302. The Martian (USA 2015)

 

Director: Ridley Scott

Stars: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean

Novel: Andy Weir

Music: Harry Gregson-Williams

Editor: Pietro Scalia

Cinematography: Darius Wolski

 

In One Line: an astronaut is stranded on Mars

In 20...........

 1 File under 'OK' - curiously uninvolving.

2 Giant screen 3D and D Box technology helped a lot - all five of us in the early morning audience seemed to enjoy gliding along with the spaceships and the visceral effects of when Matt Damon stapled a hole in his stomach.

3 Women on the screen for about 5% of the time - the same old boring institutionalised sexism and a criminal waste of Kristen Wiig in particular.

4 Dreadful, emotion-telegraphing orchestral soundtrack... - stop it Ridley.

5 Nowhere near as good as Apollo 13 or Robinson Crusoe on Mars.

6 Matt Damon is in every film I've ever seen.

7 The Chinese - a great bunch of lads.

8 Sean Bean - the most unlikely NASA expert ever: "We've got t'get fookin' astronauts hurm surf-leh!"

9 Sean Bean looking like he's been drinking a pint of scotch for breakfast for the past ten years.

10 An enjoyable morning out (and the wee boy really enjoyed it) but I should have gone to see Macbeth.

 

11 A good homage to both The Fonz and Abba in the film.

12 A screenplay that rubbished 'disco' throughout and yet the film was full of great disco moments - particularly The Hues Corporation's 'Rock the Boat'.

13 Vincent Wong - NASA's second unlikeliest 'top scientist' in the film.

14 My 12th Ridley Scott film 'at the pictures' - certainly not his worst - and I'm possibly the only person who loved White Squall.

15 The opening acoustic bars of Bowie's 'Starman' were worth the king's ransom I paid at the box office.

16 Never were the 'eyes on the giant Asian market' so obvious in any film.

17 Last time I saw Jeff Daniels he was 'pulling the old stinkeroo' (if you haven't seen this, don't) in Dumb and Dumber To, and now I'm supposed to believe he's NASA's 'Top Man'. Foo Koff!

18 Popular sci-fi seems a bit rubbish after the brilliant Under the Skin.

19 A few more decent jokes might have helped, but I enjoyed the trendy-teacher science lessons and concepts in the film.

20 As an example of what modern film technology can achieve (sound/visuals/3D/4D) can accomplish, it was oustanding (the rendering of Mars and the space suit/production design were outstanding), but there's more to a good film than logistics and aesthetics, so I give The Martian a....

 

6.5/10

 October 11th 2015