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Dept. of Movies

The Martian 

(Warning; not a real review, just an immediate reaction.)

Went to see this movie tonight, and I have to echo what a lot of people have said - it's awesome. It's hard science fiction, with brain and heart, which means it does Campbell and Gernsback right, the way Campbell and Gernsback didn't, so ... without a lot of racism, sexism, etc., and with a great deal more literary and filmic sophistication than those two might ever have imagined - but still with a lot of true love for, and belief in, the power of logic, science, optimism, humanism and determination to move forward. 

Or as hero botanist Mark Watney (portrayed wonderfully by Matt Damon) says, when presented with yet another life-threatening scenario, "I've got to science the shit out of this." And he does, while a totally admirable group of science heroes back on earth do their damnedest to help him out (not always successfully.)

The look and feel of it was gorgeous; I felt like we were looking at Mars, even as I knew that we weren't. 

If this doesn't win the Hugo for best long form drama (or whatever the hell they call it next year), I'll either cry foul, or prepare myself to see the film of a lifetime if the winner actually tops The Martian. 
This entry was originally posted at http://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/381547.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comment count unavailable comments. You can comment there or here; I watch both.

Comments

tardis_stowaway
Oct. 18th, 2015 07:49 pm (UTC)
Yes! The Martian was SO GOOD. I loved all the science heroes. It's great that between this, Gravity, and Interstellar we are getting quite a collection of near-future space SF. I hope it invigorates our real space program.

Also, I am still laughing at the scene where a bunch of NASA people explain the Council of Elrond to the one person who doesn't get the reference WITH SEAN BEAN IN THE ROOM. A+ casting decision. (Really, all the casting was A+.)
kaffyr
Oct. 18th, 2015 09:10 pm (UTC)
one person who doesn't get the reference WITH SEAN BEAN IN THE ROOM.

Oh, yes - and ... SEAN BEAN LIVED!!! He ended up playing golf with his grandchildren, and not, you know, DYING.

I really want to catch Interstellar, and I suppose I should see Gravity as well, eh?
tardis_stowaway
Oct. 18th, 2015 11:05 pm (UTC)
It is always odd (in a good way!) to see Sean Bean live through something. He managed to live through Jupiter Ascending, but that could be blamed on the general cheesiness of that movie.

Gravity was REALLY GOOD. It was a real treat on the big screen, and probably the only movie I've ever seen where I truly loved the 3D, but it should still be impressive and exciting to see at home. Interstellar I also liked a lot, albeit with certain caveats that I can't really discuss without spoilers. Both make interesting pairings with The Martian.
kaffyr
Oct. 18th, 2015 11:17 pm (UTC)
Ah, Jupiter Ascending ... I heard it was remarkably cheesy, but in a kind of sweet way - is that true?

tardis_stowaway
Oct. 19th, 2015 05:32 am (UTC)
Ah, Jupiter Ascending ... I heard it was remarkably cheesy, but in a kind of sweet way - is that true?

Yes indeed! I absolutely loved Jupiter Ascending. It is not by any normal measure a good movie, but it's super enjoyable in a campy way where sometimes you're laughing at the movie and sometimes you're just marveling that something like this exists. It's like some 14 year-old's self-insert Fifth Element fanfic was filmed with a budget of many millions. Mila Kunis is a Russian immigrant house cleaner named Jupiter who discovers that she has a secret destiny as a Space Princess. Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne is one of the villains, and he is delightfully hammy. He whispers 90% of his lines and SHOUTS THE REST, sometimes while wearing a cape with no shirt underneath. Channing Tatum is a Space Werewolf with a tragic backstory who has flying rollerblades. Sean Bean is a beekeeper from space named Stinger. The plot is incoherent, the dialog is clunky, and everything is over the top. It's also visually gorgeous and has some bits of clever worldbuilding. And while Jupiter spends a lot of time falling off buildings and getting rescued, it was still nice to see a genuinely female-centric space fantasy.

I have no idea how a film as gloriously terrible and odd as Jupiter Ascending got produced by Hollywood, but I'm so glad it did.
kaffyr
Oct. 22nd, 2015 12:44 am (UTC)
Belatedly - this makes me very happy to read, and I shall go about finding this one!