‘I'm the first person to be alone on an entire planet’.
Star – Matt Damon
Genre – Sci-Fi
Run Time – 144 minutes
Certificate – PG13
Country – USA
Oscars – 7 Nominations
Awards – 28 Wins & 139 Nominations
Amazon – £10.00 DVD (Blue Ray £14.99)
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I have actually solved how we all got here. Forget Hawking and Einstein. The fact humans exists in the universe and our technology and evolution is accelerating at a rapid pace then its inevitable that at one point in the distant future we will be advanced enough to create a universe of our own, and the infinite probability the endless universe allows, we will eventually create this very universe we live in so we can do it all over again. That theory can’t be dismissed and much better than the idea we came from nothing. When you are dealing with quantum physics there is room to work around the theory that we can’t create something if we never existed to do it. I’m quite comfortable with the idea that every possibility of everything happens at the same time and why we can exist at anytime. We are alive folks; we can invent the Big Bang and the most likely reason why we are here.
The next big step is the expansion of the species is to live on another world, of course, the subject of The Martian. We are going to ruin our own world one day and so we need new worlds to habitat. Sci-Fi writer Andy Weir understands that thesis very well and published a fun fiction book about it, The Martian. He wasn’t a known writer at the time and simply blogged his book for fun, just like you guys. Then people asked him to put it in a downloadable form, then to put it on Amazon for Kindle download which he did at the then minimum price of $0.99. The rest is history. When top screenplay writer Drew Goddard, brilliant Sci-Fi director Ridley Scott and Hollywood’s most cerebral and likeable actor Matt Damon all came together in cinemas very own big bang they produce this entertaining, funny, clever and interesting movie. The cerebral side of The Academy loved it and awarded it seven nominations, included Best Movie, and Best Actor for Matt Damon, the only actor to play a fictional character in this year’s Oscar Best Male nominations. He would win the Golden Globe but the film far too entertaining and popular with the general public to win an Oscar, of course.
On the week this movie was released, NASA found water on Mars….
Matt Damon ... Mark Watney
Jessica Chastain ... Melissa Lewis
Kristen Wiig ... Annie Montrose
Michael Peña ... Rick Martinez
Jeff Daniels ... Teddy Sanders
Chiwetel Ejiofor ... Vincent Kapoor
Sean Bean ... Mitch Henderson
Kate Mara ... Beth Johanssen
Sebastian Stan ... Chris Beck
Aksel Hennie ... Alex Vogel
Benedict Wong ... Bruce Ng
Mackenzie Davis ... Mindy Park
Donald Glover ... Rich Purnell
Nick Mohammed ... Tim Grimes
Shu Chen ... Zhu Tao
A sol is a Mars day, which is 37 minutes longer than our day. A Mars year is around two Earth years. It can drop to between - 80 and -120 degrees on Mars in their winter but Summer time a pleasant and sunny Earth like 68f (20 Degrees) although best not take your helmet off to take in some rays. A human would only survive one minute in a Mars vacuum and a face full of solar radiation. Mars gravity is 40% earths and so makes humans 60% lighter and so no hopping around either. The biggest problem with living on Mars is there is no chance of breathable air in the future and its only 1% of our atmosphere to trap that air and the conditions needed for us to live there. Lethal Solar radiation and space objects would barrel through and fry and smash all living things. It would only ever be a Mars base to launch to other worlds.
An expletory team of astronauts aboard Aeries 111 have been on Mars for 18 sols of their 31 sol mission to improve living conditions on the Mars Hab, the human living quarters, lab and facilities on Mars, about the size of a petrol station. Two previous missions have dragged kit over from Earth on a ten month journey and a base is slowly being built. But today its about to go very wrong when a huge Mars storm threatens the mission and the team have to abort and leave Mars as the wind threatens to blow the return rocket module over. In the confusion one of the astronauts, Science Officer Mark Watney (Matt Damon), is seriously injured and left behind as dead, Mission Leader Lieutenant Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) making the correct and tragic call to save the rest of the four person team.
With Aeries 111 heading back to Earth we discover Watney is not dead but knocked out on Mars surface in his damaged space suit, woken by alarms warning his oxygen is critical. Scrambling back injured to the Hab he regroups and works out how long he has got to survive. It’s not good, a month at best with current life support and supplies. But Watney is a botanist and as all astronauts are annoyingly smart sets about ‘sciencing the sh*t out of the situation’, as he puts it on his daily recorded log. With what he has on Mars he must make one months stuff last one year and then make stuff with that to last three more years so to rendezvous with the next mission to Mars, Aeries 1V. The chosen crop is potatoes and now all he has to do is make water and air and eat the big spuds and plant the little ones.
Mark Watney: ‘They say once you grow crops somewhere, you have officially colonized it. So, technically, I colonized Mars. In your face, Neil Armstrong! I don't want to come off as arrogant here, but I'm the greatest botanist on this planet!!’.
NASA is unaware of his survival and have long since announced to the world he is dead, until ‘movement’ is picked up on Mars by the orbiting probe and sent back to Earth. Watney has no idea if NASA knows his fete and the Aries 111 crew have no clue on their ten month journey back. But Watney needs to know they are coming and he needs solutions to problems on Mars and in the Hab to survive much longer and so must figure out how to communicate with Earth some 4 million miles away. The main base antenna was trashed in the launch and the Vodafone signal is terrible here. When he discovers that new hope buried in the Martian dirt then an impossible Apollo 13 style rescue mission may, well, not be impossible….
I think it’s fair to say The Martian proves to be an entertaining popcorn stuff that pleases general audiences and something for Sci-Fi fans alike, but not in the Alien, Aliens and Blade Runner category, Ridley Scotts seminal work. But this one is good enough to eventually find itself planted amongst the best in Ridley Scott's cannon like those potatoes in the Hab as it is perfectly paced, visually stunning, and mentally challenging, unlike Prometheus, the sequel to that rightfully delayed so Scott could do this. Matt Damon’s performance is slightly ‘to the camera’ and knowing with lots of quotable lines but works in context as he is alone all the movie and so needs to speak.
It’s a magpie of a movie in truth as Scott borrows heavily from films like Silent Running, Apollo 13 and Interstellar, Damon playing a similar role in that sprawling and recent Chris Nolan Sci-Fi epic. The tweak here is that the film is set in the present day and all the science, materials and technology used in the film to make the mission work is available today, including the plasma jet engines, and that certainly adds to the film, the ethos of Andy Weirs book. All of the science in the film was checked by NASA and only the wind issue contested. With no real atmosphere on Mars it’s almost impossible to have winds and storms and so there was no danger from a storm and so there purely for movie narrative purposes.
The film looks stunning in Blue-ray with Mars burnt red and brown exteriors shot and bought to life in Wadi Rum, Jordan, a popular place for Sci-fi movie shoots. The mountains and valleys look eerily familiar to the images we see from Mars probes and add to the films stunning cinematography. I would make the most of Blue-ray with films like the Martian as it’s what your wide screen HDTVs are made for. The special effects today are so accurate it’s like you take them for granted today.
Ridley Scott bought it in $2 million under budget at $108 million and the film generated an impressive $656 million to date, the 6th biggest movie of 2015. Scott and the studio were shrewd with the screenplay as they include China as a rare positive role model and integral in the film and that will sell very well in Asian territories for the commercial product it is. With humor, a rather preposterous ending and some occasionally hokum science this is a very different big budget Ridley Scott being eased into the 21st century. At least he has buried the memories of Prometheus for now.
Imdb.com – 8.1/10.0 (367,345votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 92% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 80% critic’s approval
The Blue Ray version has a ton of extras and lot of them dross. I suppose you have to justify the extra five quid. I’m always interested to hear what Matt Damon and Ridley Scott have to say and good to see both back on top but a lot of this is fluff. But the film style demands Blue-ray and so I went that way. It does look fantastic. No strings and wires landing the Space 1999 space ships here!
The writer, director and cast talk about their excellent movie.
A little bit more on the science of living on Mars.
Obama has begun private the public finding rounds for a manned flight to Mars and here we find out if it’s possible.
-Aeries 111: Farewell-
Acting in the extras is the only way to describe this as the actors I character talk about their mission ahead. There are three of these segments and all a bit silly and unneeded.
New Yorker –‘Mat Damon has never seemed more at home than he does here, millions of miles adrift. Would any other actor have shouldered the weight of the role with such diligent grace?’
The Times –‘The Martian may be light, but it's a fun ride out of this world’.
The Arts Desk –‘Despite following fast in the warp drive of Gravity, Interstellar and Scott's own Prometheus, this fabulously entertaining film doesn't suffer either through space fatigue or by comparison’.
The Mail –‘The ending is so farfetched that the suspension of disbelief dies long before anyone in the film ever does’.
Seattle Times –‘It's pretty sunny and often funny, a space oddity for a director not known for pictures with a sense of humor’.
St Puals Express –‘The Martian is entertaining not because of how it ends, which you can probably guess, but from watching a whole bunch of really smart people figure out how to get there’.
Kansas Star –‘With The Martian, director Ridley Scott and star Matt Damon deliver an almost perfect piece of popular filmmaking, an intimate sci-fi epic that is smart, spectacular and stirring’.
Regionalization of MTV was a real disappointment for me. The advent of MTV UK and Ireland meant that the variety of music played was significantly reduced. Feel the same? Well now you have MTV Extra - although not a patch on MTV Europe that we used to have in the good old days, this channel offers much more variety than MTV. Aimed at the pop music listeners, this channel is constant music (except for ad breaks) so no annoying VJ's who want to share their opinion on music with you at every opportunity. Sure, everyone is entitled to their opinion on music but the new generation of VJ's seem to think that everyone shold think like they do - there's no shame in liking Steps or Westlife, but watch MTV and you'll be belittled and made to feel silly. Dance music by night and pop by day, MTV Extra offers a good mix of old, new, chart and European pop music (who else would have shown the insane - Squeeze Toy by Boomtang Boys? They make Aqua look grown up!) MTV Extra has something for everyone, guitar bands, pop and RnB so next time you want to watch music on TV give channel 441 a whirl, you won't be disappointed.
MTV Extra is MTV’s second channel but unlike MTV it shows music videos non-stop apart from the occasional ad break. It has 2 main programs, which are PURE MUSIC by day and DANCE by night. During each of these there are no presenters just music. PURE MUSIC shows all styles of music but quite often you will find 2 or 3 songs of the same type of music together which is good if you like just one kind of music. MTV Extra is available on Sky Digital as a standard channel.
When I upgraded my Sky package to digital I had doubts whether the extra Music channels were actually needed. But now I listen to MTV Extra more than MTV itself. I think that its better due to the range of music played whereas on channels like MTV Base they just play a certain type of music (usually Drum 'n' Bass or R 'n' B) MTV Extra still has the ridiculous amount of adverts that all Sky Channels have but you can't complain really. MTV Extra is my favourite music channel which is pretty good going considering the competition like Kiss, The Box and MTV!
MTV extra is the channel you get on Sky digital until recently it was a complete waste of time. It has a dramatic change and in my opinion is now a much better channel than MTV. Throughout the day and the evening you now get Mtv Pure Music and it is just that all the latest hits till around 11Pm and the it usually goes to MTV Dance. I have noticed that some videos tend to be shown quite a lot on this channel Steps for one. I like steps so this suits me just fine. The music ranges from Steps to Oasis. If you get the chance check out this channel its on 441 on Sky digital.