Synopsis by Mark Deming
Three astronauts experience unexpected adventure en route to a distant planet in this independent sci-fi comedy. A robotic space probe is sent by French scientists to the planet Mars, but the machine goes haywire after someone sneezes on it and it loses its way en route to the Red Planet. A second robot is sent on the same mission, but the machine takes it upon itself to rescue its mechanical sibling, and just before crashing into the Martian surface the robot sends back an image suggesting there's life on the planet. The United States quickly puts together a manned mission to Mars, with the heroic but inept Charlie Brownsville (Mark Duplass) joined by his more capable colleagues Dr. Casey Cook (Zoe Simpson) and Hank Morrison (Paul Gordon). As the crew struggles to beat their European rivals to Mars, Charlie tries to find a way to live up to his image and Casey and Hank discover that love can thrive outside Earth's atmosphere. Director Geoff Marslett shot Mars using digital equipment, and then used a new computer-assisted rotoscoping technique to give the images a special cartoon-influenced visual style; the film also includes a supporting performance from author, musician, and political gadfly Kinky Friedman as the President of the United States.
astronaut, Mars, robot, space-travel