Jenny Nix, wife of eminent child psychologist Carter Nix, becomes increasingly concerned about her husband's seemingly obsessive concern over the upbringing of their daughter. Her own ... See full summary »
Brian De Palma
Keith Gordon is a creative young man who films the oddball doings of his family and peers. "The Maestro" appears frequently to give him pointers on his techniques. It's almost a film about ... See full summary »
Filmed stageplay based on the ancient greek play The Bacchae written by Euripides. This play is performed by members of The Performance Group, an NYC experimental theater group who has made... See full summary »
Naive young lady Karen wants to help her struggling amateur filmmaker boyfriend Christopher raise enough money so he can divorce his wife. Meanwhile, jolly psycho prankster Otto stalks the ... See full summary »
In 2020, a crew of astronauts has been prepared for a two-year international mission in Mars. Jim McConnell, Woody Blake and his wife Terri Fisher, Luke Graham and Phil Ohlmyer are best friends and Jim lost his chance to land in Mars when his beloved wife Maggie McConnell died. The team of four astronauts land in Mars but a mysterious storm kills three of them and only Luke survives. A rescue team with Woody in command and Jim, Terri and Phil heads to the red planet and discovers that only Luke has survived. Their further investigation shows that the storm that killed the three other astronauts was artificial and created to protect a Face that lies on Mar. What might be the intriguing Face? Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The "face" is apparently based on a photograph taken from the Viking orbiter in the 1970s, showing what appeared to be a face-like shape in the surface features. Later photographs from a more advanced probe showed the same feature at higher resolution and different lighting, and it looks nothing like a face. See more »
When the three astronauts enter the alien structure and view the solar system model, all the planets (and the Earth's moon) are revolving in the wrong direction. Viewed from the Northern hemisphere, planets rotate counter-clockwise around the Sun, and so does the Moon around the Earth. It is possible that the alien solar system model is seen from the other orientation i.e. our Southern hemispheres of the planets are on top for them. However a Mars with large ocean masses in the top hemisphere is seen, which is in fact our Northern hemisphere of Mars, assuming that water filled the depressions on Mars long ago. See more »
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration's cooperation and assistance does not reflect an endorsement of the contents of the film or the treatment of the characters depicted therein. See more »
Ma 'Tit Fille
Written by Buckwheat Zydeco (as Stanley Dural, Jr.)
Performed by Buckwheat Zydeco
Courtesy of The Island Def Jam Music Group
By Arrangement with Universal Music Special Markets See more »
Visually, "Mission to Mars" is stunning. Nobody tells a story better with pictures than De Palma. The scenic design and photography kept me riveted to every frame. On the recommendation of a friend, I watched the movie in widescreen on DVD using a high resolution monitor. The visuals are so important that I cannot imagine watching a pick and scan version on a conventional TV set. Too much would be lost that way.
The scene, early in the movie, where one of the Mars astronauts gets blown up made me levitate. Also, I though Tim Robbins' and Connie Nielsen's weightless dance in the spaceship on the way to Mars was lovely. The scene with the startling all white surroundings that the astronauts faced in the "faceship" (to coin a phrase) was also well done.
I thought the performances were uniformly excellent. That fact and the wonderful visuals overcame sometimes excruciatingly bad dialogue so that it did not really detract from my enjoyment of the film. That being said, though, I loved the exchange where it was observed by one character that the mere three per-cent difference between the genetic makeup of men and apes "gave us Einstein, Mozart" and a second character adds, "Jack the Ripper."
Some reviewers complained about the similarity of the film to "2001," but that is exactly what De Palma had in mind, I think. "Mission to Mars" pays homage to every sci-fi cartoon and movie ever made, from Buck Rogers to "Close Encounters," and does it well. Anyway, De Palma proved to me again that he really does march to his own drummer. I was hugely entertained and highly recommend this film -- but only if you watch it in widescreen on DVD or, better still, in a theater. Eight out of ten.
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