The Martian (2015) Review

The Martian (2015)

Directed by Ridley Scott

Based on The Martian by Andy Weir

Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
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.

My Opinion:

I finally saw this! Can you believe I didn’t see this one until now? Especially as I absolutely loved the book (which I reviewed HERE). Hmm. Yeah, it’s good! It’s of course not as good as the book (not many films are). I never enjoy a film as much if I’ve read & really loved the book and the same is true with this one. But I still really liked seeing the book brought to life.

First of all, I should say that Matt Damon did a good job. I was at first annoyed when he was cast as he’s not at all how I pictured Mark Watney but I managed to accept him as the character. I’m disappointed, though, that the movie really didn’t capture Watney’s great sense of humor. It tried & there was a bit of that but I still didn’t connect with the character in the film the way I did in the book. The movie was much more a “drama” than the book was but I suppose that makes sense as to make it too much of a comedy could have been a flop.

All in all, the movie was quite faithful to the book until the end when things were changed a bit & added. I can’t really complain – I’m happy it stayed as faithful as it did. I hated Kristen Wiig – she was the only mistake as far as the casting went. The film looked great & I far preferred all the scenes on Mars (as to be expected). The movie got a little cheesy at the end but I can forgive that as, if this was a true story and a man was really left behind on Mars, it would be a very big story and I believe the whole world would rally around him in the same way.

I was surprised to look this up on IMDB and actually see a lot of negative reviews. Really?! I can’t say I understand that. I got the impression that those giving negative reviews were either “bored” because of all the science or were bitching that the science was “wrong”. It’s a fictional story, for crying out loud – it’s just meant to be entertaining. And for those who were bored, I hope they don’t read the book because there’s waaaaay more talk about growing potatoes and making water. How dare they stick some science into a science fiction movie! Whatever. People suck.

I’m sorry – I’m distracted. I don’t feel like writing reviews much lately. I’ve just gone & started The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and I have no idea why as it’s 1,183 minutes long. I’m 36 minutes in. Does it get better?! Because, so far, I’d have to say that Once Upon A Time In The West was way better by this point. Well, at least the score is awesome. Yeah, I’m done reviewing The Martian, I guess. Here’s a summary!

Summary:

The Martian, although of course not as good as the throughly entertaining book, still manages to stay pretty faithful and mostly captures the spirit of the book. It’s not quite as much fun as the book and takes itself too seriously at times but I can see why they made it a little more dramatic. Damon was good, as usual, but he’s one of those actors that I always just see as the real-life person. Not his fault, I suppose – it’s just that way with certain actors. So it was more “Matt Damon is stuck on Mars!” than “Mark Watney is stuck on Mars!” for me. Overall, it’s a sci-fi movie and I am rarely disappointed by sci-fi movies (except for Elysium, which I watched after The Martian! Ugh). I’d recommend this movie but, as you can probably guess, I’d most definitely recommend reading the book first.

My Rating: 7.5/10

**I’ve now seen all the Best Picture Nominees other than Brooklyn & Bridge Of Spies. Sadly, they both become available on DVD just after the Oscars so I won’t be seeing them beforehand. Still, I’ve done well this year! Here are My Best Picture Nominee Reviews & Ratings (from favorite to least favorite):

Room – 9/10
Mad Max: Fury Road – 9/10
The Martian – 7.5/10
The Revenant – 7.5/10
Spotlight – 7/10
The Big Short – 5.5/10

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The Martian by Andy Weir (Book Review)

The Martian by Andy Weir

What It’s About: (via Wikipedia)
The story follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars and must improvise in order to survive.

My Thoughts:

I’ve been working my way through the big pile of books that I got last Christmas. Here’s the picture that I took of them at the time:

I’ve done okay – I’ve now read everything in that photo other than The Book Thief, Straight White Male & A Game Of Thrones (I don’t have the energy to start on that last one but I’m currently reading George R.R. Martin’s Tuf Voyaging – has anyone read that?). Oh, and I’ve read a few library books as well so that’s a lot of books for me in one year since I’m a pretty slow reader.

Yeah, I’m rambling. As always, I hate doing book reviews! But I feel like I should, just like I can’t watch a movie without sticking my thoughts on this blog. I just really enjoy discussing movies & books with you guys in the comments. And I LOVED The Martian (it’s a very close second place to Ready Player One of the twelve books I’ve read this year) so let’s get this “review” over with so we can chat about it. 🙂

The Martian works so well, for me, thanks to the character of Mark Watney. I loved him! The most important thing to me, when reading a book, is that I actually like the main character. I mean, it takes time to read a book! At least if you hate the characters in a movie, you haven’t wasted as much of your time. And, obviously, this book is about a guy stranded alone on Mars – it wouldn’t be a very fun read if people hated Mark! Judging from the popularity of the book, people have clearly bought into the character. Hell, I’d totally have a crush on him if he was a real person – he has a fantastic sense of humor! I didn’t expect that & it worked perfectly within a plot that sounded like it had the potential to be boring. I guess if you’re stranded on Mars, you’d have to have a sense of humor about it so you don’t go insane, huh?

Oh, and while I prefer what I assume is the U.S. cover up there as I like to form my own picture of the characters in my mind (and there’s nothing I hate more than a book cover with pictures of the stars from a movie adaptation – does anyone else hate that?!), the U.K. The Martian cover has a really hot guy on it so I was a little disappointed at Matt Damon being cast in the movie as he’s not at all what I pictured while I read it. We’ll see – I think he should at least be able to pull off Watney’s sense of humor.


Check that dude out. He’s seriously hot. I mean, he’s sweating but he’s also super attractive.

Okay, enough about Mark Watney. Yes, he’s what really made this book such a great read for me but sci-fi is also my favorite genre so that was going to help as well. I hadn’t heard anything about this book when I spotted it in a shop & read the back. It immediately went onto my Christmas list. It’s such a simple sounding set-up & I wanted to see just how on Earth (er, Mars) the author would manage to make a story about a lonely castaway at all interesting. Well, Weir certainly manages this! It’s obvious now thanks to the movie coming out that there are other characters but I didn’t know if that would be the case before I read it. I have to say that the bits focusing on Watney were by far the best & most exciting anyway. I know nothing about science & the accuracy of everything in the book (I’m assuming nothing is too outrageous as people love to bitch when things are too far-fetched) but I even loved reading the technical-sounding things Watney had to do to survive. You’d think reading a lot (and I mean a lot) about growing food on Mars would be boring. But it wasn’t! I found all that fascinating (whether it’s accurate or not – no idea).

Okay – I’ve said enough. Another book review DONE. Yay! I’m also going to try to squeeze in a double review of the two Joe Hill books, NOS4A2 & Horns, on Wednesday. I want to get those out of the way before I start off another “October Horrorfest” on Thursday since I watched Horns as well & plan to review it next week.

Blah blah blah. Just read The Martian. It’s seriously great! Although, I’ve left it too late to review it so, if you haven’t read it yet, you’ll probably just go to the movie now instead. I’ve avoided reviews but the word so far seems to be that it’s Ridley Scott’s best in a long time. I really do hope that’s true but I also hope people will still check out the book too. I think you’ll be missing out if you only watch the movie.

My Rating: 5/5