Movie Review: The Martian (2015)

Running time: 142 minutes

Director: Ridley Scott


After being hit by a projectile in the middle of a fierce storm, astronaut Mark Watney is left behind in Mars by his crew mates who think he has died. Stranded in Mars all by himself, Mark will have to try to survive while finding a way to tell NASA he is still alive. In a hostile planet where food is unavailable, his only resources will be his intelligence and his optimism.

The character of Mark Watney in the book is simply fascinating. He is incredibly charming, he has a great and unexpected sense of humour, considering the situation he is in, but you also get his frustration when things don’t work as he planned. He is a relatable character and comes across as a real human being and it is all of those traits that make you so invested in his journey and Matt Damon captures every single one of those.


However, this is not a one-man show and with such a huge cast there is not a weak link in the movie. Every single character serves its purpose and every actor is absolutely amazing. It’s a long list of actors to mention but from the people at NASA (Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover) to the Hermes crew (Jessica Chastain, Sebastian Stan, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Aksel Hennie) everyone is fantastic.There is not exactly character arcs but they are all well realized. You even get the relation between Watney and his crew mates even though you hardly see them together.

Even though there are some changes, as it is expected, I felt the same as I did when I read the book and that is what I want from an adaptation. I don’t mind the changes as long as they keep the essence of the book. The emotion and the tension was all there and especially the comedy. It’s amazing how such a serious situation can actually be so funny without being cartoonish. They succeeded at pulling it off just like the book did.


Everyone is describing it as Castaway meets Apollo 13 and it really is. And it is just as great if not more. There is a lot of science going on but, unlike Interstellar, the science is easy to follow. You believe that everything going on in Mars could have actually happened as it doesn’t play so much as fiction but as a true story, with real humanity in it. It’s visually beautiful and the special effects, as it is typical from Ridley Scott, are outstanding.

The masterful editing, cutting between Mars, Earth and Hermes makes the 2 hours and 20 minutes just fly by. Ridley Scott’s filmmaking has proven to be a bit inconsistent in the last years (even decade) but The Martian shows that he still has it in him. This is one of those rare occasions where everything comes together perfectly, the direction, the writing, the performances, the visuals, to make a breathtaking film. The Martian is a movie not to be missed.


Top 10 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015

First of all, Happy New Year! Now, let’s star with some honorable mentions like Peach Perfect 2, Heart of the Sea, Jurassic World and Tomorrowland, films that I’m looking forward to, though not quite as excited about as the following:

#10 The Martian

ridley_scott_va_a_dirigir_the_martian_con_matt_damonDirector: Ridley Scott

Ridley Scott hasn’t done many great movies lately but I’m still giving him the benefit of the doubt. The Martian is based in the novel by Andy Weir, so the story is already there and if Ridley Scott can do something is making an spectacular-looking film and with this one being set in Mars, I expect nothing less.


#9 Minions

minion-miniDirector: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

The cutest part of Despicable Me has finally its own movie and is of course going to be one of my most anticipated of 2015. Starring the minions, this movie is going to be incredibly funny and adorable.


#8 The Hateful Eight

-7882faad-1c50-4e2a-b005-b0e51c821e04Director: Quentin Tarantino

After what he did with Django Unchained, I just can’t wait to see what Tarantino has in store for this movie. The script for the film leaked but I’m glad he’s still making it, that shows it has a lot of potential.

#7 Crimson Peak

Crimson-PeakDirector: Guillermo del Toro

Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain in a movie together, do I need to say more?

#6 Spectre

007-bond-movie-announcement-new-title-spectreDirector: Sam Mendes

I love what Sam Mendes has done with the Bond movies, especially with Skyfall and Daniel Craig is such a fantastic James Bond.


#5 Ant-Man

Ant-Man-Movie-CostumeDirector: Peyton Reed

It’s not much what we know about this movie and the production has been a rollercoaster with Edgar Wright leaving after so long attached to it and some people are starting to lose faith, but, for me, Marvel has yet to disappoint so I’m trusting them for now.


#4 Pan

hugh-jackman-in-an-image-from-the-new-pan-movieDirector: Joe Wright

I can’t describe how much I liked the trailer for this movie and that is why it’s so high in my list. Peter Pan is one of my favourite fairy tales and I just love the cast gathered for this movie. The kid, Levi Miller, looks like he could be a great Peter Pan and I’m super excited about Hugh Jackman and Garret Hedlund playing Blackbeard and Hook. The only one I’m still not fully convinced about is Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily.


#3 The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

imagesDirector: Francis Lawrence

The first part might have suffered from a lack of action and being quite slow but everything in it was leading up to this moment  and even though Mockingjay is my least favourite book of the trilogy, the movies have still to disappoint me and I’m sure this  will be an action-packed finale.

#2 Star Wars: Episode VII

2014StarWars_TheForceAwakens_Press_251114Director: J.J. Abrams

The race for the top spot was in a dead heat but finally I’m putting the next Star Wars in second place just because at this point, considering the previous films, I have a little more faith in Marvel. Still, I’ve loved everything related to this movie. The teaser gave us just what we needed, I’m very excited about some of the cast members and to see the original cast coming back. The most disappointing thing is to think is still a year away.


#1 Avengers: Age of Ultron

avengers-age-ultronDirector: Joss Whedon

The first Avengers movie is probably one of my favourite movies of all time and it seems the sequel is going to be at the same level. The trailer was just spectacular. I like the change in the tone, the new additions with the twins, Vision, and, of course, Ultron, who has the potential to be an amazing villain. Also, I’m so excited to see how the events in Age of Ultron and the relation between Ironman and Cap lead to Civil War.


Movie Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)

Title: Exodus: Gods and Kings

Running time: 154 minutes

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton, John Turturro, Aaron Paul, Ben Mendelsohn, Maria Valverde, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley

Summary: Epic adventure Exodus: Gods and Kings is the story of one man’s daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues. 


Exodus: Gods and Kings is an epic and visually gorgeous movie but, while is probably Ridley Scott’s best in a long time, it still doesn’t get close to the level of Gladiator, and this re-telling of the Moses story is difficult to connect to and doesn’t take many chances.

I don’t want to get into much depth about the white-washing but I have to say that Sigourney Weaver stands out like a sore thumb. I don’t get what was so essential about casting such a pale actress when she only has two lines in the whole film and the rest is just standing in the background and the occasional close-up to remind us that she is there. It’s just pointless.

Christian Bale and Joel Edgerton are fine but don’t do anything outstanding with the characters. Also, and this seems so obvious, if you are casting actors with blue eyes who, as Egyptians, shouldn’t, try at least not to dress them in blue and white which only brings out more the color.

But besides the white-washing, Exodus: Gods and Kings still have many problems and the main one is not knowing what it wants. It makes the mistake of trying to appeal to everyone and when you have a film based on the Bible, that is just not going to happen. You can make it be God’s doing or give a scientific explanation, but you can’t explain the plagues when is convenient and give a magical answer when is too difficult. In this aspect Noah did a better job, it took more risks, it chose a path and followed it and that is why it payed off better.

Exodus: Gods and Kings lacks emotion, feels hollow and doesn’t make you sympathize with any character in particular. What was so well done about the animated version, The Prince of Egypt, was showing the brotherly relation Moses and Ramsay had and that they genuinely loved each other. Here you just accept that fact because we all know the story but we never get to really see that connection. Even when Moses comes back from exile there’s absolutely no bond between them and that takes a lot of the emotion and tension.

It gets a bit slow in the middle while Moses is away in exile and the pacing overall is not very good but you can’t deny that visually is an impressive film. Ridley Scott’s story-telling might not be as great as it used to be but at least he hasn’t lost his touch for spectacular. The sets and costumes are beautiful and the special effects, especially the wave, are mind-blowing. Definitely is a movie to experience in a big screen.


This Week’s Movie News (20-24 oct)

Jena Malone rumoured to play Robin in ‘Batman v Superman’

Jena Malone

It was no secret that Jena Malone was involved in Batman v Superman after she was spotted on the set with Zack Snyder, but the character she was playing had remained a mystery. However, while doing an interview, one of the extras spilled that the character of Robin was going to be a female. This comment, shortly after followed by the actress posting a photo on Instagram of herself with red hair, which is Carrie Kelley’s trademark in the comic The Dark Knight Returns, led to the speculation that she might be playing this incarnation of Robin.

Bryan Singer wants Tom Hardy for major role in ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’


It seems these days Tom Hardy is attached to every single comic book property out there. He is one of the actors Marvel is considering for Doctor Strange, Warner Bros is interested in him to have a part in Suicide Squad and now Fox and X-Men director, Bryan Singer, want him to play no other than the title role of the next film and main villain, Apocalypse.

Tom Hardy is no stranger to villains in superhero movies as he was Bane in The Dark Knight Rises.

‘The Martian’, Ridley Scott’s next project


Based on the sci-fi thriller by Andy Weir, The Martian follows the story of astronaut Mark Watney, one of the first people on Mars. He is left behind by his crewmates after a dust storm tears through the area. His fellow astronauts assume he was killed during the tempest, and Watney has to find a way to survive being stranded on the Red Planet.

Matt Damon will play the lead role of Mark Watney and will be joined by a stellar cast formed by Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Michael Peña, Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover, Jeff Daniels and three new additions, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sebastian Stan and Mackenzie Davis.

The Martian will hit theaters on November 25, 2015

‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ Official Poster


First Look at Johnny Depp as the Wolf in ‘Into the Woods’

Entertainment Weekly has released a bunch of covers featuring the main characters of Disney’s next musical, Into the Woods, giving us the first peek at Johnny Depp as the Wolf.


Top Trailers of the Week

‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1’ Teaser “Choice”

‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Teaser Trailer

Read my review here.