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Featured Blu-ray / DVD Review: The Martian: Extended Edition

June 11th, 2016

The Martian: Extended Edition - Buy from Amazon: 2-Disc DVD, 2-Disc Blu-ray, or 4K Ultra Pack

The Martian

I previously reviewed The Martian when it first came out on the home market all of five months ago… Let’s just state for the record that five months is far too short of a time between a release and a special edition. Anything less than a year feels more like a cash grab than something special. That said, is the Extended Edition of this film worth checking out? Is it worth picking up? Is it worth a double-dip?

The Movie

I did not watch the original version of The Martian before watching the extended edition. That was my plan at first, but I decided against it, because I wanted to see if any of the new actually stood out. Two scenes did stand out, or two and a half, if you want to be overly particular about things. The new scenes that stood out are…

(Spoilers ahead, obviously.)

Partway through the rescue mission, things go south and Mark Watney again thinks he’s going to die on Mars, so he… starts doing the scientific experiments. I like this scene, because it gives the science a little more spotlight, while there are some good jokes as well.

The second scene and a half is much later in the movie when Watney begins his travels from Ares 3 base to Ares 4 base. We see two things, the first of which I hope is CGI or a body double, because if Matt Damon filmed that scene, only to have it cut from the movie… This part I liked. It really hammered home how tough his stay on Mars was. The second part wasn’t as well done. The journey takes longer on screen, but not much additional happens. I can see why this was shot, it did emphasize the distance he needed to travel, but by this point, we didn’t need to be told once again how daunting the task was.

Those are not the only two scenes that are new here, but they are the two that I immediately noticed. While watching the movie a third time, I realized Mark Watney’s reaction to learning the crew doesn’t know he is alive is more colorful in the extended edition. I would assume there are bits of dialogue spread throughout the movie like that. There’s not enough to be a full scene, but fun nonetheless.

Overall, I think the Extended Edition is slightly better than the theatrical edition, but not by enough to justify a double-dip by itself.

The Extras

There are a lot more extras on the Extended Edition Blu-ray, including an audio commentary that can be listened to on both the theatrical version and the extended edition. Ridley Scott was recorded separately, while Drew Goddard and Andy Weir were recorded together, and the two commentaries are edited together. This is the only extra on the first disc.

The old extras from the previous Blu-ray release are on the second disc. There are also a number of extras on disc two that are new to this set, starting with an 80-minute long making-of featurette. Granted, some of this was seen on the previous Blu-ray release, but even so this feature-length documentary is longer than all of the extras on the previous Blu-ray combined, so it is a fantastic addition. Speaking of feature-length, there is also a two-hour Q&A session that looks at the real-world science involved in living on Mars. There is also a shorter 15-minute look at what it would take to send people to Mars. If you loved The Martian because of the real-world science behind it, then this two-disc set has what you want.

The Blu-ray costs $20, which is the same price as the DVD.

The Verdict

If you didn’t grab the original Blu-ray release for The Martian, then the Extended Edition is a must have. If you already own the movie, paying $20 for ten minutes of extra footage in the movie and over three hours of new extras isn’t a bad deal, but it is frustrating.

Filed under: Video Review, Matt Damon, Ridley Scott, Drew Goddard, Andy Weir