By Jeri Jacquin & Jenise Jacquin
This week with an all new extended edition is a 7-time Academy Award nominated film from director Ridley Scott and 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment about a man who becomes “The Martian.”
Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is with his crew including Lewis (Jessica Chastain), Martinez (Michael Pena), Johanssen (Kate Mara) and Beck (Sebastian Stan) on Mars conducting research. All is going well, that is until a storm comes in stronger than anyone had anticipated.
In one moment the team’s lives are in danger as the storm is tilting their ship. Getting everyone on board for an emergency lift off, the wind whips up debris throwing Watney to the wind. Believing he is dead the crew has no choice but to lift off to safety.
When the storm passes, it becomes clear that Watney survived! Getting back to the base station, he quickly goes into survival mode. He begins to assess his supplies and what he can use to reach NASA.
Stunned, mission control on earth with Ted Sanders (Jeff Daniels), Annie Montrose (Kristen Wiig), Mitch Henderson (Sean Bean) and Vincent Kapoor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) try to come up with a rescue plan. It is out of nowhere that Rich Purnell (Donald Glover) gives them an option that they hadn’t considered.
Now it is a race between the rescue team and Watney’s ability to stay alive!
Damon as Watney is absolutely amazing. We certainly had concerns with his recent astronaut experience with “Interstellar” but we shouldn’t have been. He takes this role as a man left to his own devices on the red planet and just thrills from one problem solved to the next. Damon’s ability to use comedy in the middle of some scary stuff doesn’t diminish the fear, just gives us moments of nervous laughter as a release. Yes, we are Damon fans.
Chastain as Lewis and Mara as Johanssen are strong female characters who don’t take orders from the guys very well. Stan as Beck absolutely wants to break the rules to bring his friend home and there is a little love connection with Johanssen.
Pena as Martinez is an actor who consistently brings it to the screen. There isn’t a role he has done that we don’t like and “The Martian” once again proves he is a talent that has so much more to offer.
Daniels as Sanders gets a chance to wear his bad guy-character suit. Of course some might say he’s just doing his job as the head of NASA, but there are moments we questioned whether he wants Watney to come home!
Glover as Purnell is a whiz kid who has to convince others he knows what he’s doing. This is a guy with a big brain and a lot of coffee intake! Wiig as Montrose is disaster control and it’s interesting to watch this usual comedic actress stand there with a straight face, kind of scary really.
Ejiofor as Kapoor turns in a solid performance with a role soaked to the gills in science, Math, quantum physics and anything else one would have to know where Mars and a rescue are concerned.
Bean as Henderson is as bad ass as he wants to be. From the moment his character comes into the storyline it’s easy to see Henderson isn’t about to take any b.s. from anyone. He is combative, sarcastic, direct, snarky and has a few tricks up his sleeves and every bit of Bean’s portrayal had us cheering for him.
Other cast include: Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel, Nick Mohammed as Tim Grimes, Mackenzie Davis as Mindy Park, Zhu Tao as Chen Shu, Eddie Ko as Guo Ming and Sebastian Stan as Chris Beck.
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment is amazing to once again bring just what fans want for their home library. Continually bringing new entertainment content for everyone’s media library, their format includes DVD, Bluray, and Digital HD. To discover more of what they have to offer please visit www.foxconnect.com.
TUBS OF POPCORN: We give “The Martian”: Extended Edition five tubs of popcorn out of five. Matt Damon makes the entire film so fantastic to watch with his portrayal of Watney – or as we called him the Martian McGyver. The film is visually stunning with storyline and characters just keep it flowing in beautiful Bluray on a nice big home screen.
This is a film for everybody because it does have so much to offer. Damon deserves every accolade for this performance. Want to see what an actor can really do? Put him on Mars with some potatoes and prepared to be amazed.
Ridley Scott is a director that deserves so much respect, not only does “The Martian” prove it to us but his track record says so as well. Maybe a few of these film titles will ring a bell with “Alien(s),” “Legend,” “Thelma & Louise,” “G.I. Jane,” “Gladiator,” “American Gangster,” “Prometheus” and now “The Martian”, so mad props!
The Bluray comes in a 2-disc set along with Digital HD with ten extra minutes of unseen footage. New Special Features with this set include Audio Commentary by director Ridley Scott, Writer and Executive Producer Drew Goddard and the author of The Martian Andy Weir, Deleted Scenes, The Long Way Home: Making The Martian, Dare Mighty Things: NASA’s Journey to Mars and Journey to Mars 101 Q&A.
This Bluray is truly brilliant with both the theatrical version of the film as well as the extended cut. If you waited to get your own copy of “The Martian,” wait no more! This is the edition you want for your home entertainment library.
In the end — help is only 140 million miles away!