Matt Damon

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 Event known as INTERSTELLAR

Nolanites rejoice. The time is upon us. The highly, HIGHLY anticipated Christopher Nolan film Interstellar. I was privileged enough to catch an early showing of the film, in 35 MM FILM. They way Nolan has intended it to be shown. Now this is going to be a very difficult film to review. The beauty of the film is that going into it, you know very little. You have a basic understanding of the plot, and we know the top billed stars. Other than that the film was shrouded in mystery. Now please excuse me while I rant a little, but, in my youth, that’s how film was. We didn’t have scoops, or set photos, or plot details. One night you’d be at the theater, and you’d see a trailer, and that is what you had to go on. Today there is all sorts of scoops and stories, and while it’s fun, and entertaining, it takes away some mystery. Some mystery that Nolan has brought back to us. The best thing about Nolan’s Interstellar is exactly what most of its cast has told us. It’s not a film, it is an event.

Now let’s look at the surface of the Interstellar. Written, directed, and produced by Nolan, it stars the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, Bill Irwin, Ellen Burstyn, and mystery actor. The story falls in a world where we have lost everything. Our food source is withering away, and we live in a practical dustbowl. When circumstances lead Cooper (McConaughey) to a voyage to save our dying race, he must race against time, space, and ethics to save us, or find his way back home.

Sound generic? It is not I assure you. Interstellar is riddled with theories and stories. It nearly plays out as three separate films. Act I II and III could all pan out to play as their own movies. The acting is spot on. McConaughey is on his way to another nomination, and perhaps trophy. Chastain is on her game, as is Caine. The breakout performance is done by McConaughey’s onscreen daughter, Mackenzie Foy. She is incredible! There is a surprise cameo role that I knew nothing about. I’m not going to blow it, and if you read the cast list you might find it. The cameo role got me so good, I gave Interstellar a .3 bonus.

Interstellar is very thought provoking. About what is out there, are we meant to go on? It never tries to be a message for you that this is fact, just a vision of an opinion. Nolan does a great job telling the story and leaves you thinking. You will walk out of this one with a lot to talk about. I know my brother and I stood in the parking lot for a good 20 minutes discussing the film. And we could have gone on for hours.

No film is perfect, they have their flaws and this one does too. The pacing can be off at times. Not to the point that the film drags, while you feel every minute of its 2 hour and 45 minute run time, it is not slow. It just seems to jump around a lot. From intense, to long winded exposition. And the exposition can get very confusing. I’m not one for quantum physics and space odyssey theories. While the script took nearly a decade working its facts, and scientific authenticity, to the layman it can be very confusing. Luckily I had my brother with me who is very into the worm hole and black hole theories, so after the film could fill me in some. But be prepared, where as in Nolan’s Inception if you pay close enough attention you can follow it, this one can get a little tricky.

So that’s it, without any spoilers, the best I can give you. Because this is a film you need to go into blind. Not knowing the story that lies ahead or what is in your future during those 2 hour and 45 minutes. I scored Interstellar 5.9 with a .3 bonus for its surprise casting, giving it a 6.2, JEEBUS-TACULAR. So go blindly into the film, if you are looking for something like the old days of my youth, grab your best gal and head to the cinema this Friday night. Don’t go for drinks or dinner before, save that for after. Because you are going to have a lot to talk about after this one.

This Week in Movie News

Captain America The Winter Soldier, $476,706,000. Making 10.2 million on its Thursday night openings, more than double what Captain America the First Avenger. It set a single day record for April with 36.9 million, and an opening weekend of 95 million. Not too shabby. It has done about 46% better than the original. And Rightfully so. The Winter Soldier is an amazing film, that you should all go see. Numerous times.

With the sudden passing of Harold Ramis, Ivan Reitman made the decision his heart just wasn’t into a Ghostbusters 3. And rightfully so. In his departure Chris Miller and Phil Lord stepped in. However it looks like they are now leaving the potential project. The studio is in talks with other directors. Problem with this I have is Harold Ramis is gone, Ivan Reitman is out, and Bill Murray has no interest in ever doing another Ghostbuster sequel. What’s the appeal? Why not star fresh. Scrap what you have, and give us a reboot.

Matt Damon is in final talks to join the film The Martian. The Martian, tells the tale of a space crew on Mars when something goes terribly wrong, Mark Watney (Damon), thought to be dead, and is left on Mars. With no way to contact his crew, and very little supplies, Watney, must handle the obstacles put a head of him and try to survive in hopes that a rescue mission finds him. The film sounds entertaining, and Damon is a good choice, however Damon is a good choice for nearly any role. The film sounds nearly like Gravity meets Castaway. Which is a very interesting combination. I look forward to more about this film.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has released more viral marketing. This time the subject is actually very very exciting. In an article, written by Eddie Brock, Cletus “Killer “Cassidy has been caught, and placed in prison. It goes on to say that he gave very little struggle. What’s most interesting about this? The mention of Cassidy? Who eventually becomes Carnage? Yea that’s cool. But what’s even cooler is when you remember the past. During filming of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Jim Carey visited the set while filming was going on. Rumors swirled that he was in talks to play Cassidy. And He would be, Killer, in the role. Couple that with the fact that Sony is releasing a Venom spinoff film, and think to yourself, who is Venom going to face off against? Can’t be Spider-Man, which would just be another Spider-Man film. Could we be building to Venom/Carnage? I sure hope so.

Schmoes Know have reported that Kick Ass 2 director Jeff Wadlow is going to take over the directing and writing duties of the He-Man Masters of the Universe film. If I’m not mistaken recently John Cho left the film, I think to do some dumb 80s cartoon that will be getting a big screen adaption. I like this move, because I was a huge fan of Kick Ass 2. However with script re-writes and new directors, I don’t know if this film is ever going to get made. But it truly deserves a new modern telling!

An abundant of X-Men news has come out this week. We will start with the absolute cheesiest and most pointless. The dumb Carls Jr. and Hardees commercials with rip off Mystique, and Quicksilver. This is some odd marketing techniques. The commercials are cheesy and dumb. As well the picture of Quicksilver released that has him running alongside the wall while Wolverine and the X-Men don’t even notice him. Again, looks cheesy, and actually even photo shopped. What is exciting is Lauren Shuler Donner has announced that they are looking at major spinoffs. She announced she wants Mystique, Gambit, and Deadpool. Too of which are expected. Deadpool we, and Ran Reynolds, have been waiting for since the X-Men franchise began. As well Mystique, of course she needs her own spin off. Not because of the character, but because of the actress, Jennifer Lawrence. But the most exciting is Gambit. We were so excited with the announcement of Gambit in Origins, and to be honest, Taylor Kitsch was a shining point in that film. And I hope that they bring him back. However, I believe that with Days of Future Past and Apocalypse are going to reset the timeline and bring the First Class characters into today’s time. I’ll be excited to see the turn out no matter what the outcome.