The Martian Movie Review


I tried to go see The Martian a week after it opened but it was sold out. I went home and watched Time Lapse instead.

I have since been able to see it. I was squished into the corner seats of a full theater, but I got to see it!

As you’ve probably already guessed, a movie that continues to sell out show times two weeks after they’ve opened are probably worth a look.

In The Martian, Mark Watney is trapped on Mars. He went there with five other astronauts to do astronaut stuff. Due to a storm the team needed to do an emergency evacuation while on the red planet. Mark was hit by some debris, blown away, and his biomonitor goes black. The team presumes he is dead and rockets off the planet, leaving Mark behind.

Mark awakes with a broken biomonitor and a suit leaking oxygen into Mars’ thin atmosphere.

The rest of the movie is two parallel storylines. On Mars, Mark struggles to survive on a planet that is essentially unihabitable. He deals with getting oxygen, water, food, and a radio up and running to contact Earth.

On Earth, NASA realizes that Mark is still alive and they come up with several plans to rescue him (one of which succeeds, surprise!).

The movie is all about how space exploration works and the dangers associated with it. Everything has to be just right to get to Mars. Everything has to be just right once you’re there. As Mark says, “Without the water reclaimer, I die of thirst. Without the oxygen reclaimer, I suffocate. Without food, I slowly starve to death. And without shelter from the atmosphere, I’d just sort of implode and die.”

The movie is all about how Mark prevents those things from happening; but, of course, things break over time. That’s why NASA has to rush to save him.

The movie contains many technical aspects about space and planetary eporation. I only felt lost when Mark described how to turn hydrazine fuel into water.

I think that’s a big part of why the movie is so successful. It’s able to describe how space travel to Mars would work in an easily understood manner.

A lot of people are focused on landing a human being on Mars as the next big space mission, with projects like Mars One in the works. That interest also contributed to the film’s success.

Plus, Matt Damon is just on point throughout the movie.

I picked up the novel written by Andy Weir that the movie is based off of. The writing style is technical and gets into Mark Watney’s flow of consciousness. The plot of getting a supplies and a rocket to Mark takes a backseat in the book which also leads to little character interaction. Just Mark against Mars.

I haven’t finished the book yet, but so far Weir’s writing has reminded me of CS Forester. If you liked the Hornblower series, The Martian might be the right book for you.

If you liked the movie… I think the movie is better so far. It removes very little from the book, but adds a lot of emotion and feeling that can’t be captured well in written prose. I am still enjoying reading the book, but I’m not sure if everyone else would like it as much as I am.

As for seeing the movie, I’d recommend that to everyone. I would’ve loved to see this as a kid imagining being an astronaut. And The Martian makes all the principles behind space travel simple enough that I think everyone, incuding five year-old GoCorral, can learn something.


Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 16

Previous: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 15

The wars between the dwarves and humans experience a lull in this update. The split between the Empire and Metal Dwarves is solidified when the Metal Dwarves disown their Empire Dwarf relatives in treaties with humans and merfolk.

This post serves as a transition period from the second age of our Dawn of Worlds game to the third age. We’re not quite there yet, but its coming. The events in the Upper Maw set the tone for things to come. The dwarves and Najarns fight with each other and occasionally a great figure emerges to tip the scale in one direction, but that figure’s lifespan is not infinite. The status quo takes over once more.

The slow expansion of the grez continues and people start to get worried, but who has the resources to do anything about it? You can fight the grez or engage in the wars of dominance for the Upper Maw. Fighting the grez is optional, but it weakens you city for the conflicts among mortals that happen anyways, so you might as well not fight the grez. What does it get you now?

There will be new events coming in the other parts of the world. This post is in many ways the calm before the storm.

479 NA: The Metal Dwarves only heard of the later events on the Maw through rumors told by traders and merchants. The crusade failed. The Books made it clear. The dwarves must excise the Black Prince from this world, but they were not strong enough to overcome the Beast from outside the cycle. The cycle of worlds could forever be altered, but what could they do? The Metal Dwarves sued for peace with the Najar and the merfolk. The terms were accepted.

494 NA: After nearly two centuries of occupation the humans in Syluk and Farpoint began to accept their new masters. The only real rebels were religious fanatics or those who snuck into the cities from the outside. The commoners, most of whom did not follow Navillus, built a new society within the dwarven-human cities.

512 NA: The grez expanded their army’s size even further. The rest of the world noticed and ominous feelings were felt in the hearts of every mortal during the winter’s storms.

523 NA: An uneasy peace fell over the Maw. The merfolk commemorated their victories on the Northern Continent and the Metal Dwarves returned to their Tiers. Small conflicts still plagued the competitive Najaran cities and Syluk still sent token attacks against Najar itself, but nothing on the scale of the rebellions or the original conquest of the dwarves. The Bwarlor set out to know the world in an age of great exploration. Soon, the first complete world maps were published by Bwarloran captains, with patronage for these explorative voyages provided by merfolk aristocrats.

525 NA: The hobgoblins descended into reckless barbarism. A few escaped from their horrid dwarven fathers and reproduced amongst themselves in the Halusho Forest. They soon learned to stay away from the woods surrounding Crodolan due to the traps and elven arrows that seemed to shoot from the trees themselves.

-Mister Ed

Next: Gurutama Timeline Revising Part 17