DVD Release Date: January 12, 2016
The crew of the Ares III is forced by a dust storm to evacuate from Mars. In the rush to leave, Astronaut Mark Watley is hit by debris and his suit isn’t showing signs of life, so his fellow astronauts presume him dead and leave him stranded on Mars. Watley must do what he can to survive until the next mission arrives. Earth Control receives satellite photos showing that Watley has survived which they decide to suppress. Will Watley make his way home against the odds?
Let me say right off that this is not the sort of movie I would usually gravitate toward. The allure of the piece was actually in the story of its writing. The author, Andy Weir, did extensive scientific research in order to ensure that the piece was scientifically plausible. The story was originally serialized on Weir’s website and was self-published on Amazon at the request of fans.
The background of the story is certainly well thought out. Watley is a botanist, so when he’s stranded on Mars, he does have the knowledge necessary to credibly survive for a period of time. I have a feeling that if you’re a science person, there are a number of jokes that will be uproariously funny that this viewer just didn’t understand. Matt Damon does a credible job as a person of spirit that will overcome adversity and survive until his calculation of when the Ares IV will arrive on Mars. He takes joy where it can be found. The viewer has the insight to know that things may not go as Watley has planned. Watley keeps the viewer informed of challenges in a daily video log. Damon’s performance earned him a best actor nod from the Academy (he lost to Leonardo DiCaprio for “The Revenant”).
Kristen Wiig is a standout as NASAs spokeswoman. Wiig is known as an outstanding comedy actress for her roles in “Bridesmaids” and “Saturday Night Live.” In [easyazon_link identifier=”B018HJ03UC” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]The Martian[/easyazon_link], she is the person that tries to keep spirits up and hope alive, but her dramatic performance in this film is a masterpiece. Sean Bean (“Game of Thrones”) is also a standout in his role as Mitch Henderson, the Ares III Mission Control Director. One would expect Bean to be at his best in the role of a stern authoritarian willing to rationalize crew loss for the greater good. Henderson’s stone cold approach is wonderfully acted.
So you might be saying to yourself “She really liked [easyazon_link identifier=”B018HJ03UC” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]The Martian[/easyazon_link]. Not so much. Its not a movie that I’m likely to watch again. This is simply not my genre of film and while the quality of writing and acting cannot be denied, it simply wasn’t my wheelhouse. While the human struggle is an interesting topic, the heavy science bent and man struggling against the elements isn’t something I find visually engaging. [easyazon_link identifier=”B018HJ03UC” locale=”US” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]The Martian[/easyazon_link] was a Best Picture nominee at the Academy Awards losing to “Spotlight.” I did enjoy the soundtrack which included a number of 1970s disco songs.
The Martian is available as a DVD, Blu-ray and Amazon Instant Video.
|Actors||Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels|
|Length||1 hour and 35 minutes|
|DVD Release||January 12, 2016|