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Ridley Scott's The Martian - Starring Matt Damon - Out now


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Because they, the Chinese audience, know they're being pandered to, by Hollywood chasing the Asian dollar.

Its a massive market that's only just become accessible to mainstream Hollywood. Before, the chinese govt. would only permit something like 20 films a year.

And because their space program is a man, in a tracksuit, up a ladder...

Dunno about the former but China have a real impresseive space program.

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Saw this tonight, giant screen (the biggest in Vue Omni Edinburgh), comfy VIP seat, right in the middle as my mate arrived 30 minutes early by mistake so booked us the tickets when it was empty.

I loved it for the most part, a couple of minor character traits aside.

The gaffer tape was the real hero.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Saw this last night, thought it was excellent. Good proper science fiction gubbins and in my opinion a superior film to Interstellar. Was a bit like a longer, fantasy Apollo 13 actually.

Though my girlfriend thought the main negative is she felt she wasn't emotionally invested enough about whether the main character survived or not, as he hadn't been fleshed out much and the film kept shifting attention away from directly observing him and his survival on Mars (unlike say the main character in Moon), and we didn't really see anything of his family, unlike the other astronauts. But personally I'm glad they didn't overdo it as it could easily have gone too much the other way like Interstellar did (power of Hathaway love lol), and it was all about the SCIENCE.

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Woah, were did this come from. Utterly brilliant from start to finish with an amazing cast, inspiring score and first class direction from a man who I truly thought had lost it.

Easily in my top five Scott films and my favourite film of the year by some margin. Even TFA is gonna have to go some to beat this.

How you go from an interesting failure like Exodus (which should have been a Scott directed mini series) to this is beyond me. Gives me hope that Carpenter and Copolla have a great movie left in them

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The synopsis for White God reads a bit like The Littlest Hobo but told from the perspective of the distraught owner.

Edit - I did wonder how the Littlest Hobo ended (after 6 seasons!). I assumed it would be a charming ending where he finds his dream family.

It turns out it's called "Pandora" where Hobo finds an undetonated World War II bomb.

I can't see that ending well.

It's worth reading some of those synopses though. They're a bit odd:

"A rival tries to have a harmonica player fired."

"Hobo befriends a lonely clown."

"Two boys compete for Hobo's company."

"A young model-airplane pilot competes with adults."

"A mime and a deaf boy help Hobo prevent a robbery."

That's not really anything to do with The Martian, but isn't Matt Damon a bit like The Littlest Hobo on Mars?

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  • 2 weeks later...

A couple of weeks ago, a mate lent me the book. I finished it yesterday, then saw the movie today.

The movie disappointed me, but more because of what it isn't than what it is, and it's mostly a problem with pacing. Naturally, the below has book spoilers as well as film.

Because it has more time to dwell, the book gives a better sense of the challenge facing Watney. He takes two trips in the story - a twenty day round trip to fetch Pathfinder, and a 50 day trek to the Ares IV MAV. The film glosses over them like he took a drive to the shops. That second trip is the biggie as an eventful, lonely journey gets cut entirely. With NASA always on the line and 3200km of terrain skipped over in a montage, you lose a lot. From Pathfinder onwards, NASA drives the story in the movie, Watney becomes a passenger, and the isolation is gone.

Also, removing the bricking of Pathfinder also broke the "space pirate" joke. Booo!

With 140 minutes and a base story that's really driven by its technical details and covers a hefty amount of time, there's no real time for reflection. I wonder would it have been better adapted as a six part miniseries, letting the impact of some events settle in rather than quickly moving ahead.

Perhaps if I'd not just read the book, I'd have enjoyed it more. But it is gorgeous, entertaining and even a little fist-pumpingly emotional in its own right. If I didn't like what I saw, I wouldn't want there to be more of it. :)

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Something that didn't seem to make sense, and I'm not sure if it's because they adjusted the timeline of events from the book slightly or I just missed something:

Even when he has a perfectly working potato farm the guys at Nasa are still talking about deadlines for depleted food reserves and sending over a supply drop. Surely he could, in theory, last indefinitely until the hab gets breached?

In the book, it's made clearer, but basically the rate at which he eats outstrips the rate at which he can grow crops in his limited environment, so he would eventually run out before Ares IV arrives.

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  • 1 month later...

Saw this last night, thought it was cool but just a bit silly.

Points of note:

Matt Damon is hopelessly unlucky with airlocks isn't he?

Lots of experts explaining experty things to other experts in an experty way – like the wormhole explanation scenes from Event Horizon and Interstellar.

The bursting-the-glove and hissing through space scene was very Wall-E mating ritual.

Storms on Mars would never be that bad. It'd be a slightly grainy breeze.

Lots of good humour and it's quite funny watching Damon blowing himself up.

'Science the shit out of it' is one of the worst lines I've heard in any film for a long time. Seems you can verb anything these days WINKY.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I didn't really get the love for this. It's certainly Ridley's best in years but that's not saying a whole lot. It's still full of cringe dialogue, plot inconsistencies (why wasn't the other module blown over in the storm?) and didn't really capture the loneliness of isolation like Gravity managed to do pretty well.

I thought it was fine, but not much more than that.

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