June 12, 2016


Starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Pena, Kate Mora, Sean Bean, Donald Glover, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor. Directed by Ridley Scott. (2015, 141/151 min).

Though it isn't even a year old, it's safe to say The Martian will likely go down in history as another Shawshank Redemption: One of those movies everyone loves, watches repeatedly, quotes endlessly and pauses channel surfing long enough to catch a few minutes whenever it happens to air on TNT or FX.

But unlike The Shawshank Redemption (which took years achieve the classic status it enjoys today), The Martian was a blockbuster from day one and a huge seller when released on DVD & Blu-Ray in January. Now, not even six months later, we're already getting an Extended Cut of the film with a whole new batch of bonus features, along with a few holdovers from the original disc. Since many of you reading this probably already have the film on your shelf, it's time to ask how big of a fan you really are. Rather than summarize the plot, it's more important to discuss two things: The extended cut, which is ten minutes longer, and the new bonus features.

The original version was already Ridley Scott's best film since Black Hawk Down. The reinsertion of additional scenes (some featuring Damon during his Martian exile, others focusing on those on Earth trying to bring him home) don't add anything revelatory to the plot (though it'll inspire some viewers to Google the definition of 'felching'). In fact, unless you've seen the film multiple times, you'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between both cuts. Still, it's a testament to the strength of the story, Scott's direction and Damon's performance that the additional footage doesn't feel like a gratuitous cash grab.

"Funny...I don't feel extended. Guess those ads were wrong"

Which brings us to the bonus features (outlined below). They are far more comprehensive than those included on the original disc. Featuring audio commentaries, lengthy multi-chapter documentaries on the making of the film and the real-life logistics of an actual journey to Mars, this disc is loaded with the kind of stuff cinephiles and superfans will feel are worth the upgrade.

Of course, The Martian is a must-own, since it's one of those rare films that transcends its genre (much like The Shawshank Redemption). Casual fans who enjoyed the original version will be perfectly content with the disc they've already purchased. This Extended Edition is for those whose love extends far beyond the multiplex. For them, the decision whether or not to pick this up is a no-brainer, and they won't be disappointed.

BONUS FEATURES (a few of which were included on the previous release):

  • Extended & Theatrical Cuts 
  • "The Long Way Home: Making The Martian" - A lengthy multi-part behind-the-scenes feature that includes interviews with most of the major cast & crew.
  • "The Journey to Mars 101" - Multi-part panel discussions about the film itself, as well as the real-life logistics of visiting Mars, featuring Scott, screenwriter Drew Goddard, original author Andy Weir (who's actually a little annoying to listen to) and various experts in the field of space exploration.
  • "Dare Mighty Things: NASA's Journey to Mars"
  • "Ares III: Refocused"
  • Audio Commentary (on both versions) by Scott, Goddard and Weir.
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Gag Reel
  • Ares Mission Videos
  • Digital Copy


No comments: