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ReelTalk Movie Reviews
No Place Like Home
by Betty Jo Tucker

Directed with considerable care by Oscar-winner Ridley Scott from Drew Goddard’s screenplay adaptation of Andy Weir’s book, The Martian offers space adventure to the max. But it’s the movie’s humanistic feel that won me over. Like Gravity, the film stars one of the most likeable actors working today in the role of a character we can empathize with right away. Matt Damon and Sandra Bullock score high on the likeability scale, so that helps us become involved in what’s happening to the people they portray on screen. And Damon also endows his stranded astronaut with a gentle – and yet somewhat sarcastic – humor that’s especially appealing.             

All alone and stranded is he.

Left behind with his misery,

an astronaut who’s presumed dead.

To survive he must use his head.


No one knows he is still alive

on Mars and struggling to survive.

He finds a way to contact Earth,

the far-off planet of his birth.


But how can he be rescued here?

Will his old crew be coming near?

And can he last until the day

they pass by Mars while on their way?


Suspense and space fill up the screen.

"The Martian" is a “must-be seen.”

It truly is adventure bold –

a tale of guts that’s so well told.


Matt Damon is a worthy lead.

He makes us feel his every need.

All other actors nail their parts.

We see their fears and know their hearts.


Plus, planet Mars looks very real.

And getting home? That’s the BIG deal!

Kudos to cinematographer Dariusz Wolski (Pirates of the Caribbean), composer Harry Gregson-Williams (X-Men Origins: Wolverine); production designer Arthur Max (Gladiator), and all the talented special/visual effects artists and technicians who worked on this memorable film. Seeing it in 3-D should be an extraordinary experience, especially the daring space rescue sequence. Because my eyes don’t adjust to 3-D, I saw the digital version and was wowed by it, but I can imagine how much more powerful the 3-D might be.   

The fine supporting cast includes Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Michael Peῆa, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Donald Glover, Nick Mohammed, Chen Shu, Eddy Ko and Mackenzie Davis. Each one deserves recognition for a job well-done.     

The Martian deals with such universal themes as survival, compassion, friendship, the importance of intelligence, scientific/technological know-how, cooperation, perseverance and hope. It’s definitely a movie that matters.  

We do not live to think, but, on the other hand, we think in order that we may succeed in surviving. – José Ortega y Gasset

(Released by 20th Century Fox and rated “PG-13” for some strong language, injury images, and brief nudity.)

For more information about The Martian, go to the IMDb or Rotten Tomatoes website.

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