he Martian opens in a massive nighttime wind and dust storm on Mars, during which astronaut Marc Whatney (Damon) is hit by an antenna and stabbed in the stomach with an anchoring spike. His fellow astronauts are unable to find him in the darkness and drifting sand and are forced to evacuate before the high winds knock over their ship. They assume Whatney is dead, but he eventually wakes, repairs his injury, and gets on with the business of survival alone on Mars with limited resources. Can he restore communications? Can he keep himself alive long enough to be rescued? (Doug Blackburn)
Special features include eight featurettes: Signal Acquired: Writing And Direction (HD 09:36), Occupy Mars: Casting And Costumes (HD 14:13), Ares III: Refocused (HD 17:18), Ares III: Farewell (HD 03:35), The Right Stuff (HD 03:20), Ares: Our Greatest Adventure (HD 03:39), Leave Your Mark (HD 01:03), and Bring Him Home (HD 01:34); a gag reel (HD 07:33); a theatrical trailer; a production art gallery; and an UltraViolet digital copy.
The cameras used to capture the all-digital images are: GoPro HD, two Angenieux models, and two Red models. Some shots were captured in 4K, others were captured in 6K. The digital intermediate was 2K. This is one of the best-looking UHD discs mastered from a 2K digital intermediate. Still, the resolution just isn’t great enough to live up to the full promise of the UHD disc format. HDR is instrumental in making the images look “better than HD.” Images shipboard and on Earth look natural and inviting. Images on Mars are stark, orange (as you would expect), and stunning. It seems inevitable that eventually a re-mastered version will be released of this movie from a new 4K digital intermediate. (Doug Blackburn)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ soundtrack is pretty much “perfect.” There are plenty of loud, dynamic, and exciting moments, as well as subtle details and artfully crafted ambience, with great attention to detail. Those factors make the soundtrack effectively support the on-screen action. This isn’t quite the system workout that most blockbuster action titles are, but it has its moments. The launch of the more or less “open air” capsule to get Whatney back into space and the tense moments that follow are classic demo-fodder. You are compelled to watch the whole scene, from the beginning where Whatney strips excess weight from his launch vehicle to the final dramatic moments every time you begin watching that part of the movie (Doug Blackburn)