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The Martian

Matt Damon plays Dr. Mark Watney, a botanist on a scientific expedition to Mars. During an intense storm, there is an accident and he is presumed dead; the remaining crew takes off, leaving him behind. The movie is about his experiences in trying to survive by himself on the planet. This movie should not have worked for me, but it did. The science seems mostly improbable, but it sure sounded good. The dialog in many places was rather corny, but they together helped give the movie a levity and goofiness that worked. The song (a disco soundtrack) were a bit too obvious in places, but the music also kept the movie fun. Matt Damon was pretty good in his role, but I did not always find his supreme brilliance believable. But, the movie was fun (and funny in places); the pace was good; there were several suspenseful parts; it is kind of a nice statement about the power of uniting differences (even if the China-US thing was a bit cliché), and it was a good movie to show how physics and math can be used to solve big problems. So, thumbs up from me for a movie whose goofiness and fun will someday make it a great film for Mystery Science 2000 or a sing-along costume movie at an art-house movie theater. (2015; 3.5 stars).

About Gary Burkholder

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