I want you all to understand a few things before we begin. Space is vast, it is beautiful, and it is dangerous. We live on this beautiful rock/spaceship we call Earth hurtling through empty space at unfathomable speeds and it is AMAZING. Something I can say is that I am proud of the Domestic Public for embracing this film and in recent weeks, other celestial events. There is a vast Universe staring back at you, don’t back down, ask it more questions and encourage others to do the same.
Now, can I see a show of hands of how many people believed that Matt Damon would grow into the actor he has? I just don’t remember when the switch flipped. I suppose you could say that it was Good Will Hunting, but I think that’s too easy. If I recall he played an angel without genitals after that. You know what, even that was awesome. I guess I’m getting to the point where he has become one of our most talented actors of our time.
If you haven’t already seen the impressive amount of marketing surrounding this film, then the basic premise is that in the near future, an astronaut on a manned Mars mission is stranded, presumed dead, and we get an excellent single actor drama/comedy/thriller in the vein of Cast Away Sorry Tom Hanks, the Mars Pathfinder makes a hell of a better companion than a volleyball.
Suffice it to say, Damon nails his performance. And what I find so brilliant about that is this was based on the book “The Martian” by Andy Weir in which, if you’ve read it, you’ll know that the humor and story would be exceptionally difficult to translate. What I saw on that movie screen was the living embodiment of one of my favorite novels and the entire spirit of that book intact. Movies based on books will always have a certain stigma because you cannot literally put every single word, thought, or action from a novel into a movie. Then there is always “that guy” who will waste precious oxygen telling others how much better the book was than the movie.
For someone who read the book and saw the movie, all I can say is that Ridley Scott and Drew Goddard did something I have never seen before. Not only did they bring the novel to life, but the edits and changes they made to the book made it even better. I just cannot say enough about how amazingly well done Weir’s novel was captured.
I raved about Damon, but seriously, with a supporting cast like this, you had to know something special was coming. Each one of them could get their own paragraph, but since I’m sure half of you stopped reading somewhere between Comic Book Guy and my Alf reference, I’ll keep this short.
I want to point out a few actors that I’ve seen recently that have elevated their level of talent in my opinion. First we have Jessica Chastain who is pretty much the Hollywood go-to tough, intellegent, and red-haired actress out there. Then we have Michael Peña. It was his performance here and every scene he stole during Ant-Man that just resonates with me. The funny is strong with this man. Lastly, I can’t forget Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, and Sean Bean. All of them did their jobs exceptionally well and brought their A-Game. Even Sean Bean didn’t die, and that’s impressive.
There are so many more things I would love to tell you about The Martian, but you just have to see it. And as you watch this cinematic beauty unfold, pay attention to the little details. Did you notice they had to CG the sky? Yeah, it’s that impressive.
Didn’t read my fancy words, here is the short version:
This is easily the best film I’ve seen this year other than The Imitation Game. Damon, Ridley Scott (in a continued welcomed return to science fiction), Drew Goddard, and a whole host of supporting characters transform your 2 hours and 24 minutes into an all encapsulated experience. Simply put, go see this film. Then see it again. And once you’ve done that, go outside and look at the Cosmos, they exist for your viewing pleasure, just as this film does.