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Hudson Rocks Martians on DVD
on July 16, 2004
The 1980 television adaption of Ray Bradbury's book, The Martian Chronicles, spanning 293 minutes, in three parts, The Expeditions, The Settlers, and The Martians, stars film great, Rock Hudson, Darren McGavin(The Night Stalker), Bernie Casey(The Gargoyles, Revenge of the Nerds), Roddy McDowall(Planet of the Apes) and Fritz Weaver(Marathon Man, Tales from the Darkside), to name a few. The mini-series attempts to encapsulate the saga of Bradbury's jaunt to Mars and how Earth people would greet Martians upon first contact and visa versa. The British(Fries Entertainment) production lacked in impressive special effects compared to theatrical releases of the time(Star Wars, Logan's Run), but made effective use of makeup and contact lenses for the Martians, as well as an other-worldly, spiritually soothing soundtrack for the title's name-sake, although much of the music sounds dated by today's standards. MGM's 2 disc set seems to be devoid of any extras, similarly to MGM's recent and slightly disappointing DVD release of the apocalyptic tele-movie, The Day After(1983-Jason Robards;The UK version of The Day After has a running commentary track with director, Nicholas Meyers), but hopefully will maintain the color and crispness of the VHS three-tape set(Fries Classic Collection), not to be mistaken by other incarnations recorded at EP, and should actually be improved upon with the DVD format. The Martian Chronicles is slated to be released on DVD in its original mono soundtrack with English, French and Spanish subtitles. Despite any extra material, MGM, however, has thankfully authored this film to DVD for posterity, and I look forward to adding it to my collection.