The Martian (2015)

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8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good story, acting, and special effects

Gets a little loose at the end

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Martian

Studio:  Scott Free Productions

Genre(s):  Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure/Drama

Release Date(s):  September 11, 2015 (Toronto International Film Fest)/October 2, 2015 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

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Once again, duct tape fixes everything!

A storm on the surface of Mars forces the crew of an exploratory mission by NASA to pull out.  Knocked away and believed to be dead,  Mark Watney (Matt Damon) wakes up alone and injured on Mars.  With no one knowing he is alive, Mark must find a way to survive and contact Earth.  Unknown to Mark, Earth already knows of his survival and is mounting a rescue mission…but time is running out.

Directed by Ridley Scott, The Martian adapts the best-selling 2011 novel by Andy Weir.  The movie was released to critical acclaimed and nominated for numerous awards.  The film and Damon won the Golden Globes for best Comedy-Musical Film and Actor (which left many scratching their head) and earned Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Damon), Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Visual Effects, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing.

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Fortunately, there is a lot of NASA crap sitting around Mars within “driving distance”…

Despite an intriguing plot, The Martian didn’t really interest me for some reason.  I missed it in the theater but opted to get it on Blu-Ray.  I found myself enjoying the movie more than I expected.

The script is smart and there are a number of moments of comedy.  Having not read the book, I have been told that it is quite faithful to the story and plotlines.  It feels a lot like a dumber version of Gravity (which had its own dumb moments) meets Castaway.  The final moments of the rescue stretch reality a bit far, but it is a fantasy and an action film that is smarter than most.

Matt Damon does a great job.  He has a lot more versatility than he is often credited with and he really holds the movie together.  For a movie primarily about one person, there is a large supporting cast who all do a good job.  I like that the movie isn’t really about the individual and that it isn’t loaded with infighting and glory-grabbing.

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This is worse than the time my dad went through a black hole and got stuck in my bookshelf.

Visually the movie is also quite strong (plus, the disco soundtrack).  Part of my issues with Ridley Scott over recent years is that his movies all look the same.  While the storm at the beginning of the movie does look like Ridley’s standard movie, Scott shows more control with the film in later scenes.  It is smart and sleek, but I also feel that it pales in comparison in the space scenes to both Gravity and Interstellar (which both had their own faults…though not visual).

The Martian was in ways better than I believed it would be, but there were also periods of the film that I felt did not live up to expectations.  It is a worthy movie to check out and I think Matt Damon does excel in his role.  I don’t know if the movie will hold up in ten or twenty years, but it is a good accomplishment as a preview of what life on another planet might entail.

Related Links:

The 88th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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