It didn’t take long for Fox Home Entertainment to release The Martian Extended Edition Blu-ray following the film’s initial home video release. A little over six months to be precise. While the addition of 10 minutes won’t dramatically change the plot or one’s perception of the film, combined with additional bonus features makes this the definitive edition of Ridley Scott’s latest astronauts-in-peril adventure.
The additional 10 minutes spliced into the theatrical edition to create the new extended edition are entirely comprised of character beats. If you like Matt Damon as charismatic and generally cocky astronaut Mark Watney, or the various faces back at mission control and NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) then you’re in for the treat.
It’s easy to look at the additional minutes and question whether they were really necessary. The theatrical edition plays just fine without them so an argument could be made that inclusion is nothing more than a marketing ploy. Maybe it is.
I view The Martian with a slightly voyeuristic eye. Much of the film is spent watching Watney as he copes with isolation and survival on a distant planet so the additional minutes prolong our time spent with him and help reinforce the severity and duration of his predicament. Throw in another 30 minutes of Watney talking to himself and “sciencing” more ingenious solutions and I’d be happy as a clam.
January’s initial release of The Martian theatrical cut on Blu-ray, which is also included alongside the extended edition in this new release, was virtually a perfect audio and video presentation within the constraints of 1080p and 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. The only way it can possibly look or sound better is if you upgrade to the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray edition.
Bonus features from the previous release have been ported over to the extended edition and joined by a small but powerful selection of all-new extras. Highlighting the new additions is an audio commentary with director Ridley Scott, author Andy Weir, and screenwriter Drew Goddard. The three creative minds behind the film recorded this commentary for the theatrical cut so you’ll hear silence during the new scenes, and sometimes it’s obvious that Scott recorded his commentary separate from Goddard and Weir, Regardless, it offers solid insight into just about every aspect of putting the film together.
The Long Way Home: Making The Martian is a six-part documentary that runs nearly an hour-and-a-half in length. Two parts are from the previous release while the other four are all-new. Considering the commentary was designed for the theatrical cut and his documentary was split up makes you wonder about how sneaky this new version was put together using elements intended for the first release.
Investigating Mars will tickle your science bone as it delves into NASA now and into the future with over two hours of material split into three parts. Rounding out the new extras are four minutes worth of deleted scenes that again offer new character beats and likely should have been added into the extended edition cut.
If you haven’t seen either edition of The Martian yet then I’d highly recommend grabbing The Martian Extended Edition to skip right past the theatrical cut. Those of who you fancied the theatrical cut should at least rent the extended edition to both revisit a fantastic film about potential near-future space exploration as well as for the new footage, commentary and lengthy NASA documentary. The Martian is Ridley Scott’s best film in his modern catalog no matter which edition plays.
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