Flight to Mars appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.37:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. While not a bad presentation, the image tended to seem inconsistent.
For the most part, sharpness seemed adequate to good. Although I never found the movie to look especially precise, it usually maintained a more than acceptable level of accuracy.
No signs of jagged edges or moiré effects appeared, and I saw no edge haloes. Grain varied but seemed reasonably natural, and print flaws failed to become a concern.
Colors became one of the weirder aspects of the image, as the hues sometimes varied literally from second to second. Skin tones fluctuated all over the place, and in some shots, hues would alter their intensity rapidly. I suspect this stemmed from the “Cinecolor” process used, but whatever the case, the colors became erratic.
Blacks were fairly deep and dense, while shadows seemed appropriately delineated. At times this turned into an appealing presentation, but the mix of ups and downs left it as a “C+”.
Though nothing memorable, the DTS-HD monaural soundtrack of Flight felt more than adequate given the movie’s age. Speech seemed reasonably natural, with lines that remained easily intelligible and only occasionally a little edgy.
Music and effects lacked a lot of range, but they showed decent clarity. While louder elements occasionally suffered from some distortion, these moments didn’t pop up with much frequency. Ultimately, the movie came with a perfectly adequate soundtrack.
A few extras fill out the disc, and we open with an audio commentary from film historian Justin Humphreys. He offers a running, screen-specific look at cast and crew, genre reflections and production notes.
Poor Humphreys sounds like he drew the short straw, as he never musters much enthusiasm for Flight. I admit I like this from the point of view that usually discussions of this sort tend toward lots of happy talk and praise.
Humphreys occasionally tries to spin the film’s alleged positives, but he more often gets into the flick’s rampant mediocrity. Humphreys relates that he thinks Flight provides a competent production but he recognizes how inherently meh it is.
That means the track probably won’t endear Humphreys to the movie’s fans, but I do appreciate the honesty. Humphreys could spend more time on actual filmmaking info, but this still turns into a fairly useful discussion.
Two featurettes follow, and From Bomba to Body Snatchers runs 14 minutes, eight seconds. It includes notes from film historian C. Courtney Joyner.
“Bomba” examines the history of Monogram Pictures as well as the career of producer Walter Mirisch. Joyner gives us a quick and informative look at the subject matter.
Interstellar Travelogues goes for 10 minutes, 30 seconds and features remarks from science-fiction artist Vincent Di Fate as he gives us a look at this film’s genre. Expect another engaging discussion.
The set also includes a booklet. It presents art and a good essay called “Mars at the Movies” from Don Stradley.
While Flight to Mars might boast some value as a throwback to 1950s sci-fi, the film itself bores. Even at a mere 72 minutes, the movie moves slowly and becomes a chore to watch. The Blu-ray comes with mediocre picture and audio as well as a few bonus materials. Leave this snoozer for genre completists.