Mission to Mars (2000) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: When the first manned mission to Mars meets with a catastrophic and mysterious disaster after reporting a unidentified structure, a rescue mission is launched to investigate the tragedy and bring back any survivors. Runtime: 114 mins Release Date: 10 Mar 2000
So many critics blasted Brian De Palma's "Mission To Mars", that I feel I must have seen an entirely different film. Perhaps people were expecting "Armageddon", or any other number of "space" films. This is a film about people, not space. People who are great friends on earth, who must face challenges to their friendships and their humanity, while in space and on Mars. They could just as easily have been in Kansas. Brian De Palma the greatest living visual director , takes us on a glorious journey, with his camera. The sets and special effects never <more>
overshadow the actors, who blend in seamlessly, to create a visual treat for the eyes. This is a tender and moving film about people and their relationships. It's a beautiful film, told in a very slow, deliberate manner. It pays homage to many other films, but it is its own entity; unlike any other "space" movie you have ever seen. The film features wonderful performances from its cast, an effective score by Ennio Morricone, and peerless direction from Brian De Palma. The nature of its stunning visuals demand that this film be seen in widescreen, ONLY. Highly recommended!
I thought this movie was GREAT! People are forgetting the fact that they are seeing a MOVIE! And this movie Rocks The mind . This movie is for the hardcore Sci-Fi fans, like myself. Yep, I like seeing space, space stations, planets, aliens and stuff other people might find boring. I thought is was facinating that the base camp on Mars was so close to the "Mars Face". Of all the places that NASA has sent probes in real life they seem to be going to the wrong areas. It's like someone from another planet sending probes to the North or South pole on Earth and expecting to find <more>
life or signs of life there. I'm not implying that there really is something up there on Mars but just thinking from the scientific side of reality of what if?I read and heard all the negative reviews on this movie and I had to set them aside and see it for myself, and I'm glad I did. My girlfriend was upset that I didn't take her to see it and I'm kinda sad that I didn't. Maybe next time.
This is a beautiful movie on many levels. It's fascinating and believable science fiction and gorgeously produced. Cinematography and special effects are first rate with a most intriguing story line that reminds me of that other excellent science fiction movie, "2001", which I think this equals.This is not the typical Spielberg/Lucas comic book sci-fi flick as seen with Star Wars or Star Trek. There's an artistry and depth here that pulls you in emotionally on many levels. The acting is excellent as is the outstanding musical score - Ennio Morricone was at his best here.The <more>
story and music go so well together and have a level of emotional impact that's rare these days. I don't at all understand the cynical view of this movie taken by others. I was shocked that the cable TV rating system gives it only one and a half stars. In France, it was rated the 4th best movie of the year. There must be some psychological damage with American audiences. My personal suspicion is that this movie explains life's origins outside the context of religion, and in the American Puritan culture, this isn't liked, accepted, or tolerated. The way the film portrays human origin, evolution, and development doesn't jibe with their biblical and religious traditional beliefs based on God and creationist stories. What a pity.I highly recommend this movie as one of the all time best in science fiction.
I have seen many reviews bashing Mission to Mars. I see why they've attacked the film but I think they missed that the excitement, action and deep humanity of this film far outweigh the forced quality of a few scenes. There is scene after scene in this movie that pulls the viewer's heart and mind nto some of the deepest veins of human emotion. More than once I felt myself drawn into the middle of intense depictions of love, terror or excitement. If a little subtlety were mixed into just a few scenes this movie would have stood out as one of the greatest and lasting human dramas in <more>
science fiction history. I heartily recommend this movie; it will transport you and involve you if you are just a little forgiving.
Throughout his career, Brian De Palma's sensibilities have been at odds with mainstream audiences. He's a trickster and a formalist, and those looking for realism and carefully sketched characters are often left confused by his constant homages and emphasis on technique. "Mission to Mars" introduces its playful intentions with its very first shot. A toy rocket, accompanied by carnival music, shoots up into the air and explodes. De Palma is here to play with his toys. The very next scene is an overly elaborate long-take in which all the film's characters, their loves and <more>
losses, are introduced. As a formalist, De Palma often calls attention to the artificiality of art. Here he has two astronauts holding video cameras as a CGI beast veers toward them. We focus on Don Cheadle's eyes as he watches these two film-makers, the word "synthetic" stencilled in bold letters behind him. This whole action scene is fake, created for the audience. De Palma wants you to focus not on story, but the design and look of the thing. Likewise, the aliens at the end of the film are themselves artists who've designed man. As such, they demonstrate this knowledge to their audience the astronauts with a "film". De Palma once said that space travel and scientific conquest are the only things that he can generate genuine optimism for, and one feels this in "Mission to Mars". The film has an overwhelming sense of earnestness. De Palma characters have never seemed so pure, optimistic, good natured and filled with humanity. There's no cynicism or bitterness here. Upon first viewing I found this all very cheesy, but now, coupled with Ennio Moricone's sweeping and romantic score, I find the film's broad brushstrokes very moving. "Mission" also continues De Palma's trend of turning classic films on their side. He's done this to Hitch, Fellini, Anotonioni and Hawks. Now he does it to Kubrick one scene literally has "2001: A Space Odyssey's" monolith on it's side . Does this make De Palma a hack? No, It makes him a giddy delight if you're a film fan. "Mission to Mars" is a bit more straightforward than "2001," it's a little friendlier, but it's practically the same movie. Just replace the monolith with the "Mars face," and drop Hal. Both films' spaceships also look alike, and the white room used in the climactic scene strongly resembles the room at the end of "2001." And of course, where Kubrick gave us spaceships dancing the waltz, De Palma gives us astronauts dancing in zero gravity.But De Palma doesn't stop at Kubrick. His film has a character named Luke who spends one scene talking about a mysterious "force" Star Wars , a spaceship commanded by a man named Jim Star Trek , and many overt reference to "Flash Gordon", "Robinson Crusoe" and "Teasure Island". Noticing that his tale is a virtual rehash of "The Abyss", De Palma also tips his hat to James Cameron by having Gary Sinese become submerged in oxygenated water like Ed Harriss during the film's finale. And of course both films have a CGI tentacle. Cameron gives us water, De Palma gives us sand.Everything De Palma touches has been covered before. He acknowledges this. But it's how he touches, that's magical. His entire film is elegant and fluid. Every shot is just a little bit wider or closer than usual. His camera pans and tracks with robotic precision, dancing, points of views shifting, perspectives changing. There's a perfection in his form. Every shot is beautifully precise. But what about the trite story, critics say? Yes, the story is silly, stupid even, but it's all told with such an earnest "awww shucks" feeling that it sucks you in. And besides, De Palma is never about story. Compare "Femme Fatale" to "Double Indemnity". "Compare Vertigo" to "Body Double" or "Obsession". He takes the core ideas of all these films and multiplies them by ten. You want "Double Indemnity"? De Palma gives you triple indemnity. You want Hitchcockian voyeurs? Hell, De Plama's voyeurs are watching voyeurs who themselves are being watched by even more voyeurs. You want illicit Hitchcockian affairs? Screw that. De Palma gives you Vertigo with incest. You want a slow-mo Hitchcock knife stab? Hell, De Palma kills you with a power drill and chainsaw. Nothing in De Palma's cinema is real. He knows that all films are about other films. Everything he's done has been done before. This is what all formalists Coens, Tarantino, Leone are about. They're interested in the act of watching and how we catalogue what we see. After 4 viewings, the only flaw I see in "Mission to Mars" is the film's unimaginative ending. Someone concerned with style and superficial form really should design a more imaginative ending. De Palma's silly alien hologram feels hokey, though Morricone's score does lend it an emotional sweep.But this fault, I think, can be blamed on Touchstone. The studios had an 80 million dollar budget on the line, and weren't happy with where the film was going. They wrongly thought they had another Appolo 13/Gary Sinese rescue movie on their hands. And so looking to save cash, they chopped the budget and gave De Palma several months less to shoot the final act. Hence the film goes nowhere after the EVA sequence. But this sort of studio meddling is typical with De Palma Snake Eyes, Mission Impossible, Casualties, Dahlia, Obsession, Bonfire etc were all taken away at some point . 8.5/10- The film has aged well. Gorgeous visuals, beautiful music and an affecting sense of optimism. The only flaw is the last act, which still works thanks to Morricone's score and an emotional flashback montage. Requires several viewings.
This movie and another one that deals with an expedition that goes to the Red Planet came out about the same time. "Mission to Mars" is by far the better of the two. It is very well acted and has many good technical points in it. The only part I didn't like was the accident that befell the relief expedition and the spacewalk after that. Other than that whole scene sequence, the movie was very good. The ending is very emotional. I guess that is why some really hate it or like me love it. The movie really says more about our need to explore than anything else. By reaching out <more>
constantly, we assure our survival as a species. It probably disappoints many viewers because it doesn't have monsters or evil people. In this sense it is more realistic. The people that go into space are pros and not likely to go bonkers. It is not as 'dramatic' as some but certainly more satisfying for those of us that see a future for the human race.
A Visually Stunning and Vastly Underrated Film (by gws-2)
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 <more>
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.
A true sci-fi movie: Real and moving! (by Rhythm-2)
You would think that we were reviewing "Attack of the Space Pimps" by most of the comments written about this movie. As an avid sci-fi reader and movie watcher, I was impressed by the reality and moving aspect of this film. "Mission To Mars" is a very good sci-fi movie.The acting is well done and REAL. These are astronauts. Trained professionals that have to deal with extraordinary situations or die a terrible death. The relationship between the astronauts is portrayed in a REAL manner even down to Robbins selfless sacrifice . All of this moved me greatly. The awesome <more>
moment when the first crew finds the face on Mars and unwittingly activates its "defense system" and they just stand there in complete awe , is REAL. The life-altering moments inside the Mars face, is REAL. REAL reactions to extraordinary situations is what MADE "Mission To Mars".What were you expecting? A slimy creature that absorbs the astronauts lifeforce? A testesterone-laced ending like "Armageddon" drilling through unknown metal with Earth-made drills and Bruce Willis' gruff determination ? A Will Smith cool line ending such as in "Independence Day"?"Mission To Mars" is awe-inspiring to say the least!
Spoilers herein.In my experience, there is no filmmaker like De Palma. As with Kubrick and Greenaway, you have to know what to expect going into a theater, because they do not concern themselves with storytelling in the ordinary sense. De Palma doesn't make films about life, and is unconcerned with the drama one normally finds there.He makes films about films, and since the target is an abstraction in the first place, the dramatic focus is flat, the acting obvious, the stories predictable -- all by design. By definition, we've already been wherever he goes. The value of the experience <more>
is in how he takes something that is ordinary and examines it in new ways. Its the 1890s Paris painting scene, where the eye is everything.We've seen him do Hitchcock, Kurosawa, Antonioni, and more. Here he tackles Kubrick, and the results are astounding.Kubrick does an end-on entrance of a spaceship with majestic passing; De Palma does too, and then enters a window to show Robbins and wife in an elaborate view, dancing the camera around them with Robbin's face reflected just incidentally. Kubrick has a clever shot of a man walking around the gravity ring; De Palma elaborates on this a hundred-fold with comings and goings and ups and ins and reversals until we are dizzy. 2001's spaceships were the stuff of pulp covers, but here we have even accurate rivet patterns, everything scrupulously close to NASA specs. 2001 has a cheap Kaleidoscope passage and some clean room visions when the makers are encountered. M2M's `makers' are encountered in an ever-cleaner, ever more abstract room.Incidentally, in the only clever element of the script, those makers show images of how they `seeded' Earth, with an ambiguity between the making of the image and the act itself.One doesn't go to a film like this expecting a traditional Lucas-like ride. This is intelligent, self-referential stuff targeting not the mind but the eye. I suppose a question is whether it can also be entertaining for kids. I suspect not. Kubrick himself never tried. The fault is with the marketeers who try and sell these films in the same way as simple thrill rides. Shame on them. Regrets to all the ticketbuyers expecting Spielbergisms.If you are an IMDB visitor and reading this, chances are you are serious about film. If so, I recommend that you see 2001, then this in one evening. Forget about story, acting, drama, and focus on where these gents take your eye. The thrill is that you become God -- what higher fantasy do you wish?