Sunday, October 4, 2015

Book/Movie Review: The Martian

Based on the novel by Andy Weir, the Martian is a great story. I'm about to spoil the shit out of this so if you haven't seen it or read or both, I would recommend not reading further unless that sort of thing doesn't bother you. By the way, all my reviews will contain spoilers but I might not remind you every time.

The Martian, the book and the movie directed by Ridley Scott, is so much fun. I was flipping through the pages hurrying to the end both because I wanted to finish it in a week before the movie came out and because it is exciting as fuck! Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) is so funny. I would like to think we are similar but he is funnier and so much smarter than I will ever be. 

Props to Andy Weir who put together a lot of science in a fun way. If I was a science teacher, I would recommend my students read it to learn the interesting chemistry, botany, astrophysics and tons of other knowledge put into this book. Weir did a great job building the tension and introducing the difficulties that arise from living on Mars. From what I've read, the only thing he seemed to miss was the radiation factor but that would have made it a hundred times more complicated and would've deprived Ridley Scott and Dariusz Wolski the cinematographer of those beautiful Mars landscape shots. 

Matt Damon did a great job but somebody funnier might have been better. I was pleased with the result nonetheless. I liked all the casting for that matter. Michael Pena is always funny and a great actor. Jessica Chastain as the captain was great too. Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, and Aksel Hennie rounded out the Ares 3 crew. On the ground, the great Chiwetel Ejiofor led the effort accompanied by Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean (that Elrond part was extra funny with his casting), Mackenzie Davis (so hot!), and Donald Glover (who was also pretty funny in his small part). 

I thought a lot about the movie as I read the book. Andy Weir does not describe the characters so I just visualized the actors since I had already seen the trailer. I wondered what would be left in and what would be left out. I understand there were time constraints so a few things I liked about the book that were left out were the dust storm on his long rover driver, the rover flipping, and the accidental placement of the drill shutting off communication. The drill part was probably left out because they had to explain most of the stuff through dialogue. I thought the storm and rover flip should've taken place but the movie was already long. I knew they would never put all the stuff about shitting. 

I did learn this (.V.) from the book. The Iron Man flying was an idea in the book but they actually did it in the movie, which I thought was interesting. Even though I knew what was going to happen I thought the suspense was great. 

This movie will join Mad Max Fury Road and Sicario in my top ten of the year. There is still a lot to see in 2015. 

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