The Martian: Extended Edition Blu-ray Review
“The Martian” gets a new home video release.
Based on Andy Weir’s novel of the same name, “The Martian” is a sci-fi story set in the not too distant future. The story involves the crew of Ares 3 on an exploratory mission to Mars that goes horribly awry after a brutal dust storm causes the Ares 3 to take off without one astronaut (Mark) who is presumed dead. As it turns out Mark is very much alive and, to make a long story short, he must try to survive on the red planet by himself until he can be rescued (if that even happens).
Of all of the stranded in space films that have frequented cinemas as of late (“Gravity,” “Interstellar,” and “Moon” immediately spring to mind), “The Martian” is right up there alongside “Moon.” It’s an intense, inspiring, visually stunning, and (mostly) scientifically accurate survival story that also happens to be Ridley Scott’s best work since “Black Hawk Down.” Now, granted, the movie isn’t perfect. The movie unfolds with little in the way of surprises and the Earthbound NASA drama is given too much screentime, but the film is still rewarding mostly due in part to Matt Damon.
As you’ll no doubt notice from the credits, this movie has a huge cast featuring the likes of Chewitel Ejiofor, Sebastian Stan, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Jessica Chastain and Donald Glover. However, aside from Sean Bean who easily steals the show on Earth, this is entirely Matt Damon’s movie. He’s the story of the movie, he’s the heart of the movie, and he’s the one the audience embarks on a journey with. When he’s not on screen for lengthy stretches for some reason, those moments are the clear weak links. Given the level of talent in this movie, it’s a real testament to Damon’s acting ability that he manages to make his solo scenes the most riveting part of the entire film. He simply makes you care about his character and that’s why the film ultimately works.
Now, you’re probably asking yourself “What about the extended cut?” Truth be told, I’m not sure this film needed a longer cut as it is already a lengthy film, but I was happy to see that this version didn’t contain anything that felt out of place. In fact, you might not even notice some of the new material as it blends right in with the theatrical edition. Regardless of which cut is better, I’m just glad Fox put both versions of the film in this set.
Note: This two-disc release contains both the theatrical cut and the 10 minute longer extended edition.
Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? This set contains a pristine print of both editions of the film. The Mars sequences look especially spectacular.
Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? It should come as no surprise that this track is aces. 7.1 DTS always delivers high quality sound.
* Digital copy.
* A commentary by Ridley Scott, Andy Weir and Drew Goddard. Ridley is recorded separately here which is a bit strange, but the track is full of behind-the-scenes stories, tidbits about the novel, and so on. Worth a listen for hardcore fans of the movie.
* 3 deleted scenes.
* ‘The Long Way Home: Making The Martian”- An extensive 6 part documentary that dives into the writing, direction, science, casting, costumes, production design, location shooting, stunts, and post-production.
* “Dare Mighty Things: NASA’S Journey To Mars”- A near 15 minute featurette about Mars featuring interviews with NASA employees.
* “The Journey To Mars 101”- An extra containing 3 segments. There’s Andy Weir’s 47 minute Q&A panel called “NASA’S Journey To Mars,” a 48 minute scientific Q&A hosted by Bill Nye called “Living On Mars and Beyond,” and Adam Savage’s star-studded 26 minute Q&A titled “Why Science Fiction Inspires Me” which contains Andy Weir, Drew Goddard and Ridley Scott.
* “Ridley Scott Discusses NASA’S Journey To Mars”- The title says it all.
* 4 theatrical trailers and a production art gallery.
* 5 faux Ares mission videos/film clips and a segment titled “Ares 3 Refocused” which is a faux featurette containing interviews with characters from the film.
* A 7 ½ minute gag reel.
Overall Thoughts: If you love “The Martian,” you will undoubtedly want to double dip here as you get an exhaustive amount of extras and a new cut of the film. If you haven’t picked up “The Martian” yet but have been meaning to, this is THE edition to get as you get both editions of the film.
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