Mission To Mars
Touchstone / 2000 / 108 Mins / Rated M15+


MOVIE
This movie was panned by the majority because this was a very conformist and predictable picture. And to a degree yes it is, but it is still a very enjoyable movie with good performances by most of the cast.

The story is based around the first manned mission to Mars which investigates a strange transmission. From this point on nothing is heard of from the Mars expedition, except for a garbled message.

Soon a rescue mission is sent out that is headed by Gary Sinise and Tim Robbins. Once they arrive at the red planet, they also find themselves in the same sort of difficulties that original mission did.

Now they must find a way to get home as well as finding out what the original transmission was that caused the first mission.

VIDEO

This is a reference quality transfer and really shows how much better the DVD format is over VHS especially during the Mars sequences, there is no bleeding of red at all.

The transfer is completely sharp throughout. Colors were vivid and very well rendered.

Shadow detail was superb.

There were no MPEG or film artifacts present.

Mission To Mars is framed at 2:35:1 and is 16:9 enhanced.

This is a Single Sided, Dual Layer disc. I could not detect the layer change, it was very well placed.

AUDIO

A reference quality video transfer deserves a reference quality audio transfer and that is exactly what we get.

Mission To Mars was released with a Dolby Digital Surround EX soundtrack, I do not know if this DVD includes this audio format.

I do know that this disc contains a French Dolby Digital 2.0 track as well as a kick ass Dolby Digital 5.1 track.

This is a very functional and well designed soundtrack. The surround channels are used aggressively precisely. 

A great example of the split surround feature on this disc is around 32:52 when Armin Mueller Stahl is talking to the crew via com link, his voice move wonderfully around the soundstage as the camera pans around the stage. There are other examples of this throughout. Sensational.

EXTRAS
Firstly, I would like finally thank Buena Vista for finally releasing some extras on there discs. For too long they have foisted featureless discs on us. I hope that this is the start of some wonderful packages from Buena Vista.

For there first disc I have reviewed with extras, Buena Vista have put together a wonderful package to complement this movie beautifully.

Theatrical Trailer: A great trailer that utilizes Vangelis' Conquest Of Paradise score. It is framed at 2:35:1 with 16:9 enhancement and Dolby Digital 2.0 sound.

Audio Commentary - Hoyt Yeatman & John Knoll (Visual Effects), Stephen H. Burum (Director Of Photography) & Ed Verreaux (Production Design): This is a very informative and descriptive commentary which would rank up there with the best commentaries I have heard.

Documentary: This is a very good 20 minute documentary on the making of the movie, it is a lot more informative than other documentaries available.

Visual Effects Analysis: This section features 3 very short separate sections with audio commentary from Yeatman & Knoll. They are The Vortex, Leaving The Ship, Evolution. Pity they are not longer.

Animatics To Movie Comparison: This section feature 2 scenes. First up you get the animatic version of the Loosing Woody scene and then you get the final edited version featured in the movie so you can see how a scene has evolved to it's final version. There is also the same feature for The Planetarium section also.

Photo Gallery: You standard photo gallery separated into sections, there are over 100 photos and they are of high quality.

Subtitles include:

Closed Captioned, Czech, Hungarian, Dutch, Croatian, Slovenian, Bulgarian.

FINAL THOUGHTS
This is a highly recomended disc. Forget what the critics say about it. It's a great disc to own and easily sits in my top 10 DVD's released in 2000.

16:9 ENHANCEMENT DISC RATING

VIDEO:
AUDIO:
EXTRAS:
PLOT:
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: 25 Dec 2000 22:53:52 +1000 .

DVD INFORMATION
Region Coding: Region 4
No of Discs: 1
OFLC Rating M15+
Running Time: 108 minutes
Case Type: Clear Amaray
Release Date: 29/11/2000
Catalog Number: 34744
List Price: $36.95
Distributor: Buena Vista
DISC SPECIFICATIONS
Disc Format: PAL
Disc Type: Label Only
Disc Format: RSDL
Chapters: 27
Macrovision: Yes
Manufacturer: WAMO
VIDEO SPECIFICATIONS
Aspect Ratio: 2:35:1
Anamorphic: Yes
Film Format: 35mm
SOUND SPECIFICATIONS
Dolby Digital:

5.1 Surround
2.0 Surround

DTS: None
PCM Stereo: None
Other: None
Languages:

English
French
Subtitles: Yes
SPECIAL FEATURES
Audio Commentary: Yes
Theatrical Trailer: Yes
Teaser Trailer: None
TV Spots: None
Dolby Trailer: None
Documentary: Yes
Cast & Crew Bios: None
Deleted Scenes: None
Music Videos: None
DVD Rom Content: None
Collectable Booklet: None
Scene Access: Yes
Animated Menus: None
Production Notes: None
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