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Wick's Review

Created Dec 19, 2015 07:26PM PST • Edited Dec 29, 2018 09:11AM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Really Great 4.5

    The Martian is an instant laureate in the SciFi Golden Age we’re now enjoying. Ridley Scott directs Matt Damon in this landmark movie, the latest in two careers full of them. Their Martian is the highest of high concepts, perfectly conceived. Andy Weir’s lauded novel comes gloriously to life in all its well-grounded spaciness, which is considerable: There are more hatches and pod-bay doors than you can shake a stick at.

    This Great Scott Production does deserve dinging for being manipulative to the point of cheesiness. To wit, a rocketship doesn’t take off until just after it should have tipped over. That sort of thing happens again and again, creating a fantastically enjoyable moviegoing experience, but one that’s deflated of scientific cred.

    Perfectly droll, disco filled and star powered, The Martian is 2015’s Gravity, albeit one click lower in the pantheon of 21st Century SciFi Classics. For SciFi fans, it reinforces that now is a fantastic time to be alive.

  3. Really Great 4.5

    Matt Damon etches one of his iconic performances as an über-astronaut, Mr. FU Neal Armstrong himself. Damon acts by himself for most of the picture, alternately playful, rueful and brave. It’s a bravura performance, yet contained. It’s not the type nominated for Academy Awards, yet is perfectly played by a great moviestar.

    Fellow Astronauts

    • Jessica Chastain is nails as the Mission Commander, one more martial role for the delicately formed movie queen.
    • Michael Peña is a spirited presence in any movie.
    • Kate Mara has moviestar presence, interesting in a woman the size of Audrey Hepburn.
    • Sebastian Stan is a pretty-boy who doesn’t get to do or say much.
    • Aksel Hennie underwhelms as the German astronaut.

    NASA Functionaries
    • Jeff Daniels is the instant gravitas actor of the moment.
    • Kristen Wiig gets to play a straight role, looking good as NASA’s PR honcho.
    • Sean Bean fumes as a former astronaut who’s now an overruled Flight Director.
    • Chiwetel Ejiofor plays a character named Vincent Kapoor, though he’s oddly not Indian.
    • Benedict Wong plays the portly head of JPL’s spacecraft building crew.
    • Mackenzie Davis is a cute nerd.
    • Donald Glover plays an absent-minded astrophysicist.
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Great 4.0
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Really Great 4.5

    The Martian achieves the rare feat of making braininess non-nerdy, instead making it sexy and essential.

    The film deserves dinging for being too manipulative and for being a bit too derivative of the failure is not an option teamwork of Apollo 13 and the near-real fantasy of Gravity. Fortunately it is perfectly conceived and executed.

  9. Direction Really Great 4.5

    Notable credit: Ridley Scott’s son Luke Scott directed the second unit. From a Newtonian POV, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

  10. Play Really Great 4.5

    The Wall Street Journal called Andy Weir’s 2011 novel the best pure sci-fi novel in years.

  11. Music Really Great 4.5
  12. Visuals Really Great 4.5
  13. Content
  14. Risqué 1.8
  15. Sex Innocent 1.0
  16. Violence Fierce 2.5
  17. Rudeness Salty 2.0
  18. Surreal 3.0

    As noted in the summary above, a rocketship doesn’t take off until just after it should have tipped over. That sort of thing happens again and again, creating a fantastically enjoyable moviegoing experience, but one that’s deflated of scientific cred.

  19. Circumstantial Supernatural 4.0
  20. Biological Surreal 2.1
  21. Physical Surreal 3.0

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Oct 17, 2015 10:51PM
Wick

Regarding BrianSez’s Review
Stellar! I’d hoped to get out to see it tonight, and now wish even more that I had.