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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Horror > Thriller > Zombie > The Last Days On Mars (2013/Magnolia/MagNet Blu-ray)

The Last Days On Mars (2013/Magnolia/MagNet Blu-ray)

Picture: A- Sound: B Extras: B Film: B+

A group of scientists on the last day of their six month tour on Mars is counting down the hours until the drop ship comes to pick them up and go home. That is until one of the scientist secretly discovers possibility of life on Mars, but that is all when it all start to go wrong... with malfunctioning equipment, it soon becomes mission of survival when a viral outbreak takes hold of the crew... one by one they become infected... and become something else...

In Ruairi Robinson's The Last Days On Mars (2013), Vincent Campbell (Liev Schreiber) is the chief engineer on the Mars project, him and the crew are tired, on edge and wants to go home, but unlike the rest of crew Vincent suffers from claustrophobia. When they discover fossilized bacteria, little did they know that it would turn them into zombies as one by one, they become infected they find themselves fighting their former companions. Their base become compromised, down to them left only in their space suits racing to the drop ship site, but do they dare risk bringing such a epidemic back to Earth?

Zombies in space.... really. The costuming and props were good, and the setting was not bad, but it lost me when I realized it was a zombie film, a lost civilization would have been better. There are a few rules in zombie survival in a group, while a scientist IS important (and possibly they'll find a cure) don't let them be the leader, never spit up or go off alone because the next time you see them they will be a zombie, never trust the coward that turns brave because they'll screw you as soon as you give them the chance. Also the science of the film was a little shaky, a dormant bacteria for hundred of years does not develop much less have an immune system, they would have been been wiped out in the presence of any vaccine, but aside from all that, this was your typical predictable zombie movie. The only difference with the zombies were that they intelligent enough to use tools and have problem solving skills.

Romola Garai (so good on BBC's The Hour series, reviewed elsewhere on this site), Olivia Williams, Elias Koteas, Johnny Harris, Tom Cullen and Goran Kostic make up the decent supporting cast.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image transfer might have its share of CGI digital visual effects, but the film was shot in real anamorphic 35mm Panavision on a mix of Kodak and Fuji film stocks. It will be one of the last films ever to shoot with Fuji Film and the match of the three formats is very impressive. The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 lossless mix is well recorded, has some nice sound design, sound editing and usually knows when to be quiet, as space has no sound. Extras include BD Live interactivity, a Making Of the film program, analyzing visual effects featurette, behind the scenes featurette, and a AXS-TV look on The Last Days on Mars.

- Ricky Chiang


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