If a Martian came to earth and saw "Roving Mars," Disney's new IMAX documentary about the two Mars rovers that successfully landed on Mars, he'd probably have only one question: "That's all? All you're going to give one of the most successful and scientifically important space explorations on your planet is 40 minutes, a few CGI shots and a few too many shots of worried scientists?"
While the Martian would easily agree that his planet is beautifully crafted with CGI shots based on photos taken by the two rovers, he would have to ask why such an interesting subject was crammed into such a tight amount of time. The film could run for two hours with enough information to entertain and entice but instead jumps quickly through everything it touches: from the design of the rovers to the actual discoveries made on Mars. When the Martian asks about this, someone is going to have to explain to him about money and that a 40-minute documentary film can have far more screenings than a two-hour one.
With this explanation, the Martian could then sit back and marvel at the film which, despite its shortness, is both interesting and truly magnificent at points. "Roving Mars" is the rare film that actually justifies an IMAX release not only to show off the world of Mars but to impress the importance of the landing.
The sheer size of the screen is nothing compared to the sound. When the rockets take off, one feels the ground shaking thanks to most IMAX theaters' impressive sound systems and the film's score is both moving and impressive.
The Martian would also be incredibly pleased with his planet's depiction: A striking red rock that comes across not as hostile but majestic. The Martian would probably explain to whomever he was sitting with that he had been to these places and that our earth-man re-creations are very accurate.
He would also plan his next trip on Mars to see one of our two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, as the film gives them an undeniable charm as they continue to troop on far beyond their original projected life span of 90 days.
The Martian might ask why there is so much of the launch and landing of the rovers and so little of the design and actual roving on Mars. To this one would have to explain that most of the tension is born in the take-off and landing and a film without tension just isn't as much fun.
Our Martian friend would then go home and bring his friends and family to see the enjoyable film about their home planet. Anyone probably would, even if they lived on Earth, especially if it were their first IMAX experience.