Trailer: The Martian

damon

I‘m likely in the minority when I admit that I didn’t love Andy Weir’s novel The Martian. I enjoyed the overall arc of the story, but the log entries (narrated first person by the obnoxious protagonist Mark Watney–played in the film by Matt Damon) drove me bonkers.

Despite this, while reading it, I kept thinking how this could be one of the few books that’d work better as a film… and apparently Ridley Scott thought so as well. If you’ve yet to read the novel, many have described it as Apollo 13 meets Cast Away. It follows an astronaut stranded on Mars who has to problem-solve a way to survive and the subsequent attempt by his crew to rescue him.

Along with Damon, the film stars Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Sebastian Stan, and Aksel Hennie, Sean Bean, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Jeff Daniels. As I predicted, the film does look great. We’ll find out how great when it drops into theaters on November 25, 2015.

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Kurt
Guest

I liked the book, if only for the fact that it seemed to be a significantly improved version of READY PLAYER ONE (a book I did not like due to the way the stakes/challenges/main-character was handled.)

Andrew James
Admin

*not watching the trailer*
Pretty excited for this film. Unlike Jonathan, I really liked the log entry style of the book. I’m fearful of how that will work in the movie, but I trust Scott and the writers to figure out something that will work.

That said, as we discussed in last week’s Cinecast, Matt Damon can do a helluva voice over!

Jonathan
Guest

I was more annoyed by the character himself. I enjoyed the problem solving aspect of it and seeing him upack a problem until he found a solution, but his personality was a bit aggravating. I think they’ll downplay that snarky side of him for the film. As for the log entry, I’m sure they’ll do it as A) he talking his ideas and thoughts out loud (like Cast Away) and maybe “vid logs” so we can see him talk and explain things. That’s my guess.

La Menthe
Guest

Ridley Scott is the most inconsistent director I have ever seen. What a roller coaster ride that guy is (incidentally, his late brother has one of the most consistent filmography I know of). On paper, this film looked interesting, and could have ended up being more digestible than Nolan’s pretentious turd. But the similarities are hard to avoid: Matt Damon plays a character stranded in an inhospitable planet; he gets discovered after sending out a signal; Damon’s character looking at videos of his family, in what looks like an emotional scene; the fact that Chastain is also in it. Ughhh….

Then again, Skyfall was basically a James Bond adaptation of The Dark Knight, and Mendes managed to make it much better. Hopefully Scott can do the same. Based on his filmography, though, the end-product has more possibilities than a round of chess.

Jonathan
Guest

Agreed–he had a rough run there these past few years. At the same time, he’s made some of the most brilliant cinema of the past few decades: Blade Runner, Alien, for instance.

Voncaster
Guest

I liked Prometheus a lot, so I’m looking forward to this. But to your point, he also did Exodus, which seems like a pretty lazy movie. A religious movie marketed towards christians, about Egyptians, starring white people. Surely Scott, did not have to take this movie. I wonder what attracted him to it?

I don’t know if its his background as a commercial director, or his production team, or both, but his movies always look great to me. This movie looks great too.

Kurt
Guest

While far from perfect, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN (Dir. Cut) is really solid stuff. It even survives having Orlando Bloom in the lead…

Bonus: Half the cast of GAME OF THRONES is in this film.

La Menthe
Guest

KOH is such an underrated movie — both in the final and directors cut, and I honestly don’t understand what it was people disliked so much about it (aside from normal portrayal of Muslims — which doesn’t happen often in Hollywood). I watch it like 1-2 times a year, and it is to me what “Master and Commander” is to you, Kurt. I also think the Bloom-hate is exaggerated. As dislikeable as the actor in general is, this is by far the best performance he has given in a movie (though that doesn’t really say much…)

Kurt Halfyard
Admin

Agreed. Plus, Scott really lets is freak flag fly in this. So much weird stuff going on in the margins in this film.

La Menthe
Guest

It’s good to finally find people who agree with my sentiments of how great this film is. And yes, Jonathan, you are absolutely right in its repeated viewings quality.

The best part of KOH is the guy who plays Saladin; what a tremendous character he is able to create with his performance! Virtually every line that he delivers is memorable, doing the legacy of Saladin every bit of justice. His last line, when he answers Orlando Bloom’s question of Jerusalem’s worth, is amazing: “Nothing.” “Everything”: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=kingdom+of+heaven+everything+nothing

KOH also reinvented the medieval genre. Take a look at films before (Braveheart, A Knight’s Tale, King Arthur) and after (Arn, Iron Clad, Black Death) its release.

Andrew James
Admin

It’s too bad this trailer pretty much gives you everything. (one of) The thing that made this book really great is not having any idea about what is going to happen – for instance, NASA doesn’t enter the picture until about halfway through the book and you still don’t know how it’s going to play out. this trailer basically tells you everything that’s going to happen. So the surprise element is totally gone.

Jonathan
Guest

Agreed completely, Andrew. They definitely give away way too much. They should have left it at the journalist asking that final question but never showing what happens with the crew.

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