Thanks to my good friend Tony, from 2 Guys, Movies & a Mic, I was able to watch The Martian directed by Ridley Scott, at the Montreal Premiere. It features the talent of an all-star cast including Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Donald Glover, Sean Bean and.. okay, now I’m just listing everyone… I’ll stop (but there are several more amazing actors).
I have loved Ridley Scott for years. Whether he is the Producer or the Director, I respect his work, (although not all of it was great, don’t get me wrong). Alien, Thelma & Louise, Gladiator, several of his movies are in my Top 100 Film List, and while I am not always a huge fan of Matt Damon, the rest of the cast for The Martian made me very excited to watch it. It should be said, that I have not read the novel written by Andy Weir, so unfortunately, I can’t compare the film to the book. I will now be adding The Martian to, if not my Top 100 Film List, at least my Top 10 Ridley Scott films.
“During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.” -via IMDb
I loved this film. Matt Damon does an amazing job and he makes the film fly by during his scenes. He brings a lot of humor to it and he almost makes you forget that he is going through life and death situations on a daily basis. I have a new found respect for him and I can’t picture anyone else playing the role. He has been known for losing/gaining weight for films and this one is no different. I give Damon two huge thumbs up and I will try to keep a more open mind when it comes to him from now on.
It was nice to see Jeff Daniels again (I still haven’t been able to get through Newsroom) and he was a good fit for his character. The women of the film (Mara, Chastain, Wiig, Davis) do their parts and while none of their performances made me want to applaud them, I do respect how their characters were those of strong and smart women. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Serenity, 12 Years a Slave) is also absolutely splendid. It’s no wonder why he has been nominated for Academy Awards and Golden Globes.
I cheered twice during the film. Once, was when Donald Glover (also known as Childish Gambino- what a great concert that was…..) finally played his part in the story line and also, when I saw Sean Bean. I am a huge Lord of the Rings fan and he instantly makes me happy. For the rest of you who love LOTR, there is a hilarious reference that almost made me tear up, I was laughing so hard. I will not ruin it, but you’ll know exactly what I’m speaking of when you watch it.
There were times, when I did shake my head and do the “pinch the bridge of your nose while closing your eyes” expression, but it didn’t happen too often. The fact that I only did it about three times says a lot since most films these days have me doing it about 2o times, if not more.
However, the effects, props and costumes were all done really well. I don’t feel like they were trying too hard to “Wow” us with any aspects of the film, by overdoing the effects etc but it was done naturally and there were times when I wondered to myself, “When was the last time I got this excited over a movie that deals with space, the universe, planets….?” While the most recent would be Interstellar, (Gravity was just a huge waste of time in my opinion, sorry), there were several films that made their way into my thought process of trying to answer my own question. One movie however, popped into my head first. That film, was Apollo 13 with Tom Hanks. I don’t know what it is about The Martian, but it brought me back to the feelings I had when I first watched Apollo 13. Alright, the second time I watched it. I was 5 years old when I saw Apollo 13 in the theatre and I fell asleep; give me a break. It’s hard for me to explain, but it was really nice to have those feelings about a film again.
The Martian is 141 minutes long and by the end of it, my legs almost forgot what it felt like to walk. Also, I had run a bit late, thanks to the STM, so we had to sit in the very front row, (again, I am so sorry Tony). I did not know that the film was in 3D, which was a bit surprising and I found it unnecessary but to be fair, I am not a fan of 3D films to begin with. Yes, I hated Avatar. Shocking isn’t it?
Overall, even though the film felt a bit long and drawn out at times, I left the theatre saying, “I could watch that again right now.” If it was good enough for me to want to watch it again, right away, while subjecting my legs to more sitting time, and my eyes to more “3D torture”, then the movie must have done several things right. I laughed more than I expected and it made me emotional at the proper moments for the proper amount of time. I left the movie and smiled the entire commute home- especially when I saw posters for it on every other block.
I definitely recommend this movie for everyone to watch. I would also suggest you go see it in the theatre for the “big screen” factor. Almost every movie that deals with space is better on the big screen. Since we had been in the first row, I honestly felt like I was on Mars with Matt Damon and I must say, he looks pretty good, so I’m not complaining.
Here’s to Duct Tape, Potatoes, 80’s Music and Tarp.
If you go see it, let me know what you thought! A big “Thank You” goes out again, to Tony for allowing me to join him for the film.
Also, please stay tuned, for I will be joining Tony on the 2GMM podcast (follow them, they are better at reviewing movies than I am) discussing the film.
Here’s the link!
Thank you and I promise, there are many more exciting things to come!