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Blu-ray review: THE MARTIAN


Movie review by David Blackwell


DETAILS:  141 minutes, featurettes, Ares videos, gag reel, production art galleries, theatrical trailer, digital HD ultraviolet copy

VIDEO:  2.40:1 (Anamorphic Widescreen) 1080p High Definition

AUDIO:  English 7.1 DTS-HD MA, English 5.1 Descriptive Audio, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 DD, Portuguese 5.1 DD

Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese Mandarin, English Text


STUDIO 20th Century Fox/ Kinberg Genre Films/ Scott Free

Theatrical RELEASE DATE (USA): 10-2-2015

Blu-ray/ DVD RELEASE DATE: 1-12-2016


STARRING Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Aksel Hennie, Sebastian Stan, Donald Glover, and Kate Mara

Based on the novel by Andy Weir

Screenplay by Drew Goddard

Directed by Ridley Scott

Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is believed to be dead and left behind during a Manned Mars mission when a violent storm hits base camp which causes the crew to evac.   Watney must survive on meager supplies, his wit, and spirit on a hostile planet where he hopes to hold out long enough for a rescue mission which may be years away.  NASA tries to spin the situation while trying to find a way to keep him alive and rescue him.   They first keep the crew of the Ares III in the dark so they can finish their mission in getting home to Earth while Watney sciences the hell out of what he has with him including finding the defunct Pathfinder probe and making a potato garden inside the Mars habitat.  He is a man alone on a hostile planet known as Mars where he grows potatoes while using his own poop as fertilizer ands disco music (he hates) to help keep him company.


THE MARTIAN is one of Ridley Scott’s best movies as he manages to craft a movie of the human spirit with good science while showcasing the beautiful terrain of Mars and mixing in the NASA politics behind saving Watney or not.   It is a well cast movie with great art direction and a good mix of suspense, humor, drama, and awe.  The story takes the Apollo 13 approach as you see the story from multiple characters from the astronauts in space to Watney on Mars to the engineers back on Earth at various places.  The climax does feel a little like it is ripping off the ending off another Mars rescue movie, but I overall enjoyed THE MARTIAN and I would love to watch it again.



Given how scant the special features are, you can bet a more comprehensive making-of documentary will be coming in a special edition blu-ray of THE MARTIAN.


SIGNAL ACQUIRED: WRITING AND DIRECTION- how the novel became a movie with a screenplay by Drew Goddard and directed by Ridley Scott along with the production using Go Pro cameras for the Mars Habitat set

OCCUPY MARS: CASTING AND COSTUMES- all about the cast and the costume design of the space suits

7 minute gag reel


ARES III: FAREWELL, THE RIGHT STUFF, ARES: OUR GREATEST ADVENTURE, LEAVE YOUR MARK, and BRING HIM HOME are internet viral videos about the Ares mission and Mark Watney while ARES III: REFOCUSED is a new epilogue for the blu-ray examining the Mark Watney rescue and the decisions made by the people in Mission Control

Rounding out the extras are production art galleries for Earth, the Hermes, and Mars, the theatrical trailer, and a code to download and stream a digital HD ultraviolet copy of THE MARTIAN


FINAL ANALYSIS:  THE MARTIAN is a one of the better sci-fi movies directed by Ridley Scott.  The movie is a crowd pleaser with lots of real science behind it.  The blu-ray teases you with the few extras given how some previous Ridley Scott movies get extensive special edition treatment with in-depth making-of documentary about the movie.


This review is 1-16-2016 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to feedback@enterline-media.com


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