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|Index||109 reviews in total|
I wasn't going to watch this movie at all because of the terribly low
score (4) on IMDb. Luckily, my kids talked me into it, and I was very
pleasantly surprised indeed.
I am amazed that this movie scored so low. Yes, granted, its nothing groundbreaking; there are plenty of well-worn formulas applied. But its far from unusual in this regard, and the story is full of fun situations and characters.
Visually, its very nice to look at, and I found myself thoroughly enjoying the time I spent watching it. So did my kids, 8 and 10, who both thought it was great! I don't usually review movies here, but I often check the ratings before watching films. In this instance, I am amazed at the low rating this film received, and feel its unrepresentative of the actual quality.
So 7/10 from me, and really at a loss as to how almost 30% of viewers could have possibly thought 1/10 was a fair rating!
The first few minutes of this i was genuinely quite impressed. I've
never seen such fluid, believable movement in digitally animated
characters before, it's got to be at least as good as Avatar in that
department. It's pretty cool people can make such an authentic looking
world with computers.
The problem is, what kind of world is it?
Mars is a world which badly needs mothers, it turns out. It's a female-run planet (shouldn't that be Venus then?) where babies simply pop out of the ground in a kind of immaculate test-tube conception. We don't see any male martians, they are referred to once in the film then forgotten about. "The boys are sent below, where they are raised by the hairy tribe guys". There are no fathers. They don't need fathers. No one needs fathers.
There's a section in the film where family is discussed & the writers go to some quite tortuous lengths to not mention the words 'man' or 'father' anywhere. Keep an eye out for it if you end up watching it. When Milo is asked by a martian what parents are, he replies 'you know, people like my mom, who look after kids like me'.
What kind of message is this for little boys, like the one in this film, & the ones watching this film, who after all must grow up to BE fathers? Here's the message:
You are not needed. A father's role is sperm donor & ATM machine. The miracle of life is a exclusively female domain.
This is a misandric movie because there are no normal, ordinary men in it, only Gribble, a fat, creepy overgrown child (subtext: what little boys will grow up to be if they don't change their ways & get with the feminist program) & Milo's unreliable, absent father, on screen for literally seconds. Milo's future is laid out for us along these two roads.
The female characters, on the other hand, are kick-ass & cooooool... with Ki, the strong, independent, heroic graffiti artist rebel who rescues Milo & saves the day. There are practically no other speaking roles except for her & the mother, who is wholly good. Flawless, in fact. She doesn't have to learn or change or grow, there is no lesson for her. I guess mothers are the target audience for children's films, after all they're the ones that are going to be choosing which films their children see. So i suppose it makes good business sense to pander to their egos.
Awful belaboured dead-horse beating dialogue aside ("I'm looking for my mom. She washes my clothes. She vacuums the house") this isn't actually a badly made film, it's just a bit needless & empty, with shiny technology being used in service of some disturbing & hateful politics.
The average rating for this movie by professional film critics is about
3.0 out of 5 stars. That average is realistic. I would probably give it
6.5 out of 10 if I could, but I didn't feel it was as bad as movies
I've given 6 out of 10 stars, so I gave it a 7 out of 10.
The movie uses motion-capture computer animation to apply more realistic textures and movements to its characters, following movies like A Christmas Carol (which wasn't as good), Beowulf (which was much better), and The Polar Express (also much better).
Mars Needs Moms features a plot that wasn't demographically targeted correctly. It features a boy who needs to rescue his mother from awkwardly humanoid-looking Martians, but boys that age are working very hard to separate themselves from needing their mothers. It is a very natural consequence of a male's life. So while the movie might appeal to mothers, I'm not sure it will appeal to boys.
The next problem, which exacerbates the previous one, is its timing. The studio made a big, big mistake trying to release it at the same time as Battle: Los Angeles, and only a week after Rango. Parents already took their kids to Rango the weekend before, and the dads really wanted to see Battle: Los Angeles (especially after being sorely disappointed with the similarly themed Skyline last Fall).
A lot of movies in January through March have been juggled around recently, causing all sorts of problems. Many movies were yanked from their original release dates and moved out later in the year. But Mars Needs Moms should have been released in early January. It would have fared a lot better. As it is, the movie has been a complete disaster at the Box Office. I fault Disney for the poor release strategy (they were only the distributor, not the actual producer of the movie), and Simon Wells for the rest.
There is also the point that a lot of viewers were troubled by the Martians themselves. I think Simon Wells could have had his animators design them a little more intelligently. They seemed awkward to me -- they were humanoid, but slightly differenced to a degree that some people found disagreeable: legs too far apart, butts too big, and legs like they were inflated with air. Mr. Wells also made the mistake of giving the male Martians dreadlocks-like hair, which has accidentally incited a lot of racist remarks, although racial nods was not intended. (People really need to stop being oversensitive. Grow some skin, please!)
There is an army of people flaming the movie, however, and the computer animation is at the core of their argument, which is very curious. One critic said, "Mars Needs Moms stands as the potentially final Zemeckis-produced motion-capture effort, and, like The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol before it, its characters boast the waxy complexions, unreal movements, and dead eyes of mannequins..." (Nick Schager, The Village Voice)
What the...? I'm confused here. What standard is this critic holding computer animated features to? I don't recall any waxy complexions or unreal movements or dead eyes of mannequins in any of these movies, or at least nothing that distracted me from the otherwise near photo-realistic computer animation that has only been around a few years. While they fall short of the realism of characters inserted into live action movies such as Peter Jackson's King Kong and Gollum, or George Lucas's Yoda in Star Wars episodes II & III, and certainly not the characters in Avatar, it didn't strike me as being a requirement in an animated feature to be THAT photo-realistic. Nobody complained about Shrek's movements being unrealistic or his eyes being dead as a mannequins, but clearly Shrek isn't being held to the same animation standard. What gives?
While I'm not going to defend Mars Needs Moms on every point, I don't understand the beating its taking from reviewers here at IMDb. It's a fairly average film from a director who isn't very good to begin with, with plotting that could have been better and could have been worse, and some character design that could have been more intelligent. But unfortunately there seems to be a subculture out there (probably made up of mostly teens, and maybe even competing film marketers and computer animation folk -- perhaps some Rango promoters attempting to keep its returns high in the second week) who are throwing one stars around IMDb with malignant glee. To give 1 out of 10 stars to this movie is dishonest, and an abuse of having a rating system in the first place. There were 404 people who gave A Bug's Life "1 star" for example, and 3,284 who gave Shrek "1 star." And so forth. Movies need to be rated with some perspective on similar movies.
Mars Needs Moms has some redeeming values. Not nearly as witty as Tangled or Shrek, but easier to understand and more enjoyable than Rango, which seemed to bore my two boys (4 and 7) whereas Mars Needs Moms entertained them. In all fairness, Rango was intended for slightly older children than mine, but I'm a pretty old child myself, with a lot more filmmaking, movie-going, and storytelling experience than the average IMDb reviewer, and I didn't find Rango nearly as brilliant as Johnny Depp's ground-worshipers claim.
My advice to you, if you haven't seen Mars Needs Moms, is ask your kid if he or she is interested, and if so, take them. Forget about what you hear about it on IMDb boards, it's likely tainted.
I saw it with two of my little cousins and i was not looking forward to
it atall after hearing how it bombed in box office and everyones
reviews were really bad. It turns out I kinda liked it, the animation
was very cool in 3D, which it must be seen in 3D or not nearly as cool.
It was simple family friendly entertainment, very vibrant and original with very creative digital technology behind it. It was fast paced and kept the kiddies smilin'. More than I was expecting definitely, and overrall not that bad, I would definitely recommend if you are looking for a film to bring some kids to. As a small bonus at the end they shows behind the scenes of how they filmed it with live action actors, very cool.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This seems to be a movie that people either enjoy or virulently hate. I am one of those who enjoyed the movie and I am mystified by the virulence directed against it. Yes, it was a little long and obvious at times but the animation was simply gorgeous, especially the cave sequence. One poster said the animation was "too good" and felt that animation should look more cartoony. I think the value of animation, even if it is "too good", is that you can do things with animation that you could not otherwise do. And as other posters have said, this movie is actually about something. It is about the importance of having a mother and father raise their children. Because of the title, some posters seem to have missed that the movie is about the importance of having fathers as well. Think of how the Martian fathers ended up in the movie. The movie also touches on the difficulties of raising children and on the dangers of the modern move towards "efficiency" and outsourcing tasks to machines. The movie seems aimed at kids with the sometimes overdone Gribble character but I think the movie is more interesting to older audiences. I saw it with my parents and we all enjoyed it. We are long-time science fiction fans and we loved the science fiction aspects and the lovely scenes of Mars. I am usually disappointed by Mars movies but I liked this Mars movie the best. It was like Avatar Meets Mars. It wasn't perfect but it was lovely.
Easily the biggest flop of 2011, and pretty close to of all time, this Disney motion-capture film is about a young boy, Milo, who must save his mother (Joan Cusack) from Martians. In Martian society, females rule the world. They discard the males (who then live on the trash-strewn surface world) and the females are raised by nanny-bots. They need the Earth mothers in order to program these nanny-bots, and the process they use leaves the Earth mothers dead. With the help of another human (Dan Fogler), who was brought up to Mars in the same fashion as Milo (trying to rescue his own mother, he stowed away on their ship), and a rebellious female Martian (Elisabeth Harnois), Milo sets out to save his mother. A lot of viewers get stuck on the film's gender politics. I admit they do seem a little backward, especially with the shrill, feminist stand-in villain (played by Mindy Sterling, whom you may remember as Frau Farbissina from the Austin Powers movies). However, I think that Ki, the Martian girl who helps Milo, is a positive enough female character that she should make up for the villain (the remainder of the female Martians are more or less faceless soldiers). If you can get past that stuff, the film is actually a lot of fun. Simple and straightforward, but a lot of fun. It's fast paced and beautiful to look at (thankfully, now that it's on video, you don't have to see the colors diminished in 3D), and it's very funny. Fogler and Harnois are both very good. Fogler's character, Gribble, is easily the best looking motion capture character I've ever seen. Gribble is an 80s kid and Ki has fallen in love with humanity after watching sitcoms about hippies, so they both talk in idioms from those eras, bugging modern kid Milo the whole time. I think most kids will love this movie, and it imparts a nice moral (respect your damn mother!). This fits in with the late crop of severely undervalued Disney films of the past several years, which includes The Princess and the Frog and Meet the Robinsons. None of these films are masterpieces or on par with Pixar's best, but they're excellent films nonetheless.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
It's not the most brilliant movie I've ever seen but it's not the worst
I enjoyed the animation except for the way Milo's face "feels". I'm not sure what it is, but I had the same thing while watching Polar Express: the kids don't really have childlike faces which makes it difficult for me to become attached to the characters.
I would have liked to see more humor in this movie. The only part that I thought was actually funny and sort of cute was in the end, when the bug-like pet (Tuka??) went "ew, ew" when walking on grass for the first time.
I don't think this movie is suitable for small kids because some parts are pretty creepy. For instance, when Gribble is captured by the Martians, he ends up in a public execution place in front of a fire squad where there are remains of the previous victims. Also, there's the message that when you're a good kid, Martians will come to take your mom away to do horrible things to her.
(Oh, and why do men become dumb, sloppy creatures and why aren't they capable of creating the same sort of "intelligent" society as the females did when left without the presence of the opposite sex? I'm all for girl power but this really bothered me.)
Due to the copious negative reviews about "Mars Needs Moms," I decided
to write a quick positive one.
I've read a bunch of different kinds of bashing over this film; from sexism and hidden political agendas to poor animation and a poorly timed release. Now, I think we can all safely agree that if the viewer really wants to find something negative about "Mars Needs Moms", they won't have to look very hard. Keeping this in mind, I went into watching this film with just one simple goal in mind, to be entertained, and I was. This film really isn't as bad as everyone says it is as long as you just go into it with the right mind set.
The animation is incredible, as well it should be with a $150 million dollar budget and over 6 minutes worth of end credits of people who worked hard creating it. Like Beowulf, the human characters look almost identical to the actor/actress voicing them and the surroundings like the space sequences, the garbage mountains, and the Mars tunnels are breathtaking. This simple animation element will be enough to entertain the open minded person. Yet, the overdone and predictable story is still heartwarming and I believe it served as a nice reminder of how special a mom really is. Though some of the dialogue isn't the greatest, and there are a few ominous notes played throughout (leaving me to recommend this movie to children over ten), wait for it to go down from a new release rental price and give it a try.
Like andrewj-lee wrote, how fun to read the obviously planted movie
reviews here. Ranging from the ones in a journalistic style to the
short and tear-jerking. That's the way to do it, Disney. As for the
movie, it is terrible. Disney is dead. The people who now control the
corporation have nothing in common with its founder. Walt Disney had a
vision, his movies had a soul. "Disney" today has only calculation,
with movies made of plastic.
For example: Who in his right mind would give a movie aimed at kids the tag-line "Mom needs a little space."? It means that children's' mothers want to get away from them. Is this heartwarming? Is it truly what children should hear? Or is it just something a movie producer thinks is a clever play on words? Few parents will pay to see a movie with a tag-line that insults them.
The characters look freaky. Aliens with bloated heads that would make their tiny necks snap are not a welcome sight. The anteater-like "Wingnut" character is outright disturbing. I am reminded of the creepy Australian children's show "Dirtgirlworld". (If you want to be freaked out, look it up in YouTube.) At the end you have to wonder where the people went who could make Lady and the Tramp and put true feeling in it, with way less technology than today. Now we get do-it-by-the-numbers productions: "Let's find a Heartwarming Subject. Let's throw in Funny Sidekicks (loved that Jar-Jar Binks). Let's have a Mean Enemy Boss. Give him a mean name too. In the end the kid Saves The Day. With lots of special effects."
What could go wrong? You did it by the numbers, right? Took it from A to Z. Why doesn't it work? Like when you survey people about what they like to see on a car, and put it all together to make the perfect vehicle. How could it be a flop? (It was, it's a marketing disaster classic.) Or when you hire a decorator to decorate an apartment in an "eclectic" style, choosing only the most expensive parts and the most appreciated objects in the catalogue. How could it be awful? Or when you go to the gym and pump up your muscles, targeting exactly those muscle groups that people are said to look at the most. How could people think you look fake?
How do you explain soul to a Hollywood executive - and do they care?
In Mars, the female babies are nursed by robots while the male babies
are dumped in the junkyard under the command of Supervisor. They
research Earth and finds that the boy Milo is raised by his Mon with
love and discipline.
The Martians come to Earth and abduct Mon, to use her brain to instruct the robots about how to raise children. However, Milo slinks into the spaceship and comes to Mars. He meets Gribble, a young man that behaves like a child and together with the hippie Martian Ki and Gribble's friend Wingnut, they try to rescue Mon and bring her back to Earth. But Supervisor will give her best efforts to stop Milo and his friends.
"Mars Needs Moms" is a delightful underrated animation about that crazy love thing and a tribute to the mothers and to the families. There is no explanation of how the Martians breed but the wonderful story can be easy enjoyed by those that have the concept of family, and not hatchery. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Marte Precisa de Mães" ("Mars Needs Moms")
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