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"The Martian" Movie Review

Posted by DrEdwardHudgins 2 years, 2 months ago to Movies
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My review of "The Martian." It celebrates the courage that comes from human reason!
SOURCE URL: http://atlassociety.org/commentary/commentary-blog/5832-matt-damon-the-martian-movie-review


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  • Posted by  $  jlc 2 years, 2 months ago
    More on The Martian - SPOILER ALERT

    Wm and Ellen and I went to see The Martian yesterday evening. One of the things that is clear, upon reflecting upon movie, is the degree to which it is completely natural that geek culture owns all of the major characters. The single representative of ‘normals’ amongst the main cast is Annie Montrose, the NASA PR guru. In the same way that most shows now include a ‘token geek’ to act as a foil for the plot and represent how ‘out of it’ geeks are, Annie is the ‘token normal’ and holds the reverse role: she shows how lost most people would be amongst the brilliant eclectic geeks around her. The most wonderful scene that illustrates this was when the Council of Elrond was called, in the NASA Director’s office, and the Armani-clad Teddy Sanders, Director of NASA, immediately chimes in, "If this is the Council of Elrond, I want to be Glorfindel."; Annie Montrose is vastly puzzled but everyone else is quite comfortable with the metaphor.

    The NASA Director was also played in a much more sympathetic fashion that in the book. I did miss the line (after Mitch Henderson, the Mission Commander, calls Teddy Sanders a coward for NAKing the Rich Purnell maneuver) where Teddy turns to Annie for moral support and (in the book) Annie says that she wished that Mitch had punched the Director out instead of just calling him the coward he is. (That was not in the movie; sigh.)

    There was an interesting thread, also in the book but not so clear there as in the movie, of the scientists of the world being a subculture that transcended national boundaries. This is actually true, I think, but not often portrayed in such a subtle manner (true of music too).

    While The Martian is quite reminiscent of the SF that we read as kids, where people go out into space and have wonderful adventures solving complex and dangerous problems, it is also a thoroughly modern movie. The distribution of race and gender is across the board in all roles, and the fact that a clueless Rastafarian astrophysicist is hailed as “a steely-eyed rocketman” by the Hermes crew is a good example of how careless of race and gender the plot is. (Even better, there is never an explanation for that message – because ‘of course you understand it’.) I was talking with a colleague at work a week or so ago, and we both had to adjust our identities to reading SF when we were young because there were no female (me) lead characters or black (him) lead characters in the books. This is SO not true for this movie! And it is not PC tokenism – these people obviously belong in the roles they inhabit.

    It is important, crucially so, that you understand that there is NO Villain in this movie. Like the old SF novels, there is no one, twirling a waxed mustache, whom you must overcome as a plot element: it is an adventure of the spirit, and a triumph of intellect over the uncaring intransigence of the universe.

    There needs to be a lot more movies like The Martian.


    Jan
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  • Posted by mia767ca 2 years, 2 months ago
    i will also add...stay to the end of the movie...Matt Damon's speech as the end is what i loved most about the challenge of being a pilot...it is very much what it means to be challenged and fulfilled....40 years of flying...never bent any metal or bodies...saw every which way others would try to kill themselves and all aboard (thru not thinking as fast as the airplane)...i let them know that it may be their day to die, but it was not mine...
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  • Posted by mia767ca 2 years, 2 months ago
    i saw the movie...read the book...i highly recommend it...i am also a retired AirForce/Airline Pilot who did not make the final 7 of the original astronaut core...absolutely loved it...
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  • Posted by  $  WilliamShipley 2 years, 2 months ago
    Well, I loved the book and all the geeky calculations. I was worried the movie wouldn't live up to it. We talked it up around the office and had lots of people reading it.

    I think they improved on the book, simplified but kept the heart of the story, and even fixed a couple of weak spots in the presentation.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 2 years, 2 months ago
    "It celebrates the courage that comes from human reason!"
    I'm excited to see it. Its plot reminds me of As It Is on Mars. In that book the stranded astronauts work their tails off only to find people envious of their success.
    I'm eager to see this movie and read the book.
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  • Posted by Mamaemma 2 years, 2 months ago
    I tried to read the book. It was boring and poorly written. It sounds like the movie is a better treatment of good material.
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    • Posted by  $  MichaelAarethun 2 years, 2 months ago
      Thast IS unusual. Normally it's the other way around. I've got it on my wish list at Amazon for when the prices drop. No big hurry it's only Hollywood and I can buy a lot of mangos with the difference. Yes that is a hint on where I place the importance of the glitterati of tinsel town.

      Speaking of which the Mango T Shirt came in and on time for the birthday.
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  • Posted by mia767ca 2 years, 2 months ago
    mike - i have seen piloting evolve since the 60's...one of biggest changes was from ""group" to "individual" instruction, even though you "pair" pilots to fly commercial trips...i had to argue long and hard to convince the "Generals" that the best pilots had to be trained with CAI, CMI technology in self-pacing modules...but i won...
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  • Posted by mia767ca 2 years, 2 months ago
    mike - i also had numerous conversations with Nat Brandon on the psycho-epistomology of pilots...Ayn Rand hated to fly as she did not trust the pilot's psycho-epistomology...and, of course, on long cruise flights around the world, the airplane is on autopilot and our job is one of monitoring and not falling asleep...conversation was a big help in staying sharp...solved most of the world's problems on 6-8 hour flights...and again on the return trip...john
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  • Posted by xthinker88 2 years, 2 months ago
    Loved the book. Read it until late in the night two nights last week. Really liked the way the author crafted it to seem a little disjointed in places like a real time log would be.

    Looking forward to the movie tonight. Although we will see how much reason triumphs as I have a hot date. Lol.
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