Drew Goodard

The Martian

It is only the first day of October but break out those Oscar conversations because we have our first contender of the season! But is it as good as they are making it out to be? It just might be! I just left the theater, where I was forced to see Ridley Scott’s new film in 3D, we all know how against 3D I am, but it was only showing I could make.

The Martian stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Sean Bean (Spoiler alert: Sean Bean does not die!), Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, and Chiwetel Ejiodor. The Drew Goddard script is directed by Ridley Scott who produces the film alongside of Simon Kinberg. The Martian is based on the bestselling novel of the same name written by Andy Weir. Premiering at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, it immediately sparked Oscar buzz not only for the film itself, but for Matt Damon’s performance.

\The Martian tells the tale of presumed dead astronaut Mark Watney (Damon) stranded alone on the hostile planet of Mars. With only a limited amount of supplies, he must find a way to survive until he can be rescued by a crew that he doesn’t even know if they know he is still alive.

Let me start off by saying, this film was freaking incredible. Every single aspect of it is beautiful. From the casting, to the story, to the direction. Not a single moment wasted. From beginning to end I was thoroughly entertained. Damn near on the edge of my seat. I laughed, I teared up, I was scared, and I cringed. Amazing.

Let’s start with Damon. Damon in his own right is a great actor. The guy can do it all. And this is his showcase. Being put in the position to carry the majority of a film, by you can be difficult, but Damon proves he was up to the task. All though the character is so well written, Damon brings him to life. He makes you connect with him; he makes you root for him, he makes you hurt for him. The optimism of the character could be done wrong if any someone else’s hands, but Damon brings the right amount of humor and intelligence and believability to the role. Leo has his work cut out for him, because Damon is in the hunt for the Oscar with this one.

The rest of the cast is filled with heavy hitters and great role players. Jeff Daniels reminds us that he is a premier actor with an incredible talent. Ejiodor in on par and holds his own. Kate Mara makes you forget she was in The Fantastic Four. Michael Pena is a riot and believable as always. From top to bottom this cast is stellar.

The story itself is really well done. It is a perfect blend of Cast Away and Apollo 13. While you are alone on Mars with Matt Damon, it switches back and forth to earth and the attempts and plans to save him. It is suspenseful, and incredibly funny. Not to mention it is so well told that I constantly had to remind myself it was not a true story. Just being real. Completely thought this was true once or twice while watching.

A definite return to form for one Ridley Scott. Who his own not been up to his own standards as of late, this one he really knocks it out of the park. The cinematography is beautiful. Every shot framed and centered perfectly with as much attention that can be paid to detail. There are times you think this was actually shot on Mars itself! Again, I know I had to remind myself that was not possible either…

As far as negatives go there honestly are not a lot. A small chunk near the beginning of the third acts takes you to the story on earth for a little longer then you would want. There is a moment between Kate Mara and Sebastian Stan’s characters that really felt a little out of place. And I guess I have to say another negative was that I saw it in 3D. While it was not bad 3D, I am just not a fan of it. I only chose the 3D format because it was the only showing available. I do not think the 3D added all that much to the film, it was just kind of there. So if you have the choice, you probably don’t need to bother with the 3D unless you just like 3D

But other than those rather nitpicky negatives, there is nothing bad I can say about this film. As of now, in my mind, it is the front runner for the Oscar. One for Damon, one for Scott, and one for the film itself. I scored it 4.8, with a .3 bonus for, well everything. That gives The Martian a Jeebus Score of 5.1. You guys deff need to check this one out. But what say you Jackass Nation? Are you excited for The Martian? What are your favorite Matt Damon performances? Sound off in the comments below, and remember, it is what it is. Keep on Nerding!

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.

The show without Fear: Marvel’s DareDevil

Marvel is pretty much running the show right now. Their cinematic universe is on the top of its game ready to roll out Phase III. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have improved incredibly since Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Agent Carter was an amazing miniseries. They just seem to know what they are doing. We have been waiting for the Netflix phase to get off the ground, and they have done it. The first of, what I will call, The Defenders Series’ has hit the ground running. Marvel’s DareDevil is here. DareDevil stars Charlie Cox, Deborah Ann Woll, Elden Henson, Toby Leonard Moore, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Bob Gunton, Rosario Dawson, and Vincent D’Onofrio as The Kingpin Wilson Fisk. Produced by Steven S. DeKnight and Drew Goodard and is based on the Marvel superhero of the same name. Word of warning, this review will not really have many actual Spoilers, but there may be minor details of the shows plot. SO if you want to know nothing about it before you see it, then stop reading. There will be a spoiler at the end that pertains to how a character is written, but I will mark it appropriately so you can skip that paragraph.

Marvel’s DareDevil tells the story of Marvel’s superhero by the same name. Matt Murdock is a lawyer who as a child was in an accident that causes him to lose his sight, but causes his remaining senses to function with near superhuman peak ability. Tired of seeing his city, Hell’s Kitchen, fall to criminals and dirt bags has decided to take up a quest as a vigilante. On the flip side. A near practical ghost of a business man, Wilson Fisk, has decided to rebuild the city, though while Murdock’s tactics are morally right, Fisk believes the means will justify the ends. Thus pitting the two on a collision course of mass repercussions.

I was very pleased with the casting. I was weary of Charlie Cox going in because I was not very familiar with his work. 2 episodes in and I realized he was perfect for the role. So perfect that I expect to see him in the films. I want to see Cox reprise this role in Civil War, and Infinity Gauntlet. I also would mind a S.H.I.E.L.D. cameo. Ann Woll is very functional and she grows as the series drives forward. I didn’t really like her at first but her character arc and her portrayal is great. A stand out star is Henson as Murdock’s law partner Foggy Nelson. Not just comic relief, but brings a lot of heart to the show. D’Onofrio is good in his roll. I have issues but I will get into that a little later.

Let’s talk positives. DareDevil is not like anything you have seen in the MCU. This is kind of a staple for Marvel. Each film has its own feel to it; this show takes its own identity too. It is dark, and gritty and violent. You haven’t ever seen this much violence from a Marvel property since the Blade series. It is the perfect change of pace. And speaking of, the pacing is great. It flows very well with right amount of vigilante/lawyering percentages. The story is very fluid. Filming for Netflix and being able to run everything at once lets them eliminate the “monster of the week” format that a lot of these shows can have, and lets them tell a more fluid singular story.

But I’m not just going to turn a blind eye. Remember, being a fan means being able to recognize problems. One of my issues is the character of Wilson Fisk. Kingpin is one of my all-time favorite villains. I have always enjoyed him. But to me he needed to be more intimidating then this makes him out to be. Again I don’t want to get too much into it right here, I will in a moment. Another issue I had was the lack of tie-ins to the MCU. There are a few references to New York, and The Avengers, but nothing that really made the connection strong. And honestly, that’s just about all I have for complaints. So I’m going to delve into the one thing I really found to be the main issue with show. This might have some SPOILERS! So if you don’t wish to know plot details you might want to skip the next paragraph.

SPOILERS! You have been warned. So I mentioned my issues with Wilson Fisk. That is nothing against Vincent D’Onofrio’s performance. He is great, he disappears into the role. The problem is the character himself. He is written nearly as a whiny little bitch. Through flashbacks, he is shown to have an abusive father and a poor childhood. I understand that the character along with DareDevil are two sides of the same coin. He is meant to be portrayed almost as an antihero. He wants what Murdoch wants, he just has questionable methods. Now as the season came to an end, I realized this something I hadn’t thought of. I had been thinking of this not as an origin story, but just jumping into this world. By the end you see this season is an origin. An origin of DareDevil, and for Kingpin. There is a scene when Fisk breaks out of police custody, and in that scene I saw the Kingpin I know and fear. My hopes are that in season 2, we get more of this Kingpin.


So in closing, I found DareDevil to be a great show. One that I hope will continue and mix in with the MCU for years to come. It has made me excited to see the rest of The Defenders series’ that will be coming out later this year and next. I gave Marvel’s DareDevil a score of 4.6, with a .4 bonus for its grounded, gritty dark undertones and fun action. Giving us a Jeebus Score of 5.0. So what say you Jackass Nation? Did you enjoy DareDevil? Have you binged on it like me? what else are you looking forward to from Marvel? Sound off in the comments.

The Jeebus Score explained

The Jeebus score is out of a possible 6 points. Films are giving a max of 1 point each for Acting, Entertainment, and Casting, and a max of .5 for Dialog, Cinematography, and Direction. There is also a possible bonus up to .5. Any film between 2.5 and 4 is considered a good film. 4-5 is a great film. Anything over 5 is an incredibly amazing film. To get a perfect score of 6 a film will pretty much have to be The Empire Strikes Back or The Godfather.