Alright! First review of the Academy Awards season. I’m hyped. Let’s get to it. A couple of days ago, I watched The Martian:

I didn’t have good hopes going into the movie. I thought it was going to be Gravity with a dude. Matt Damon mildly irked me.

But it wasn’t what I thought it would be.

It was surprisingly light for a movie that had so many elements of drama in it. Rewatching the trailer, there are obviously indicators for that type of vibe – which I somehow missed. The situation didn’t feel as dire as I thought it would. It was more of a “oh fuck, I’m on Mars, how do I make this work?” vibe than it was a heavy, penultimate quest for survival. Which was nice.

The plot is fairly simple. Matt Damon – his character, not him. I’m guessing it would be a totally different movie if that were the case – gets left on Mars when his crew suddenly has to vacate the planet. He figures out a way, through a series of engaging events, to sustain his life on the planet, people launch a rescue event. That’s pretty much it. Does he get home? Does the crew come back to get him or is it another unit? Does Bruce Willis push Ben Affleck inside at the very last moment? That’s Armageddon. Watch the movie to find out.

One thing that intrigued me from The Martian was the soundtrack. It was very Guardians of the Galaxy-esque. Matt Damon’s character goes through one of his crew member’s bags and finds that the only music she brought was disco. So throughout the movie there was a running gag of Damon opining about the lack of musical selection and a subsequent sequence of scenes with action set to some iteration of disco. It wasn’t bad. It fit for the movie. But it felt constructed for the movie. Which I hope doesn’t become a thing post success of Guardians.

Notable performances:

  • Matt Damon: Mark Whatney, Crew Biologist: It’s classic Comedy Damon, quick smart dialogue. It’s funny and dramatic.
  • Jeff Daniels: Teddy Sanders, I never saw the Sorkin Newsroom show, but what I know of it, this seems like the archetypal character performance. He’s a bit of a prick, put it seems as if he is smarter than everyone else.
  • Jessica Chastain:  Melissa Lewis, Crew Captain: I think noble is the right word? She makes the choice to leave Damon behind and carries that with her throughout the movie.
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor, Vincent Kapoor, head of Mars programs: Not quite as prickish as Daniels’ character, Ejiofor has a lot of screen time as he attempts to solve many of the problems concerning getting Damon home.

It’s actually a fairly deep cast. There’s Kirsten Wiig, Donald Glover (arguably doing his best Abed), Kate Mara, Sean Bean, and more.

If, like me, you are stuck inside over the course of the next week because of snow days or days off or sick days or whatever, it’s definitely worth a rental. It’s a solid action movie with a science fiction theme (depending on how much of the science in the movie was legit) that features engaging graphics and scenery, with solid performances throughout.



Welcome to the empty recesses of my mind! I'm a recent college graduate realizing a Creative Writing degree was a bad idea. Give me a pity like. Or you could check out the about sections (on the front page and about this author page) on my blog to learn a little more about me. Whatever.

What do you think? Do you agree? Do you love it? Or am i a complete tool? Any response is welcome!

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