The Martian: Pretty as a Painting and More Entertaining

Welcome to ReelTalk’s first audio discussion, talking about the recently released film The Martian (2015) starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Jeff Daniels. During a mission to Mars, Mark Whatney (Damon) is struck by debris in a storm that forces the crew to leave him behind, believing him dead. When he wakes, Whatney must use his skills and integrity to survive on an inhospitable planet until he can contact NASA, and until they can send another mission to bring him home.

*Spoiler AlertWe WILL be discussing plot points of the movie that will give away the ending, or other details about the movie and plot twists. If you have not seen The Martian and don’t want to know what happens, WAIT TO LISTEN TO THIS DISCUSSION.

We’ll discuss our initial thoughts of The Martian, Matt Damon’s feelings towards the project, the art behind the filming, and some of the things we thought went either really well or really badly.

Most of the science in The Martian is based on real science, so it is also nice to be able to see how what you see in theaters may work in real life.


Cailin Smith: A junior journalism student at the University of Iowa, Cailin does enjoy spending time at the movies. One of her favorites is The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014). Cailin was very impressed with the prettiness of the shots of Mars, stating “They look like a moving painting” at one point.

Patrick Lussenhop: A junior cinema student at the University of Iowa, Pat also works at the school’s Student Video Production group, and is currently working on his own short series of videos about a serial killer. Patrick praised The Martian‘s ability to avoid common tropes and nonsensical plot points.


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