On the off chance that anyone is reading this.
So, we went to see The Martian the other night, and if you’re asking yourself “Should I go see this movie?” or “Should I read the book?”, the answers are, respectively, “Yes!” and “Yes! And why haven’t already read it?”
[Note I will try and do this without any spoilers; I want you to have as much fun as I did.]
Why should you see the movie? Because this is a really intelligent science fiction movie, and those are rare to come by. Andy Weir, who wrote the book, is an admitted science, space and math geek, and he did his homework He has, by the way, admitted that a dust storm on Mars is unlikely to be much of a danger to a manned mission on Mars, but this is basically a Man against Mars story, so he had to get our intrepid hero Mark Watney stranded so I’ll give him that. After all, without a bit of artistic license, no good book, no good movie and I wouldn’t be sitting here happily burbling about both of them and wasting your time. [Note: If you know anything about this movie, that should not be considered a spoiler and it happens in the first ten minutes of the film anyway. So there.] Practically all of the characters in this movie are scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and it still manages to keep the action going and (like the book) still be very funny (Okay—small spoiler; Watney is a smartass)—when you’re not on the edge of your seat. And for gosh sakes, go see it in the theatre; even a big screen TV isn’t going to give those Martian panoramas justice (you even get to see Phobos sailing through the sky if you look for it—yeah, I was). A lot of nice little touches too, like the Chesley Bonestall painting hanging up at NASA, and in-jokes to 2001 and even LotR (the LotR joke is in the book, but it’s funnier in the movie—but I’ll let you figure out why). Just go see it dammit!
Why should you read the book? Because it’s just like the movie only there’s more of it. They cut out several big chunks of the book for time restraint reasons, I’m sure, but this is one movie that I would love to see the 4-hour director’s cut. In the theatre even! It’s also a lot funnier than the movie (Watney is even more of a smartass in the book). There aren’t a lot of books that make me laugh out loud, but this was one.
Oh, one thing, in the book, Watney’s faceplate is described as reflective. In the movie it is clear. I’m giving the studios this one ‘cause if you’re paying Matt Damon to be in the movie you want to see his face. (Yeah, you know that guy that shows up comic expos claiming to be the guy who played Boba Fett? Prove it!).
Now stop reading this and go read the book. Or see the movie. Whatever. Just go have fun.