Review – The Martian

We have had quite a few space flicks in hollywood since 2010 and some of them even turning into box office successes, like the highly acclaimed 2013 movie, Gravity and last year’s Christopher Nolan hit, Interstellar. And, as filming and production technology advances, we’re getting to see more and more realistic and scientific portrayal of the depicted deep space expeditions and mission on the reel. The days of Superman IV are officially over (pun).

And, The Martian is no different. Set in 2030s, the whole movie is pretty realistically shot and most of the terms used are on par with reality. Ridley Scott does a wonderful job of creating vivid imagery and breathtaking scenes and it’s hard to comprehend that all those scenes were synthetically crafted here on earth. CGI just simple blends in with the reality.

Now, coming back to the movie, it basically revolves around the story of a stranded biologist turned astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) who is presumed dead by the rest of his expedition team and mission controllers at NASA after a huge dust storm rips apart their Martian base. Hours later, when he wakes up, he realizes the depth of sh*t he’s in. Nearly all of the communication equipment is destroyed and obliterated because of the said dust storm. Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) stars as the Mission Commander, among others in the supporting roles.

What follows on Mars is a long journey of the quest survival and this includes many sub goals such as establishing a communication line with the Mission Control Center back in Houston, Texas, improvising a method to cultivate food in the barren land and basically doing everything necessary to sustain until the arrival of the rescue mission.

The story back on Earth is completely different though. The rest of the crew members of the expedition, who are enroute to earth are kept out of the loop and there is an internal struggle going on at NASA in terms of funding and the lack of will to send a rescue mission. Add to that a catastrophic launch vehicle explosion which causes an immense setback. The road to finding solution leads to many different avenues, including the recruitment of grad college students.

Some of the scenes are insanely hilarious, such as the live broadcast of the chat between Watney and his Mission Controllers in TX. I mean, who does that!

The movie runs in these two parallel worlds (and of course, they ARE two different worlds). Since this is a no spoiler review, I won’t describe any further. But the twists in the tale are intense and the climax will keep you on the edge of your seat, like, for real.

For me, personally, This is one of the best space movies that I’ve seen in a long time. Very realistically portrayed, with stunning visuals and breathtaking CGI and landscapes. This is a must watch for Space junkies. If I were to rank Space movies according to their awesomeness, it would go something like this:

  1. 2001 : A Space Odyssey
  2. Interstellar
  3. The Martian and they roll on…

Though the movie is nearly flawless in it’s portrayal, what it lacks in is it’s ability to excite the audience for something to look forward to. 2001 did that way back in 1968, though the real 2001 was a different story. Interstellar too did that last year exploring lesser known concepts such as wormholes and time dilation. The Martian, meh, it’s says nothing about the future of Space exploration rather it’s merely a story of the quest for survival.

Final verdict is this, you should definitely give it a watch if your schedule allows. Movies like these are rare. Also, this is one movie that can be watched multiple times before it’s juice runs out unlike some other recent space flicks (*cough* *cough* Gravity.).

8/10 for me.

P.S: I know this is a pretty late review, but I still hope you guys enjoyed it. The punctuality issues are still being debugged!


Rogue Nation: 133 minutes of pure Adrenaline! – Review

So, finally, I was able to watch my THE MOST awaited movie (up till now, oh wait you’ve got Spectre, Star Wars VII coming up, I’m in love with 2015) of this year and yes, I loved it more than Terminator Genisys!

I’m talking about Tom Cruise‘s Mission Impossible‘s fifth installment, the Rogue Nation!

I left my home in all damn excitement, though the crowded metro did dull my mood a bit, but eventually managed to reach PVR Plaza on time. And, we were pretty late, still managed to grab a couple of seats and the movie began just after we got seated!

  • The Prelude:

Okay, don’t worry. I’m not going to expose off the plot here and I don’t want you to curse me for that. But yes, I’ll be talking about the movie elements and the overall production, with brief references to certain cinematic elements.

For those of you who’s been following Mission Impossible franchise closely, you must remember, in the ending scene of the last movie, the Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, back in 2011, during the ending, there was this thing where Ethan Hunt receives an encrypted message in his standard issue iPhone 4 (s, I think) saying an organization called “The Syndicate” has taken over the entire Drone fleet of the USAF and has been wreaking havoc. The movie ended right there.

The part 5 begins from right there, in Brussels. Remember the famed Airbus A400M Hercules scene on which the entire movie was marketed?, that turned out the be the very first scene of the movie. OKAY, I’m not going any further, but yes, it continues along the lines of the IMF being kinda dissolved and Ethan Hunt kinda disavowed for nearly the entire duration and an IMF vs. CIA kinda battle erupting and you know, it all ends happily, like in any good MI movie. This movie also marks the return of the legendary Ving Rhames a.k.a Luther Stickler in the series.

  • Cinematic Elements:

Okay, honestly, Rogue Nation will go down as the second best MI movie I’ve ever watched, displacing Ghost Protocol which was earlier holding the position (The first always being part 3, it’s just is the best!). Yes, for me, this was more or less better than Ghost Protocol. The plot is tight and you’ve got as much as 4 twists to make your head go round and round. Sounds effects are pretty fab and Tom Cruise, like always is at his natural best.

Christopher McQuarrie makes sure the movies flows really well. There’s no stagnation or any other unnecessary scene to add to the bloat. It’s just plain and straightforward, the plot!

And, perhaps, as my friend pointed out, the biggest role though people would call it supporting, was that of the gorgeous Rebecca Ferguson. Her role, for me, was even more important than Ethan Hunt’s role and she was the core of the main plot twists.

This movie was shot in lots of places across the world. The movie begins in Brussels, then moves over to London (which will also be the host for the Climax of the movie) and then back at CIA HQ in Langley, VA and then moves over to the Moroccan port city of Casablanca (A very hot place indeed) where hunt performs another impossible looking breakin and extraction (Speaking of break ins, I still love the CIA HQ break in back in the first movie. damn, that was intense). And from that point on, it’s just twists, twists and damn twists. Lots of Gunfire, some close calls and yes, the last resort, like in every case, hand to hand combat!

Tech too gets a huge boost for the fifth installment. You’ve got a rubberized heartrate and breathing monitor, you’ve got all the Macbooks switched out for Windows tables (Wow. Did the entire MI franchise just completely switched over from Apple to Microsoft?), you’ve got an Opera scene in which a saxophone is converted into a top grade Sniper rifle in minutes. It’s thrilling.

Overall, I’d say the cinematic elements were f*cking amazing! Loved all of it. Though they could have been smoothed out in some areas and Hunt also appears to defy physics in some of the stunts he performs, overall, it’s very realistic and thrill giving.

Special mention has to go to the awesome car and bike chase scene in the pre ending scenes. Well shot and realistic, even the explosions.

  • The Ending:

Okay, I’m not going to disclose the ending (obviously not), but I will say this: The ending was completely event free as compared to the previous MI movies. When I say ending, I’m talking about the ACTUAL ENDING. Not the pre-ending, pre-climax. THE ACTUAL MOMENT WHEN THIS ALL ENDS.

It was disappointing, in case of Rogue Nation. It wasn’t as thrilling as the last one, where you know what happens, right. A nuclear missile gets deactivated just a second and a half from impact and falls off into the giant pacific off the coast of San Francisco.

There were several tense moments before the actual climax where the bad guy gets killed and the movie ends, like a suicide bomb being defused just .19 seconds before detonation (Not the ending). The audience was like, “Whoa, Thank fucking God!”

So, yeah, the ending was kinda okay, but kinda let’s the whole movie down, especially after such a nice buildup of the plot. I’m not complaining, I’m not. Jus sayin’ ;)

  • Sheky’s Rambling Verdict!

Go watch it. Now. Go.

Once you strap on, you’re guaranteed to get bursts of adrenaline with those action packed 133 minutes. Worth the money.

This was a worthy successor to the 2011 thriller, Ghost Protocol. Every bit worthy.

And, I certainly believe, the open-ending leaves behind a perfect opportunity for the future plot writers of the series to go around and let their imagination go wild.

So, yes. A great movie. My first movie review on this blog and I just to repeat myself, I have big plans. Hope you enjoyed this review. Stay tuned for more epic Sheky stuffs!

P.S: Look, I know this sucks but the Israeli article is still in the works. it’s kinda getting big, I’ll publish it before next Sunday, Promise! <3 :D