Blue Planet Red Blu-ray Review

3.5 Stars Impressive debut feature
Blue Planet Red Review

First-time director Brian Cory Dobbs delves into the mysteries of the planet Mars in the documentary feature Blue Planet Red.

IMDB rating:

Disc Information
Studio: Other
Distributed By: Other
Video Resolution: 1080I/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English PCM 2.0
Subtitles: English SDH
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 1 Hr. 59 Min.
Package Includes: Blu-ray
Case Type: Blu-ray keepcase
Disc Type: BD-R
Region: All
Release Date: 12/21/2023
MSRP: $24.99

The Production: 3.5/5

Our universe holds lots of mysteries, but perhaps the most fascinating for most is the planet Mars, long thought to be the only planet in out solar system that may be the most similar to our own planet, possibly having the ability to sustain life.

In Blue Planet Red, director Brian Cory Dobbs interviews a variety of scientists, researchers, and even people on the street about their theories and thoughts on Mars. The film makes some compelling arguments, but it also presents some theories that are just bonkers (Dobbs even warns us, the viewers, before those theories are explained, in a very Rod Serling kind of way). The film, as strange and far out as some of the theories may be, did manage to keep my interest for the nearly two-hour running time, and never succumbs to techno-babble or talking head syndrome, thanks to the many inserts of stock footage and quick cutting. My main complaint with the film, though, is the absence of any titles that introduce us to the speakers and what their credentials are at the time they are speaking on camera. Brian Dobbs was rather vocal about going against convention on the use of titles when he was a guest on the Home Theater United podcast, but in my opinion, they add a bit more credibility while viewing the film.

Video: 4.5/5

3D Rating: NA

Blue Planet Red was an independent production and is being self-distributed on Blu-ray and DVD. The copy I received was on a single layer BD-R and featured a 1080i AVC encode at 29.97 fps. Although a 1080/24p encode would have been preferred, this is still a very high quality image for most of its running time. I did notice some compression artifacts on one or two interview segments (if I recall, those were shot overseas by a different crew and equipment), and much of the stock footage and archival interviews are from various sources. Colors are vivid yet never appear over saturated. Detail is very good, particularly in fabric textures and facial features. Contrast is also quite good, with deep blacks and minimal crush.

Audio: 4.5/5

Blue Planet Red on Blu-ray includes a PCM 2.0 stereo mix that actually sounds very good with Dolby Surround engaged on my receiver. The score features songs by Swarm that lend themselves to matrixed surround quite naturally. The track also features a nice low end despite not having a discrete LFE track. Dialogue is clear and understandable throughout.

Special Features: 3/5

Behind the Scenes (1080i; 35:32): A hodgepodge of gaffs and other miscellaneous footage not used in the final film.

Overall: 3.5/5

Blue Planet Red is an impressive first feature from director Brian Cory Dobbs.


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Todd Erwin has been a reviewer at Home Theater Forum since 2008. His love of movies began as a young child, first showing Super 8 movies in his backyard during the summer to friends and neighbors at age 10. He also received his first movie camera that year, a hand-crank Wollensak 8mm with three fixed lenses. In 1980, he graduated to "talkies" with his award-winning short The Ape-Man, followed by the cult favorite The Adventures of Terrific Man two years later. Other films include Myth or Fact: The Talbert Terror and Warren's Revenge (which is currently being restored). In addition to movie reviews, Todd has written many articles for Home Theater Forum centering mostly on streaming as well as an occasional hardware review, is the host of his own video podcast Streaming News & Views on YouTube and is a frequent guest on the Home Theater United podcast.

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