Film #179: The Martian (2015)

martianDirector: Ridley Scott
Language: English and some Chinese
Length: 144 minutes
Watched on: 6 January 2016 (return flight 1/3)

I was very pleased to see this movie on the entertainment system on the way back to Japan (side note: the KLM flight had a much better system and selection than I’ve had before, with a decent sized screen on a kind of iPad. Thumbs up) – the main reason being that it wouldn’t be released in Japan until February, and I’d been looking forward to it a lot, going so far as to have already started listening to the audiobook. At the time I watched this, I was a few chapters in, and could recognize a lot of similarity already. (I’ll review that separately later)

The movie is about Matt Damon’s character trapped on Mars, and having to go through a series of increasingly hair-brained schemes in order to get back to Earth. It’s funny and it lived up to my expectations, in general. The story does feel a bit contrived at times, but in a forgivable way. Admittedly, this gets worse as it goes on and it becomes a series of unexpected disasters that happen to Matt Damon.

So I recommend it in general. I bet it’s really beautiful on the big screen, although after a while it became obvious that it was filmed in a small area of the Arabian desert in Jordan, as the landscape was repetitive yet impressive mountains, and not much in the way of craters – having read the book and researched the location a bit, this is more obvious, as he’s supposed to be on an open plain. Basically it could be a little more realistic, but what they’ve done is pretty impressive.

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