The Martian

Unknown.jpegThe final in our Great Scott! reviewing adventure.

The Martian

Ridley (2015)

A: Basically this is our reward for getting through the others. We saw it twice in the cinema…

J: Mars has never been rendered more beautifully.

A: or realistically. I love that this is not the first mission, but well into the history of Martian exploration.

I also love the banter. And that the Commander is definite in her commitment to safety because THAT’S HOW IT SHOULD BE.

J: If this was really a NASA mission that whole conversation about aborting or not would not happen.

A: I think being on a different planet is going to have an impact on attitudes to command structures.

I love the cinematography of the storm.

J: Yup, it does a really good job of intense and frenetic without being shaky cam or hard to watch.

A: There’s a touch of the ‘do we sacrifice everything for one man’ but I like the grim reality of … no, of course you don’t.

J: Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep, Beep.

A: I REALLY like the transition from the news conference announcing Watney’s death back to Mars and his revival.

J: #spoileralert

A: The within-Hollywood-standards of how painful that puncture wound is? Another very nice touch. And so hard to watch.

J: Apparently I’m not allowed to swear and talk about one of my favourite parts of this film on Alex’s blog…. Fuck.

A: I really love the use of the vlog as a way to narrate the events in Watney’s life. It works for the movie but I think it’s also realistic, because it allows him to feel slightly less lonely which would be a huge issue.

J: It feels lonely just watching, it really is marvelous film making, the pacing, the music and all the small details in each shot.  It’s a great testament that nothing gets explained.

A: “Luckily, I’m a botanist” – that’s one of MY favourites. “Mars will come to fear my botany powers.” This is such a science-positive movie it makes me happy. Even when the hydrogen blows him up. Bahaha.

Meanwhile no one has ever been so pleased to see a potato plant (… well, maybe some of the Irish…). And I hadn’t noticed before that we go from new life  → Watney’s memorial on Earth.

Also I love Vincent Kapoor. And Mindy. And Watney’s attitude towards disco.

J: Honestly there isn’t much to write about this beautiful film … except …”In the face of overwhelming odds, I’m going to have to ‘science’ the shit out of this”

A: Using a nuclear reactor as a heater. Damon’s disco shoulders. HELLO SEAN BEAN I’m glad you don’t die. AND Bruce Ng I love you (you were in Spy Game too, huh). Hellloooo potatoes.

The cut scenes between Earth and Mars are SUCH a lovely part of the narrative.

J: The Hermes is stunning.  

A: I am the greatest botanist on this planet. And I colonised Mars. In your face Neil Armstrong.

J: Cracked helmet … Meh … Loss of potato crops, DEVASTATING.

A: Oh gahd the potatoes.

J: Very tempted to shut my laptop and just watch to the end.

A: I love Rich Purnell too.

We do not love space craft that shimmy. We’re even less happy when they blow up.

We DO love Chinese engineers and scientists.

J: “Thanks to my uncle Tommy in China we get another chance at this …”

A: omg Project Elrond and explained with Sean Bean in the room and Teddy making jokes about Glorfindel I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS MOMENT and I choose to believe they cast Sean bean JUST for this moment.

And I still love Rich Purnell. “Who are you again?” “I’m the director of NASA.”

J: Steely eyed missile man.

A: international cooperation on astronomical matters. Awesome. (Also I find it unlikely that the Chinese would be so far behind the US in such things.)

Seven months later? Clever. Also the suggested body change for Watney is remarkable. Mark Watney: space pirate. Captain Blondebeard.

J: Forget something important ? Like your Pirate hat?

A: This is such a beautiful way of imagining Mars. Also the music.

Meanwhile, how to streamline the MAV to get Watney into space: send him into space under a tarp. Fastest man in the history of space travel!

Also? What this movie shows is that wherever humanity goes, they leave junk behind.

Meanwhile. Flying around like Iron Man. Awesome. Also, making a bomb in a space vehicle, which is a terrible terrible idea (because every chemist can make bombs). And Watney is jealous.

I DO NOT LIKE them flying on the outside of the Hermes without being tethered.

J: So.Stressful.

Like so many movies, this one should have rolled credits with the triumph.  But Noooo, we have to have a wedding, or an epilogue or some giant eagles.  

A: yes it’s a rubbish ending. I mean it’s nice that they get back but… teaching first years and having babies? Meh.

I read The Martian after watching this (twice) and, for the very first time in my life, I can say: the film is better.

J: In my all time top 10 … better than Spy Game.   I’ve liked Spy Game for a long time, but this is the better film.

2 responses

  1. […] (2000) Tony – Spy Game (and here) (2001) Ridley – Robin Hood (2010) Ridley – The Martian […]

  2. […] A: quite pretty and an ambitious scope… that just didn’t work. Ridley – The Martian (2015) J: Stunning from start to […]

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