Director: Ridley Scott
Cast: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels
Release Date: Now Available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 10/10
Disc Rating: 10/10
From legendary director Ridley Scott (Alien, Prometheus) comes a gripping tale of human strength and the will to survive. During a mission to Mars, American astronaut Mark Watney (played by Academy Award winner Matt Damon) is presumed dead and left behind. But Watney is still alive. Against all odds, he must find a way to contact Earth in the hope that scientists can devise a rescue plan to bring him home.
The latest effort from incredibly talented filmmaker Ridley Scott, ‘The Martian’ chronicles the journey of one man stuck alone on an isolated planet. Trapped with minimal provisions, no means of contacting anyone and not a soul in site, although Mark Watney (Damon) is not about to give up so easily as he struggles to maintain himself and what few items he possesses in the desperate hope of making it the numerous years necessary until the next mission can retrieve him. ‘The Martian’ is a masterpiece of filmmaking that delivers a riveting and outright phenomenal film guided by Ridley Scott and featuring a powerhouse cast that includes Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels ,Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Chiwetel Ejiofor and many more.
‘The Martian’ comes home on Blu-ray once again in the newly released ‘Extended Edition’ 2-disc set and what a glorious release it is. The Extended Cut of the actual film includes approximately 10 minutes of previously unseen footage integrated back into the film for an expanded experience of this fantastic film, and the theatrical cut is included as well for those who may prefer the initial cut. While the extended cut of the film itself is a fun little treat, the real reason fans of ‘The Martian’ will want to strongly consider a double dip is the truly impressive amount of supplemental material which is included this time around. Featuring hours upon hours of in depth and informative bonus content including hours of brand new extras alone is the real treasure presented in the ‘Extended Edition’ Blu-ray release, featuring a full length Documentary ‘The Long Way Home: Making The Martian’, along with Audio Commentary tracks on both cuts of the film and a great deal more (more detailed information regarding the bonus content can be found in the special features section of the technical specification coverage below) easily making this perfect release the definitive edition. Those who may be concerned about quality as a result of all the extras can also rest easy as the entirety of the bonus content (aside from the Audio Commentary tracks of course) are provided their own dedicated disc in order to allow for optimal quality all around, and in that it most certainly delivers. Perhaps the only element of the release that anyone may be disappointed with is the absence of a 3D version.
Overall, fans of ‘The Martian’ who haven’t yet had a chance to pick up a copy of the film on Blu-ray will definitely want to make certain to grab this perfect 2-Disc ‘Extended Edition’ release, as will many who might already own the film as the extended cut of the film combined with the hours of brand new bonus content should easily justify the double dip for many. This is one of those rare examples of a truly perfect Blu-ray release that looks and sounds fantastic in addition to being jam-packed with so much fantastic bonus content that it results in a double take; it’s well worth picking up a copy for anyone who thoroughly enjoyed this phenomenal film.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Martian: Extended Edition’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio for both the Extended and Theatrical Editions of the film. The video presentation looks magnificent, providing a sharp, detailed and wonderfully colorful presentation from start to finish, perfectly capturing the beauty of the planet in all of its glory. It holds up impressively even during the darker and/or fast moving sequences and never results in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is an outstanding high definition video presentation that should easily thrill even the most picky of fans.
The Blu-Ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack sounds amazing and contributes wonderfully to this emotionally powerful film. Utilizing all seven available channels on numerous occasions in order to fully immerse the viewer within the music as well as the peril, with violent storms that overtake every speaker with true vigor and plenty more notable surround activity throughout, while also making certain that any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously never becomes distorted, let alone rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a fantastic 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that provides an impressive ride in itself.
The Blu-ray release of ‘The Martian: Extended Edition’ is absolutely jam-packed with numerous hours of notable extras including hours of brand new extras alone that take you deep into the creation of the film and its inspiration. The release includes ‘Audio Commentary with Ridley Scott, Drew Goddard and Andy Weir’ on both editions of the film. Aside from the Audio Commentary tracks, the entirety of the supplemental material can be found on the second disc which includes a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the film (running approximately 4 minutes in length altogether), a ‘Gag Reel’ (running approximately 8 minutes), and a fantastic feature length Documentary ‘The Long Way Home: Making The Martian’ (approximately 1 hour, 19 minutes) that chronicles the making of the film and features behind the scenes footage and interviews/comments with the cast and crew. We are also treated to ‘Investigating Mars’ which is broken down into three seperate segments providing some detailed information on the films source idea, the real life NASA and more, the three segments are: ‘Dare Mighty Things: NASA’s Journey To Mars’ (approximately 15 minutes), ‘Ridley Scott Discusses NASA’s Journey To Mars’ ( 2 minutes), and a multi-part discussion panel with Ridley Scott and others in ‘The Journey To Mars 101’ (approximately 2 hours, 2 minutes in total). Also included are a collection of ‘Ares Mission Videos’ (running approximately 31 minutes altogether), a ‘Production Art Gallery’ separated by planet, item, etc. for convenience, and lastly ‘4 Theatrical Trailers’ for the film (11 minutes altogether).