Movies in a Minute: ‘The Martian’

Instead-and this might sound weird-Scott’s film is mainly a wry comedy, one which smoothly transfers the castaway narrative to outer space.


MONTAGNE: So, Ken, it turns out that the very week that this film opens, NASA makes an announcement of water on Mars.

Now with the recent discovery of flowing liquid water on Mars, scientists may be closer to answering that question than ever before. It’s a handy promotional tool for Ridley Scott’s The Martian. How long does he have to survive on this red planet?

Matt Damon, who demonstrated another technique to achieve the look of weightlessness on screen at The Martian TIFF press conference – standing on one leg while slowly waving his hands through the air – said that,”one of the things that is fun about making movies and (also) totally, totally ridiculous is that we are grownups doing this”. “I’m going to have to science the s– out of this thing”, he declares in his video log.

Watney, played convincingly and with heart by Matt Damon, is on Mars as part of an expedition that has to blast off back to Earth in a hurry when a violent sand storm invades their landing area. “He’s in his 80s and he’s got more energy than anybody and that’s what it was like with Ridley”.

As they say in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, “I’m not dead yet!”

Adapted from the bestselling novel by Andy Weir, “The Martian” centers on an astronaut trapped by himself on the red planet and his inventive methods for survival.

The second point of view is Watney’s crew; the ones who’ve left him behind. Eventually, however, Watney is bound to run out of supplies and will be doomed unless he can contact NASA. As the rest of the crew heads for Earth (Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Aksel Hennie, Michael Peña and Sebastian Stan) Watney comes to 140 million miles from home. The plot has many elements that weave a clever story here and it is not always clear what is going to happen next.

Ridley Scott has finally created another masterpiece. Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski, who previously worked with Scott on Exodus: Gods and Kings and The Counselor, adds his magical touch.

The cinematography will blow you away, and it’s done by a real master, Dariusz Wolski. One of the best scenes involves a Lord of the Rings joke with Sean Bean in the room. Through Damon, “The Martian” finds life, and irrepressible humanity, on Mars. But it’s not. In fact this instant classic sci-fi flick doesn’t require as much thinking on quantum physics.


“I was there for a bit…with Benedict (Cumberbatch) – so, we had an interesting time with the NASA stuff, but how to kind of fit that into everything there’s no way I could”, he said in an interview with Collider. MORNING EDITION and Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan has seen it and is here to tell us what he thought. They took a few liberties, of course, but everything I have read indicates that “The Martian” is uncharacteristically accurate for a blockbuster movie. Besides the set and cinematography, the acting is top notch.

The Martian