When the first manned mission to Mars meets with a catastrophic and mysterious disaster after reporting an unidentified structure, a rescue mission is launched to investigate the tragedy and bring back any survivors.
Simon Templar (The Saint), is a thief for hire, whose latest job to steal the secret process for cold fusion puts him at odds with a traitor bent on toppling the Russian government, as well as the woman who holds its secret.
1st Mars mission crash lands, kills the captain and 5 survive. Help from Earth will take 2+ years. Food and electricity (recycling oxygen and water) shortage means only 2 can survive. The other 3 leave and have their last hours recorded.
Maria de Medeiros,
Joaquim de Almeida
In the near future, Earth is dying. A new colony on Mars could be humanity's only hope. A team of American astronauts, each a specialist in a different field, is making the first manned expedition to the red planet and must struggle to overcome the differences in their personalities, backgrounds and ideologies for the overall good of the mission. When their equipment suffers life-threatening damage and the crew must depend on one another for survival on the hostile surface of Mars, their doubts, fears and questions about God, man's destiny and the nature of the universe become defining elements in their fates. In this alien environment they must come face to face with their most human selves.Written by
Director Antony Hoffman worked closely with production designer Owen Paterson to design the look of the film's spaceship and shuttle. "Antony always made it very clear that he wanted a spacecraft that was based on hard science but at the same time was something that had never been seen before, something entirely unique," noted Paterson. To achieve that, the production created some fairly complex shapes and spheres to give the ship a unique structure. "We did also talk to NASA in great detail about contemporary engineering and how different things like engine and fuel systems might affect the spacecraft. I was very pleased with what we were finally able to achieve. We built a very engineered, very contemporary space craft that was quite striking in its design." See more »
(at around 50 mins) Bowman says it will take 40 minutes for Houston to reply. The signal travels at the speed of light, but the distance from Mars to Earth varies. On Feb. 5, 2057, it would take 5.7 minutes to reach Earth, which means an 11.4 minute response time (not including time for Houston to formulate a reply). See more »
Commander Kate Bowman:
By the year 2000 we had begun to over populate, pollute, and poison our planet faster than we could clean it up. We ignored the problem for as long as we could. But we were kidding ourselves. By 2025, we knew we were in trouble. And began to desperately search for a new home - Mars.
Commander Kate Bowman:
For the last 20 years we've been sending unmanned probes with algae, bio-engineered to grow there and produce oxygen. We're going to build ourselves an atmosphere we can breathe. And for 20 ...
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In the credits, Pettengill is spelled Pettengil (one "l"). See more »
The Tower That Ate People
Written by Peter Gabriel
Published by Real World Music (BMI)
Produced by Peter Gabriel
Courtesy of Real World Music, Ltd.
Peter Gabriel appears courtesy of Geffen Records for North America and Virgin Records Ltd. for the rest of the world See more »
Movies like "Red Planet" remind me why I enjoy science fiction so much. Most sci-fi films today put the special effects first before characterizations. While that's not a bad idea (I have enjoyed several films in that vein such as "Independence Day"), films can become too dependent on that and that's when the fun drains away.
"Red Planet" is a film that has solid special effects, but also a strong story and good characterizations. It was the second film released in 2000 to have Mars as its backdrop, the first being "Mission to Mars". "Mission to Mars", despite having top stars,master craftsman Brian DePalma directing and phenomenal special effects, was a little too pat and resorted to cliches (Not that I blame DePalma; he did the best he could with the script he had and the film wasn't bad at all)
I didn't know anything about the plot and I think that helps with a film like "Red Planet". It allows suspense to be created from the series of crises that spring up on the astronauts and that's a benefit. But I will say this: the marketing campaign for "Red Planet" advertises this as your typical good guys versus evil aliens action fest. It is not. This is a more intelligent and stylish film than given credit for. It owes more to "2001" and "The Black Hole" or even the classic Republic serial "Radar Men from the Moon" than "Alien". It is about ideas, not effects and I LOVE films like that.
I know a great many people will hate this film. That is because popular culture has brainwashed people into thinking mass entertainment revolves around effects only. There are some flaws (mostly in technological probability and pacing in the first 20 minutes)but writer Chuck Pfarrer and director Antony Hoffman remember that great sci-fi is also about the story and characters and the result is the best sci-fi film in recent years.
***1/2 out of 4 stars
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