Fall Movie Spotlight: Ridley Scott’s The Martian

You’re probably wondering why I’m suddenly blogging about this film, with just two weeks before its US release (October 2). UK folks actually will get this two days sooner on Sept. 30. In all honesty, up until fairly recently, I had been mostly blasé about this film, given my disappointments with Sir Ridley Scott‘s movies lately. I even skipped The Counselor but I somehow got around to seeing Exodus despite my dread, and though I didn’t hate it as much as I thought I would, it still was such a letdown.


But y’know what, the relentless campaign somehow succeeded in getting me more intrigued about this one and it seems that the reviews suggest that this could be a return to form for the 77-year-old prolific filmmaker. The Rotten Tomatoes summary said the film is “Smart, thrilling, and surprisingly funny…” hmmm, I’m most intrigued by the surprisingly funny part, esp. given the 141-min running time, a bit of humor goes a long way.

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.

As for the casting, well I have to admit I was rather meh about Matt Damon casting, but perhaps because I was one of those who don’t care for his casting in Interstellar and he’s playing an astronaut yet again here. But yes I realize it’s a totally different character and I am intrigued by the MacGyver style survival story in space.

I do love the supporting cast! Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara … nice to see a trio of actresses in prominent roles. I’ve always liked Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Sebastian Stan and Chiwetel Ejiofor, so that’s very cool too. Interesting to see Ejiofor playing an Indian character, but apparently Irrfan Khan was originally cast but had scheduling conflict. Hey, even Norwegian actor Aksel Hennie whom I like in Headhunters is here, too!


Another piece of trivia per IMDb, Drew Goddard, who wrote the screenplay for the film, was also at one point set to direct, but left that role to go direct the Sinister Six film. After that, Scott read the script and jumped into the project, rather than making a Prometheus sequel (I think that’s wise). I also didn’t realize that the writer of the novel Andy Weir first published his book for free on his own site as a blog for fun. Then people asked him to put it in a downloadable form, then people asked him to put it on Amazon for Kindle download which he did at the then min price of $0.99.

So apparently this movie had the coolest premiere ever… in the International Space Station! I guess that made sense as NASA was consulted while making the film in order to get aspects of space and space travel, specifically in relation to Mars, with the most accuracy.


Well I’m seeing the film later tonight, and I thought I’d post three featurettes from the film. The marketing budget for this film is pretty massive, so we’ll see if it pays off.

So are you looking forward to seeing The Martian?

30 thoughts on “Fall Movie Spotlight: Ridley Scott’s The Martian

  1. This was the film I was totally jazzed about for the Fall. ‘The Martian’ being my favorite novel of 2014. The match up of Ridley Scott returning to sci-fi, along with Matt Damon’s casting (if you’ve read the book, this is a natural) has me more than excited for its release. If the screenwriters, or frackin’ producers, don’t screw this up, this is going to be one very entertaining ride.

    1. Yay, awesome! I’m even MORE excited to see this now Michael. I didn’t know about the humorous tone of the story but hey, that’s always a plus. Yes let’s hope they didn’t butcher this cinematic adaptation!

  2. I didn’t read the book it’s based on but I know it’s quite popular and I’m looking forward to seeing this on the big screen and in Dolby Atmos! I’m sucker for space adventure films so hopefully Hollywood will hit a trifecta with this one, GRAVITY in 2013 and INTERSTELLAR last fall. If this one turns out to be another hit, we’ll get to see more space adventure films.

    1. Hi Ted! Well I saw it last night and REALLY liked it. In fact, I LOVED it, much more than Interstellar. I’d be keen in seeing this again, and yes I think if this is a hit, hopefully we’ll get more space adventure films.

    1. Hi Steven! I don’t always trust the critics as I often disagree w/ them but I’d say the 97% RT rating is spot on, it’s definitely one of the best of the year!

  3. I cannot wait for this film. I’ve already lined up a babysitter so my husband and I can actually see it together. lol I absolutely loved the book.

    I’m not excited for Wiig’s casting though, she’s the only one I’m disappointed about. Especially based on the trailer.

    1. Hi Brittani! Oh I think it’ll be worth it! I was surprised how much I enjoyed this film, as I hadn’t been anticipating it at all.

      As for Wiig, well she doesn’t really have much to do here, but there’s one scene where I get why they cast her. Overall it’s about Damon, and Jeff Daniels also has a memorable turn.

    1. YES!! I’m thrilled that I highlighted this film after months of sort of ignoring it, ahah. I’m glad it captured the spirit of the book, that’s actually as important as the details. I LOVE Ridley Scott up until a few years ago so nice to see him back in top form. Damon was good as well, he’s not usually my go-to actor.

  4. Looking forward to this. Let you know what I think when I see it. While I haven’t liked a lot of Scott’s work for a while you gotta give it to the man he’s one of the best sci-fi directors out there. (Alien and Blade Runner are on the shortlist of greatest sci-fi movies ever made and at least Prometheus looked spectacular despite the so-so story). I have high hopes. We’ll see.

    1. Hi Dave! Yes let me know what you think after you see it. I saw it last Monday and REALLY enjoyed it. It’s true he hasn’t butchered a scifi movie yet so hopefully he’ll just stick w/ that as his Robin Hood, Exodus and The Counselor seem to have missed their mark. I heard he’ll work on Blade Runner 2 after this one.

  5. Great post Ruth. I’m curious about the concept but the run time concerns me – I hope it can keep the momentum going. Damon seems to be majoring in sci-fi lately with Interstellar and Elysium under his belt, but I haven’t been enamoured with either film to be honest. I’m hoping to see this one later in the week, so I’ll let you know how I get on!

    1. Hi Natalie! Wow I totally forgot about Elysium, I hated that movie. But this one was good, thankfully, it was very entertaining and enjoyable to watch as there’s a lot of humor in it. I actually like this a lot better than Interstellar.

  6. Pingback: Salvage From The Wreckage: Can Zack Snyder Deliver A Genuine Ultimate Cut? |

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