Thursday, January 14, 2016

"The Martian" Takes Viewers on a Gratifying Odyssey

20th Century Fox Home Entertainment takes us on a journey of survival with the release of “The Martian” on Blu-ray, DVD, and digital download. The movie is directed by Ridley Scott and based on the award-winning novel by Andy Weir. It stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Michael Peña, and Kate Mara.

When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring him home, while his crewmates hatch their own plan for a daring rescue mission in “The Martian.”

The special effects and CGI for “The Martian” are breathtaking and convinces the audience that they’re really on another planet or in space. I don’t know right off-hand if the spacecrafts in the movie are models or animation, but either way they look real up against their backgrounds and environments. Wherever the landscapes were filmed, they stand in for Mars beautifully.

Matt Damon gives a command performance as the astronaut left for dead on the red planet. He takes the audience through all the emotions you would expect one to deal with as they struggle to not give up in the face of certain doom. His unstoppable drive to survive his plight is inspiring and desperate at times.

“The Martian” is rated PG-13 for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity. We see Matt Damon’s bare backside at one point. He gets impaled by a piece of antenna. Quite a bit of blood is seen as he pulls it out of himself and then treats the wound.

The Blu-ray edition of “The Martian” is filled with loads of bonus material. Several behind-the-scenes featurettes include interviews with the cast and crew. We also get a gag reel and a production gallery. There’s a newly produced in-world retrospective, which takes a greater look at the “true story” behind Mark Watney’s courageous rescue seven years after the events in the film as well.

After the abysmal “Prometheus” and “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” I’m ecstatic to say “The Martian” redeems Ridley Scott in my eyes. It’s a thrilling and completely believable adventure to where no man has gone before. The hero’s journey we’re taken on is an emotional rollercoaster that will have you laughing one moment and stressing the very next.

“The Martian” is available on 3D Blu-ray, Standard Blu-ray, DVD, and as a digital download.

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