Cube Critic: 'The Martian'

Matt Damon in 'The Martian'
Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) finds himself stranded and alone on Mars, in 'The Martian'. (Courtesy Twentieth Century Fox)
Cube Critic: 'The Martian'
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Cube Critic Stephanie Curtis joins Jill Riley and Sean McPherson to talk about a new film from director Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon. The Martian is based on Andy Weir's best-selling novel of the same name, and the film's cast also includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels and Michael Peña.

The Martian looks at how NASA would get people to Mars, and what would happen if someone were stranded there? "First of all, you've got to read the book, it's so much fun," Stephanie says, "and this movie is just as much fun as the book is."

Damon plays astronaut Mark Watney, who finds himself stranded on Mars after the other people of his Mars mission team believe that he is dead and return to Earth without him. When Watney is discovered alive, the action centers on how he is to survive until NASA can return to retrieve him. Half of the film's action centers on Watney's efforts on the red planet, and the other half is set on Earth, where people are assisting Watney from afar.

Stephanie compares The Martian to Apollo 13, particularly its approach to problem solving. "Frankly, it is a little bit like 'MacGyver' on Mars," she says. "He keeps coming up with new ways to solve problems, and I love movies like that."

Because Watney is alone on Mars and a lot of the book focuses on Watney's internal thoughts, the filmmakers use a video-diary device as a way to share Watney's inner monologue.

The release of The Martian seems well timed, particularly given the recent finding of water on Mars."I think that Matt Damon discovered the water on Mars just to get some special coverage," Stephanie jokes. "I believe in Matt Damon. Matt Damon is a great human being, a great American, and I do believe he did that to promote his movie."

Listen to the complete review by clicking the audio player above.

The Martian is rated PG-13 and is showing at theaters everywhere.

Official Trailer

MPR's Cube Critics, Stephanie Curtis and Euan Kerr, join The Current's Morning Show to talk about films every Friday at 8:30 a.m.

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