JOHN CARPENTER’S GHOSTS OF MARS
Nastasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Jason Statham, Clea DuVall, Pam Grier
of Mars, about a dreary bunch of space cops (Species star
Nastasha Henstridge and Jason Statham) who have to team up with their
prisoners (Ice Cube) to fight a town populated by possessed colonists, is
the latest in a string of somewhat disappointing Carpenter movies.
Routinely plotted, and poorly developed, the film lazily replays several
memorable set piece scenes from the director’s earlier hits.
film boasts typically dynamic Panavision cinematography courtesy of
Carpenter’s regular director of photography Gary B. Kibbe, which has
been faithfully transferred to Columbia’s anamorphic 2.35:1 disc, which
also boasts a Dolby Digital 5.1 sound mix (at 448kbps). Special features
include a frank and catty commentary track by Carpenter (who seems all too
aware of the film’s shortcomings) and Henstridge (endearingly insecure),
which practically doubles the disc’s entertainment value. Other bonus
materials are Video Diary: Red Desert Nights (17m, a location
report from New Mexico); Special Effects Deconstruction (a 7m
montage mainly focussing on the film’s extensive model work); and a 7m
featurette on the film’s score (a heady collaboration between Carpenter,
thrash metal band Anthrax and guitar virtuosi Buckethead and Steve Vai
which gives the movie some much-needed punch). A bunch of recent trailers
(including one for Ghosts of Mars) is also offered.