As I said when we first reached the Top 10, in order for a film to reach this high on this countdown, it must be at least one of two things: incredibly well-made or incredibly awesome. But those that achieves both will rise to the top. So, as we close off this adventure through 2015 cinema, it’s time to cover my best of the best, starting with the other great space adventure of the year, The Martian.
During a manned mission to Mars, a terrible dust storm forces the crew to abandon Mars early. Unfortunately, not all of them made it to the ship. When Mark Watney gets struck by debris during the storm, the crew and NASA falsely assume him to be dead. Watney wakes up the only man on Mars, and must now find a way to survive on a barely hospitable planet while also trying to find a way home.
It’s amazing that not only was this movie as good as it was, but also as charming as it was. The Martian is such a genuinely good movie, just as fun as it is well-made.
The story is fantastic. Take another look at the synopsis. I dare you not to be interested in the idea. The writing in all aspects has all the bells and whistles necessary for a fun and mind-blowing time. Most of the brilliance comes from the screenplay and dialogue. Everyone knows by now this film is funny, mainly because it is, but it’s also very emotionally-driven. All in all, this is a flawless writing job.
Though I should mention, for an Oscar nominated movie, The Martian feels surpringly grounded for lack of a better term. It simply doesn’t feel like a typical Oscar movie. Something about this movie gives off the vibe that it wasn’t aiming for high acclaim, awards or anything like that. It was simply aiming to be enjoyable, which is something worth appreciating.
In addition to being well-written, this movie is visually stunning. You will believe a man can walk on Mars; it looks so seamless and authentic. What you won’t believe is that most of this film was shot practically. Seriously, they even grew real potatoes for the film. It’s simply beautiful.
Yeah, this movie is good, but you wanna know what else is good? Matt Damon’s performance. Watching this film again made me realize where the Academy was going with nominating him. He owns the character of Watney just as charismatic as he is emotional and just as smart as he is funny. His optimism makes the movie what it is and is a performance worth praising. Aside from Damon, this film is also helped by a range of small yet impressive performances, from Kate Mara to Kristin Wiig to Jeff Daniels. Excellent acting all around.
One final area note, this film’s soundtrack was a stroke of genius. It’s not so much the songs themselves than it is the implementation. No matter what you think of disco, you’ll learn to grin when you hear it throughout the film, particularly with Waterloo toward the end.
This movie, what can I say? It’s one of the best-written, beautiful, well-acted and charming movies of last year. There’s nothing to not like with this movie, and I’m not just saying that. I sincerely believe that there’s no one who wouldn’t enjoy The Martian. Don’t believe me? Go find out for yourself.
I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!
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For all entries in the 2015 Movie Countdown, click here!