Review: The Martian

How can Aquaman control whales? They're mammals! Makes no sense.

Since one of my favorite Mark Watney ponderings got left out of the movie I figured I'd include it here. 

Mark (Matt Damon) is part of a 6 man Ares mission on Mars. When a storm causes them to evacuate early, he's struck by debris which sends him flying in the opposite direction and kills his monitor. His crew members, Leader Lewis, (Jessica Chastain) Martinez, (Michael Pena) Johanssen, (Kate Mara) Vogel, (Aksel Hennie) and Beck (Sebastian Stan) assume he's dead. But he isn't, and when SATCON employee Mindy (Mackenzie Davis) discovers he's alive when looking at satellite images, Ares director Vincent (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and director of NASA, Teddy (Jeff Daniels) among others need to figure out how to bring him home.

The book by Andy Weir is one of the best I've read in recent memory. I would probably say it's now in my top 10 of all time. This film had big shoes to fill in that sense, and they still hit it out of the park. Sure, they left things out as all book adaptations go. Watney experienced more setbacks in the novel.(including accidentally blowing up MAV) They also cut an amusing scene where Johansson tells her family that even if something goes wrong, she was chosen to survive because she's the smallest, needs the least amount of food, and when her other crew members die she can cut them up and eat them.

But I found it easy not to dwell on the things they left out. The cast is fantastic, with the exception of Kristen Wiig, who plays NASA spokeswoman Annie with way too much of a "sad panda" expression when Annie was more of a hard ass in the book. I'm not quite sure why she was chosen to play her. The film splits the time between Mars, the Ares 3 crew, and Earth so while Watney carried the book, Matt Damon isn't tasked with carrying the entire film. Ejiofor was the stand out for me.

The visual effects in this film were stunning. They made Mars look so beautiful and intimidating at the same time. The score was lovely, even when Watney is stuck listening to disco music most of the time. They also made good use of their two allotted "fucks" for their PG-13 rating.  

Recommended: Yes

Grade: A+

Memorable Quote: "Did you really just say that to me?" - Vincent Kapoor (Chiwetel Ejiofor)

24 comments:

  1. Yes yes yes! Great review! I enjoyed this one as well. Check out mine: http://speaksinmovielines.blogspot.com/2015/10/speaks-reviews-ridley-scotts-martian.html

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  2. It was such a great movie. I wrote in my review that they left my fav part of the book out too, but it was when NASA was discussing Mark's personality and how he was vital for the crew. Having that knowledge would have definitely added a little more to the crew dynamics but I feel like it did okay without it as well.

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    1. That was a really great moment too. I figured they would leave out a lot of his humor (gay probe.) But I'm happy with what was in there.

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  3. I liked how they used David Bowie in the soundtrack, especially with his songs Space Oddity, Life on Mars? and Starman (the latter which they used.

    The Elrond Project scene was the funniest, ever funnier when you realise Sean Bean also attended that secret meeting.

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    1. I like that they used Bowie too. Love his music, and Starman is one of my favorite songs of his. The project Elrond thing was hysterical. I don't remember finding it that amusing in the book. They should've thrown a "simply" in for Mitch.

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    2. I haven't read the book myself, but a bit of research on the internet does show that the project Elrond bit was from the novel

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    3. It was from the novel, I just don't remember the scene itself actually being very funny aside from the name and Annie saying she hated everyone.

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  4. lol sad panda. I have yet to be impressed by dramatic kristen wiig

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    1. At this rate I don't think I'll ever be impressed with her.

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  5. Great review! I just saw it, and it's a very entertaining, moving film. I should check out the book some time.

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  6. Ha, I love that last line! I really wanted to read the book before seeing this, but everyone's reviews are getting me too excited, and I need to see this NOW!
    - Allie

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    1. The book is very easy to get lost in. I think I finished it in about 3 days. It might not hurt to see the film first, then read the book to see what they left out.

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  7. I really hope I can get to the theater for this!!!

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    1. I hope you can too, I think you will love it.

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  8. When we saw it at TIFF Sean was dwelling on what was left out and I was like - did you enjoy this movie or not? And the thing is, he enjoyued it very much. It's just that the book is super great. But I thought the movie captured the spirit, and oculdn't have possibly included every last bit. I actually like that they rounded out the earthlings a bit, though I did buy Damon as the martian. It was good stuff, and we might just go see it again.

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    1. I agree 100% Even with things being left out it was still such a strong film.

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  9. Excellent review Brittany. Yeah, I'm thinking a lot of Mark's ponderings as well as some other dialogue was left out for the almighty PG-13 rating. Book Mark was so much funnier, but I thought Matt Damon did a great job with the material. I really enjoyed this movie.

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    1. Book Mark was hysterical. Especially when he kept typing back things like "that's what she said" to Vincent.

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  10. Great review! I saw it yesterday and it was very enjoyable, I feared Wiig is gonna be miscast but she did OK imho. Ejiofor was great but it's a shame the movie didn't show him and Damon's character meet that would be a sweet scene. The ending was a bit abrupt

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    1. That ending is exactly an expansion of the book. We never see Watney get back to Earth, it ends right after his rescue. I assumed they would do something like that with the film, I'm glad they did.

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  11. I finally saw it and.... it is incredible. I love it. I love the usage of "Starman" while I got a kick out of Matt Damon's disdain for disco. My mom was in the next room and couldn't believe the music they were playing as those are her jams.

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    1. I'm glad you loved it! I've watched it twice again since it's been on HBO, just a stunning film. I also loved the use of Starman. I thought they'd use Life on Mars from Bowie, so Starman surprised me a bit. Love that song so much.

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No seriously, post one. I need attention.