Roving Mars BRAY Cover Art
SRP $34.99 1.78:1(1.33) PCM 5.1 BUENA VISTA
 
SRP $29.99 1.78:1(16:9) DOLBY DIGITAL 5.1 BUENA VISTA
 

Fans of space exploration, "National Geographic" type features and simulation, will love "ROVING MARS." Originally presented in IMAX, "ROVING MARS" is often fascinating, and sometimes frustrating.  Focused on the Rover exploration of Mars, perhaps too much time is spent on the planning of the trip and testing of the Rovers, for some viewers.  However, it's essential for the audience to comprehend the huge scale and feat of what's to occur. 

A lot of buildup occurs for a lot of the film, and it's to the feature's credit that when we actually see the "MARS" footage, it's outstanding! Really, really mind-blowing at times too. Unfortunately, there's so much "simulation," that it's annoying to not be able to distinguish "real" footage from simulation, on the dvd. The distinction between the two is more noticeable, however, on the blu-ray. While the "actual" footage can't be as pristine as simulation footage, it's still quite amazing to watch.

BUENA VISTA has provided both the full-frame image and a 1.78:1(16:9)image for the dvd release as options.  The letterboxed image we viewed was stunning on all counts. Colors are rich and  vibrant throughout.  Detail is flawless and even with the deep hues of the "Mars" setting, there is never any hint of over-saturation.  Contrast is excellent too. A great looking transfer on dvd, but even more outstanding on blu-ray, wherein the detail of space exploration is matched in its power by the detail of Nasa engineers expressions, as they eagerly await to see if a rover has made it to the surface safely.

BUENA VISTA has provided a  Dolby Digital 5.1 mix for the dvd.  While there is a lot of narration, the amount of surround effects is often surprising. This is an effective, powerful mix!  Surrounds and discrete effects come in to play at just the right moments with maximum effect. Bass effects are utilize with great impact too, especially during the initial liftoff sequence. The Blu-ray offers a huge improvement over the dvd's audio mix with a PCM 5.1 mix. As good as the dvd mix is, the PCM 5.1 mix offers one astounding aural sequence after another.  There's a wind tunnel sequence and it, alone, makes for one of the best blu-ray sound experiences available so far! Bass effects are also even better on blu-ray than on the great dvd.

Two featurettes are featured, with "MARS AND BEYOND," being fun for nostalgia, alone. It was filmed in 1957 and it shows.