Mars - The Red Planet
Alpha DVD / 1999 / Variable Mins / Rated E

This Review is sponsored by 
Wild Releasing


MOVIE
Here's a different disc. Mars - The Red Planet is more of an infotainment disc rather than a documentary disc. Firstly it has two modes, an interactive mode and an entertainment mode. If you watch the disc in entertainment mode the show starts off with yet again another liftoff of a rocket carrying the mars lunar probe into space, this is interesting to watch, it's just a shame that it is not in the same thunderous 5.1 sound that the previous Earthlight DVD had. 

Once the liftoff is completed the disc immediately jumps to the planet Mars with Gustav Holst's The Planet's score playing in 5.1 sound. This  on top of other sections includes various locales of the planet with your handy angle button on your remote. Quite interesting and stunning to look at.

Also on the disc is an interactive mode in which you can jump around various parts of the planet. The surface views are one quite interesting part of the disc. You can actually go around parts of the planet that the little rover explored which looks wonderful. 

There is also a few 3D images to look at with the supplied 3D glasses, I don't know maybe it's my eyes but the 3D images didn't look that good. Also on the disc are the gallery which includes a whole heap on artist renderings, an interactive maps section with over 700 maps that you can zoom in & out on and pan around. There is also a missions section which explains most of the missions that we mere Earthlings have engaged in over the years with some video included in these sections. There is also the planetary views section as mentioned earlier

The other great extra on this disc are the Easter eggs, there are reportedly over 200 eggs on the disc, I have only found about 40 so far.

VIDEO
This transfer has highs and lows. Primarily filmed on video rather than film means the transfer looks a little soft at times. The 2D surface views look sensational and you really feel like your on Mars. On the low side there is quite a lot of MPEG artifacts on the disc. Film artifacts are present on the older footage but this would be expected.

Mars - The Red Planet is framed at 4:3 and is not 16:9 enhanced.

This is a single sided, single layer disc.

AUDIO
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack on this disc is adequate for the music on hand, but not sensational. The .1 channel is DOA on this title. The surrounds get some good use for the music also. The film footage is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 mono. 
EXTRAS
This whole disc could be classed as extras. You also get a....

Screen Saver: A DVD ROM feature is a PC screen saver for your computer with images of Earth. 

FINAL THOUGHTS
While not a must buy. Mars is a good DVD package, especially if you are space nut.

16:9 ENHANCEMENT DISC RATING

VIDEO:
AUDIO:
EXTRAS:
PLOT: NIL
OVERALL:

REVIEW EQUIPMENT

Display: 48" Sony RPTV.
DVD Player:
Panasonic A350 Player using S-Video Cables.
Receiver:
Pioneer VSX-D508 Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround.
Speakers:
Accusound speaker system.

Copyright 2000 by [Roger Ward].
Revised: 17 Jul 2000 19:48:11 +1100 .

DVD INFORMATION
Region Coding: Region 0
No of Discs: 1
OFLC Rating Exempt
Running Time: Variable
Case Type: Black Amaray
Release Date: 15/05/2000
Catalog Number: WR519
List Price: $39.95
Distributor: Wild Releasing
DISC SPECIFICATIONS
Disc Format: NTSC
Disc Type: Picture Disc
Disc Format: SS-SL
Chapters: None
Macrovision: Yes
Manufacturer: Alpha DVD
VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Anamorphic: None
Film Format: Video
SOUND SPECIFICATIONS
Dolby Digital:

5.1 Surround

DTS: None
PCM Stereo: None
Other: None
Languages: English
Subtitles: Yes
SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary: None
Theatrical Trailer: None
Teaser Trailer: None
TV Spots: None
Dolby Trailer: None
Documentary: None
Cast & Crew Bios: None
Deleted Scenes: None
Music Videos: None
DVD Rom Content: Yes
Collectable Booklet: None
Scene Access: None
Animated Menus: None
Production Notes: None
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INTERNET MOVIE DATABASE INFO
NONE
OFFICIAL WEB SITE
NONE
VIEW TRAILER
NONE