The Martian (Ridley Scott) - 2015

Matt Damon is the unluckiest person in the solar system.  Not only was he impaled by a metal object in a Martian sandstorm, but his colleagues left him home alone with the prospect of eating nothing but Martian-grown potatoes for several years.  Fortunately, he had access to a high-tech condo and an SUV with several expensive communication and transportation devices within driving distance.  Meanwhile, US government officials are having trouble getting the funding and technology to retrieve him.  But then, what do you expect when NASA is being led by Jeff Daniels and Kristen Wiig?  Damon does prove to be a science/survival wizard with oodles of time on his hands.  Director Scott manages to develop a compelling story within scientific possibilities, and without the intervention of space monsters or other-worldly beings.  The special effects are perfectly utilized to make the audience feel like they are on the bleak surface of the red planet.  Whereas I cannot relate to anyone who would volunteer to leave this Earth for an extended period, I do appreciate the step-by-step explanation of the attempt to upload the ultimate hitchhiker.  So many things had to happen to exactness over hundreds of days just for the tiny percentage of a successful mission.  Next time, let's count those heads before we blast off for home.  [JAM 10/8/2015]