Saturday, October 03, 2015

3D Movie Review: THE MARTIAN: 9.3 Stars - Scott's Triumphant Vision Soars!

Spoiler-free, in case you haven't seen it yet and want an opinion.

I don't think there are enough superlatives to describe director Ridley Scott's spectacular take on a magnificent novel (one that you should seek out and read). The movie is not perfect, but masterfully crafted. Cinematographer Dariusz Wolski will again drop your jaw and interestingly enough, he is going head to head against himself this week as he is also the DP on Zemeckis' THE WALK - another 3D movie that just opened!

As you can see, I haven't rated anything to do with this movie below a 9/10. I think that's a first for me. Usually there is some glaring flaw somewhere in a production that I must comment on, but sincerely the only thing I can say that may not be taken as a compliment is that the movie veered from the novel. But of course it will - it's a slightly more than 2 hour movie and will indeed have its own version. However, even this point is not all that negative to me at all. In what is a rare occurrence for me, I found myself thinking "Oh wow - I truly don't know where he is going with this" adding a level of suspense I didn't think possible after reading a movie's novel before seeing the film, rather than think that the movie is ruining the original story. Far from it. Both are standalone and wonderful. So even if you have read the best selling book - go see this movie!

The character development and story are breathtaking. Of course it centers on Watney (Matt Damon) and within you see a carefully crafted evolution of the man. Realization, self-deprecation, humor, despair, hope, joy, fear, achievement. The journey is long, yet concise. A perfect balance; something you definitely need when the story itself takes YEARS to tell and yet still flows much better than I ever thought possible.

It's a rousing couple of hours that will keep you entertained, thrill you and challenge you to think.

The movie's 3D was exceptional and solid. Most of the movie was shot in native 3D (as per the Ridley Scott norm) by stereographer Gareth Daley using our friends at 3ality's 3D rigs and expertise, and it shows. Gareth nailed it! I've got to watch it again just to see what I've missed because at times there is much to take in. See it on the largest 3D screen possible in your area and with the best sound. The experience will blow you away.

Damon delivered a solid Watney. Personally I would have cast someone else, probably someone younger perhaps Aaron Paul - but let me reassure you that Damon is believable and enjoyable in this role. At no time did I think "I don't believe this" or that the character doesn't work. Exact opposite in fact. Most audiences will still have in their mind GOOD WILL HUNTING and how brilliantly Damon played a genius. Same applies here. I just felt the role would be better served by a younger actor. That is it.

So I won't go into more details and ruin any element of the movie for you, but again, I seldom give 9's and above across the board. Check it out - it's worth your hard earned money and DEFINITELY see it in 3D.

Here's the storyline for the movie:
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. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible, rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel.

THE MARTIAN is now playing.

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Jim Dorey
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