Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Martian is fresh, suspenseful and surprisingly funny

Movie:    The Martian

Rating:    PG-13, 2 hours 14 minutes

Grade:   A

In a Nutshell:    Why are audiences and critics raving about The Martian ?  Because it’s fresh, suspenseful, inspiring, scientifically credible, and surprisingly funny. In fact, the Academy Awards placed it in a category of comedy.  I loved this movie.

Director Ridley Scott takes us on a journey to the vast reaches of outer space and into the smallest corners of the human heart.

Based on the 2011 novel by Andy Weir, the movie includes stunning vistas, filmed on one of the largest sound stages in the world in Hungary.  Some of the scenes of Mars were also filmed in Wadi Rum in Jordan. See it in 3D if you can.

The talented cast includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Kristen Wiig, Aksel Hennie, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Uplifting Theme:
·         The film really focuses on optimism and hope, while astronaut/botanist Mark Watney is stranded on Mars.  Sure, Mark has his dark moments, but he quickly decides in the beginning “I’m not going to die” and that determination is what propels him to withstand the most difficult of situations on a hostile planet.
·         Human ingenuity is truly inspiring.  I know this is fiction, but still…
·         “You just begin.  You solve one problem and then another.” – Mark

Things I liked:
·         NASA actually collaborated with the makers of The Martian , lending an authoritative air to the film, making it almost feel like a documentary.   If you want to learn more about the ARES space project and Ridley Scott’s prologue series, go to
·      Fun Disco music is one of the running gags throughout the movie.  At one point, Mark is so sick of listening to Disco music that he says “No, I’m not going to turn the beat around.  I won’t do it.”  The movie soundtrack will probably be pretty popular.  What music would YOU take if you were going to leave Earth on a long mission?
·         I loved the comment about the Council of Elrond directed at Sean Bean's character from The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring [HD] .
·         Jeff Daniels brings back his arrogant, bossy character from The Newsroom: Season 1 to play the Director of NASA.
·         I like it when directors give the audience a reason to keep watching during the credits at the end of a movie.
·         After many months of movies about superheroes who try to save the world, this refreshing flick is about the world trying to save one man.
·         The movie entertains your brain, as well as your heart, which beats fast during the last 20 minutes as you try to remember to breathe.
  -       Each time a new character is introduced in the movie, the audience sees a label on the screen, indicating the person’s name and position, almost as if these are real people. 

Things I didn’t like:
·         I know Saturday Night Live comedienne Kristin Wiig has done several serious films, but it’s just still hard to take her seriously in a dramatic role.
·         If you got dizzy watching Gravity , there will be a few moments in this movie where you’ll have to close your eyes.
·         Two F-bombs and some other profanity surprised me.  I thought PG-13 movies were only allowed to have 1 F-bomb, but somehow this movie gets away with two, plus a few other “F” moments that are mouthed silently.  In fact, Mark is told by NASA to clean up his language since everyone on Earth can read what he’s saying on his transmissions.  As a result, his language gets worse and makes the audience laugh.

Funny lines:  
·         “Luckily, I’m a botanist.  Mars will come to fear my Botany powers.” – Mark
·         “I am the greatest botanist on this planet.” – Mark
·         “I guess I colonized Mars.  In your face Neil Armstrong.” – Mark
·         “So, yeah.  I blew myself up.” – Mark
·         “I’m going to have to science the “bleep” out of this.” – Mark
·         “I’m going to dip this potato in Vicodin and there’s nobody who can stop me.” – Mark
·         “I get to fly along like Iron Man.” - Mark

Things you learn in this movie about surviving on Mars:
·         Duct tape can fix everything.
·         You can use your own doodee to fertilize a garden.
-     Fire = bad.  Plutonium = good.
·         Science!

Tips for Parents:
·         Parents will like how educational the movie is.  Mark, the “space pirate” shows us how to problem-solve with impressive resourcefulness.
·         Some bloody moments.
·         Audiences see the entire back side of Matt Damon after he gets out of a shower.  He’s the only human on an entire planet, so why use a towel?

Can't get enough of Mars?  Check these out:


If you love seeing Matt Damon in an astronaut suit, be sure to check out this mind-boggling movie:

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