Passage To Mars DVD Review
The dry and repetitious “Passage To Mars” lacks an emotional punch.
In the documentary film “Passage To Mars,” 6 brave men (John, Jesse, Joe, Mark, the director Jean-Christophe and Pascal) trek 2,000 miles through the Northern Passage in order to prepare/replicate for a manned mission to Mars someday in the future. While embarking on this expedition, the crew members attempt to survive the treacherous terrain and temperatures with only a specialized Humvee vehicle, supplies, and snow mobiles. Will they survive their quest through the High Arctic to Devon Island?
On paper, “Passage To Mars” sounds like an interesting true life story about exploration and survival, but in reality, the film does not play out that way. At all. While the snowy and icy imagery is no doubt striking, the film becomes a chore at a needless 95 minutes given that most of what you see here is vehicles trudging through the snow. Had this been an hour long TV special it might have been more effective, but as a feature length film, there’s not enough here to sustain a 95 runtime.
Another issue here is that the film is almost entirely comprised of narration by Zachary Quinto who is reading the journals of one of the explorers (Pascal the expedition leader). The issue here is not Quinto or the narration, but the fact that we barely get to hear from the crew members themselves. There are moments where they converse, but not enough to get to know them or become emotionally attached to them. From a filmmaking perspective this is problematic as it makes it hard to invest in the remarkable journey these people are engaging on.
Presentation: 1.78:1. How does it look? Say what you will about the film, but it certainly looks sharp even on DVD.
Audio Track: Dolby Digital 5.1. How does it sound? Since the film is largely comprised of narration and music, the track doesn’t have a ton to do here. Still, it’s a quality track to be sure.
* IFC Films trailers and 3 trailers for “Passage To Mars.”
* A music video titled “A Sense Of Wonder.”
* 8 minutes of deleted scenes.
* “The Songs Of Passage To Mars”- A featurette on William Pilgrim’s music in the movie.
* “The Voices Of Passage To Mars”- An extra about using the voices of Zachary Quinto, Charlotte Rampling and Buzz Aldrin.
* “Creating The Movie Posters”- Speaks for itself.
* “Arctic Interviews: Lost And Found”- 23 minutes of interviews from the crew members.
* The 16 minute narrated “Mars Flyover” which displays imagery of the red planet.
* “A Tiny Lifeboat (A Message)”- The director records a message.
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