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Roving Mars 2006

G CC
4.0 out of 5 stars (49) IMDb 7.4/10

A pair of unmanned vehicles transmit images from the surface of Mars.

Starring:
Paul Newman, Steve Squyres
Runtime:
39 minutes

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When renting, you have 30 days to start watching this video, and 3 days to finish once started.

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director George Butler
Starring Paul Newman, Steve Squyres
Supporting actors Rob Manning, Charles Elachi, Wayne Lee, John Beck Hofmann
Studio Walt Disney Pictures
MPAA rating G (General Audience)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Kidder on June 19, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
We saw a clip of this video at the National Air & Space Museum--my kids, ages 3 and 5, were riveted! We searched the gift shop for the video but were disappointed that it had not yet been released. Several weeks later I came across it quite by accident on TV and taped it for my older son, who loves outer space and has been fascinated by Mars and the rovers since our trip to the museum. Most general audience space documentaries do not keep his attention, but he loved this one. The narration is almost conversational, not your typical dry, boring voiceover. The video is informative enough for adults and yet still accessible for kids. The images are amazing, no matter what your age. I look forward to adding this video to our collection so I can stop fast-forwarding the commercials on our tape!
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Format: Blu-ray
I don't know how anyone could rate this film lower than five stars; unless they watched the film on a cheap TV with a small screen. `Roving Mars' on blu-ray blew me away by the quality of the IMAX HD cinematography focusing on the manufacturing of the rovers. I was captivated by a realistic depiction of what it takes to get a spacecraft to make a 300 million mile hole-in-one landing.

I had read a review on Netflix where the wannabe critique stated that they didn't like all the CGI; they probably didn't know that some of the extraordinary footage of the mars terrain was actual footage from the HD-quality cameras on-board the rovers. It might have helped the common laymen if the filmmakers had indicted where the CGI stopped and the actual footage from mars began. I've been so engrossed by the rover missions (NASA made all the rover stills, panoramas and video available for download to the public, ever since the missions began [...]) I knew when I was when observing actual film-footage from mars, but I hadn't witnessed the utter clarity of the videos by playback on the computer. I'm astounded by the fact that the rovers are still up there working after four years, and this DVD will have a special place in my heart and in my imagination for the rest of my life imprisoned here on the earth.

In reference to the low ratings listed here: pretty much all IMAX documentaries are less than 60 minutes because of the giant-size of the actual IMAX film used for projection in IMAX theaters. I think its well worth twenty-bucks. It's something you'll proudly enjoy showing to your friends; providing you have a quality TV screen or projector.
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Format: DVD
I'm very excited about science and engineering. We can't take for granted the courage and brilliance it took NASA and its contractors to design, implement, and deploy the equipment for this mission, then exercise the robots for this mission. And they did it all for less than what we pay for a baseball stadium!

This 40-minute film is disappointing, however. It's short on science; there is no discussion of the launch planning, the path of the rover as it travels to Mars, or any interesting facts. What is its weight? How did the timing work? How did the engineers design the rover, and measure its performance? What materials were used in its implementation? What diagnostics did it have? How much power did it use? What challenges were involved in surviving the harsh Martian atmosphere, its cold, the dust, and its chemistry?

The questions I have are simple, and endless. This film addressed none of them, I'm afraid. Worse, as others have pointed out, there's very little actual footage from the rovers. Most of the CGI scenes are flawed -- seeing stars through the shadowed surface of the moon, for example.

I admire the engineers and explorers in our space programs as heroes. This film does them disservice by failing to tell their wonderful story.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have seen several other DVDs on the Rovers, on PBS television shows, but this one came directly from a theatrical release in IMAX format and is by far the best of the best.

The "Roving Mars" DVD has both standard 4x3 and 16x9 (enhanced) formats. The latter fits a HDTV screen perfectly (1.78:1 aspect ratio) and looks superb when played from an upscaling or HD DVD player.

The introduction is narrated by a noticeably feeble voice over by Paul Neuman. However, the main storyline is covered by the Lead Scientist, Steve Skyiers, who does a great job explaining the Mars Rovers - there are two, Spirit and Opportunity - without beating you up with technospeak.

"Rovering Mars" is only 40 minutes, but there are two extras provided on the same DVD; a 1957 Disney TV program called "Mars And Beyond", which is quite dated and rather cartoonish. Fortunately, there is another extra about 25 minutes in duration, called "Mars: Past, Present and Future". The latter is just as good as the main feature, a bunch of extra scenes that for whatever reason were (needlessly) editted out of the IMAX film.

The filmmakers did a great job with the animated special effects to accurately depict what the actual rocket launcher liftoffs from Cape Kennedy, and departures from Earth's gravity would have looked like from space. The Martian landings took place many months later, about three weeks apart. Amazingly realistic computer graphics were used to make this movie!

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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