The Martian in MX-4D by MediaMation Film Review

The Martian official film poster, Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The Martian official film poster, Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

SYNOPSIS: During a manned mission to MarsAstronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, THE MARTIAN features a star-studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.  Screenplay by Drew Goddard, based on the novel by Andy Weir.  Produced by Simon Kinberg, Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Aditya Sood, and Mark Huffam. [Source: 20th Century Fox]

MX4D is MediaMation’s uniquely branded “4D” pneumatically driven motion EFX system. In general, 4D refers to an emerging “immersive” cinema technology which allows movie-goers to experience big Hollywood “blockbusters,” as well as locally produced major films, in a new way via the addition of moving seats, air/water blasts, leg/neck ticklers, fog, seat/back pokers, seat rumblers and other special effects that emanate from specially designed theatre seats, or from inside the theatre itself. These multiple special effects are programmed to both sync with and enhance the action on the screen and sounds in the theatre for a more exciting and realistic movie-going experience.  [Source: MediaMation]

The script adaptation of Andy Weir’s book is a creative story of an astronaut who is accidentally left behind on Mars and must struggle to survive.  The entire crew of Hermes appears together in the opening scene in a harrowing Martian sandstorm that sets the story in motion. Avoiding reliance on visual effects, Scott created a storm to look and feel real, both to the cast and audience.  The 4D seating and environmental effects enhanced this experience without distracting.  MediaMation’s chair system is much like an amusement park ride.  The air blasts and pitch and roll of the seats worked well to heighten the experience of the sandstorm. 

Watney, a botanist, figures it will take the next NASA crew four years to travel back to Mars to save him so he must ration his food.  After a careful inventory of his supplies, he realizes he does not have enough food for that time frame.  He devises a plan to grow a crop of potatoes including an inventive makeshift mini-irrigation system. 

Beautiful cinematography is revealed as Watney pursues a communication method with NASA.  The set design is flawless; incredible camera angles are revealed around the Hermes, the space ship used by Watney’s team, as they return for the rescue mission.  The Hermes is equipped with a slow-spinning wheel creating a simulation of gravity on board.  One shot in particular reveals an astronaut outside of the Hermes in zero gravity and just beyond him is Kata Mara’s character with her feet planted firmly on the floor of the ship upside down.  Wonderfully detailed. The MX-4D chair movement enriched the feeling of weightlessness and paired well within the film in this capacity. 

Overall, Scott creates a incredibly captivating experience.  The ensemble cast is phenomal.  Set design, wardrobe (including the spacesuit design) and well-researched and clever script (unlike Gravity, The Martian doesn’t overdo in the suspense department) creates an unpredictable movie experience.  An optimistic film, The Martian creates a notion of how our desire for discovery and invention can change the world.

MX4D, the branded 4D technology created by MediaMation, is currently in numerous foreign markets, with recent installs for major cinema chains in China and Japan, as well as Mexico, Colombia, the Caribbean and the United Arab Emirates. The technology is just rolling out on the East coast in the U.S. and in one theater in Oxnard, California to test the market. 

About MediaMation, Inc. -- For more than 24 years, MediaMation has provided innovative and visionary technological solutions to the entertainment marketMediaMation is an interactive technology company and a worldwide, leading supplier and manufacturer of patented technology for 4D/5D motion EFX theatres and seats. Besides its MX4D Motion EFX technology and seats, MMI designs and implements creative solutions for complex shows, rides exhibits, fountain shows, etc. for theme parks, zoos, aquariums, museums, cinemas and FECs. From concept to design to installation, MediaMation provides turnkey solutions for creating state-of-the-art 4D theatres and themed environments. For more information, visit MediaMation's website, and the official site for MX-4D.