bruno asks the kids at the controls of the flying saucer "Do you know how to fly this thing?", they respond "How do you think we got here?", and he replies "Well, you crashed!". More of that, from another couple of passes thru the typer, would have earned this one an upgrade.
*Best SF&F film of the 21st Century so far, IMHO
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