Blu-ray Review: ‘The Martian’ Extended Edition
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The Martian Extended Cut
Blu-ray l DVD l 4K Ultra HD
Director: Ridley Scott
Screenwriter: Drew Goddard
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sean Bean, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor
20th Century Fox
Rated PG-13 | 141 Minutes
Release Date: June 07, 2016

Last year’s The Martian exceeded any and all expectations, garnering spots on many top ten lists, including our own, and earned many other recognitions including Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor (Matt Damon), Best Adapted Screenplay, and other technical nods. Now the campaign to bring Mark Watney home can be your mission as The Martian Extended Cut has hit store shelves.

Check out our full review below.

In addition to our positive review, Eve, our very own editor-in-chief, loved The Martian, and it is easy to see why the sci-fi survivalist story with huge real-world scientific influences may have had an impact on their reactions. We could go through the entire process of reviewing the film, considering it has 10 minutes of extra footage, but let’s not get too much into reviewing it as a film, but seeing what kind of extras this extended version has to offer.

As aforementioned, there is additional, never before seen, not rated footage that has been added on to the original theatrical cut. The original cut already ran as a lengthy two and a half hours, so what kind of impact would 10 minutes have on the overall narrative? Well, to be honest, it offers very little but works in other ways. The purpose of the ten additional minutes is just a handful of minor scene extensions and character moments. Other than that there isn’t much that changes what Watney does to survive on the desolate red planet, and what Ares III team (Jessica Chastain, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, and Aksel Hennie) risk to bring back their man home.

There are many solid performances, Damon being one of them considering the film was practically riding on his shoulders. Surprising performances from Kristen Wiig and Donald Glover. And let’s not forget Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Sean Bean. As for the extras, there should be more than plenty to hold you over until a team can arrive to pick you up.

Watching this on Blu-ray was pretty exciting, to say the least. The colors and detail manage to pop on screen, even more so when watching it on 1080p. It was hard to find any flaws within in the film, and any supposed glaring differences between practical and digital effects seemed to go virtually unnoticed.

As for the audio commentary. As with most of these films, audio commentary gives some extra insight into the minds of those who helped bring this film to life. In this case, we get that insight from director Ridley Scott, author Andy Weir, and screenwriter Drew Goddard. The film considerably follows the book almost beat for beat, with a few minor creative changes – as is such with any film adaptation.

Then there is the documentary of the science behind recreating Mars for the film, which interviews NASA specialists and engineers, and a Q&A panel discussion about the planned journey to Mars featuring commentary from NASA experts.

If you are huge on science and love NASA, you would do well to watch this extra. Andrew Weir, Bill Nye, and science educator Adam Savage participate in the Q&A. James Green, systems engineer Mallory Lefland, JPL director Charles Elachi, chief scientist Ellen Stofan, administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr., and flight system engineer Bobak Ferdowski explain how they helped create the world of Mars on the planet Earth.

As for any other extras, you have your typical gag reels, which offers a humorous side to the making of the film, deleted scenes, trailers, and other bonus features like a look at the production art of the film – just in case you like “The Art Of” books that probably sit on your coffee table.

The Martian Extended Edition on Blu-ray is out now.

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