Roving Mars

DVD Reviews | Jul 29th, 2007

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Starring NASA, Robots and an introduction by Paul Newman
Written By: George Butler and Robert Andrus
Directed By: George Butler
Studio: Disney/Buena Vista
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Reliving the excitement of NASA’s Mars Rover landing, comes this innovative, cool IMAX Documentary on how the group of NASA scientists created these little roving robots to go up into space and photograph, and investigate the foreign soil of Mars. Watch as the team prepare the robots for what could be a very short lived project with years of research, hard work and billions of dollars pumped into the project. Short and sweet, this documentary is very interesting and makes our tax dollars feel like money well spent.

NASA always wanted to send someone or something to venture into space to explore Mars, the planet that is next to Earth and see if any forms of life or species existed past or present. With this 40 minute documentary, NASA scientists show how the rovers were conceptualized, and transformed into robots that were so intelligent, they probably are smarter than me. The rovers can be fed commands and act upon the orders from Mars and transmit whatever data they collect from the red planet such as type of minerals, particles or even send back photographs some of those you’ve seen a few years back when this occurred. It really trips out your mind to think that these little guys are out roving another planet and from the surface it just looks like somewhere out in the deserts on the west coast of the US or the middle east even. For obvious reasons, the blast off from NASA and through space is created with CGI, which I think they’ve done a good job with. What is impressive, the designers for the film took the same logistical commands and route that the rockets, and rovers took a few years ago when the mission actually took place. Precisely the same amount times the rover “ball” bounced its way to Mars is the same as it actually occurred. NASA has undergone some changes since this mission took place, but these robots are still believe to be going strong and longer than the scientists ever imagined. Data is still sent and images broadcasted and the results have been widely successful for both rovers sent up to Mars. I could only imagine what they have in store for other planets further away.

While most IMAX documentaries are very short, the DVD’s usually include an extended cut but this film doesn’t. We get bonus material and personal reflections on Mars from the filmmakers and scientists on their adventure and the project. Its cute to see that they treat their rovers like children, sad to see them go like they are being sent off to college. The other extra feature is a bonus movie on Walt Disney’s 1957 movie on Mars and the mysteries around the planet.

I watched Roving Mars in the IMAX theatre and was very happy with the film. Disappointed that most IMAX films are short, at least the DVDs include more footage and extended cuts. Space travel and the world beyond our’s is very fascinating so I hope IMAX, NASA, and Disney put out more films. Roving Mars – Clip: Exploring – :29

-Bonus Movie: Mars And Beyond – Walt Disney’s 1957 I’vestigation Into the Mysteries of the Universe and Space Travel.
-Mars: Past, Present & Future – Personal Reflections on Mars from the Filmmakers, JPL Rover Team Members and Students from the “Imagine Mars” Program

-ENGLISH: Dolby Digital 5.1 CC
-SPANISH: Dolby Digital 5.1
-FRENCH: Dolby Digital 5.1

-Widescreen 1.78:1 Color (Anamorphic)
-Standard 1.33:1 Color


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Rating: NR
Running Time: 40 minutes
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