Mars Needs Moms

(2011)

Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy

Review: Mars Needs Moms

Transcript for Review: Mars Needs Moms

IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY:
Well, all right, our next film is very different from Jane Eyre.  It’s MARS NEEDS MOMS, an animated 3D time-killer about a little boy trying to rescue his mother from the Martian matriarchy that has kidnapped her. Joan Cusack voices the mother, while the boy – a zombie-obsessed kid named Milo – is voiced by Seth Green. One night, after an argument with his mother about broccoli, Milo is sent to his room, but then overhears his mom being abducted. He stows away aboard the rocket and follows her to Mars.

CLIP 2 ("Launches into Space")

IGNATIY:
After arriving, he is captured, but is soon rescued by the planet's only other human inhabitant -- Gribble, who's been living on Mars since the 1980s. He’s voiced by Dan Fogler.

CLIP 3 ("Meeting Gribble")

IGNATIY V/O
This is an animated film, so the filmmakers are free to portray Mars any want they want to, so it's a shame that they've made it a series of grey corridors and trash chutes. It's a 3D movie that, strangely enough, is often visually flat and drab and the occasional splashes of color just serve to highlight how monotonous its images are. And even though a relationship between a parent and a child is at the center of this film, it has the emotional gravity of a greeting card.

CHRISTY LEMIRE:
Yeah, this looks horrible like so many 3D movies do and I was sitting there with my glasses lifting them up and then putting them back down again to just see the huge contrast.  I would rather watch it bright and blurry than in focus and dark and dingy.  But I think it’s dark also in the subject matter.  It’s really a strange movie.  We talked about Rango last week and whether that’s appropriate for kids, or for parents or for both…if I were a little kid, the idea of my mom being abducted and having her brain getting extracted for all the useful mom stuff and then killed.  Like, there’s a character who sees his mom get incinerated.  Wouldn’t that scare you? I think it would.

IGNATIY:
I’m not sure it would.  You know this reminded me of?  It was those Calvin & Hobbs strips that were what’s his name? Spaceman Spiff…

CHRISTY:
Yes.

IGNATIY:
Where Calvin imagines himself to be, you know like a space explorer.  It was like those just done really, really poorly.

CHRISTY:
So it was just too silly to take seriously you think?

IGNATIY:
No not too…I would just rather stare at Calvin & Hobbs, at the same Calvin & Hobbs strip for an hour and a half than watch this.  It’s you know, so monotonous.  I feel like I’m 11 years old playing Dark Forces 2: Jedi Knight and I’m suck on the level with the trash shoots and I keep dying.  It’s just these endless, grey corridors that don’t look very flattering because they’re so dark.  You know the film just looks so dark in 3D.  You know, I’ll give them some praise, he glass textures look really nice, but that’s really, there you’re really…

CHRISTY:
And there’s your blurb right there.  You know what was more fun than watching the movie itself?  Was over the credits, the behind the scenes, how they did the motion capture.

IGNATIY:
Yeah that’s true.

CHRISTY:
I’d rather watch Seth Green and Dan Fogler do like behind the scenes motion capture versions of themselves then the actual film.