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Roving Mars review - Variety January 26, 2006


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  • Roving Mars review - Variety January 26, 2006

    Roving Mars

    A Buena Vista Pictures release of a Walt Disney Pictures presentation, presented as a public service by Lockheed Martin in collaboration with NASA, of a K-M/White Mountain Films production. Produced by Frank Marshall, George Butler. Executive producer, Scott Swofford. Directed by George Butler. Written by Robert Andrus, Butler. Narration written by Butler.

    Narrator: Paul Newman

    Disney enlivens its Imax docu 'Roving Mars,' about robots that landed on the Red Planet, with CGI renderings.

    Like many Imax adventures, Disney's "Roving Mars" enlivens the chronicle of an intrepid expedition with spectacular footage of its discoveries. But don't expect to see actual images teleported from space, because virtually all the sparse extraterrestrial footage is computer-enhanced or outright computer-generated. Accuracy alone separates NASA-sanctioned CGI from the Hollywood kind. The saga on Earth, however, where years of work by thousands of people comes down to the wire, resonates with genuine unpredictability. Helmer George Butler correctly gauges his film's strengths, with the search for life in the universe becoming a heartfelt tribute to a couple of robots.
    full review at
    "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006

  • #2
    Re: Roving Mars review - Variety January 26, 2006

    Hey there's an idea! Disneyland could get an attraction in Tomorrowland with a Roving Mars overlay since they are short on original ideas. Oddly, this idea sounds familiar...

    ...but it may only work if some Pixar characters are included...


    • #3
      Re: Roving Mars review - Variety January 26, 2006

      Posted 1/26/2006 8:27 PM Updated 1/27/2006 12:46

      'Mars' looks fine, thanks to IMAX By Mike Clark, USA TODAY
      Where Buster Crabbe, Lloyd Bridges, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Tim Robbins have previously gone, IMAX cameras now follow. But in Roving Mars, the trip is "for real" — if you count substantial but cool CGI simulations.

      The Mars rovers, plus CGI simulations, provide the footage for Roving Mars.Buena Vista PicturesRunning a too-short 40 minutes and full of interesting preliminaries about the work it took NASA to assemble the still-operative roving robots Spirit and Opportunity, this is a Disney-distributed look at a miracle project that could have gone so, so wrong.

      About the movieRoving Mars
      * * * (out of four)
      Director: George Butler
      Distributor: Walt Disney Company
      Rating: G
      Running time: 40 minutes
      Opens in 27 IMAX theaters Friday

      Each contraption has a gazillion moving parts, and one errant bounce while landing on the planet's surface would have effected a scrap-metal yard sale with no buyers around. Simply to land, the robots had to be encased in what looks like a cross between car air-bag material and that crazy big-guy padding David Byrne wears in Stop Making Sense.
      That Pumping Iron's George Butler directs seems weirdly appropriate, given Iron star Arnold Schwarzenegger's Mars experiences in Total Recall. But forget that movie's downtown hustle-bustle: As expected, Roving serves up lots of barren reds with solid evidence of past planetary water. It's not the kind you'd want to drink — it's not even the color you'd want to drink — but it does capture the imagination regarding potential life forms.
      The movie is more compelling than exciting with one exception: the kind of rocket blast-off sequence for which IMAX screens were seemingly invented.
      If a grabber of a science lesson seems like a modest return for stiff IMAX ticket prices, note that IMAX movies are shown in museums. This means you won't have to factor in a family concessions tab that's not that much less these days than what you'd pay for a trip to the moon.
      "If you don't know how to draw, you don't belong in this building" - John Lasseter 2006


      • #4
        Re: Roving Mars review - Variety January 26, 2006

        Thanks for info


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