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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Missed the Mark

7/10
Author: Michael J. Champion (MJChampion1@aol.com) from Alexandria, Virginia
26 March 2004

It really is a great movie its to bad the Film Did not get a lot of publicity, I first viewed the movie on late night cable when I Could not sleep. I almost thought it was real(for a split second of course)and the fact that the year 2005 is Just around the corner, theirs still no manned space flight or a women president,But 2010 is right around the bend so maybe then. The Biographies of the Crew were excellent and Ms. Woodard As a news Network Anchor really shows her range as an Actress. The films ending to me was quite mysterious and somewhat shocking based on our politically correct TV News Cast. If you like Special Report: Journey to Mars, you might also view Special Bulletin a movie based a terrorist take over of a Tugboat during a workers strike. This film has some nice surprises to.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

An original approunch to old concept, at times splendid

8/10
Author: Felisian from Somewhere out there
1 January 2004

The year is 2005. After months in interplanetary flight, the manned spacecraft Destiny prepares for the final two hours before separation of the landing module, and its flight to the surface of the Red Planet. The news agency GNN (Global News Network) covers these last two hours before the historic touchdown, using state-of-the-art technology, and even a correspondent aboard Destiny itself. However, powers are at work that aims at stopping the historic landing, and bring utter chaos back home. All we can do, is watch the show...

Journey to Mars is a great TV-movie, even though it has quite a few scientific errors (as how they conquered the speed of light - which is necessary to send instant transmition from Earth to Mars - which takes 4 hours each way with today's radio-technology - maybe they use some kind of Tachyon-beams?), but if you are willing to forgive these errors, you may find this quite a good movie - certainly something out of the ordinary.

The film is made as GNN's live coverage of the historic landing, and like the hit-series "24", events occur in real-time. They succeeded admirably in making it look like we really were watching a special, braking-news report of CNN (or in the case of the movie, GNN), and the atmosphere really feels as such, which makes the movie even more interesting.

The plot evolves a lot over the course of the movie, and takes quite some unexpected turns, in the end you'll be sitting glued to the screen as Destiny zooms over the Martian surface - it really feels as if it's actually happening for real!

The acting is generally quite good, near perfect at times, but the atmosphere is what really makes this film something really special, as it builds up over time.

The last few minutes are arguably the best and most atmospheric moments you'll ever experience in a TV movie like this, so I wont ruin them for you, but just suffice to say they are well above excellent.

The special effects really aren't so important in this kind of movie, but they are still quite well done. Although you may loose hope after seeing the opening zoom-over of the Martian surface (which is taken from a NASA animation by the looks of it), the effects gets a whole LOT better over time.

So, as I overall liked this movie because of good plot and atmosphere, and also because of mostly good acting, I give it a final score of 8/10.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

An interesting movie, done in an unusual style.

7/10
Author: anonymous from Sydney, Australia
26 December 1998

I found the movie quite interesting. It is done as a "live" tv news broadcast as they are about to be landed on Mars. Of course things go wrong and the story is about them solving the problems and landing on Mars. I quite liked the ending, but won't explain what it is.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

It's good.

8/10
Author: banzaibill
27 September 2002

I saw this movie while surfing through the channels looking for something to run in the background, but ended up totally absorbed by it. There are cheap TV effects and some really bad acting, but it's a very well told story and probably more realistic than any other movie about space exploration. Catch it when it runs...

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

well-conceived approach to an old idea

7/10
Author: noelcox from New Zealand
11 January 2002

This film attempts a novel approach to a well-used theme. It is yet another mission to Mars film, but this time it is filmed as though it is live TV coverage of the final stages of the mission- with background interviews etc to fill the gaps.

Apart from the irritating manner of the on-board journalist, this film is well enough presented; it certainly deserved better publicity that it received. But the ending, whilst interesting, leaves the viewer with too many questions. In some ways it is good to leave something undecided- it leaves more for the imagination. Unfortunately it can also leave a sense of dissatisfaction, as it did for me. Still, it made for a memorable film.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Not your ordinary TV-movie

10/10
Author: RPK from New York City
6 August 1999

This film had the misfortune to be shown for the first time opposite the Academy Awards broadcast. I think my parents and I may have been the only people watching it. Too bad, because it's a beautifully-made film with some points to make about its own medium and a mind-bending surprise ending that I wouldn't dream of discussing here.

'Special Report: Journey to Mars' tells its story in the form of television coverage of the first human landing on Mars, in the year 2014. The project has caused a certain amount of dissent back home, and at one point the protesters succeed in hijacking the broadcast signal in order to announce that they have sabotaged the flight. Will our heroes land safely?

The simulation of TV news is so accurate as to be almost cruel. Do see this if you get a chance.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Good simulation of newscast?

3/10
Author: Charles B. Owen from East Lansing, MI
5 May 2003

I'll not add to the bad comments about this movie, the movie speaks badly for itself quite enough. But, I was surprised to see some people comment on how realistic the newscast was. I think they should switch back and forth between this movie and CNN. The difference is astounding. Even the stupid commercial break gimmick is wrong; how many commercials did we see on the first day of the Iraq war? All of the news people look and sound like bad actors, not journalists.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Worst movie ever?

1/10
Author: fleh777 from New York, USA
2 March 2003

Not only is it unrealistic, it's flat out insulting. Complete torture to watch and the ending made me want to break my TV.

Those "commercial breaks" are the dumbest movie gimmick out. I was at least hoping for some clever future ad tag lines like "the sky is no longer the limit", but no, all you get is a blank screen. What a way to bore anyone watching. Actually, I might have perfered to watch a blank screen for the entire hour and a half.

Anyone giving this movie a positive comment must have worked on it.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

I want my time back

Author: (corpusdawg2002@yahoo.com) from Texas
19 February 2003

Home sick...stuck in bed....on HBO...SO BAD COULDN'T turn it off. Neat little way of telling a story in the framework of a news program..but that's it. The acting is so bad it shouldn't even be called acting and the drama doesn't exsist. Any moment of tension is erased when they "break" for commericals and go to black screen for 3 seconds and go back into it. All it does is kill the flow of what little story there might have been. This isn't even worth a six pack a couple of buddies and some heckling...this thing doesn't deserve MST3K treatment...it isn't THAT good.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

nothing new to report...

Author: beezdotcom from USA
18 February 2003

plot: space mission gone awry. Many better ones out there. Small twist at the end doesn't make up for the time spent getting there.

vehicle: movie interspersed with "live" newscasts. Done much more believably elsewhere (in many nuke-attack TV specials, for example).

acting: none to speak of. A few decent character actors in this movie, all playing wooden characters.

special effects: think Atari 2600 and shadow puppets.

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