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Mars Needs Moms

A movie directed by Simon Wells

< read all 5 reviews

Dramatically UN-deep, decent for children, mind-numbing and stupid for adults.

  • Aug 22, 2011
Rating:
-2
*1/2 out of ****

I'm totally fine with the majority of filmmakers working in animation crafting features for younger children; that's how it works. Plenty of these movies actually turn out to be fairly appealing, if not lacking in depth. Thus, they are not made entirely for kids, are they? I walked in to "Mars Needs Moms" with such expectations and was significantly let-down when it turned out to be much worse than I expected. It underachieves, yes, but that's not the worst of it. No logical, intelligent adult will give this a positive review; and I'm certain of that. At best, you could say it's a mediocre flick. It will work for the kiddies no doubt; with its humor set at the level of utter stupidity and its complexity practically mimicking that quality. I feel sorry for the parents that will be forced to endure it.

The film is innocent; completely so. It isn't mean-spirited and that's what makes it a family film. However, what's a good family film? Something that simply entertains the kids and saves the adults the trouble of having to cover eyes and ears? I believe that good entertainment, in terms of FAMILY entertainment, should entertain everyone in front of the screen. Of course, most films aren't made for everyone; but you can take one good look at the critical reception for this film and see that I'm not wrong, not lying, and most certainly not alone.

Milo (played by Seth Green through motion-capture and voiced by the much younger Seth Dusky) is fed up with his mother (Joan Cusack), and she is fed up with him. Milo is feeding his broccoli to the house pets. He's not going to bed when he's told. He complains when mother asks him to perform the simple task of taking out the garbage. Perhaps this is a result of the father not being at Milo's side all his life. We know that the kid's father is on a trip somewhere; due to return home soon. This leaves Milo alone in the world, with only a cat and a mother.

However, Milo might be in luck; as it turns out, the Martians (of Mars, of course) are plotting to kidnap every mother that they feel would be an ideal care-taker of their own little bastard alien children. The Martians target mother, and they succeed in capturing her. Milos hitches a ride on the alien spacecraft; and gets to see space for the first time in his life. While exploring the ship, he meets the overweight but easy-going Gribble (Dan Fogler, as silly as ever). He also meets Ki, an alien that has discovered both English and the culture of hippies.

Milo and his new pals have one thing on their agenda; get his mom back. Of course, things get in the way; thus stalling such a mission from reaching its end too soon. When it does end, things get melodramatic and sappy. However, the problem is that the melodrama doesn't begin or end with the film's climatic scenes; there's stuff in the middle that tries ever-so-hard to pull on the heart strings. No luck though, given that the film is heavily lacking in narrative relevance, humor, or dramatic quality. Such a shame; this thing could have been deeper than most kid-friendly animations, but as you can see, things just didn't work out.

I have no problem with this film existing. It's not insulting to anything other than the audience's intelligence. The animation is fairly decent, consisting mostly of motion-capture and the like. I find this approach questionable, as better things have been done without resorting to these techniques. In the end, it's nothing short of unnecessary.

Perhaps "Mars Needs Moms" will be charming to some of those in the audience. Some will think it is funny, but I didn't. It's stupid, mindless, and nothing short of an excessive potboiler. It came and it went; just as bad movies should. Luckily there are animated films such as "Rango" to act as antidotes, because if there were not, I would have lost faith in 3D animation. I prefer hand-drawn, 2-dimensional animation to the popular movement of the genre, since is shows lots of unqiue craft. This is just another artificle creation; dimwitted and worse than it has the right to be. If you respect animation, then here's a movie you'll want to skip. But if you have children, and if they want to see this, then perhaps this review can't help you. Just go through with it and revive your intelligence through one of Pixar's finer productions, or something like that.

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September 01, 2011
This was....boring. But I have to admit it was alright for a mother's day movie..
 
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More Mars Needs Moms reviews
review by . March 13, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Visually Impressive With The Timeless Message That Moms Are Awesome!!
Being dragged to the movies can sometimes become difficult, oftentimes I don’t mind but sometimes when there’s nothing else I really want to see, I just go with the flow. Truthfully it was someone’s birthday which is why I ended up seeing “Mars Needs Moms” (I guess this was the better choice than “Red Riding Hood”) along with my friends. The film is a joint effort from Disney and ImageMovers Digital, the motion capture team (led by Robert Zemeckis) …
review by . September 02, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
An Underhyped Disney Film With The Zemeckis Touch
If you are at all concerned with the computer animated film industry, you probably know a little bit about Robert Zemeckis' unique approach of motion capture to achieve an animated product that looks remarkably lifelike (a technique he has proven in films like The Polar Express, Beowulf, A Christmas Carol and Monster House thus far). The unique stylized look is back in Mars Needs Moms and this one managed to secure the promotion and backing by none other than Disney – who of course has …
review by . March 15, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Mars Needs Moms, based on the book by Berkeley Breathed, is one of those rare films where style and substance go together like peanut butter and jelly. It’s exciting, heartfelt, a visual treat (even in 3D), and a whole lot of fun – a family film in the truest sense. It has been brought to life via performance capture animation, a process I’ve championed since its debut and, in the hands of Robert Zemeckis, has been vital to the …
Quick Tip by . March 16, 2011
Saw this film yesterday in 3D, and I thought it was, overall, fairly entertaining. I don't think it was as tight thematically as it could've been, but that's mostly b/c much of the film was basically a throwback to a time when truly animated films had simply stories and characters. MARS NEEDS MOMS could've probably used a better title, though that's certainly a minor quibble. I think some critics drubbed the film unnecessarily precisely because it didn't really strike out …
About the reviewer
Ryan J. Marshall ()
Ranked #11
It's very likely that the only kind of reviews I'll ever post here are movie reviews. I'm very passionate about film; and at this point, it pretty much controls my life. Film gives us a purpose; … more
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Wiki

Mars Needs Moms earned only $1,725,000 on its first day, for a weekend total of $6,825,000. This was the tenth worst opening ever for a film playing in 3000+ theaters.  Due to its very high budget of $150 million, the film is a massive box office bomb and is on track to see losses of well over $100 million for parent studio Disney.

Take out the trash, eat your broccoli—who needs moms, anyway? Nine-year-old Milo (Seth Green) finds out just how much he needs his mom (Joan Cusack) when she’s nabbed by Martians who plan to steal her mom-ness for their own young. Produced by the team behind “Disney’s A Christmas Carol” and “The Polar Express,” “Mars Needs Moms” showcases Milo’s quest to save his mom—a wild adventure in Disney Digital 3D™ and IMAX® 3D that involves stowing away on a spaceship, navigating an elaborate, multi-level planet and taking on the alien nation and their leader (Mindy Sterling). With the help of a tech-savvy, underground earthman named Gribble (Dan Fogler) and a rebel Martian girl called Ki (Elisabeth Harnois), Milo just might find his way back to his mom—in more ways than one. Based on the book by Berkeley Breathed.

Character poster art for "Mars Needs Moms 3D."
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Details

Director: Simon Wells
Genre: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family
Release Date: 11 March 2011 (USA)
MPAA Rating: PG
Screen Writer: Simon Wells, Wendy Wells
Runtime: 88 min
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