Kate Mara

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.

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Fant 4 Stick

Let’s preference this by saying I was excited for this film. Regardless of all the bad press, and stories from the set. Despite the press and their hatred for it, I was giving it the benefit of the doubt. Everything about it, screams amazing. Josh Trank the director of Chronicle. Written by Simon Kinberg, the writer of X-Men Days of Future Past. The amazing talents that are Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jaime Bell, and Toby Kebbell. It screams awesome. Well. It wasn’t.

Fantastic Four tells the story, somewhat, of 5 kids whose lives are all change once they help crack the code of inter-dimensional travel. Well that’s about it for the plot. The film is not the pile of shit you are hearing about. For the most part. In this golden age of comic book movies, this one kind of takes todays Dark Knight Tone, and makes a movie with it from back in the late 90s/early 2000s. There is no character development whatsoever for any character in this movie. Plus the chemistry is all but nonexistent between these four. The story is jumbled, and the editing is all over the place.

Not to mention, nothing happens in this movie. Aside from one extra action scene, you have seen every single action scene in the film, in its trailers. So don’t expect a lot more. Plus don’t expect to see a lot of the cool scenes you saw in the trailers. They aren’t there. Like the scene of The Thing being dropped out of a plane into what looks like a warzone. Not in the movie. Now the film can almost be broken into 3 completely separate films. So I’m going to talk about the three acts separately.

Act 1 brings our heroes, and villain, together. They learn from each other and build this crazy machine that somehow Reed Richards (Teller) figured out how to do as a child, but the government could never do without him. It has a working montage and is your basic origin story, but it’s kind of interesting. It has its choppy weak dialog, and bad editing, but for the most part keeps you intrigued on where it will be going. Immediately you pick up Why Victor Von Doom is the bad guy. Because he is a dick. So that equals bad guy. Lazy writing. Plus that whole “you created me I created you” story of let’s make all the heroes and bad guys have a background together. I’m starting to hate that.

Act two kind of becomes the horror/sci-fi epic you want. For a split second. Then have a lot of plot holes that make no sense. You time jump, you wondering what the hell happened to certain characters, and then they are all brought back together and don’t like each other. Same old crap you’ve seen before. The idea behind this story is very fun, and you want to watch it, but the execution is not its best. It’s very basic. After some pretty cool sequences we are violently thrust into the third act. This is where it really gets bad.

Act three is simple formulaic let’s have a big showdown. Care about people, we are a team now. Movies over. That’s it. Nothing happens. You aren’t invested in it, it’s a big cgi green screen scene that makes no sense, with Dr. Doom showing back up, and having a motive that also makes no damn sense. It’s a complete and utter mess at this point. What started as an ok attempt, and took you on a roller coaster of good and bad story telling flies off the rails and kills you.

If you take out the Fantastic Four, and make this some random sci-fi film, it’s pretty decent. You can really enjoy it. But because we have been given the level of superhero films that we have, this one falls incredibly short. It is not the worst one you have ever seen, but it is closer to the bottom then it is the top. And not only does Thing not have pants, he has a butt crack. That makes no sense. At all. It’s really weird! Anyway, I’m giving it a Jeebus Score of 2.5. Not the best way to end the summer, go see Rogue Nation guys.

Alright Jackass Nation. What say you, have you seen Fantastic Four, will you see it? Let me know what you think of it, sound off in the comments below, and as always, 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.

Terminator, year 1. Wait, that’s not right. TRANSCENDENCE

From the cinematographer who brought us The Dark Knight Trilogy, and has not directed anything, at all. And starring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Cole Houser, and JARVIS, er Paul Bettany. Comes the film that could be considered the alternate reality of Skynet, Transcendence. So this is Wally Pfister’s first outing as a director, and I won’t say it was terrible. Maybe a little rough around the edges but if your first outing is helming a Johnny Depp and Morgan Freeman film, good job bro.

Transcendence follows Dr. Will Caster (Depp) working on an A.I. system with his wife (Hall). When a radical anti-technology group lead by The Invisible Woman, who I don’t think you ever get her name in the film, orchestrates a terrorist attack on multiple technology companies and figures, one of which being Caster who is left fatally wounded. His wife, and best friend Max (Bettany) decide they can upload his consciousness into a super computer so that Castor can live forever. From there Castor grows in power and intelligence becoming connected to the internet and everything. Max realizes the dangers and joins up with the government and the same terrorist organization responsible for Casters death to put a stop to all-knowing A.I. that Caster has become. But are they too late?

Is this Johnny Depp’s return to super stardom? Absolutely not, but is it the abysmal fail that Dark Shadows, The Lone Ranger, and The Rum Diaries were? No. It’s quite entertaining to start with. It is definitely more of a drama throughout the first act, dealing with letting go of a loved one. But then it begins to get a bit technical and hard to follow. Transcendence is full of plot holes as well. Once Castor is uploaded to the web he sends his wife to a tiny town in the middle of know where and they proceed to build an entire unground laboratory, in what seems to be the span of 2 years. Now I’ve seen construction on the highways here in Dallas Texas and go on for well over two years and they have yet to do what these people seemed to do. The film also makes the assumption that you are just going to figure out the random sci-fi like acts that go on, and again makes it hard to follow. You leave the theater thinking about the film, but end up picking it apart.

It’s not all bad like I said though. With Pfister being a cinematographer the visuals are stunning in Transcendence. Plus the casting is incredible. Everyone in the movie is believable in their roles. And for the most part it is very entertaining. It goes from a drama to the thriller, all though not the most thrilling of a thriller. Depp is great, it is always nice to see him outside of the eye liner wearing crazy characters that he has been doing lately.

All in all I gave Transcendence a pretty good Jeebus score, probably higher then I should of, but I couldn’t dispute the math. 3.8, Check Out The Matinee.