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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Red Planet [Blu-ray]


(Antony Hoffman, 2000)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Warner Bros. Pictures

Video: Warner Home Video



Region: FREE! (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:46:29.341

Disc Size: 23,615,508,337 bytes

Feature Size: 21,927,598,080 bytes

Video Bitrate: 17.96 Mbps

Chapters: 31

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: July 26th, 2011



Aspect ratio: 2.39:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



DTS-HD Master Audio English 3807 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3807 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio French 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio German 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Italian 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
* Dolby Digital Audio Japanese 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 640 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps / DN -4dB
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps / DN -4dB / Dolby Surround



English (SDH), Danish, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, Swedish, none



• 8 Deleted Scenes (14:22 in 480i)

Theatrical trailer (1:27 in 480i)





Description: In the mid-21st century, the nations of a dying Earth look starward for a solution and set out to colonize Mars. But something no one could have expected awaits. Houston, we have big trouble. Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss and Tom Sizemore star in this taut adventure about humankind’s first mission to the mysterious Red Planet. Also on the mission is the multifunctional robo-assistant AMEE. In one mode, she's a as loyal as a puppy. But a malfunction has locked her into a far different mode: a killing machine bent on destroying the crew. Yet that’s not the end of the expedition’s perils. Because Mars may be barren, but it’s not uninhabited.



The Film:

As the voice-over at the beginning of Red Planet informs us, in the future, after realising that Earth will one day be uninhabitable because of our pollution, plans are made to terraform and eventually colonise Mars.

Terraforming basically means making changes to a planet's ecosystem to make it capable of sustaining human life, in this case, creating a breathable atmosphere. "Shake and bake planets" as characters in Aliens referred to it. Apparently the concept is within the realm of the possible and one that scientists have been toying around with.

However, things go wrong and a manned mission is sent to Mars to investigate. For some reason the mission is led by someone named Bowman (after a character in 2001: A Space Odyssey) and is played by the babe from The Matrix . . .

Excerpt from SciFiMovePage located HERE

"Red Planet" is an entertaining film that evokes the imagination and attempts to deal with the possibility of the colonization of Mars once/if Earth becomes uninhabitable.

A crew from NASA are sent to Mars to investigate what went wrong with the Mars Terra forming project. When the crew arrive on Mars, things are not what they seem. Suddenly the crew are left to find a way back to Earth against impossible odds.

Excerpt from TNMC located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Red Planet looks decent on Blu-ray from Warner. It's a single-layered 1080p transfer that shows acceptable detail and a bit of depth. I'd say the effects don't overly boost the visuals to a memorable presentation but for what the film has its inherent video quality - the representation seems quite accurate.  The terrain of Mars has some nice scope with a dusty red/gold tinge. Skin tones seem a shade warm at times but for the most part are not distracting. There is some tinting in the disabled space craft that acts as a nice foil to the orange hues of the planet. This Blu-ray does as good as job as we are likely to find for this oft-considered also-ran of the genre. By modern standards this isn't as dynamic as some might expect from the format but I thought the Blu-ray produced a consistent and enjoyable presentation far in advance of my old SD-DVD.

















Audio :

It's an impressive DTS-HD Master 5.1 audio track at a whopping 3807 kbps. Some of the effects are notable potent with resounding depth. I didn't find the range dynamically crisp but there are some decent separations. Sting will be recognized within the score sounding solid. There are a few foreign language DUBs and plenty of subtitle options. My Momitsu has identified it as being a region FREE disc playable on Blu-ray machines worldwide.


Extras :

Nothing new or noteworthy. 8 Deleted Scenes lasting less than 25-minutes in 480i and a theatrical trailer - also in SD.



Sure there is some weakness here in the overall film but Red Planet has a strong cast and is decent-enough space adventure, IMO. It could have improved in a few areas but if you are willing to give yourself over - you could spend a worse hour and three quarters than settling-in with this modest but surprising space journey to Mars. Carrie-Anne Moss seems to raise the class-level bar along with minor screen time for Terence Stamp - and his less developed, but interesting, character. I'd say it is better than many paint it to be and I liked Red Planet much more on Blu-ray than I did on SD and I expect I will revisit it again at some point in the future. For under $15 I'd say go-for-it is you are a fan of the sci-fi genre. 

Gary Tooze

July 19th, 2011


About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3500 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze






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