Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Martian

Plot: Because of an emergency Mark Watley (Matt Damon) is left for dead on Mars by his ship Captain (Jessica Chastain), but he isn't dead. He needs to figure out how to grow food and signal for help. In time, he connects with NASA and his old crew is involved in his rescue attempt.  [imdb]    [photos]

Review: The Martian is a dramatic and engaging film with big stakes and interesting characters. I liked it. 

Two things make the movie great, the clever script and Matt Damon. The script threads a delicate balance of irreverent, light-heartedness with a long series of life and death challenges. Matt Damon is great too. He is human and also capable.

Unlike Tom Hanks in Cast Away, Matt has technology to communicate with; there is plenty of dialog even though no one is physically present.

While the arc of the story is easy to guess, the problem solving steps are fascinating. In this way, it is a technical journey from problem to problem as much as it is a physical journey across Mars and across Space.

Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Krisen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mackenzie Davis

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Written by: Drew Goddard, based on the book by Andy Weir

The Music: Music is a highlight with orchestral music by Gregson-Williams supplemented with disco and pop tracks like Starman by David Bowie

The Visuals: The space scenes are outstanding. I want to see a making of movie video. It looked like so much fun floating around weightlessly on the Hermes from chamber to chamber.

The Mars scenes were solid, but not cool. 

Rating: 3.5 stars: Strong movie. Dramatic. Interesting. About something.

More: When Lewis says on the radio, "... this is Hermes Actual." It means that she is the commander of the Hermes. 

Even More: The movie script was better than the book because it drops the boring parts. The book is interesting because it explains the science better. I'd like to see an article on the whether the science of The Martian is actually reasonable.

Yet More: Unlike every other rescue movie, there is no crying wife and kids at home. It is refreshing NOT to this well-worn trope here.
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