The Martian (2015)11:35 AM
Bring Him Home
The Martian is directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien) and stars Matt Damon (The Bourne Identity, Saving Private Ryan), Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty, Mama), Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, Despicable Me 2), Jeff Daniels (Dumb & Dumber, Looper), Kata Mara (Fantastic Four, 127 Hours) and Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave, Z for Zachariah). "During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive". Is The Martian destined to be another huge Ridley Scott property like Alien and Blade Runner or will it be a disappointment like Prometheus?
Wow! What an amazing film! - The Martian is excellent from start to finish and is a triumph for Scott, Damon and anyone involved! I have no major problems with this film and it is definitely one of my favourites of the year so far. When I first saw the trailer, I didn't really care about the film as it looked like we were just going into space for a third year in a row after Gravity (which was good) and Interstellar (which was meh). I think out of all those films, The Martian is my favourite!
I'm going to start with what might be the hardest selling factor about the film - it looks like it is just one character stuck in one location for 140 minutes. It is not that at all - the movie has a perfect amount of time on Mars and time on Earth so the movie doesn't feel overlong - you get a chance to connect with all of the characters (there's a lot of them!). The story is actually quite interesting and intelligent to watch - I have also heard that it is actually scientifically accurate which will please anyone who hates unrealistic films. The film also had a lot of humour which helped it flow nicely - this was mainly due to a terrific performance from Matt Damon but more on that soon. I think anyone going into the film can be sure of the outcome before they watch it - but it really is about the journey here! The Martian also brings you a rollercoaster of emotions - you will laugh and you will feel sad. Ridley Scott is back to his greatest with this film. Out of the whole film, the only mildly negative thing I have to say is that I felt the film kind of just ended - I could have sat there for maybe 30 minutes longer! Gravity and Interstellar both had narrative problems but I think The Martian gets it just right.
The visual effects are beautiful in this film - it will definitely get some awards recognition for its visual effects. The scenes on Mars, the scenes in space and the scenes in the rocket were all done fantastically and looked real - Gravity and Interstellar had this factor too and The Martian was certainly able to keep up. The cinematography is also brilliant - the shots of Mars make the planet look really visually appealing. There was also a segment towards the end of the film that was kind of like a time lapse - I thought this technique worked really well.
So, what I really liked about this film is the performances. Matt Damon is incredible in this film - he literally holds around 67% on his own - he is humorous, emotional and just puts on a really powerful performance. Damon deserves some awards recognition for this film as he is at the top of his game in the film. I was also impressed with Jessica Chastain who was fantastic - the decisions her character makes could be unlikeable but Chastain makes the audience feel what she feels and I think that is great. I also want to give a shout out to Mackenzie Davis who wasn't on my radar before this film but certainly is now - I thought she did a really nice job. Who surprised me the most though? The answer is Kristen Wiig - I have never seen her do a serious performance before but I really think her versatility as an actress is shown in this film - she can be both funny and serious. What I also liked is that even though this is a very male driven movie, the female characters are portrayed generally well. The film also has a very diverse cast which is the way it should be - anyone can do anything! Chiwetel Ejiofor also did a very solid job. Out of a bunch of strong performances, I was probably least impressed with Kate Mara - I'm not saying she was bad but I think she could have been better.
Scores for films are usually something I don't really pay attention to - however, there were moments in The Martian where I really enjoyed the score. It just suited the film really well and could get itself some awards buzz. I also really liked the use of Disco songs - this was a nice light-hearted and comedic touch .
Ridley Scott returns to greatness with The Martian - this scientifically accurate blockbuster is something anyone and everyone should see. Matt Damon is fantastic and is supported well by an extremely strong cast. The film doesn't leave you cast away in Mars the whole film - you get to see both sides of the story. Scored brilliantly and with a great story, The Martian is faultless. One of the biggest surprises of the year for me - The Martian is a triumph.
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