Jason J. Gullickson

Jason J. Gullickson

and now for something completely different...

I’ve decided on something new for the weekly (or whatever) article; since I can’t seem to come up with anything clever each week, I’m going to start posting something that I can come up with endless amounts of…

…movie reviews…

You might think “who cares?”…well, if you’re asking that, you’re at the wrong website in the firstplace, since the only reason this exists is because register.com gave me the domains for free, and I have little intention of giving you, the reader, any really compelling reason to visit the site. It’s more of a testbed for code that isn’t ready for any of my “real” (hmm…what does that mean?) sites anyway.

So, without further adue, my first review…

Mission to Mars

Mission to Mars was recently released and DVD, although I was unable to track down the DVD version (not that I tried real hard), so I can’t comment on the DVD “extra” stuff, but here’s what I thought of the film itself.

I’m not exactly sure where we’re trying to go with a film like Mission, from the title and cover (and the press that I had seen on the item), it looked like a near-future view of what our first possible mars mission might be like, with some drama bla-bla-bla thrown in to keep it viewable by humans (as opposed to typical sci-fi viewers). After watching the film however, I have a decidedly different opinion.

I think this was supposed to be maybe a more watchable, hipper “2001”-type of film where we take something somewhat fantastic (a mars mission, something possible in our lifetime), which then becomes something less based on reality (meeting martians who look like lava lamps and are our ancestors) with a somewhat surreal spin to it. I don’t think there is a problem with this formula, but what irks me about this film (and most films like it) is that the connection between the real and the unreal never seems too well thought out.

In this movie, there is an original mission that takes a group of astronauts up to mars, and there they encounter something weird that kills all but one of them. Then, a recovery mission is setup to return to mars and fetch the remaining astronaut (and possible figure out what happened to the rest). Durring this rescue mission, tiny asteroids damage the rescue ship, causing one of the rescue mission astronauts to be killed, and destroying their landing craft, forcing them to use a supply satellite to get to the surface of mars.

Tiny asteroids?

What’s weird about this is we spend about 30 minutes of the film dealing with these asteroids, and I’m not really sure why this even happens, since once they get to the surface, in the end they are able to use the original vehicle to return to earth; thus being no worse off than before the tiny asteroids (except minus one astronaut).

My best guess is that this was either:

  1. A cost issue (less screen time for one of the big actors)

  2. More special effects for the trailer

Either way, it doesn’t seem neccisary, and adds nothing to the story other than possibly a “bridge” between the “normal” world of space travel and the “weird” world of Mars (remember the 30-minute long fight scene in “They Live”? This is the same technique, minus the pro wrestler).

If it wasn’t for this bizzare occurance, and the mediocre special effects (at least for a sci-fi movie), I might actually recommend the film, because it does have some interesting spots, and some fun plot points.

Overall, I’d say it’s a “Sunday on USA”-class film, and makes decent background if you’re up at say 12:40 am on a weeknight…