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The Martian landed and it was good...

Andy Weir did what I could only dream of at this point. He wrote a book, published bits for free, then adapted it for Kindle and then with a loyal fan base along comes a publishing house and picks it up. Then Hollywood knocks on the door and we get “THE MARTIAN” starring Matt Damon.
I have got to admit I haven’t had time to read the Martian yet, although I know a man who has and part of his description - “it’s just one of those books you could miss your train stop for as you just don’t want to put it down.”
 But it’s the film I want to talk about.

Ridley Scott, the creative mind that brought us films such as Alien, Blade Runner & Gladiator brings this novel to life on the silver screen. With such an impressive catalogue films under his belt it must be hard to make a film better than your last, but with “The Martian” I think Mr Scott has achieved something special here. I won’t say it is his best, but it is certainly up there as a great.
So what is the film about? Well the basic idea – and I have to admit I have seen this description fluttering around the good old interweb, (yes I know it’s called the internet, just a joke) - Robinson Crusoe On Mars (and yes being a scifi geek I also know about the 1964 film). Although, the very basic idea of the film maybe similar, we actually have something altogether different and entertaining. Instead of thrashing out remake after remake (which I am very critical of the Hollywood machine constantly doing), they have taken a good novel, scripted it very well in an engaging manner and produce a film that holds your attention in the most positive way.
I am sure Sheldon Cooper (The Big Band Theory) would have a field day with the fact that the main character is a botanist. However, putting the jokes aside the film could very well be seen as a great advert for the sciences. I am always looking for ways to promote science education and this film could be seen as a real advert for that. I am sure NASA will also be happy with their role in the film; and if they wanted a way to push their appeal for further space exploration then they have got just that in this film.

The acting was “out of this world” (too much of the space puns?) Matt Damon, who takes on most of the screen time really does sell the loneliness and isolation of his character. From very early on you start to route for him and feel like you are sharing his journey. You celebrate his achievements but you feel his pain with things go wrong. Then he started the message to be delivered to his parents and I could feel myself welling up. I don’t need to be a student of acting to understand what great acting is all about – if the actor brings out the correct emotional response in me then I would say it’s a job well done.
Now pour in the rest of the talented cast and we get something special. The science in the film was reasonable, I am sure by now there was been someone who is picked it all apart but ultimately, this is still scifi (Science FICTION in case you weren't sure). Hollywood is allowed to suspend reality in favour of something that looks good on film and I approve. (can a wind storm on Mars blow over and structure….mmmm…not sure about that).

So its rating time. ****, there you have it. It’s a must see film…I am not sure if it will be a DVD purchase as I think the nature of its impact is best seen on the big screen. However, you must see this one.

The Jafwords rating system.
***** (Awesome)
**** (Almost awesome but with some flaws)
*** (To be honest it could have been better)
** (Struggling to say good things)
* (Dear director give me my money back)