The Martian or Why Haven’t we Gone to Mars Yet?


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.

Let's just agree that he's been awesome the whole time. After all, Buddy Christ thinks so.
Let’s just agree that he’s been awesome the whole time. After all, Buddy Christ thinks so.

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.

Although I don't know if there is a marketable difference in intelligence.
Although I don’t know if there was a remarkable difference in intelligence between the two…

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.

Yeah, this guy
Yeah, this guy, I believe you’ve met

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.

You went back and looked didn't you? Now wake up and pay attention.
You went back and looked didn’t you?

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.


About darkmovienight

You know that guy who goes to the gym and listens to comedy albums while on the treadmill and laughs hysterically? That's not me, I don't go to gyms. I do hang out in Virginia collecting Batman stuff and spending time with my best friend, a Pomeranian named Kratos.

3 thoughts on “The Martian or Why Haven’t we Gone to Mars Yet?

  1. Great review, and I totally agree.

    I would put Damon’s performance right up there with Tom Hanks in ‘Castaway’.

    I think we should also give a huge amount of credit to the marketing team behind ‘The Martian’. In an age where trailers spoil 99% of the movie, I don’t think I saw a single one giving away too much info. The movie, in whole, was marketed beautiful and extremely effectively. I found myself saying, “Holy crap, who ELSE is in this movie?” several times.

    Sicario is still #1 for me so far, but this is an extremely close 2nd.

  2. I totally agree that they kept the essence of the book exceptionally well. When I read the book way back when, my thought was that Matt Damon would be perfect. I think the casting director read my mind. I loved the movie. My one small issue was with the casting choice of Chiwetel Ejiofor as the Indian guy from the book workout changing the character’s name. They actually had a small scene in the film to explain it away. Not really a big deal. But kind of funny.

    1. Sean C., I could be mistaken but I believe they named him “Vincent” in the movie.

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