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New In Theaters October 02: The Martian, The Walk in IMAX

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By Chris Kavan - 10/01/15 at 06:42 AM CT

September is gone and we welcome in October. Things should start off strong with Matt Damon in what looks like is going to be a strong sci-fi drama about surviving against all odds in the most harsh conditions imaginable. Plus, we have yet another film debuting on a whole bunch of IMAX screens before its wide release. Everest found success with this method and one has to wonder how many more films are going to take this route if two films in a row can impress. Otherwise it's going to be fight to see if any films from last week can hold on to their core audience.

THE MARTIAN I think, finally, The Martian is finally going to restore my faith that Hollywood can make a good movie set on Mars. And I think the reason this looks like it will work is that it isn't a horror, it's not a fantasy, nor really action - it's a character study. One man trapped in the most unfathomable situation who will not give up. It looks great - Matt Damon was great in Interstellar, and this anti-Interstellar films (as it has been referred to) looks like it could be even better. I will be the first to admit that Ridley Scott left me a bit disappointed with his last few films: Prometheus, The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings have all been more miss than hit. But I have a feeling The Martian may finally get him back on track (and hopefully the next few Prometheus films will turn out a lot better). Damon isn't alone - backing him up are the likes of Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Michael Peņa and Sebastian Stan - quite the ensemble for what has been mostly positioned as a one-man show. I'm hoping these actors are used as more than mere placeholders and they are giving just as compelling a story as Damon. One thing is for certain - this is the first film in quite awhile I am actively looking forward to watching in theaters.

THE WALK The Walk is taking a page out of Everet's handbook by opening up on IMAX screens exclusively a week before it's wide-screen expansion. One, that means Everest is losing all of its really big screens (and will likely suffer) and two, it means The Walk is also taking a big chance. Now, I have seen Man on Wire (the Academy Award-winning documentary about Philippe Petit), which follows the high-wire artist as he plans the ultimate performance/crime as he walks across the World Trace Center towers in 1974. The Walk is essentially a dramatic recreation of that act with Joseph Gordon-Levitt stepping into the shoes of Petit with he co-conspirators played by the likes of Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, James Badge Dale and Ben Schwartz. I have to say, the visuals do look stunning and, much like Everest, will probably translate the best over IMAX screens. And, once again, the film is based on a very real story, From what I can tell, however, The Walk seems to stick much closer to the "true" part of the story than Everest (which took several liberties with the story). Whether that will sway audiences? I don't know, but personally I appreciate when "based on a true story" films try to stay mostly true. It will be interesting to see how this stacks up to Everest's debut and if this type of release (IMAX exclusivity) has a viable future ahead of it.

The weekend should be a pretty good one. The Martian is set to open big with The Walk looking to open on big screens. I'll be back on Sunday with the results.


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