From legendary director Ridley Scott comes a gripping tale of human strength and the will to survive, in this engaging thriller based upon the novel by Andy Weir.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
20th Century Fox - 2015
Feature running time:
English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, English/French/Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
English SDH, Spanish, French
Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Season Bean, Kristen Wiig, Michael Pena, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejofor, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
January 12, 2016
"Bring Him Home"
During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return.
Based on a best-selling novel, helmed by master director Ridley Scott, and featuring a terrific ensemble cast, headed by star Matt Damon [i]The Martian[i] is all that I hoped it would be. Despite the fervor it caused during its theatrical run I didn't take it in at the theater. I have to say that I regret that as this film was made for the theatrical experience. I haven't read the novel but my wife did and she both liked the movie and felt it was a faithful adaptation.
As I watched I reveled in the superbly drawn character of Mark Watney as we are given a fly on the perspective into his struggle for survival. His ingenuity is quite intriguing while his humor serves as a coping device, enabling him to stave off hopelessness and keep his mind from fixating on the dire circumstances. As the storyline progresses his penchant to remain upbeat and optimistic is vital to the proceedings. The narrative shifts between Mark and the people at home on Earth, now trying to find a way to safely bring him home while coping with the various obstacles and red tape they encounter. The last piece to the puzzle are the members of his crew who after learning of his survival, are faced with a monumental decision.
At 141 minutes I had an initial concern about pacing but that wasn't a problem as I found myself engaged throughout the film. There's a layer peeling aspect to the narrative but the various elements never lose synch as the balance between drama, adventure, levity and suspense are thematically supported. Matt Damon gives a commanding performance but is capably supported by a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Donald Glover, Mackenzie Davis, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.
I thoroughly enjoyed The Martian
. While it's not the first film to feature a person marooned and facing seemingly insurmountable odds, there's a depth and freshness to it that strikes a marvelous and rewarding balance. Kudos to director Ridley Scott, the cast and crew for bringing Andy Weir's novel to the big screen with such exuberance.
The rating is for some strong language, thematic material/image, and brief nudity.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency effects:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialog Reproduction:
- Low frequency extension * (non-rated element):
- DSU Rating * (non-rated element):
The Martian comes to Blu-ray Disc from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 23 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.6 Mbps.
- Black Level/Shadow Detail:
- Color Reproduction:
This is a reference quality video presentation that looks superb. Images are visually arresting and have a rich dynamic quality that highlights its near flawless rendering of detail. The video has a three dimensional and razor sharp clarity that never left me wanting. The visual design is pure Ridley Scott as it features a limited color scheme that is aesthetically perfect for the subject matter. The majority of the film boasts deep shades of gray, blue, sepia, white and black. These colors are not vivid in tonality but their depiction is stark and fully appreciable onscreen. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. The various wide angle shots of the habitat and the open exterior expanse on Mars look stunning. Flesh tones are not overtly complex in tone but appear diverse in subtle structure and complexional makeup. This is a sophisticated visual design that uses more CGI than real imagery. The end result is a superlative video presentation that truly evokes the emotion of the film.
I had high expectations for this soundtrack at home and 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio presentation didn’t disappoint. I was treated to an impeccably detailed, dynamic, and rewarding surround sound experience. Multi-layered sound effects are appropriately placed within the soundfield so that their purpose is definable yet never overstated. The mix makes effective and where appropriate active use of the surround channels to elongate the front soundstage and reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this demanding soundtrack. The front and rear sound fields are integrated with precision which enables a seamless transference during panning sequences. Dynamics are energy filled and impact felt with discerning articulation and punch. This is an entertaining mix that utilizes the subwoofer to accentuate its dynamic range. The quality of the bass is first rate as it is fills the room with clean, resonating low frequency detail. Dialog has excellent presence with clear, defining vocal character and noteworthy room penetration. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with terrific soundtrack. The Martian on Blu-ray is an end to end home theater experience that compliments the source material.
- (HD) Signal Acquired: Writing and Direction – 9 minute featurette
- (HD) Occupy Mars: Casting and Costumes – 14 minute featurette
- (HD) Gag Reel – 7 minutes
- (HD) Production Gallery
- (HD) Ares III: Refocused – 17 minute faux documentary that takes a deeper look at the true story behind Mark Watney's rescue
- (HD) 5 Faux Promotional shorts surrounding the Mars mission (s) and people involved:
- Ares III: Farewell – 4 minutes
- The Right Stuff – 3 minutes
- Ares: Our Greatest Adventure – 3 minutes
- Leave Your Mark – 1 minute
- Bring Him Home – 1 minute
- (HD) Theatrical Trailer
- Digital HD Copy
Based on the bestselling novel by Andy Weir and helmed by director Ridley Scott, The Martian
is a compelling, engrossing and thoroughly entertaining film that is complimented by an excellent cast and apt direction. It comes to Blu-ray from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment featuring sparkling high definition video, reference quality 7.1 channel lossless sound and a fan friendly assortment of supplements. I thoroughly enjoyed The Martian
and highly recommend it on Blu-ray.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV8802A 13.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103D Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (With Darbee video processing)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and In-Ceiling series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SVS PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package