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Old 09-23-2015, 06:43 PM   #1
billmarq
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Default The Martian

I saw this at a preview screening in northern California.

Excellent movie, just don't expect a lot of action. If you liked the classic Silent Running with Bruce Dern, you will enjoy this movie. Not the same story, just the same sort of mood and plot of surviving under impossible conditions.

Matt Damon does a great job, injecting unexpected humour in appropriate places but not overdoing it. His is the only acting performance of any note, in my opinion. The movie is pretty much all Matt Damon

My only complaint with this movie is the 3-D. I don't believe it added anything to the film and I actually found it disturbing now and then. A couple of scenes appeared to have flat images in the background, resembling some of the still photos in the old Viewfinder toy.

I assume some of us will nitpick the science, but overall most of what happens seems feasible and within the laws of physics. At least to me.
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Last edited by billmarq : 09-29-2015 at 03:51 PM. Reason: typo "overseeing" should have been "overdoing"
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Old 09-24-2015, 07:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Martian

Quote:
Originally Posted by billmarq View Post
If you liked the classic Silent Running with Bruce Dern, you will enjoy this movie.
This is the first comment that I've yet encountered that has made me uneasy about this film. I loathe Silent Running, which is tedious beyond measure. But I read the script for The Martian and found that it rocketed along at a breakneck pace. The script crackles with energy, whereas Silent Running lacks sufficient energy even to power a 40W bulb.

This makes me dread that Scott has drained the script of the irresistible forward momentum that it has in spades and has slowed it down to a crawl, as he did the Kingdom of Heaven script, stretching 120 pages into a ponderous, plodding faux-epic.

But I won't know until I see it. My own inclination, from reading the script, was that the movie would compare to Apollo 13. And that had go-juice aplenty.
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Old 09-24-2015, 01:56 PM   #3
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Default Re: Martian

I have not watched Silent Running in a great while, so perhaps I made a bad reference. Watch The Martian and make up your own mind. It is probably more akin to Apollo 13 in most respects.

At any rate, The Martian is a fantastic film in my opinion. I just did not appreciate the 3D. I'd like to see it in 2D. The 3D really did not work well in many scenes where the out-of-focus backgrounds were mildly disturbing. I was not the only person at the screening who felt this way.
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Old 09-28-2015, 01:50 PM   #4
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Has no one else here seen a screening? I am interested in other opinions. One of my colleagues suggested that it might not be as successful as we hope due to the lack of "action" as in a movie like one of the Fast and Furious series.

We are amateur astronomers, by the way, which is why we were selected as part of the target audience.
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Old 09-28-2015, 02:23 PM   #5
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I haven't seen it, but I hope Matt Damon discovers "liquid water" to help him grow his garden.
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:17 AM   #6
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Default Re: Martian

I caught a preview in London on Sunday night, really enjoyed it, one of the best films I've seen this year.

I wouldn't compare it to Silent Running which bored the hell out of me, far closer to Apollo 13 without quite hitting that level. I didn't have any problems with the 3D but didn't feel it added much.

Matt Damon's excellent and a big reason that the movie never drags despite little action, I always wanted to see how he would solve the next problem and was keen that he did. Rest of the cast were fine (not given massive amounts to do) and I only had one "hey, wait a minute..." science moment so overall it's one I'd recommend.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: Martian

Getting good reviews. Will see.
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Old 09-29-2015, 04:01 PM   #8
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Default Re: Martian

I won't give out any spoilers, but I will say that there is a lot of tension build-up in the final scenes. This is a well written and well directed movie. Certainly one of Hollywood's better efforts. Will definitely go into my Blu-ray collection eventually.

I shall wait for its release before making any other comments.
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Old 10-03-2015, 12:35 AM   #9
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It was a good well-plotted film, but I felt nothing new here. Almost like I was watching Gravity + Prometheus spliced together. All the real science was also a bit dull. I mean, burning hydrogen to get water? Nothing mind-bending here. I think I learned that in grade 3.

Interstellar focused on cooler, more interesting topics like wormholes / black holes / extra dimensions. It also had 10x more mystery and suspense. I also recall tearing up 3 or 4 times watching Interstellar. I had 0 emotional breakdowns watching The Martian.

BTW, the visuals were stunning, but again, nothing new.
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Old 10-03-2015, 09:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Martian

SPOILERISH STUFF AHEAD.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxHound View Post
Interstellar focused on cooler, more interesting topics like wormholes / black holes / extra dimensions. It also had 10x more mystery and suspense. I also recall tearing up 3 or 4 times watching Interstellar. I had 0 emotional breakdowns watching The Martian.
I think you may be blaming the movie for following the source material.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but I did read the book. It was glib. Funny. Upbeat and light. The first line was -- "I'm f@cked."

He'd have a problem and boom, solve it. Again and again. There weren't moments of terror and gut-wrenching hopelessness. The planet itself and eventual lack of food was the only "villain."

After seeing some of the promo for it I thought that it looked way more intense than the book was.
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