Blu-ray Review HTF BLU-RAY REVIEW: Mars Attacks!

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Cameron Yee, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
    Reviewer

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    Mars Attacks!
    Release Date: September 7, 2010
    Studio: Warner Brothers
    Packaging/Materials: Single-disc Blu-ray "ECO-BOX"
    Year: 1996
    Rating: PG-13
    Running Time: 1:46:00
    MSRP: $24.98
     




     

    THE FEATURE

    SPECIAL FEATURES



    Video

    1080p high definition 16x9 2.40:1

    N/A



    Audio

    DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1 / Dolby Digital: French 5.1, German 5.1, Italian 5.1, Castellano 5.1, Czech 2.0, Thai 2.0

    N/A



    Subtitles

    English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Castellano, Dutch, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Czech, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian, Portuguese, Romanian, Swedish, Thai

    N/A






    The Feature: 3.5/5
    Aliens from Mars have arrived and they've come in peace! That is, until they pull out their ray guns and blast anything that moves, including the poor souls in the United States Congress. When the President (Jack Nicholson) finally gets serious about a counter-strike, Martian victory and enslavement looks like a foregone conclusion. Fortunately the meek shall inherit the Earth, or more accurately the simpleton will find a secret weapon against which no Martian can defend. It will prove powerful enough to bring a loving father back into the arms of his family, unite two star-crossed lovers, and inspire Las Vegas icon Tom Jones to burst into song. Now if only it could clean up all the Martian bodies and rebuild the government.

    Not surprisingly, Tim Burton's campy send up of disaster and alien invasion films didn't appeal to a wide audience. Though his work has always been known - and appreciated - for being off kilter, "Mars Attacks" goes too far into the realm of satirical absurdity with nothing to reel it back or provide a counterbalance. Without the sentimental, emotional core that typifies Burton's best work, "Mars Attacks" amounts to a series of odd (though, depending on your disposition, entertaining) set pieces. While the film's cult following potential seemed high at the time (especially since the movie itself was based on a series of cult trading cards), 14 years have passed and there is yet to be that kind of indirect interest. For the time being it seems "Mars Attacks" will remain a particularly curious work in Burton's one-of-a-kind filmography.

    Video Quality: 3.5/5

    The film is accurately framed at 2.40:1 and presented in 1080p with the VC-1 codec. Black levels can be limited, the most problematic being the film's title sequence, though no other scenes ever look quite so drained of contrast again. The image also shows noticeable signs of digital manipulation - wide shots tend to look a touch hazy and indistinct, high contrast scenes exhibit noticeable edge haloing and the grain pattern appears a bit too smooth and clean. Colors are sufficiently deep and saturated however, the reds, greens and purples of the Martian wardrobe standing out in particular.
     


    Audio Quality: 3.5/5
    The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio mix is dominated by the front sound stage, with slight support from the rear surround channels for the occasional ambient and directional effect. LFE shows up mostly in the final act's action scenes, but the track overall has good depth in the lower ranges and detail in the upper. Though the mix is not particularly interesting - sounding pretty conventional most of the time - the lossless presentation gets the job done with no significant issues.

    Special Features: 0/5
    The title does not include any extras from previous DVD releases.

    Recap
    The Feature: 3.5/5
    Video Quality: 3.5/5
    Audio Quality: 3.5/5
    Special Features: 0/5
    Overall Score (not an average): 3/5

    Warner Brothers turns in a satisfactory - if largely unremarkable - audio and video presentation for Tim Burton's campy send up of disaster and alien invasion films. The absence of any special features - not even a trailer - makes this a difficult release to recommend for anyone but the most ardent fan.
     
  2. David Wilkins

    David Wilkins Supporting Actor

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    Further inducement toward restraint, and away from pre-ordering. Thanks for the review, Cameron.
     
  3. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    While I love this film, it need not be in "perfect PQ/SQ" to be appreciated (a less than perfect presentation is actually one of its charms, to me), so I'll stick to the DVD I already have. Now, if a slew of well-done extras was available, I'd get the BD, but otherwise, I'll wait for the bargain bin price down the line.
     
  4. Joseph J.D

    Joseph J.D Cinematographer

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    I actually enjoyed the film but never picked up the DVD so getting this version is a no-brainer to me. Too bad that WB doesn't appreciate this film enough to give it the proper special features it deserves.....all it does is make me wait for the inevitable drop into the cheap bins.
     
  5. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    This is disappointing. Not even the trailer? When this one hits $9.99, we'll talk.
     
  6. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    I think this movie provided a good amount of silly fun. I have the dvd and watch it once in a while, when I don't feel like thinking too much. But with it's bright colors and goofy subject matter this could have been a real fun one to watch on BluRay. I was hoping for a much more aggressive surround mix. This is the type of movie where you could go to the extreme and not take away from the movie itself. In other words, the quality of the picture coupled with an overly aggressive mix might make the whole thing even more enjoyable. Guess they took the safe route for some reason. This is why I pay for Netflix. Maybe once will be enough.
     
  7. SilverWook

    SilverWook Cinematographer

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    Seems kind of silly they didn't include the music only track.

     

    I wouldn't know how to estimate the movie's cult status, but I have seen pictures of Martians, and even the Martian Spy girl roaming the halls of SF conventions in recent years.

     

    If only that other big budget alien invasion flick had not come out five months earlier...
     
  8. Steve Christou

    Steve Christou Long Member

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    ACK ACK ACK.... no extras at all? And 3.5/ 5 for video quality? pfft I'll pass.
     

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