Featured In Issue 217, June 2017

WSR Score4.5
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment/National Geographic
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Mars follows a crew of courageous international astronauts on its exhilarating maiden voyage to Mars and the quest to colonize the fourth planet from the sun. In a unique blend of scripted drama intermixed with documentary sequences and feature-film-caliber visual effects, the docudrama series presents what the greatest minds in space exploration are doing to make traveling to Mars a reality, featuring Elon Musk, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Stephen Petranek. In essence, this docudrama is a public relations outreach to Elon Musk's SpaceX taxpayer-supported space company, a prime feature in this docudrama. (Gary Reber)

Special features include seven featurettes: Making Mars, Before Mars—A Prequel, Before Mars Behind The Scenes, Getting To Mars, Living On Mars, More Mars, and Behind The Scenes; and cast & crew interviews.

The 1.78:1 1080p AVC picture is a docudrama with a mixture of visual elements and varying quality. Large elements are those set in 2033 and the following years, as well as current day interview segments. Those segments exhibit a nicely detailed and sharp presentation with natural color, except for the futuristic fictional segments, which exhibit a slightly brown-red color. Overall resolution is good, except that some CGI elements appear a bit soft, and the archival historical footage is dated in appearance with poor picture quality. (Gary Reber)

The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 5.1-channel soundtrack is monaural focused but opens up during many of the Mars set sequences, with effective atmospherics and sound effects, such as rocket blasts enhanced with .1 LFE energy. Such atmospherics and sound effects also provide envelopment. Overall, fidelity is decent and the futuristic segments delver decent surround immersion. (Gary Reber)