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DVD Review by David Blackwell

DETAILS: 80 minutes, no extras


RELEASE DATE:   10/19/2004

PLOT: A group of military men take the first manned flight to Mars.

ANALYSIS: I wish there was a commentary track by the Mystery Science Theater 3000 robots and guy because CONQUEST OF SPACE was that bad. The only things in this movie's favor are the special effects (which look cool to give a glimpse of what we thought space exploration was going to be like) and some of the humor. This 1955 movie became rather dated as time went on and we learned about how it was going to be like in outer space. The science is very horrible that it makes the technobabble on Star Trek seem like something that Stephen Hawking would have written.

All we get is a plot with space fatigue, arrogant military men, and some people who shouldn't be up in space in the first place; then we have some truth twisting at the end because one of the characters doesn't believe what actually happened (and he thought something else happened). CONQUEST OF SPACE could have been so much better, but at it is a very frustrating movie that has elements inserted to push the plot along. I don't believe the first flight to Mars wouldn't be going that fast. No way would a crew be picked one day and be on their way to Mars the next day. I believe they would have been training a little bit to prepare for the first manned flight to Mars. I definitely wanted to put a cork in the General's mouth when he said the mission to Mars was dangerous and they shouldn't go.

Don't get me started on the food pills, the bad wirework for some models, or the space taxi.

I was expecting more entertainment value from a movie produced by George Pal who has provided such classics as THE TIME MACHINE and WAR OF THE WORLDS. The movie was inspired by the book, CONQUEST IN SPACE.

VIDEO/ AUDIO: CONQUEST OF SPACE is seen in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen. The colors and blacks look like they did for the time. The print is sharp with some detail. Some grain does pop up from time to time, and specks of dirt can be seen every once in a while.

Dialogue, sound effects, and music can be heard clearly. The movie is presented in an English Mono Dolby Digital. The only subtitles option is English. No foreign language or subtitle tracks at all.

EXTRAS: None. Not even the trailer for the movie or previews for other releases.

MENUS/ DVD SLEEVE ART: The Menus are static and boring. the DVD sleeve cover is horrible. Yet there are some interesting art on the back cover of the DVD sleeve.

FINAL ANALYSIS: Fans of this 1955 George Pal produced movie will be happy that it is being released to DVD. However, I see it as a bad movie that is severely outdated. If you want a good sci-fi movie about space travel to Mars, go watch some other Mars movie (or even the true-life drama series FROM EARTH TO THE MOON) and avoid CONQUEST OF SPACE. However it does stand as a nostaliga piece of what people thought space exploration was going to look like.

this review (3.81) is (c)10-11-2004 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com

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