Monday, October 12, 2015

The Martian - A Review

I finally saw the movie The Martian which on one level seems to be the third part in a trilogy of space movies that have been made over the last three years (the best of these was Interstellar – 9/10 - the worst Gravity - 6/10).

As far as movies goes it was a solid effort that spoke well to the subject matter even if some of the science appeared to be somewhat suspect.

The cinematography was excellent and although I did not see the movie in 3-D (which doesn’t bother me) I was still captivated by the design and operation of the mother ship that did well, in true 2001 Space Odyssey mode, to capture the rotating system necessary to produce the sensation of gravity.

Matt Damon is an average actor but he did well to carry off a role that portrayed him as cool, rational and humorous under pressure. This diffused tension when it was most needed. None of the other actors stood out but then the movie did not lend itself to any brilliant individual performance.

As a champion of Space Exploration, I take heart from The Martian as it worked in earnest to show the dynamism of a NASA space program as it COULD be – not how it actually is at the moment which is a story of pathos.
Science solved problems and overcame obstacles and the movies did its best to depict this even if some of the solutions, such as the blast off from Mars and the link up in space, were unrealistic.

While the necessary elements of International cooperation were stressed (a joint effort with China for example– which seems unlikely in today’s context) The Martian (although overly pc in its depiction of ethnic diversity amongst the NASA elite) did not extend into the realm of scientific preaching that often runs as a common theme in movies that all too often center on such issues as Climate Change for example.

In short it was a film worth viewing and despite its length (well over two hours) I believe that it met the necessary expectations.
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