Welcome to Kings River Life's sister site;
Kings River Lite:

KRL is a California Magazine with Local Focus and Global Appeal.
Kings River Lite occasionally offers a "bonus" review, beyond the full issues that go up weekly over at KingsRiverLife.com.

Be sure to follow the River and enjoy brand new articles throughout the week by following both sites. You can subscribe via the sidebar, like Kings River Life, and/or circle KRL for updates. Don't miss our timely & topical issues every Saturday, and check in here for updates and new articles if KRL Magazine is ever down.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Martian: Movie Review

by Kathleen Costa

"Houston, we have a problem!" Not the kind of 911 call you want to make, especially when you're almost 250 million miles away from any emergency response. In The Martian, director Ridley Scott, known for his big productions, and Matt Damon, who seems to epitomize the American hero, team up to set us on the edge of our seats in a very realistic, timely sci-fi drama based on the novel of the same name by Andy Weir.

It’s 2035 and a successful landing on Mars by Ares III has a team of American astronauts exploring and setting up residence. It becomes dire when a dust storm, at first determined not to be life threatening, has been upgraded forcing the team to abandon the comforts of their habitat. Rushing through the vicious storm the team hurries to get to an escape rocket and blast off to the safety of the orbiting vessel Hermes. Breaking loose from an antenna a piece of debris impales Watney (Matt Damon). Life support readings indicate his suit is depressurizing, and his life signs are deteriorating fast. The team leader Lewis (Jessica Chastain) sets to search and save him. However, the storm is so bad that it may tip over the escape rocket and the thought of all being stranded leads them to abandon the search for Watney.

➡ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for this week's issue ⬅

Devastated by the death of their friend and colleague the remaining crew on the Hermes (including Michael Pena and Kate Mara) settle in for their six-month return trip home, and as Earth mourns the loss of a popular astronaut, NASA officials (Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, and Kristen Wiig) pay homage and return to their regular routine preparing for the Ares IV mission set in four years. However, unbeknownst to everyone, Watney has survived. The ensuing struggle to stay alive creating a workable environment to grow potatoes, the use of real-life technology to improve communication between Mars and Earth, and the efforts by an eclectic range of experts to rescue Watney take on an inspiring, intriguing and clandestine flair.

Image source: 20th Century Fox

This film runs 141 minutes which might be a concern for some, especially being in a theater with the absence of "pause" control, but the story is enthralling and captivating, so time passed quickly. Ridley Scott once again presents realistic and seamless special effects to create a Mars landscape, zero gravity, and in-space drama. Matt Damon gives an Oscar-worthy performance, solo for the majority of the film, using a video journal and discussions with inanimate objects to inject enjoyable humor. And incorporating 70s disco music is just plain fun!

The Martian
has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Picture.

Review 5/5 Spaceships

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying year 2 of retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband of 25+ years.


  1. The movie was great, and due an Oscar for special effects, adaptation, Best Actor, etc. I enjoyed putting my thoughts together to share with you this thrilling SciFi.

  2. Loved your review. You nailed it, Kathleen. I hope to see another of your reviews soon.

    1. Thank you...It was so much fun. While I was working, I enjoyed voicing my opinion whenever, wherever I could. Now that I'm retired, I'll take any platform available.

  3. Great review, Kathleen! It makes me want to see the movie again (and hear the soundtrack!) ~