Director: John Carpenter

Starring: Nastasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Jason Statham, Clea DuVall, Pam Grier

Ghosts 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. 

The 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.















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