Film Review: The Martian

THE MARTIAN

Ridley Scott provides a timely reminder of why he is such a celebrated director with The Martian. The film is a wildly entertaining science-fiction adventure.

Astronaut Mark Watney is part of manned mission to Mars. When a storm hits the planet, the crew decide to leave, with Mark presumed dead. Mark has to use all his skills to stay alive on the barren planet whilst trying to signal to Earth that he is alive…

Adapted from Andy Weir’s novel, The Martian is an engaging and entertaining film. Drew Goddard was a good choice to pen the screenplay. The script is frequently funny, with a wonderful ease when switching tone. Like Gravity, there could be a worry of how the film will remain compelling, given the premise. However, it does this with aplomb. The contrasting tales of survival and rescue work well to keep viewers engaged and introduce the necessary supporting characters.

Ridley Scott directs the film skilfully, ensuring good pacing over the two hours plus running time. Despite the period of time that The Martian covers, the film never feels as if it is dragging. During the film there is tension, action and amusement. The Martian ramps the pressure up for the conclusion, enthralling the audience for its finale.

Cinematography in The Martian is excellent. Dariusz Wolski photographs the landscape in a way that demands to be seen on the big screen. The sound is also great, from design to score to soundtrack. The latter is an unusual accompaniment, but it works exceptionally well.

Matt Damon delivers a decent performance as Watney, being the sole performer in many of his scenes. The supporting cast are also good, Michael Peña provides the laughs, whilst Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels are well cast in their respective roles.

Ridley Scott proved his talent working in the space medium with Alien. The Martian is a different time of science fiction movie, but one that also beguiles its audience.

Previews: Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer, Jungle Book and more

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including The Hunger Games: Mockingly Part 2 trailer, the first look at The Jungle Book and more…

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 Trailer

Here is the latest Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 trailer. This preview focuses on Prim, and her relationship with older sister Katniss. Jennifer Lawrence, Donald Sutherland et al return for the final instalment of The Hunger Games franchise. Mockingly Part 2 will hit the big screen on 19th November 2015.

Macbeth Poster

Macbeth poster

Here is one of the new posters for the upcoming Macbeth. Starring Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard, the film is the latest adaptation of one of Shakespeare’s best-known plays. The film is directed by Justin Curzel, best known for 2011’s Snowtown. Macbeth is released in UK cinemas on 2nd October 2015.

The Jungle Book Trailer

Well this looks pretty spectacular. Here is the first look at Disney’s live action version of The Jungle Book. The special effects look wonderful, and the film features an enviable voice cast that includes Idris Elba, Bill Murray, and Scarlett Johansson as the terrifying Kaa. The Jungle Book will roar on to the big screen in April 2016.

In the Heart of the Sea Trailer

Ron Howard re-teams with Chris Hemsworth for In the Heart of the Sea. Also starring Cillian Murphy, Benjamin Walker and Ben Whishaw, the film tells the true story of a New England whaling ship in 1820. In the Heart of the Sea is scheduled for release on Boxing Day, 26th December 2015.

Bridge of Spies Poster

Bridge of Spies Poster

Here is the poster for Steven Spielberg’s latest Bridge of Spies. Starring Tom Hanks, the film is about an insurance claims lawyer who is sent on a mission by the CIA to negotiate the release of a captured American pilot during the Cold War. Bridge of Spies will be released in UK cinemas on 27th November 2015.

The Martian Video

The marketing for The Martian is pretty slick, with a series of “training videos” produced, like the one above. With a stellar cast that includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Chiwetel Ejiofor, it will be interesting to see if the film can replicate the success of recent space-set blockbusters like Interstellar and Gravity. The Martian is out in UK cinemas on 30th September 2015.

Pan Trailer

The latest Peter Pan adaptation, Pan, is about to be released. Starring Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund and Rooney Mara, the film is directed by Joe Wright. It will be interesting to see how the film measures up against 1991’s Hook. Pan will hit the big screen on 16th October 2015.

Previews: Deadpool Trailer, Crimson Peak Poster and more

Plenty in this week’s preview of coming attractions, including the Deadpool trailer, a video for The Martian, the latest Crimson Peak poster and more…

Deadpool Trailer

Here is the red band Deadpool trailer. The film deviates from other Marvel films in that it is clearly aimed at an adult audience with the violence and swearing. As such, it offers something different in the cramped superhero marketplace. Deadpool is set for release on 4th February 2016. My birthday, in case you were wondering.

Hitman: Agent 47 Trailer

The trailer for Hitman: Agent 47 certainly looks action-packed. The film is based on a games franchise, of which I know only that you have to toss a coin to distract people. Starring Rupert Friend and Zachary Quinto, Hitman: Agent 47 will hit the big screen on 27th August 2015.

The Martian Video

This video, found in the Ares archive, reveals a bit about the main characters in Ridley Scott’s upcoming The Martian. The film is about an astronaut who gets stranded on Mars, and the efforts to rescue him. The all-star cast includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The Martian is released in UK cinemas on 30th September 2015.

Crimson Peak Poster

Crimson Peak poster

Here is the latest image from Guillermo del Toro’s latest Crimson Peak. The film is about a young woman who is swept away to an old house which is full of mystery. The gothic horror stars Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain. Crimson Peak creeps its way onto the big screen on 16th October 2015.

The Intern Trailer

The Intern stars Robert De Niro as the older intern of high-flyer Anne Hathaway. The film is the latest from writer-director Nancy Myers, and seems to have a similar style to her previous output. The Intern will be released in UK cinemas on 2nd October 2015.

Zoolander 2 Trailer

Here is the teaser for comedy sequel Zoolander 2. It reveals little about the plot of the new film, but reassures that the style of comedy has not changed. Reuniting Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Will Ferrell, Zoolander 2 is set for release in February 2016.

Black Mass Trailer

Here is the trailer for Black Mass, which focuses on notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger. Starring Johnny Depp, Joel Edgerton and Benedict Cumberbatch, it will interesting to see how the film compares to other gangster movies. Black Mass will be released in cinemas on 13th November 2015.