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Approaching the Unknown
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Approaching the Unknown More at IMDbPro »

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88 out of 134 people found the following review useful:

Two things happen in this movie...

Author: illegalmonkey1 from United States
4 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first thing that happens is the guy takes off into space with the goal of landing on Mars. The 2nd thing that happens is the guy lands on Mars and the credits roll. In between all that literally NOTHING happens. Ninety minutes of nothing happening at all. On top of that the movie has so many implausible things going on it's, at best, a good example of poor technical knowledge. For starters NASA would never send an entire rocket into space with one guy, then immediately launch another, similar rocket with yet another solitary astronaut. That's a huge waste of resources. Speaking of which.... they have a full fledged shower on board?? They don't even have this on the space station we have in orbit and seems like that too would be a giant waste of space and resources for such a long journey. ANYways, this movie literally ends with the guy just landing and standing on Mars for a couple seconds. No big climax, no big obstacle to overcome. He just goes into space and lands on Mars 90 minutes later. Don't waste your time on this.

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65 out of 93 people found the following review useful:

90 Minutes

Author: mrodieck from United States
5 June 2016

This is 90 minutes of my life I will never get back. Premise is terrible. Characters have nothing to like. Why was there only one astronaut in each space craft? Why was there a space station three weeks from earth? Why would you stop a spaceship three weeks from earth to resupply when it has built up momentum to get to Mars? Where were the science advisors for this pathetic attempt at science fiction? Cinematography is worthless. And it only got worse as it went on. Someone, please, send me to Mars by myself so I never have to endure another movie like this. Please warn me if this writer, director, or studio executive is ever allowed to make another movie. I wish there was an alien to eat my brain after watching this.

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41 out of 52 people found the following review useful:

Pathetic attempt at a psychological drama

Author: deltaforce7 from United States
6 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I kind of think that a movie director has to make up his mind about a movie first making sure that at least he clearly knows what it is going to be about. This movie seems like an attempt at a psychological drama of loneliness and failure. Why did they even bother with the space theme? It could've been filmed entirely in a couple of studio apartments somewhere. The movie fails at many points. KEEP IN MIND that people ALREADY have real-life experience of spending up to 437.7 (!!!)days in space in ZERO gravity (Valeri Polyakov, Russia, Soyuz TM-18). Here are a few of the most obvious failures: 1) Solitary space travel? Why? To make more room for this "psychological" drama? 2) No teamwork, failure to obey the chain of command. This is no way to fly into space. 3) Building an entire super-expensive interplanetary mission around a poorly tested water-making machine? Plus, if EVERYTHING depends upon such a machine, why not carry at least one more to be safe? 4) What kind of a ship comes complete with a whole SHOWER, but has no significant reserve of water for drinking? 5) Who accelerates a space ship, then stops it for some "shopping" for extra "supplies" (while we don't even get to see them or know what they are needed for), and then accelerates it AGAIN? What? "The fuel is no problem, 'cause we got plenty of it?" 6) If a pilot of the space ship is such an expert on the ship itself, then how come that he screws everything up so constantly? 7) They couldn't store enough water on the ship, but instead they filled it with dirt for this unreliable "reactor" to be extracting water from this dirt? WHY? At first, I though they wanted to run tests on the water reactor using some samples of soil, but who could imagine that they were going to rely upon it during the entire 270 days of flight? 8) First there are complaints about excessive water condensation, but the next moment there are complaints about aridity and dry air. It could not be both at the same time. 9) The pilot of the space ship takes off from Earth sitting in a vertical position instead of lying down. Weird. Also, should he be able to see anything during takeoff through a "shroud" that protects his module? The "shroud" is ejected when a space ship reaches space. Then they can look through windows. 10) What kind of a water supply system could be built in such way that some electrical malfunction would contaminate water with battery chemicals? I see it this way: this movie was made by some wannabe "psychologists" who wanted to make a drama, who lacked technical background, so the movie turned out as a display of their own phobias, personal weaknesses, suicidal tendencies, and fears of failure. Well, they manage to achieve a full-scale failure with this movie! If you are a sci-fi fan like myself, then watch something else.

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78 out of 126 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely AWFUL!!!

Author: ozzybux from Norway
4 June 2016

I am big fan of GOOD Sci-Fi movies, but unfortunately, this was not one of them. I really cannot understand what the point of this movie was. Absolute DRIVEL in terms of screenplay, plot, acting and production quality or value. I thought this would have some plot along the lines of Gravity or Interstellar, or even 2001 A Space Odyssey. But alas, nothing. The entire movie is about the main character sitting alone in a space craft. Thats it. He achieves nothing, does nothing, has no likability. Then some awful psychedelic outer space scene later we find this dude looking like a hobo in the space craft, where the hell he got that hat from is mind boggling. Did he somehow find a hobo stowed away on his ship, kill him, then steal his hat? I don't know how studios can pass off crap like this. Shameful!

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43 out of 63 people found the following review useful:

As exciting as watching grass grow...

Author: falcon1111 from Mexico
3 June 2016

I had great expectations for this movie after seen the trailer, that looked amazing. Well, what a disappointment this film was. Is not that the acting was bad, or the production values. Neither the visual effects, which are OK. It's just that NOTHING happens... at least nothing that can move the spectators to feel, or even THINK something. The whole thing is an exercise on futility, good concepts wasted and pretentious sequences of slow motion stuff trying to be philosophical or something, but just coming out... lame. If you want to see an exciting, deep, or even entertaining sci fi space film, look somewhere else.

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38 out of 55 people found the following review useful:

Zen-spirit atmosphere space movie

Author: jionblonstein-32806
8 June 2016

This movie is good. I honestly understand the bad rating, because its not mainstream and you need to understand the "zen-spirit" of it.You need to have sensitivity and some wisdom to appreciate a movie like this.Its atmospheric and poetic.Lets you experience space from an angle of basic reality and not heroism nor action.

The slow descend into madness, his monologues, it is good.

A good story isn't about a lot of action, a lot of events, it lies in the subtleties and how they come together.

Just a good movie. I guess, blade runner also had a bad reception when it was released. This movie is perhaps not meant for this generation of action spoiled viewers. I really hope this will get some appreciation along the line, so that we may see more of this quality. Real sci-fi fans will love this movie for what it is.

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40 out of 68 people found the following review useful:

What a gripping performance by Mark Strong

Author: mapika from Austria
8 June 2016

After all these bad reviews I practically expected nothing and was positively surprised.

Indeed it's not a Thriller. There's no action in common ways, and yet it is a challenging story about one man who at all costs wants to become the first to live on Mars, brilliantly portrayed by Mark Strong and his supporting actors.

I would never compare it to "The Martian". All they have in common: the red planet and survival. If you really need a comparison, take "Gravity" or "Moon", though here was obviously much less budget available. So in this case I really don't care about technical, astrophysical goofs.

It's a psycho-philosophical Sci-Fi-Drama; small, profound, serious and quite slow. Therefore it hopefully will achieve more acknowledgment in future.

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40 out of 69 people found the following review useful:

LIke SeinFeld on Mars ; A Movie About Nothing - On Mars

Author: Diane Alexander from United States
4 June 2016

I had to stop watching 40 minutes in. It was THAT bad. Imagine if someone made a movie just like "The Martian" but with no talented actors, no actual plot, a poor screenplay and no cinematography. What a swell idea - Let's do it ! There is no plot. It's as if the faceless assassin from "A Game of Thrones" decides to make a movie,"A man goes to Mars. A man arrives on Mars". The End.

The acting is not believable. There is NO cinematography to speak of.The special effects are decidedly non-special. The plot is non-existent. There is almost literally nothing to see here. Why even make this stinker in the first place?? Don't waste your time - you've been warned.

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25 out of 42 people found the following review useful:

Do not waste your time - seriously!

Author: georgedunc from United Kingdom
3 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Contains Spoilers!

I was keen to watch this movie. I like Mark Strong, but boy oh boy this was a true waste of my time. I can only imagine the budget was in the order of a few hundred thousand dollars.

This was not a tale about greatness or rising to an unimaginable challenge, it was a tale of failure and allowing yourself to be beat. An entire mission is dependent on a machine to work that has been designed and built from scratch by our hero. Sent off into the cosmos on his own, with someone following close behind - on their own, most of the movie takes place in a 4x5m area of the space ship. Some shots of the area of space he was travelling through on the way to Mars were through various nebulae and other amazing star cluster formations, but needless to say non of that exists within at least 10- 20 light years of Earth and certainly not in our solar system between Earth and Mars.

When the machine stops working the man who has thought it up, designed it, built it the Hero cannot get it working again and resigns himself to a depressing bout of failure, which he never gets out of. Despite all the promises of what might be the two minutes at the end of the landing and walking on Mars appear to have been thrown in as a last minute after thought.

I do not have time to write many reviews but this was so bad I was compelled to put fingers to keyboard. Save your time and money watch 'The Martian' instead.

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31 out of 54 people found the following review useful:

wow, terrible

Author: diggus doggus from United Kingdom
3 June 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***


Approaching The Unknown is a film where an astronaut, on his way to Mars, alone, sits in his 1-room space cell and fixes cables, operates distillers, sighs a lot, and eventually looks into space after 1 hour of said fixing, operating, and other daily duties which would be boring to perform, but are mind-numbingly dull to watch being performed. There is NOTHING ELSE happening in this film. After a solid hour of intense boredom, in which we have a 5-minute scene of the astronaut back on earth, testing the machine which gives him water, which he then subsequently operates several times while on the ship .. a brief conversation about nothing with earth control .. and a 2-minute Skype session with earth schoolchildren who ask about the machine... (please do not think that this machine is in any way interesting; it's a thing that gives him a drop of water.) we have a tiny bit of development where he grows a beard and looks frustrated.

That's it. THIS is the film.

I will give it a reasonable vote considering its limited scope and - i must imagine - nonexistent funds.

My vote: 4/10 - garbage.

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