Movie Night With Lauren #3: From Black Death to The Martian thanks to Sean Bean. Check out the explanation for Movie Night here.
First Thing’s First: Is labeling astronaut poop bags really a thing?
Basic Synopsis: During an overpowering storm that causes the Mars mission to be scrubbed, Mark Watney is left behind when his fellow astronauts escape the alien planet. Now he must survive.
Brief Thoughts: I think time moves slower on Mars. Wait, nevermind. It’s just a Ridley Scott movie.
Let’s start with the inspiration for this movie: the novel by Andy Weir. My main problem with this book was that, since it was mostly just a transcript of the video logs of Mark Watney, we never really get to see any emotion in what Watney is going through. Does he freak out ever? I dunno, because we can’t see it and there isn’t an omnipotent voice to tell us otherwise. This is the most noticeable change when adapting to a movie, and putting Matt Damon’s face to the words definitely helps better understand what Watney is going through.
Even so, the movie just didn’t sit right with me. Here’s the thing: everything just seemed way too easy. Take the food supply. First thing Watney needs to do is stop eating in every scene. Then he needs to learn to grow food on a planet not made for growing food. Don’t worry, he has potatoes that take root and give him food no problem! Ok, he blows himself up once, but that’s it.
I guess I just never felt the struggle. The movie has a lot to include so we don’t get to really spend a lot of time with stuff as it continues moving forward. Problems arise, and problems are passed. There’s a hole in your habitat? Duct tape it. You need to take a long distance road trip? Put your two rovers together.
In the end it all comes down to this, astronauts are different people. Every single time something goes wrong I would go through a wide range of emotions during my tantrums, yet Watney just takes everything in stride. Which is probably why everything seems so easy for him. Something’s wrong? Fix it. Something else? Fix that too. Does nothing stress him out!? Guess there’s a reason I’m medicated and he’s trusted in space.
Randomly Awesome Quote: “It has been seven days since I ran out of ketchup.” Yet another example of when I would be freaking the F out.
Final Thoughts: Somewhere between the book and the movie is the perfect version of this story. The movie is still good, don’t get me wrong, I just connect a little more to the chaos of Gravity.
Additional Reading: Click here to read my review of Weir’s book.
Path So Far: Hick → Black Death → The Martian
Next Rental Up: I have A LOT of options following The Martian: Ridley Scott leads to Exodus: Gods and Kings or American Gangster, Matt Damon leads to The Departed, Jessica Chastain leads to Crimson Peak or Interstellar or The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby or Coriolanus (goodness I didn’t realize how many movies of hers I still need to see), Michael Pena leads to The Vatican Tapes, Kate Mara leads to Transcendence or Deadfall, Chiwetel Ejiofor leads to 12 Years A Slave or Inside Man.