Real quick, stop what you’re doing and watch the first trailer for “The Martian.”
Here’s the rundown:
Matt Damon is lost in space (but not forever because he — I mean his character Astronaut Mark Watney — can survive anything.)
My girl Jessica Chastain (who says lines in the movie like “Let’s go get our boy”) stars opposite Damon.
Jeff Daniels returns to the big screen in what will be his best role since “Speed.”
Kristen Wiig is in the trailer twice making faces like a shocked emoji, as described by Chris Ryan and Andy Greenwald on the Hollywood Prospectus podcast.
You’ve already watched the trailer, I hope, by the time you’re reading this sentence so I shouldn’t need to tell you now to mark you calendar for Nov. 25.
In the meantime, I will try to catch up on the Matt Damon movies I haven’t seen. He’s had a bit of a science fiction kick lately with “Elysium” and “Interstellar” so maybe I’ll start there to prepare for :The Martian.” I suppose I could also read the book, which Greenwald and Ryan said on their podcast was sold for movie rights even before the author finished writing it.
If by chance you have seen every Matt Damon movie AND read “The Martian” then here are a few other film suggestions to occupy your time for the next six months.
This documentary about “BASE” jumper Carl Boenish was briefly in the theaters and should be on DVD or streaming soon. I had the chance to see it in the theater, which added to the beauty of all the footage Boenish had from his skydiving and other jumping excursions in the 1970s and 1980s. I actually knew very little about Boenish’s story and watching it unfold on screen, again through his jump footage, home movies and some media interviews(with Pat Sajak!), made it all the more interesting to learn about.
“I don’t want to grow old or grow up.” – Carl Boenish
Back to the science fiction genre, “Ex Machina” delves into artificial intelligence and testing the ability of one, Ava, to display human emotions. Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) is selected by Nathan (a bearded Oscar Isaac) to spend time with Ava over one week at his remote house. What could go wrong? The film has its share of twists and turns to keep the viewer in suspense about Ava and Caleb and how much power Nathan, as the inventor, really has. There are certainly scenes where I wanted to close my eyes, but trust me, don’t do it. Oscar Isaac dances, and you don’t want to miss that.
“While We’re Young”
In a way, the film is “Frances Ha” with a focus on 40-somethings. Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts star as Josh and Cornelia. Josh is a filmmaker struggling to finish a project who meets Jamie (Adam Driver) while teaching a class. Jamie and his wife Darby (Amanda Seyfried) befriend Josh and Cornelia, who are awakened by their bond with the couple.
It’s a funny film with moments of seriousness that bring Josh and Cornelia’s relationship and next life decisions to the forefront for the viewer.
Baumbach’s next film, “Mistress America,” stars his partner Greta Gerwig (also from “Frances Ha”) and he is also the writer on Lake Bell’s next project starring Jeff Bridges.
I hope Baumbach continues to work with actors like Stiller (“Greenberg”) and Driver and explore themes like life and love. In the meantime I’ll just watch the “Modern Love” scene from “Frances Ha” on repeat.
Good news, “While We’re Young” will be on DVD June 30.
Last but certainly not least, I am sure you will have a free two hours before November to spend with the Barden Bellas. I kept my expectations in check with this one and the film started out a little weak, but I was pleasantly surprised by the end.
And, comedy nerds rejoice, Reggie Watts, John Hodgman and Joe Lo Truglio all have roles in the movie. Adam Devine, Keegan-Michael Key and David Cross round out the comedy cast and, what can I say, I do enjoy a good singing battle led by Anna Kendrick.
As soon-to-be star of “Pitch Perfect 3” John Hodgman would say, “That is All.”