Tell It Tuesday: The Martian

Posted by on Oct 6, 2015 in Blog | 0 comments

Tell It Tuesday: The Martian

moviecover1First, a disclaimer, I am Ridley Scott’s most grovelly fan and will see any of his movies, even the ones I know will be horrible (God and Kings) and those I had hopes for and was sorely disappointed by (Prometheus, Prometheus, and PROMETHEUS). Another disclaimer, I loved Andy Weir’s book and read it the same month it came out. It was a great book and I recommended it to several people which I don’t often do. Well, I read a lot of books, but I very rarely recommend any. It’s a process too fraught with uncertainty for me to attempt except under extreme circumstances. Andy Weir’s writing kung fu was impossible to resist.

There was a bit of a self-induced pall over my screening yesterday of The Martian. I wanted to like it, really wanted to like it because of Ridley Scott and the fabulous source material, which was exactly why I was worried about seeing it. I didn’t read any reviews of it, the better to temper my anticipation. After forcibly lowering my expectations to a painful degree, I settled in to the darkened theatre, ate popcorn, watched a half an hour of previews, and then the movie started.

Needless to say, I adored it and will rank it up there with Mad Max: Fury Road and Ex Machina as one of my top movies of 2015. Great performances, gorgeous cinematography, they stuck to the story, and best of all, they ‘scienced the s**t out of it’. I loved how they let an unappreciated science, botany, be as important as astrophysics. I loved the humility of the characters in confronting such a heart-breaking conundrum. It was wonderful, after the deluge of superhero movies, to watch normal humans achieving something without unbelievable feats of strength or harnessing the supernatural. Just smart people faced with mountains of problems and using determination, creativity, and sheer will to arrive at solution after solution. It was a very human movie, despite the alien setting and the out-of-this-world crises.

So, thumbs up to The Martian, both in written and film versions. You gave me believable characters that I rooted for, amazing extraterrestrial landscapes to remember, and some really great disco music in the soundtrack. And, just as an aside, kudos to the set decorator. Those potato sprouts were actual baby potato plants. When a film crew cares enough to include those details, I’ll trust them to take me on whatever ride they decide.

Have you seen it? Did you read the book? Comment below, or just subscribe to my newsletter for periodic updates. Like the periodic table, but fictional.

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