But rather than being abandoned on an ice floe or desert island, the film’s protagonist, Mark Watney (Matt Damon), is marooned on the desolate planet Mars, roughly 225 million kilometres from home. If nothing else, The Martian will leave you with an inspirational outlook in life, while everything can look dreary and absolutely terrifying, you can find hope, as long as you just try.
Arguably the most popular movie set on Mars stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as Douglas Quaid, whose life begins to unravel when he goes on a virtual vacation to the red planet, and loses the sense of what is real and what is not. And I liked that. “And you see Commander Lewis” husband and his antique ABBA album he finds.
IGN: These stories are usually much more existential and ‘how insignificant I am.’
collectSPACE.com asked Shirley and Rob Manning, who was Pathfinder’s chief engineer, to help fact check the movie’s version of the spacecraft that they designed and helped to oversee on Mars.
At the end of an entertaining and engrossing 141 minutes, you doff your hat to the skill of the actors, the director, the never-say-die spirit of human beings and also remember the intrinsic value of trash. It’s all about making hard decisions on what to cut.
In “Martian“, Damon spends most of the movie alone on screen, and his performance has received rave reviews with a few critics already saying it could land him an Oscar nomination. He brings a natural layman approach to the scientific preciseness required to explain everything, without having it ever feel dumbed down or totally incomprehensible. They’re much funnier than you realize.
IGN: Originally you were slated to write and direct The Martian.
There was one scene that – you know, it’s the scene where he finally cracks. Even China, our closest rival after the collapse of the Soviet Union, gets in on the act, suggesting that the common good, especially the common good as perceived by science-based rationalists will win out (and over) the cramped, limited biases of ethnocentrism and nationalism, ideas that on their own should be applauded. One of the pleasures of Weir’s novel, which was self-published in 2011 and then sold to Crown Publishing two years later for more than $100,000, is that the book was grounded in precise physics, orbital mechanics and computer science, which don’t necessarily translate to the movie screen.
What was described in the book as flat and barren was “in reality very rugged and rough”, he said.
The actor says the role presented him with a new sort of challenge.
IGN: He doesn’t tend to mess around, does he?
The second ready-to-go screenplay? And when he said yes, we all immediately relaxed and thought, this is going to work out fine.
Luckily, the film’s director was on hand to provide reassurance. “Everything’s okay because I can hear Ridley”. Damon took the weight off with diet, lots of coffee and also running all the time.
Damon (who spoke in a recent interview before comments he made about diversity and sexuality drew criticism) took a year and a half off from acting while his family (he has four daughters with wife Luciana Barroso) moved to Los Angeles. Scott responds to the stories of those forced to act decisively at the very limits of their world, such as the female best friends on the run in 1991’s Thelma & Louise, and here his always assured production values get behind a purposeful story. It’s a theme he keeps coming back to – I’m not even sure he’s aware of this!
“Once I finished ‘The Martian, ‘ I felt like I’d been to Mars“.
On the book moment he wishes made it into the movie: “It seems like such a minor thing, but I was really sad that the Aquaman joke didn’t make it in”.
The Martian Movie Review, A distant cousin of Gravity and Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, THE MARTIAN directed by Ridley Scott is an engaging and visually appealing movie.
Goddard: Look the simple answer is, that it wouldn’t have been as good! He said, ‘I’m gonna rip this network out!’ I was about to get fired, I didn’t know what the heck was going on. But the truth is, we didn’t care. The constant stream of one-liners-none of which really work-from everyone involved constantly suck any and all tension out of the room.