By Sandra Kraisirideja
Director Andy Fickman was born in Roswell, NM so its fitting that he should helm a contemporary version of “Witch Mountain.”
Disney popularized the “Witch Mountain” books in the 1970s with the films “Escape to Witch Mountain” and “Return to Witch Mountain.”
The basic premise of “Escape to Witch Mountain” involved a pair of teenagers with psychic abilities who turn out to be aliens and must find a way home.
For the modern update, Fickman selected Dwayne Johnson, who he also directed in “The Game Plan,” to play a taxi driver who must help two teenagers, who turn out to be aliens, from a nefarious man. Playing the kids are AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig. Also joining the cast is Carla Gugino as a discredited astrophysicist who believes in the existence of extraterrestrial life.
During the press conference Johnson and Fickman continually ribbed each other with off-color remarks and asides. Johnson makes quite a few hilarious remarks, including a riff involving alien probes.