The Martian [Blu-ray]  [Region Free]
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During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring "the Martian" home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, THE MARTIAN features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.
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The UHD picture and sound quality are mesmerising, a truly superb sample of what UHD can offer. I only wish UHD price point was around the £15 mark and not £20 - £25....
I buy a DVD for the extras because I'm a bit of a nerd that way. HOWEVER, for a science nerd like me, the extras on The Martian are super special. The author of the original book, Andy Weir, researched the science behind a potential Mars mission and as a result there is a lot of stuff in the story that makes sense and got a lot of attention from people in the industry, eg. NASA scientists. As a result there was collaboration between NASA and the team behind the film. This is shown in the extras and as a result there is overlap between 'how we shot this movie' and current research and development going into the planning fort Mars missions. Some of the most inspiring stuff I learned about is in the filmed discussion panels (Journey to Mars 101) where the biggest hurdles being tackled are discussed and the potential for applying the scientific discoveries to tackling Earth based problems are also discussed. The panels are made up of NASA and NASA affiliates scientists, astronauts, and The Martian author, scriptwriter and director. Plenty of "I didn't know we could do that" moments.
It was a lot more difficult in the book. It was a lot more dangerous. It was dirtier and hungrier. The roller coaster of hope and catastrophe was a lot more pronounced in the book. It took more people, effort, compromise, hard work, dedication and sheer will power in the book. The book was better at showing the guy's genius at survival. And his amazing sense of humor, which probably carried him through.
But it is still a good movie. Just don't read the book before.
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