19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2013
I purchased Mission to Mars because I love this film and it's not available on Blu-ray in the U.S. yet, so I purchased this French import. This is not the only import I have purchased, BUT it is the only one that will not allow me to turn off the French subtitles! YOUR CHOICES ARE: EITHER FRENCH ON THE AUDIO... OR ENGLISH WITH FRENCH SUBTITLES.... THAT'S IT. You get French no matter what you do! The Subtitles CAN NOT be turned off and are very distracting. I don't understand why Studio Canal did this. It's as if they think that the only people that will watch this film are the French. It's really a shame, Picture and Sound are gorgeous.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Brian DePalma's "Mission to Mars" usually inspires one of two polar opposite reactions from viewers: either it's outstanding, or it's unbearably awful. As is often the case, the truth lies somewhere in between. Although the plotline contains little truly original material and none of the acting performances come close to oscar material, the film has some minor strengths which make it worth seeing at least once.
M2M takes elements of the plotline from A C Clark and Stanley Kubrick's 1969 classic "2001: A Space Odyssey" and reworks them into a near-future first-mission-to-Mars setting. Many of the scenes are reminiscent of "2001" especially the zero-gravity shots and the long, slow destruction of the rescue ship, with the four crew then drifting high above Mars in space suits: an episode of genuine dramatic tension which pays homage to the long scene of astronaut Dave's attempts to outwit the computer HAL in "2001". The final scenes give cinematic voice to the widespread speculation that the enormous upward-facing rock "face" situated in the Cydonia Crater published on NASA's photographs might indeed be an artificially-created artefact and evidence of previous intelligent habitation of Mars.
One of the problems with this movie seems to be that it falls between different classes of sci-fi and doesn't really know if it's fish or fowl, so to speak. Its upbeat enlightened-aliens-from-ancient-times theme is reminiscent of the original 1950 "The Day the Earth Stood Still" (justifiably seen as a classic) and Spielberg's "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" - especially the ending. It's probably best to suspend disbelief and see the message of M2M as belonging to this strain of the genre. The discovering-remains-of-advanced-ancient-alien-civilization-on-distant-planet theme was pioneered as far back as Fred Wilcox's "Forbidden Planet" in 1956, has been revisited many times since and forms the cornerstone of the plot of M2M. The realization of this theme is unfortunately trite and unconvincing, with pretty doe-eyed androgynous CGI alien demonstrating that they were responsible for seeding life on Earth millions of years ago before departing for destination unknown elsewhere in the galaxy (why didn't they just move to Earth and settle there? - not answered).
On realization of scientific detail and on representation of Mars as we know it to be, the film scores a fairly high 8/10 due to advisory input from NASA. Realistic portrayal of space travel within the confines of current technology know-how: 7/10. Acting performances, 4/10 at most and character development, around 3/10. Dramatic tension, a respectable 5/10. Originality maybe 2/10 (the face-in-Cydonia speculation has featured as the central theme in no other movie but the rest of the plot is derivative). Overall, 5/10.
So in summary, not as bad as some claim and not great either. If you don't expect either the haunting mystique of "2001", the schlock-shock of Ridley Scott's "Alien" series or the wondrous and positivist message of Spielberg's CE3 but accept M2M as a hybrid which works well in parts, you'll enjoy it for what it is: an OK movie which misses the mark of greatness by some margin, but can be good entertainment nevertheless.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2014
I only vaguely remember watching this when it was first released and I seem to remember it coming out around the sametime as a Val Kilmer film set on Mars and this being watchable where Val Kilmer's was a bit rubbish. Anyway I decided to give this another viewing and I'm pleased I did. This is a decent sci-fi story with some interesting ideas. The effects are a little dated, but do their job. It's a slow burner with most of the film covering the journey to Mars.
The realisation of the astronauts life in space was well done and it doesn't shy away from a little danger, although it's done in a more restrained way than say, Gravity. Things get going once they reach Mars. The cast are all known actors and do a decent job with their roles. A fun film and well worth a rewatch.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2000
From the director of Mission: Impossible comes the thrilling, eye-popping science-fiction adventure Mission To Mars - starring Gary Sinise(Snake Eyes) and Tim Robbins.... The year is 2020, and the first manned mission to Mars, commanded by Luke Graham (Don Cheadle:Out of Sight), lands safely on the red planet. But the Martian landscape harbors a bizarre and shocking secret that leads to a mysterious disaster so catastrophic, it decimates the crew. Haunted by a cryptic last message from Graham, NASA launches the Mars Recovery Mission to investigate and bring back survivors - if there are any. Confronted with nearly insurmountable dangers, but propelled by deep friendship, the team finally lands on Mars and makes a discovery so amazing, it takes your breath away. Mission To Mars is an action-packed rocket ride that will enthrall you with its stunning special effects and keep you on the edge of your seat
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
It was the year of two Mars based movies, with the other being Red Planet, of Pitch Black and the chaotic history that produced the Supernova. Plenty of sci-fi around but sadly few decent offerings.
Mission to Mars is a film you can see had good ideas on the page, some brainy and emotion based narrative threads. Effects work is OK for the era, while there's a very impressive cast put together to tell the story. Yet the script stinks to high heaven, the surprises are as absent as Martians are, while the steals from previous sci-fi movies grate on the nerves. The odd sequence has quality about it (dancing in space, woo-hoo, storm attack, yay), while the finale - all be it still a steal - is well constructed and further proof that someone somewhere had the kernel of a good story idea, but it's laborious trite and devoid of the basic film principals - to entertain and engage.
So many things wrong here, so much so the names of all involved have been spared. Join this Mission to Mars at your own peril. 4/10
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 24 November 2009
Whenever I watch this film, I can't help but think that Brian De Palma decided he wanted to remake 2001:A Space Odyssey without all those pesky problems that caused audiences to have to think, because the whole movie reads like "2001" pitched for the teenage market. Instead of a monolith, we have a sculpture of a face. Instead of Jupiter, we go to Mars. Instead of the Blue Danube, Van Halen. Instead of Kubrick's impassive and emotionless astronauts, Gary Sinise, (who seems to be about to burst into tears all they way through the movie) and cohorts - who all seem to be regular American Space Jocks right out of "Destination Moon" and who say "Oh Gahhhhd" a lot, and instead of Bowman's journey to the infinite, we get a rather tedious, plodding and overly-sentimental explanation. The spacesuits even look like an update of 2001's design.
The movie tries hard, attempting to copy the detail of 2001, but failing dismally, because the devil's in the details. The complete spaceship is abandoned, despite having a self-contained lander on the front of it (Apollo 13, anyone?). Orbital mechanics are ignored, Astronauts coming to a stop when their fuel runs out, and the ship fires its engines to go into orbit in the wrong direction. The magnetic storm that supposedly fried all electronics at the base is conveniently forgotten. You can imagine Astronaut Storey Musgrave, who was an advisor for the film, repeatedly explaining this over and over again to the writers, whilst they sit there grinning like Father Dougal McGuire.
All in all, an entertaining little film which doesn't require any hard thinking, and which unfortunately submits to tedium in the last section.
Brian. Stop, Brian. My mind is going. I can feel it.
With so much talent involved in this $75,000,000 production it is a mystery (almost) how it could possibly end up being a real contender for the worst Sci Fi film ever made.
With a script written (it seems) by and for 9 year olds, characters and acting as wooden as oak trees, and a screenplay that should have been completely rewritten from scratch, no amount of impressive hardware or supposed NASA involvement can raise this dreadful mess above anything other than badly made derivative drivel.
When a Mission to Mars goes terribly wrong, a rescue mission is frantically mounted to find out what happened. People have died, expensive hardware lost, the whole space programme in danger, our rescue crew however find time to muck about in zero G and generally act like a bunch of idiots who find the mission a real hoot. They trot lines of dialogue so utterly banal I found myself shouting at the TV (silly I know).
Brian De Palma, normally a safe pair of hands, if a little off the wall, does a sterling job of removing with precision any real danger or emotion, leaving me the viewer not caring a tinker’s cuss about this bunch of incompetents.
The Special Effects are fairly ordinary and the desert where they filmed the Mars scenes looks as Mars like as my back garden.
I cannot think of anything positive to say about this film. Mission to Mars is just awful from the maudlin opening to the silly end.
on 14 April 2015
From the contrived happy bbq on earth a la Apollo 13, to the overly sentimental buddy chats and focussed Nasa career high fives to the totally unbelievable relationship between mumbling, odd-job robbins and his actually very attractive 'wife' this film is so bad it's comedic (as a fellow one star poster has already stated to great effect). When the Dr Pepper and M&M adverts hit, followed by a number of jingoistic, slo-mo stars and stripes shots and pauses to respect the American cause you'll be ready to throw a brick through your telly - AND you're forced to digest this dull, dull, dull, teen-level script with the constant sound of military trumpets twining in the background. It like one long salute at a US military funeral service for overly emotional sh*t actors. Of course directors are allowed a turnip or two amid the classics but this is a heaving stinker of most eggy proportions for de palma. It's not even so bad it's good. Shame on me for being unable to avoid Mars-themed flicks.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2010
OK I know this got panned by some critics when it was first released, and yes it is cripplingly slow at times but I just love the way it reaches it's climax. For me the reproduction of the solar system / desruction of Mars effects made the whole film. Yes some of the acting was a a bit hammy / schmalzy but over all I loved this dvd. Missed it several times on telly so finally bought it and no regrets. Play this on upscaler and watch on big screen tv - the effects are worth it!
on 4 December 2014
I've always liked this film and remember seeing the set models at Disneyland, Florida shortly after its release and wanted to upgrade my DVD copy to Blu-ray resolution. This is not quite 1080p but definitely better than DVD and well worth the upgrade. Both English and French languages offered but English option enables the French subtitles. If however like me you have DVDFab from http://www.dvdfab.cn/ then this is not a problem as you can rip the video and English audio in 5.1 and discard the French subtitles. Works a treat.