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The release of Ridley Scott’s space hit coincided with the discovery of water on the red planet, which leads us to ask – how realistic is it, technically? A leading aerospace engineer offers his opinion
Overall it’s a very good movie, and while there are mistakes in it, it is the first genuine Mars movie. It is the first movie that attempts to be realistic and that is actually about human beings grappling with the problems of exploring Mars, as opposed to various movies set on Mars that are essentially either shoot ’em ups or horror films. It does not engage in fantasy: no monsters, no magic, no Nazis. However, there are a number of technical mistakes.
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- Dr Robert Zubrin
For a while there, Alexander Payne's Downsizing sounded like one of those great sci-fi projects that was never going to happen. Between his acclaimed films Sideways and The Descendants, Payne was working on a sci-fi satire where the less wealthy are given the opportunity to shrink themselves. It makes perfect sense when you think about it; with property prices shooting up all the time, wouldn't it make better economic sense to shrink yourself to fit a small property instead of paying a fortune in rent for somewhere larger?
Paul Giamatti, Reese Witherspoon (both Payne collaborators, from Election and Sideways respectively) were set to star alongside Sacha Baron Cohen. It all sounded promising, but little more was heard about Downsizing until 2014, when Matt Damon was attached.
Now, it looks as though »
For a big budget movie about a lone astronaut who gets stranded on Mars, the spacesuits in The Martian are surprisingly sober in terms of design. There is an attempt here to make everything seem as plausible as possible, costume design especially. Director Ridley Scott’s regular costumer Janty Yates has created possibly the sexiest spacesuits ever seen on screen, and what’s more they are functional. To paraphrase a line in the film, she had to “science the shit out of them”.
Yates collaborated with Nasa looking specifically at their Z1 and Z2 prototypes to create an Eva (‘Extravehicular Activity’ – any time the crew must go outside) suit and surface or ‘bio’ suit (worn on Mars). The surface suit is similar to the blue under-suits she created for Scott’s near future set Prometheus in 2012, although further grounded in reality. The Prometheus under-suits could, in theory, monitor functioning levels of the human body, »
- Lord Christopher Laverty
September was a milestone month for the NFL — and not for negative reasons for once, as Jimmy Kimmel pointed out Monday. “The NFL, by the way, just celebrated a major milestone,” the “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” host said during his opening monologue. “According to USA Today, September — the month of September — was the first month in six years — in which no active NFL players were arrested. Also Read: Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel Try to Resolve Their Feud With Couples Counseling (Video) “I love that this is a story. Is this something to be proud of?” the ABC late-night host marveled in the. »
- Debbie Emery
Has the curse of Mars movies been broken? It sure looks that way, box office wise, thanks to the terrific opening of Ridley Scott’s optimistic, crowd-pleasing “The Martian” starring Matt Damon which brought in a terrific $54.3 million this weekend. And October seems to be a great launching pad for action dramas set in outer space. “The Martian” fell just shy of the $55.7 million opening Alfonso Cuaron’s “Gravity,” the current highest-grossing October film record holder, but between the success of these two films and Christopher Nolan’s “Interstellar” it feels like space exploration is hitting its stride on the big screen of late with audiences. An A- Cineimscore likely means “The Martian” will keep packing them in for weeks to come. Globally, the film had a $100 million-plus weekend and it still has big markets like China, Japan and Russia to open in. After a few stumbles, Matt Damon has »
- Rodrigo Perez
Last Friday night, local movie theaters were packed in anticipation for the space-thriller showing of Matt Damon's new film, "The Martian." The buzz was ridiculous. Regardless of the hype, I was planning on seeing the film. Who would I be kidding if I didn't see such a star-studded film that included Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Jeff Daniels? I know, with a cast of that magnitude its got to be a must watch... but no.
Sorry to disappoint.
The film fares well initially, with drama and a good build up. The protagonist's wit and charm via Damon is welcoming. However, with all of those ingredients, by the time the end credits roll, there's no satisfaction.
- Khalid Moalim
Ridley Scott's "The Martian" just did boffo business, grossing more than $55 million in its first weekend. This 3D epic was boosted into the stratosphere by stellar reviews, scoring a jaw-dropping 94 at Rotten Tomatoes and an impressive 81 at MetaCritic. Matt Damon stars in this sci-fi thriller as an astronaut stranded on Mars determined to find a way home (think "Gravity" meets "Castaway"). -Break- Dish the Oscars with Hollywood insiders in our red-hot forums But while the stars of those popcorn pictures -- Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks respectively -- reaped Oscar bids, Damon sits in seventh place on our Best Actor chart. He ranks that far down because only five of our 19 Oscar experts -- journalists who cover this beat for major media including Variety, Yahoo, USA Today, and Huffington Post -- are predicting that he will be nominated. And none of us [Michael Hogan (Vanity Fair), Jack M...' »
The Project Greenlight judge, who challenged Damon on his diversity remarks, addressed the ensuing controversy during a panel at the New York film festival
Matt Damon has publicly apologised for downplaying the importance of diversity on a film set while judging the HBO reality show Project Greenlight, in which first-time directors are given the chance to make a movie. But according to Effie T Brown, the African American producer who prompted his controversial remark, Damon has yet to contact her personally.
Related: Matt Damon: 'You're a better actor the less people know about you'
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- Nigel M Smith
Chicago – It’s all based on science, they told us! “The Martian” is an old fashion feel-good movie about the hard working astronauts and scientists of the good old American space program, trying to rescue a stranded spaceman from Mars, aided by a brave cast of astro-colleagues.
This film is a reminder of other space rescue suspense operas that have come before it, most recognizably “Marooned” (1969) and “Apollo 13” (1995). The All-Star cast is also a reminder of those types of “name” ensemble cast films as well – “hey, is that Kristen Wiig?” All that aside, “The Martian” is a tour de force, pitting Matt Damon’s astronaut character in a sly castaway-in-space mashup, and the special effects and production design are flawless. This is what the current technology in movies are about, the ability to place human beings in other worlds, yet express a recognizable atmosphere in a familiar emotional realm. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The following contains spoilers for The Martian, so bail now if you still have not seen the film! Andy Weir made sure that he set the tone for The Martian right off the bat. The first lines of his 2011 novel about an astronaut stranded on Mars are, "I.m pretty much fucked. That.s my considered opinion. Fucked." And yet, if you were one of the many who caught The Martian over the weekend, you didn.t get to hear those famous lines come from Matt Damon.s mouth. Did you wonder why? We sat down with Drew Goddard, screenwriter of Ridley Scott.s The Martian, back when the movie made its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. And shortly after my screening, I had multiple friends email me asking, specifically, if that line opened the film. It doesn.t . as you likely know . so I asked Goddard »
After crafting the scores for Blackhat, The Town, Kingdom of Heaven, The East, and more, composer Harry Gregson-Williams reteamed with Ridley Scott for The Martian, the film adaptation of Andy Weir‘s best-selling novel. It tells the story of Astronaut Mark Watney (played brilliantly and charismatically by Matt Damon — check out our review here) as he struggles to get off the Red Planet.
We had the chance to recently speak with him about his work and the composer was quite happy with the score and eager to hear of our fondness for both the film and the music. In his words, jokingly of course, if you were to like some of the films to which he provided music, you may be in the minority. This time however, we’re willing to bet that nearly everyone on the planet will be in the majority and love The Martian.
We truly enjoyed catching up with Harry, »
- Marc Ciafardini
Jack Black stayed in character at Sunday afternoon’s spooktacular premiere of “Goosebumps,” director Rob Letterman’s big screen adaptation of the best-selling — and heavily monster-populated — R.L Stine children’s books made popular during the 1990s.
“I wrote the books, I’m R.L Stine,” Black told reporters, affecting a devilish glint in his eye as he made his way down the press line outside La’s Regency Village Theater. “I think you have me confused with the actual Jack Black. Twenty-five years ago when I wrote these books I had no idea they would become the worldwide phenomenon that they have. I’m so thrilled beyond measure to be in a Neal Moritz production of a Rob Letterman film with Jack Black at the helm.”
- Malina Saval
Downsizing will begin production next spring.
Written by Payne with his Sideways collaborator Jim Taylor, Downsizing tells the story of an Omaha man who undergoes a process that reduces people to a fraction of their normal size and moves to one of the many communities of small people sprouting up around the world.
The film will be produced by Payne and Mark Johnson and is expected to be released in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Brad Grey, chairman and CEO of Paramount Pictures, which previously worked with Payne on Nebraska and Election, said: “Alexander will once again bring to audiences a uniquely original film, one that showcases his tremendous skill as a storyteller. We are absolutely thrilled to be working with him again.”
Said Payne: »
The news is out that audiences flocked to The Martian in droves this weekend, despite parts of the country being threatened with inclement weather. With a box office haul that almost upset Gravity's record setting October weekend two years ago, the story of Matt Damon and his fight against the Martian wilderness is something people are excited about. But just what makes The Martian such a critical and financial darling? Why is this movie made by a director that's been hot or cold with fans, in a month that's usually reserved for dumping movies without tent pole appeal so damned entertaining? Well, there's 5 clear reasons that we feel The Martian is going to be on a lot of top 10 lists come this December. It's One Of The Funniest Movies Out There Both in Andy Weir's original novel, and in Drew Goddard's exemplary screenplay, Mark Watney is an incurable smart-ass. »
The film opened to $55 million domestically, averaging around $14k per screen. While it is a fantastic opening, it’s sadly just short of the record made by Gravity in this spot a couple of years ago by around $750k. The Martian also opened in 49 territories and added $45.2 million to its total, pushing the movie to over $100 million on its opening weekend.
The Martian didn’t face much in the way of competition, however last week’s number one Hotel Transylvania 2, pulled in an impressive $33 million. It also beat out the wide release of Sicario, which made $13 million domestically.
See Also: Read our review of The Martian here
- Luke Owen
While not the horror movie the title conjures up, October began with a strong start thanks to The Martian. With an estimated $55 million, director Ridley Scott and Matt Damon have been earning high marks from critics and audiences, though it will probably need a few more weekends like this if it hopes to make back its $108 million in costs. In fact, very little in release conjures up the spooks and scares typical of this time of year, with Hotel Transylvania 2 being the only thing even close. With an estimated $33 million weekend, the undisclosed budget may not be much of a problem, as the film has grossed $150.3 million worldwide. However, bigger budgets are netting smaller returns, as even the very acclaimed Sicario (estimated $12.1 million) opened to wide release and has so far pulled in only $15.1 million against a $30 million budget. In fact, only three films on the list with listed »
- Seth Paul
Last time on The Good, The Bad & The Badass, we took a look at the career of actor Matt Damon, whose latest – The Martian – is dominating the box office this week. This time, we go behind the camera to examine the career of top-notch director with expertise in every genre... Danny Boyle What makes Danny Boyle one of the great directors of our current time is that he... Read More »
- Chris Bumbray
Imagine spending months traveling to a location so remote, humans have never traveled. Then imagine a natural disaster so big having to cut your visit short. Only your stay gets extended by being left for dead by your crew. It’s now up to you to get clever to survive on a planet that doesn’t even […]
- Mark Hallum
The stellar $55 million box-office debut of “The Martian” this weekend marks a return to form for Ridley Scott, and raises the prospect that the acclaimed director could be in line to take another run at his first Oscar victory. Academy voters don’t — at least consciously — factor box-office performance in when they make nominations, but broad commercial success drives buzz and certainly can’t hurt. “The Martian” is Scott’s best sci-fi opening ever, ahead of “Prometheus,” “Alien” and “Blade Runner,” and second overall only to “Hannibal,” which rolled out to $58 million in 2001. Also Read: Matt Damon's 'The Martian' Soars. »
- Todd Cunningham
“The Martian” soared into the stratosphere this weekend, picking up a colossal $45.2 million to top foreign sales charts.
Ridley Scott’s outer-space epic debuted in 9,611 screens across 49 markets this weekend, including such major territories as the United Kingdom, Italy, Australia and Hong Kong. Combined with its domestic haul, the 20th Century Fox release has earned $100.2 million. It opens in Germany, Russia and South Korea next weekend, and should do particularly well when it launches in China. The country’s space program plays a key role in the film, a plot point that should help it attract crowds in the People’s Republic.
The $108 million production stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig and Jeff Daniels, and scored the second biggest October domestic debut in history with $55 million, trailing only “Gravity.”
In second place, “Lost in Hong Kong” continued to be a major attraction in China, where it is quickly becoming »
- Brent Lang
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