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What We Know So Far: After a horrific storm on Mars forces the crew of a manned mission to evacuate the planet, one member is left behind and presumed dead. He survives and with very limited supplies, must learn to grow food, collect water and signal Earth that he is alive. After NASA receives his distress signal, a massive effort, gaining worldwide attention, is put into play while his old crewmates form their own plan to bring him home.
The Trailer: (Official #2)
Dan: My overall takeaway from this trailer is: I have to get in line tomorrow. As a fan of the page-turning book, I know what to expect, but still can’t wait to see this story filtered through legendary sci-fi director Ridley Scott. Interwebbers worried the trailer gave away everything, fear not — it barely scratched the surface. This film will be intense, with one impossible mission after the other. MacGuyver–like solutions are focused on practical science fact and theory, not Hollywood sci-fi. Throw in a ton of laughs from a sarcastic main character and an amazing ensemble class to the mentioned qualities and you have a sure-fire hit. I also like how these characters aren’t cast with the most obvious choices. We get some comedians playing dramatic roles here, like Kristen Wiig, Donald Glover, and Michael Peña. We also get some well-regarded heavyweights like Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Jeff Daniels. As you can see, this won’t be Cast Away set on Mars. This mission is much larger and much more dangerous than you’d expect. I’m highly anticipating this quality sci-fi film.
David: The film is directed by Ridley Scott so right away we are surely in for some impressive direction and the trailer reveals that to be true. Some incredible visuals of the Martian landscape and the space vehicles bring a lot authenticity to the brief trailer and promise to give the film a gritty realism. That doesn’t mean it won’t have some of the wry humor that was so prevalent in the highly acclaimed novel of the the same name, which serves as the basis for the film. That humor is led by Matt Damon as the lone survivor Mark Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer, trying to cope with his terrifying predicament. While we are continually reminded of the urgency of his plight, how he deals with the loneliness and accomplishments of making alone seem right in line with the author’s vision. There is great supporting cast as well, who looks to bring a lot of drama to the story where motivations and agreements about what to do are not always equal.
Dan Says: My Sneak Peek Moment is when the hopeful astronaut (Damon) realizes he may have a fighting chance at survival if he can somehow find a way “science the s**t out of this” dire situation. That’s the whole point of this film: science provides the answers. The only way Mark Whatney will survive is with his brain, not a bunch of machine guns versus aliens. His goal isn’t to save the universe, it’s to save himself! I really appreciate the themes of man vs nature, and man vs himself. It will be so exciting to watch Whatney overcome one deadly obstacle after another. I also like the idea that his crew is faced with a monumental ethical dilemma. They have to ask themselves (also using science creatively to solve their rescue mission problems) if they should risk their lives to save one person. These sort of personal stakes allow for a much more internal film, despite the fantastic external of stellar special effects and conceptual designs. I can’t wait to watch Ridley Scott’s adaptation of Andy Weir’s best-selling novel.
David Says: Two words – Sean Bean. He shows up for literally two seconds and speaks three words but delivers them with arguably the most powerfully emotional moment in the entire trailer. Bean is Mitch Henderson, the flight director of the doomed mission who isn’t going to let anything get in the way of rescuing Watney. This Sneak Peek Moment alone is compelling enough reason to watch the film as it suggests that there will be great sacrifices made by many to save just one. That is what makes humanity so special and one great reason why the story is so good. This should be a remarkable film.