Is The Martian Worth Bringing Home On Blu-Ray?
Forget the whole “is it a comedy or a drama?” debate (thanks, Golden Globes), Ridley Scott’s The Martian was one of the most enjoyable blockbusters of 2015. Its lighthearted sensibility mixed perfectly with its technical ingenuity—creating a brisk-yet-heady popcorn flick that clicked for science buffs, genre fans, and casual moviegoers looking for a fun way to escape for two hours.
Oscar or no Oscar (it’s got seven chances to win, btw), The Martian has already earned tonnes of awards accolades, critical praise, and a rocket ship full of cash, so let’s dig into Fox’s new Blu-ray to see if it’s also worth bringing home.
Whether you watch it on your 2D or 3D screen (it’s available in both editions), The Martian looks and sounds very impressive. Mars’ vast landscape is incredibly detailed, insomuch that most people won’t notice a great difference between big and small screen picture quality.
Obviously you should’ve caught this on the big screen when you had the chance, but you’re probably reading this now because you want to know what bells and whistles are included on the Blu-ray. I’m happy to report there’s some substantial stuff to dig into. Here are six highlights from the film’s many goodies.
Signal Acquired: Writing and Direction
It’s no secret the widespread appeal of Scott’s film owes a great debt to author Andy Weir’s 2001 debut novel. In this 10-minute featurette, the director explains how screenwriter Drew Goddard turned Weir’s dense book into a screenplay, and how that got turned into a NASA-approved Hollywood movie. In addition to Scott, stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor join the producers and NASA Planetary Science Division Director James L. Green to offer valuable intel.
Occupy Mars: Casting and Costumes
The discs’ second most comprehensive featurette sees Matt Damon, Ridley Scott, and other key players chatting about how The Martian’s impressive ensemble cast (which is pretty everyone they initially wanted) was put together and the film’s surprisingly complex costume choices. Funny enough, the film’s costume designer was told by NASA that they get many of their space suit ideas from the movies.
Gag reels aren’t exactly revolutionary on the home video front, but this one’s pretty endearing and rather lengthy. For nearly eight minutes, Damon’s consistently compelling even when he’s caught flubbing his lines or talking about “potato porn.”
Ares III: Refocused
One of several faux NASA documentary goodies on this disc, here we get a 17-minute interview with several character breaking down the rescue mission of Mark Watney (Damon). Mitch Henderson (Sean Bean) comparing Watney’s rescue to Star Wars is particularly amusing.
Ares III: Farewell
Another fake NASA doc features Damon’s Mark Watney interviewing his Ares crewmembers before their fateful mission that will leave him stranded on the Red Planet with nothing but disco music and potatoes.
Ares: Our Greatest Adventure
If you ever wondered what real-life astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson would say if he were cast in The Martian—as himself, naturally—this four-minute piece in which he chats about the Ares mission to mars is for you.
The Martian is out now on Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD, and digital download. Other extras highlights include a rather excellent production photo gallery, even more faux docs, and a very playful look at what Mark’s been up to since returning safely to Earth.