Kenny and Jim Review ‘The Martian’

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When astronauts blast off from the planet Mars, they leave behind Mark Watney (Matt Damon), presumed dead after a fierce storm. With only a meager amount of supplies, the stranded visitor must utilize his wits and spirit to find a way to survive on the hostile planet. Meanwhile, back on Earth, members of NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring him home, while his crew mates hatch their own plan for a daring rescue mission.

Initial Thoughts

Jim: My thoughts on the Martian is that I really liked it, but there are a couple things that kinda surprised and confused me. I do think it was pretty damn good though. What’s your take on The Martian Kenny?

Kenny: I enjoyed the MARTIAN for being a self-contained, entertaining big-budget blockbuster. It was very geeky with the science to appeal to NASA nerds without alienating general audiences.

Pacing and Comedy

martian-gallery22-gallery-imageKenny: The pacing was fine. It wasn’t too slow nor fast. It was controlled. I preferred what was happening on Mars than with NASA on earth. The movie loses steam then. The tension wanes and comic relief kicks in a little too much for my preference.

Jim: The comedy was confusing to me. They were totally poking fun at themselves. Which was a kinda cool yet cheapened the movie a bit.

Kenny: I wouldn’t go that far. I think it balanced the lighthearted optimism of the movie. I did find Kristen Wiig to be miscast as NASA’s PR person. She seemed to be one of the more serious people in a movie that unexpectedly cracked a lot jokes.

Jim: I thought she was like an SNL caricature of herself. I get the humor, but it was overdone. It’s optimistic, but at times not serious enough.


martian-gallery13-gallery-imageJim: I thought it was pretty solid. Matt Damon showed a more Matt Damon side of him. He was more himself than in any role that he’s been in recently. A really relatable, “regular” kinda guy. I wasn’t sure about Jeff Daniels as the NASA director, but he was fine. Kristin Wiig looked out of place in the movie, and I thought it was a questionable casting. I felt Jessica Chastain would be used more. Kata Mara is just so stoic and boring. Michael Pena was funny but I’d would have like to have seen more of him. I think they sort of missed the boat with how they chose to use those people.

Kenny: The performances weren’t very special to me but rather standard and bland with some decent to good moments. Nothing exceptional. Matt Damon was the strongest performance yet I find the Oscar buzz for Damon’s performance perplexing. He does hold the viewers attention as the lone person on Mars and comparison has been made to Tom Hanks in Castaway, but this is more on par with Will Smith in I Am Legend. A fine comical performance where audiences focus on a survivor in a dire circumstance. It is amusing, but not awards worthy.

Jim: I agree, it’s definitely not awards worthy. He was relatable and “fun” but that’s about it. I’m still annoyed that Kristin Wiig was in this movie. Also, even though Damon’s character was on Mars, I never get the sense of that loneliness like Hanks in Castaway. He has enough communication with Earth to not make him feel completely stranded. I liked the movie a lot, but some things about The Martian irked me.

Overall/Final Thoughts

Jim: I thought it was an ambitious film. It was very different than what I expected to The Martian be and was more of a human interest story. The sci-fi aspect sells itself well, but wasn’t the basis of the movie. I liked that The Martian wasn’t focused on discovering or finding something. The Martian is probably one of the kind of movies that will be appreciated years later. Kinda ahead of it’s time.

Kenny: I really liked The Martian. I thought it was very good overall. The Martian has impressive special effects, witty one-liners, and intriguing science. However, The Martian at its core embraces optimism in dire circumstances. I just don’t think it is an Oscar movie like Gravity.

Jim: Probably like to add how I really was surprised that this turned out to be a human interest story with no alternate motives. It’s just basic at it’s core, and that’s what makes it unique. It was somewhat slow paced, but that didn’t make it boring as the intrigue was consistent by having enough things figure out for Matt Damon’s character.

The Martian

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Screenplay by: Drew Goddard
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor

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  • Jim Alexander - 8/10
  • Kenny Miles - 7.5/10

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About Jim Alexander

When it boils down to it, Jim's passion is entertainment. Aside from being an avid sports fan, that follows all things NFL, NBA, and Soccer. He currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago. At the core of his interests...movies! Whether trying to catch the newest flick coming out this weekend, or the latest On Demand release, to heated debates with his friends and colleagues about the most recent "Box Office Blunder". The passion for movies lies deep within him. When he isn't writing, he immerses himself in his other interests; Acting and Radio Broadcasting. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimRko.

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