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Red Planet

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Red Planet - 25/4/2007 2:32:12 PM   
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Not so bad - 25/4/2007 2:32:12 PM   

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I agree it is a weak script, but Kilmer, Sizemore and Moss are always watchable and the CGI stands up pretty good seven years on. But the character interaction takes a back seat to the absurdly thin plot (get to spacecraft or get left behind). Technically competent, but ultimately rather hollow. Still better than Mission to Mars though.

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RE: Not so bad - 24/7/2012 8:14:13 PM   

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Rewatched RP and M2M for the first time in what must be 10 years mainly due to the similarly themed Prometheus, as well as having seen John Carter recently, to see if they were as bad as I remembered. They were - in fact the one I always preferred out of the 2 (RP) seemed a lot worse than I remembered, cringe worthy in parts (love scenes, terrible explain everything opening voiceover) that it required a quick blast of the FWD button (but then so did most of M2M)

As to which is best? Which is least worst is probably more apt. Both have a couple of cool scenes, M2M - the Dune like sandworm vortex, the ship switch (mainly to see Tim Robbins die) and the end scene in the face leading to The Abyss liquid oxygen thing (although the holo-alien looked terrible - would’ve been better if they hadn’t revealed it). RP had the great Temple of Doom style airbag landing, the chilling air running out scene, and the eerie algae field.

The Actors - I think RP has the better cast - Kilmer (plays a doofus but is pretty good in it), Trinity (who plays a character named Bowman…gee that’s a subtle nod. why didn’t they just call her Kirk? Or Skywalker?), Sizemore (plays another stupid character but is also ok), The Mentalist, Bratt (ridiculous unprofessional jock character constantly bragging about how many hits he has on his (pre facebook) site!) and Stamp (the scene where he tells the others to go I cant quite tell if hes deliberately delivering the lines in the most uninterested, ‘why am I in this schlock’ way.) The equally strong M2M cast were all really terrible in it - Gary Sinese (depressing lead and what was with all the drag queen make up?), Robbins (really annoying - I was actually relieved when he took his helmet off), Gladiator woman (also annoying - and like Trinity seems to have disappeared from movie scenes despite being in several big movies at the end of 90s/early 00s), Jerry O Connel (who was embarrassingly bad in this - I don’t think hes been in a movie since) and a pre Oceans Don Cheadle

The Score - Ennio Morricones M2M score was bizarrely terrible but RPs had a techno experimental type thing going on that gave it abit of cool (I actually bought the CD at the time)

Mars locations - I think RP edged it. I remember being really impressed in the cinema with how theyd done Mars. the vast desolate locations made it look like they really were there. In M2M they stay in one place but RP they go all over and it looked really impressive (think they filmed it in Australia). In M2M they overly reddened everything and created abit of an obvious CG sky where RP they did the sepia filter thing and left the sky earth cloud normal (think they did something similar for a Star Trek Enterprise episode when they go to vulcan). Ironically the far more fantasy Mars movie John Carter, which got criticised for looking too earth like supposedly has the more realistic depiction of the planets surface - apparently Mars is actually quite similar to earth in having a blue/grey sky and a surface that isn't as red as NASA lets us believe according to experts - while the more realistic movies - M2M/RP (i believe NASA had quite abit of input on M2M) - have the traditional red planet thing going on (although I think Carter could’ve done with using some of the RP locations and techniques.)

The aliens - M2M has the Prometheus they are us invitation thing complete with explain everything 3D space maps (and has an near identical ending to Prometheus), RP has oxygen making CG critters that decide to feast on Tom sizemore but don’t seem to find Val Kilmer appetizing? - I think I preferred RPs take on aliens..

Who won at the box office? - I checked out BOmojo and expected them to have done around the same (with maybe M2M edging it out as it was released in the March and RP in Nov 2000) and was shocked to see how badly RP bombed, $33m ww to an $80m budget. (M2M did 110m to a 100m budget) I think what must’ve happened is M2M came out, movie goers were intrigued (Brian De Palma does 2001 looking SF with a strong cast) went to see it - were appalled, so when RP came few months later gave it the widest berth possible (plus it didnt have had good reviews either)

But overall Id say RP is the better Mars movie film for the vast locations, the score and the couple of cool scenes…

< Message edited by jackcarter -- 25/7/2012 8:59:29 AM >

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RE: Red Planet - 25/7/2012 8:29:26 PM   

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Red Planet (2000)

The second Mars movie in the year 2000 and unfortunately it couldn't better the first offering 'Mission to Mars' but was actually a bit worse.

Again I was kinda hoping for a serious slice of sci-fi with a possibility of some epic lavish visuals and ideas but this film goes completely in the oppersite direction and gives you a more action based silly affair, to be frank you can guess by looking at the cast line up.

Kilmer, Sizemore, Bratt and Moss make up the space team this time and they do give a slightly better or less wooden performance than the team in 'MTM', you do get more of a grounded feeling from the characters instead of the perfect all American poster boy vibe you got with Sinise and Robbins in 'MTM'. Stamp heads the team to really try and give the film some gravitas but good old Terence can't quite get there, in fact his performance is the most stale of bunch oddly enough, I don't think space fits him too well.

You get the same kind of orbital and planetary issues as you would expect, nothing too original, it all looks very nice though, the space suits and ships are cool and well designed and Mars is well presented. The plot is fun and makes you think but overall the film is highly unrealistic (much more than 'MTM' despite that films alien inclusion) but does give a more grounded line of thinking with alien life and how it could work. The problem I had with the film was the sub plot revolving around the man made robot 'AMEE', it just felt disappointing that one of the main risks to the crew would be a 'Terminator' style man made robot.

In all honesty the film is fun and I quite like it, I like the whole space exploration concept and find it never gets dull and would welcome more films where teams explore our solar systems planets. It was a flop and I can see why, it starts off well but sinks fast into your average adventure, nothing outstanding, the 'Armageddon' of the two.

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RE: Red Planet - 25/7/2012 8:54:11 PM   

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the 'Armageddon' of the two.

thats interesting - you are quite right, RP was more action packed like Armagddon, where as M2M was like the 'Deep Impact' of the 2 (also out first)

similar with the Volcano movies too - the crazy more action packed one came out 2nd to the more serious take on it

< Message edited by jackcarter -- 25/7/2012 8:55:52 PM >

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