The Martian (2015)
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.
Although there is room for improvement, this movie hits well on all cylinders. People need to accept their will never be a perfect movie, which is why I gave this one such high marks. Two movies I consider a 10 are Titanic and Avatar. There are more but these are two examples of my version of a 10,The Martian provides an excellent blend of drama, sci-fi, and comedic moments that are not over the top. The casting was great with the exception of a few roles. There were a few space scenes that are a total farce, but overall they did capture the essence of what it will take to go to Mars.My rating is actually a toss up between 8 and 9 stars.
I grew up when NASA first started sending people into space and it captivated me so much so that I would build models of the spacecraft and hang them out my window when a mission was on. I'm also a fan of Ridley Scott but this movie missed the mark by a wide margin for me. First of all, it is WAY TOO LONG and I found my inner child constantly saying "are we there yet?" This was the result of a lack of dramatic tension in the screenplay and lack of depth to the characters. I agree with other viewers who say there should have been more angst about being alone on a planet millions of miles from home. If it was me, I would be freaking out! (Then I would pray). Also some great shots of that isolation against the magnificent universe would have been awesome but we were given none of these.We have seen these movies before done better - my standard is always "Independence Day" where you had real character development, dramatic tension, and excellent humor in the script. None of these elements are present in this script. In fact, we know we have been here before, and just like making copies of a tape, successive versions aren't quite as sharp as the original. This movie must have been the 10th copy! Not good enough for a Ridley Scott movie. Matt Damon does well with what he has but he is not given a whole lot to work with. And was it me, or was that a stand in doing the nude scene of Matt emerging from a shower?I would have preferred to see Jeff Goldblum do the lead, though I get it that he is not a big enough box office draw. I think he would have done much more with the thin gruel given to the lead. Waste of talent all around.
The first hour is interesting and engaging but the plot starts to tail off after 90 minutes and the final hour is dull and irritating. The attempts at humourous scenes fall flat and detract from the tension which has been building. Ditto the choice of music - as if 2001 A Space Odyssey had used Priscilla Queen of the Desert for its soundtrack. Ultimately, this film seems to be confused about what it wants to be. It starts out as a gripping thriller but then turns into something weirdly light-hearted. A pity, it showed promise but didn't deliver.
Generally the movie was good....lots of quasi-science which, although improbable, didn't stretch the bounds too far but the ending......really? We're supposed to believe that the rocket nose....in order to save weight, jettisons the hard cap and replaces it with....wait for it....CANVAS. If you do the math, the only speed quoted, which is BEFORE the maximum thrust, converts to about 2600 kilometers per hour. Now I've put my arm out the window at about 150 KPH and had the hair nearly blown off so I'm pretty sure 2600 KPH is more than a little improbable. Since the entire movie is predicated on hoping we will believe at least some of the science why couldn't they have just picked a smaller number to reduce it which didn't entail removing all the windows and the nosecone 'cause I'm pretty sure they'd be necessary at 2600 KPH....just saying.