The cast alone is a pretty awesome collective of talent, but the film's screenplay is penned by Drew Goddard (World War Z, The Cabin in The Woods, Cloverfield; TV's Daredevil (on Netflix), Lost, etc.)
The film is directed by Ridley Scott (Child 44, Out of the Furnace, The Counselor and that questionable Alien/not Alien movie.)
It runs 141 minutes.
All of this is based off a book by the same name written by Andy Weir.
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As you may very well be aware, "During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive."
Watney is played by Matt Damon, while the rest of the crew, both space-based and earth-bound, are played by one hell of a supporting cast.
The accident that leaves Watney behind is an honest mistake made by everyone when debris strikes Watney's spacesuit, killing the telemetry gear that transmits his vitals to the team, hence, they thought him dead.
But alas, dead he is not, and when he comes to face down in the dust of Mars, he not only instantly realizes his predicament, but rather than accepting his fate that he will die alone on this planet, he gets to work looking to resolve the problems he can see before him.
One step, one problem at a time. He never once considers not surviving this predicament, but rather, tackles every new issue that comes up, ignoring what many may consider to be a death sentence.
Nah... not Watney.
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Damon and the cast carries this story to believable levels. Damon makes us completely believe we're sharing his journey, his battle to stay alive on a planet that does not like human life.
He's a botanist, but also very scientifically inclined, which makes the best combination of factors to help him survive.
Each challenge he faces, he faces with resolve. And we feel that resolve. We hope, we worry. We are along for the ride.
I love Jeff Daniels in most of his latest work and I loved him here, playing the head of NASA and balancing smart decisions with politically correct decisions.
I also love Chiwetel Ejiofor, and he's fun to follow along with too. Actually, everyone was fun to follow.
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The Martian was a very compelling and fun movie to watch. For some, they'll say Ridley Scott redeemed himself after that Prometheus debacle, while still retaining some of that shaky-cam mode. (Shaky-cam: It's not much and definitely not too harsh on the brain, but it is there on and off.) But without aliens bouncing around the set, Scott can definitely bring it to the screen.
Seeing this film in theaters was well worth the money we spent on it, seeing it in 2D.
(I saw the big 3D fans saying it should be seen in 3D... but I can't decide if they're industry shills or what not, but you do not need to see it in 3D to enjoy this fantastic story. You don't have to spend 50% more money on a visual gimmick, but if you have the bucks, you still won't be disappointed.)
I'd dare say I'd give this movie a dramatic 9 (out of 10.)
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