October 2, 2015
Review #739: The Martian.
Matt Damon (Mark Watney), Jessica Chastain (Melissa Lewis), Kristen Wiig (Annie Montrose), Jeff Daniels (Teddy Sanders), Michael Peña (Rick Martinez), Kate Mara (Beth Johanssen), Sean Bean (Mitch Henderson), Sebastian Stan (Chris Beck), Aksel Hennie (Alex Vogel), Chiwetel Ejiofor (Vincent Kapoor), Donald Glover (Rich Purnell), Benedict Wong (Bruce Ng), and Mackenzie Davis (Mindy Park) Directed by Ridley Scott (#100 - Blade Runner and #530 - Alien)
This is the 13th movie from the local movie theater, and what better way to cap the lucky number with a science-fiction movie? Quite well, I'd say. Talk about a fun movie. Without getting much in the way, I recommend seeing it. Why? Because it's a tremendous way to spend two hours in an adventure that manages to be more than the sum of its parts, while also managing to treat its audience with respect. The movie (based off the novel of the same name by Andy Weir) is not about the isolation of a man trapped in a planet all on his own as one would guess, but about how he adapts with his personality also playing a factor. Damon can be funny, but his main performance is excellent because you believe that this man is trying and doing everything to stay alive. The movie never wavers, balancing the scenes on Earth and the scenes with Damon on Mars nicely. The rest of the cast is also excellent, managing to be convincing while also likable. Chastain makes an effort to resemble a Commander, acting with grace and authority that never comes off as fake sounding. Her crew are also pretty good, especially in the last half, where it really is fun to see them all come up with a plan. Daniels, Wiig & Ejiofor also do a good job, having some quick chemistry. Lastly, Glover (though not in the movie much) is memorable and a good kind of quirky that adds a little more charm to the movie, while also being helpful, so that's another plus. It's certainly an interesting movie to listen with regards to science, and it's always nice to remind me about the Mars Pathfinder and make me want to know a little more about hexadecimals. The effects and sets are wonderful, never looking fake at all, as we instead are gazing at the beauty of it all. Mars is certainly an interesting planet to think (and watch) about, and that's why it matters when we discover something new, or about any planet, really. Yes, we live on Earth, but that doesn't mean we should shun ourselves of hearing about attempts to discover something new or learn new things, while keeping an open mind. Enjoy the movie, and enjoy every day on this planet.
Overall, I give it 9 out of 10 stars.