"THE MARTIAN" is certainly one of Director Ridley Scott's best films. Sure, the masses love "GLADIATOR," but "THE MARTIAN" does feel more believable throughout than "GLADIATOR" and most of Scott's previous work. Damon gives yet another astounding performance as Mark Watney, an astronaut left behind after the remainder of his crew believes him dead during a tense sudden storm strikes on Mars at the film's beginning.
Watney knows he has only a limited amount of water and food to keep him alive for a set time and even after communicating with NASA to show he's alive, he has to use ingenuity to succeed in making science work for him to produce the food and water he desperately needs. As tense as Watney's predicament is, there's plenty of other drama facing NASA and the rest of his crew tasked with returning to Earth. Should NASA tell the crew their teammate is still alive? Is it realistic to devote resources to "rescue" Watney, while endangering the rest of the crew? These and other moral dilemmas abound throughout the film, and the top-notch script generally veers away from easy answers.
As the narrative unfolds, things are handled in a way that leaves the viewer in awe of science, much in the way "Apollo 13" succeeded in doing, and "INTERSTELLAR" did not. The entire cast is terrific, but it's Damon who carries the film and proves he's one of the finest actors of the past two decades, regardless of the film genre.
Save for a few ridiculous lines(most given to Jessica Chastain) "THE MARTIAN" is flawless and easy to re-watch multiple times.
The newly released "THE MARTIAN -EXTENDED EDITION" offers both the theatrical as well as the "extended edition" on both the 4K as well as the blu-ray disc included.
It was hard to determine what the new version included within its expanded 10 minute running time. It's unfortunate FOX didn't elect to booknote or leave these notate these new scenes or expansions as studios typically did years ago with special edition dvds. Within the 10 minutes of new footage, it would be hard to recommend this as an upgrade over the previous 4K version on the new moments alone. But, being this new release can be purchased for the same amount as the previous 4K, with this release offering the option for theatrical or extended version, and the same outstanding quality of image and an upgrade in sound, "THE MARTIAN-EXTENDED EDITION" is an easy recommendation over the previous 4K release.
FOX has preserved the film's correct 2.40:1 aspect ratio. Comparing the excellent looking blu-ray image to the UHD, resolution is certainly enhanced. Additionally colors are much more vibrant. Contrast is also improved upon. While the blu-ray was also impressive in its black levels, they don't what's achieved in the UHD blu-ray. The outstanding resolution is retained in the darkest scenes, whereas the depth is occasionally swallowed up on blu-ray.
FOX has up-converted the 2K DI for this 4K presentation and the manner in which hues boost the color quality to scene after scene, while also boosting noise. It's not ever overly intrusive, but it stands out more in 4K than it does in the blu-ray counterpart. Overall, the image is excellent and on par with the previous shorter release.
While the previously released blu-ray and 4K both offered a terrific DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix, this mix is superior with a newly available Dolby Atmos mix on the 4K discs. As immersive as the previously available blu-ray and 4K mixes were, the Amos mix opens up the previous offerings even more. Whether the mix calls for dead-silence or deep LFE effects, this Atmos mix offers a fully immersive experience without sacrificing fidelity. The early storm sequence stands out over the previous DTS mixes as well as demonstrating its full capabilities. This is a amazing quality release!
The same outstanding commentary offered on blu-ray is also offered on the 4K UltraHD release. 2 lengthy, worth-while featurettes are included within the 4K release as well as the blu-ray counterparts.
The already immersive soundmix is rendered incredible in ATMOS! What sounded great in the previous mix within the opening storm scenes doesn't come close to how the scene feels more dynamic with the ATMOS mix. Don't miss out on purchasing this release. Even if owning the previous presentation, the extended edition low-price and other elements, both the options for either the extended or theatrical release and the outstanding, more impressive Atmos mix herein, make this an decision to upgrade over the previous offering!