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The Martian (2015)...

~Sunday~ In March of this year, I went to the Intelligent Content Conference in Las Vegas, where the closing keynote speaker was none other than Andy Weir, the author of the book, The Martian.

When describing the publication history of the book, he mentioned that at one time it was available for download for $.99 on Amazon.com, and during the Q&A time, I was chosen to ask him a question. I phrased my question this way, "I'm sorry I've neither read your book nor seen the movie, but I was wondering if the book is still available for download for $.99." Once the laughter subsided, he explained that once he sold the rights to the book to Random House, he was prohibited to continue selling the book himself—at any price.

Fast-forward to the book signing line, where when he recognized me from the Q&As, he autographed:


I finally got around to doing that in April, and after describing a little of the plot to Bob, he asked if I'd be interested in watching the movie when I was done with the book, to which I said yes.

The synopsis

An astronaut becomes stranded on Mars after his team assume him dead, and must rely on his ingenuity to find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

The trailer




My thoughts and observations

  • I really enjoyed this movie. To say I loved it would be hyperbole, though.

  • This is one of those very rare instances in which I prefer a movie over a book. My problem with the book—in which I admit I did a lot of skimming over pages, which I very rarely give myself permission to do—was that there were way too many details I didn't care about, most of which were the minutiae of biological planting and pooping principles, chemical and element interactions and reactions, and parts and pieces of spaceships that deform and reform in the night. Just get to the next point in the people plot, please.

  • As one does when one both reads a book and then sees its film adaption, I was struck by several things that were different. I think 5 Big Differences Between The Martian Book and the Movie does a good job capturing them. Here is the tl;dr version:

  • Matt Damon looked in incredibly good shape when he shows skin in the opening scenes, so much so that I wondered aloud on Facebook if they'd used a body double, to which my sister commented, "Hater!"

  • Themes touched on in this movie included:
    • The space program as both a bringing together and bringing out competitiveness
    • The value of a person's life
    • Man conquering space
    • Man vs. his natural habitat
    • Ingenuity
    • Resourcefulness
    • Isolation
    • Mortality
    • Friendship

  • I gave this movie one-and-a-half thumbs up.


Have you seen this movie? If so, what did you think of it?
 

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