It may have just been me, but looking at the trailer for Ridley Scott’s The Martian the first thing that came to mind was another Scott movie, Prometheus, which features a silica storm that looks just like the one featured in this movie.
Though I am assuming that they producers are going less for hard-core science fiction more than an enhanced reality, like in the case of Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, which coupled a realistic premise with a not-quite-realistic action.
I am also wondering how it is that there’s a dust storm on Mars? There’s no air, nor an atmosphere for it to exist in, so what’s blowing the sand about? I am not a scientist of any sort, but it reads a bit odd (according to Universetoday, there’s actually air on Mars, though I assume that it’s just it’s too thin to breathe.
It’s fascinating in that its storms are caused primarily by sunlight, which causes the air to move, lifting dust from the Martian surface into the air.