Man from Mars

The Martian

martian

Director: Ridley Scott

Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Donald Glover

Oscar winner Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting) takes the lead role in director Ridley Scott’s visually stunning adaptation of the Andy Weir novel, The Martian as he stars as Mark Watney, an astronaut who after a sandstorm on Mars gets stranded on the red planet by his fellow crew members who abandon him unknowingly to head back to earth.

The crew members include Captain Melissa Lewis played by Oscar nominee Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty), Beth Johanssen played by Kate Mara, Chris Beck played by Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier), Rick Martinez played by Michael Pena (Antman, American Hustle) and Norwegian actor Aksel Hennie (Hercules) as Alex Vogel.

Meanwhile back at the Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas, NASA headquarters, Director Teddy Sanders played by Jeff Daniels channeling his role in Aaron Sorkin’s TV Series, The Newsroom, announces that Watney is dead. Back on Mars, Watney is alive and has to figure out a way to survive on a planet with minimal oxygen and no sustainable ecosystem to grow his own food supply, an obvious metaphor for the dwindling food supply on planet Earth. Watch out for a superb supporting role by Oscar nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) as Vincent Kapoor who firmly believes in finding Watney and bring him back to Earth.

martian_ver2

Luckily Watkins is a trained botanist so with ingenuity and a lot of dry humour, he manages to harvest a small crop of potatoes inside the Mars man-made habitat. This is where Damon really inhabits the role of a lone space colonizer, the only man left on Mars who has to survive and adapt to his hostile and surreal environment, ironically while listening to 70’s disco music. Best line in the film is:

“Neil Armstrong, eat your heart out!”

As the team at NASA scramble to figure out a way to rescue Watney after receiving an encrypted message from him letting them know he is still alive, Watney has to use all his own resources to remain resilient until a rescue mission, however precarious is assembled. Whilst the astrophysics of the rescue mission, will go over the head of most viewers, what makes The Martian such an enlightening cinematic experience are the stunning almost ethereal visual effects, held together by an Oscar worthy performance by Matt Damon as he contemplates that he could perish on this desolate and largely uninhabitable planet, if the rescue mission fails.

The rest of the cast are largely viewed in supporting roles, including Chastain as the steely Captain of the Hermes space craft, they support Damon’s character both psychologically, emotionally and spiritually as Watney gradually learns that back on Earth he is becoming a symbol of a lone survivor who if he manages to return home safely will definitely have a legendary tale to tell.

With breathtaking cinematography by Dariusz Wolski and production design by Arthur Max, The Martian is definitely in the same league as Alphonso Cuaron’s 2013 Oscar winner Gravity and humanizes space travel without delving to deeply into the philosophical elements of the infinite universe as done in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey or more recently Christopher Nolan’s visually compelling but laden Interstellar which oddly enough also featured Jessica Chastain and Matt Damon.

With a running time of 141 minutes, The Martian is a superbly told adventure story about one man’s fight to survive and his resilient desire to return to Earth, brilliantly acted by Matt Damon and beautifully directed by Oscar nominee Ridley Scott (Alien, Prometheus, Blade Runner, Gladiator).

Highly recommended viewing especially in a cinema. Do not wait for The Martian to come on TV as the visual and sound effects will certainly be lost.

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
October 2015
M T W T F S S
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  
  • Joss Whedon Breaks Silence on Misconduct Allegations, Calls Ray Fisher ‘A Bad Actor in Both Senses’
    Filmmaker Joss Whedon has broken his silence over multiple allegations of misconduct by him on productions he oversaw, including the 2017 film “Justice League” to his influential TV series “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” In a lengthy interview with New York magazine that published on Monday, Whedon denied Gal Gadot’s allegation that he “threatened” her career while […]
    Adam B. Vary
  • Anne Frank Documentary, Book Name New Suspect in Betrayal That Sent Teenager to Death Camp
    A forthcoming “cold case” documentary investigating who betrayed Anne Frank’s hiding place has uncovered a new suspect. Investigators, including a former FBI agent, believe Arnold van den Bergh, a one-time member of Amsterdam’s Jewish Council, may have been responsible for revealing Frank’s hiding place in the secret attic above her father’s office. The documentary’s investigators […]
    K.J. Yossman
  • ‘The Crime of Padre Amaro’ Team Reunites After 20 Years for ‘Confessions’ (EXCLUSIVE)
    Twenty years after making the Oscar-nominated box office hit “The Crime of Padre Amaro” in 2002, Mexican director Carlos Carrera and producer Daniel Birman Ripstein are teaming up once more for psychological thriller “Confessions.” “We’re now in post with a documentary about child actors in Mexico, ‘I Want to be Famous,’ but this will be […]
    John Hopewell
  • U.K. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries Confirms BBC License Fee Freeze
    U.K. Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries has confirmed that the national TV license fee, which is the primary source of income for the BBC, will be frozen at £159 ($217) per year for the next two years. It will then rise in line with inflation for the following four years. Addressing the U.K. parliament on Monday, […]
    Naman Ramachandran
  • Box Office: ‘Scream’ Unseats ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ With $34 Million Holiday Haul
    All hail the new king! “Scream” dethroned “Spider-Man: No Way Home” over the four-day Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, becoming the first film to unseat the superhero phenomenon since it debuted on Dec. 17. The slasher revival grossed $34 million from 3,664 locations to top the box office. The impressive haul means that Paramount and […]
    varietybrentlang
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90