THE MARTIAN DVD (2015)
SYNOPSIS: During a mission to Mars, American astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead and left behind by his crew. But Watney is still alive and he must now find a way to contact Earth - and survive on a barren planet with merger supplies - in the hope that an international team of scientists can devise a near impossible rescue plan to bring him home!
Finally the man who brought us Alien and Blade Runner has made another sci-fi movie that will have people talk about it years down the road (throw in Prometheus if you want but I’m not including that). The Martian not only revives the flagging career of Sir Ridley Scott but also laughingly made Matt Damon the most rescued actor in the history of cinema.
A botanist by training, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is accidentally left behind by his Ares III crew when a sudden dust storm causes the mission to be aborted. Watney suffered a slight injury during the chaos but he has bigger problems on hand. He needs food and water to survive until Ares IV crew can arrive in roughly four years time to fetch him back to earth. And yes Mark Watney needs to science the shit out of this to stay alive.
Based on a novel by Andy Weir and adapted to the screen by Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods), The Martian is an amazing piece of space adventure that is both a crowd pleaser and also one that doesn’t dumb down the science. For a movie with such a pressurizing issue on hand, it’s never bleak, dull or claustrophobic. In fact, Watney is such a positive character that you can’t help rooting for the poor man to return to civilization.
Mark Watney has no qualms being self-deprecating despite the dire situation he is in. Amaze by the fact that his potato farm on Mars is a success. Chuckle when he nearly blown himself up while trying to produce water. Celebrate when he manages to establish communication with NASA and cry with him when an airlock explodes. The Martian is such an engaging terrific movie that you forgot Interstellar was a yawn fest and Gravity probably won’t stand a chance at the Oscars if not for the fact that Martian came two years later.
By all means, The Martian is almost a one-man movie starring Matt Damon as Robinson Crusoe in space. But the stellar cast also has Jessica Chastain as the leader of Ares III, Michael Pena (Ant-Man), Kate Mara (Fantastic 4) and Winter Soldier/Sebastian Stan as part of the Ares crew, Jeff Daniels as the director of NASA, Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years A Slave) as NASA mission director, Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids) and everyone’s favourite character actor Sean Bean. In case you are wondering, he didn’t die.
With the exception of an exaggerated Hollywood style climax, The Martian is almost perfect in a lot of ways. Smart and often funny, it’s certainly one of Ridley’s best works in years. Not forgetting, establishing Damon as a solid performer before he reprises his role as Jason Bourne.
Ares III: Farewell, The Right Stuff, Ares: Our Greatest Adventure, Leave Your Mark, Bring Him Home are all faux commercial or documentaries detailing Mark Watney’s plight. A 7 minutes Gag Reel is included.
Color graded in orangey to make it have a Mars-feel, The Martian stills look pretty solid in terms of visual. Details and CGI are great thus nothing sticks like a sore thumb in the visual department. Dialogue and sound effects (mostly ambient) are clear and sharp while the surround only comes alive during the movie’s climatic sequences.
DVD RATING :
Review by Linus Tee