The Martian - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews

The Martian - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews Hot

Black Barney     
 
4.3
4416   0

Wow, that was a fun experience. I caught myself smiling several times in this action-adventure sci-fi rescue NASA-recruitment commercial. Funny as heck too.

I had third row tickets on an AVX screen so I was sure between the terrible seats and the casting of Matt Damon, I was going to have a terrible time. I ended up loving it, which speaks volumes to the quality and execution of this film. Before the film, I was leading the charge against the casting of Damon here this soon after Interstellar. I can freely admit I was mistaken in this case. I actually didn't even see the character as Matt Damon ever in this film, which speaks to the actor's quality and range. To me, it was always this stranded botanist, not some frustrated astronaut itching to get into a fist fight.

Try not to groan at an early scene of when Damon gets undressed and you see he's totally ripped. At first I thought this was as unecessary as Weaver's crotch shot in Alien or Alice Eve's Into Darkness underoos. But it actually is setting up context for later, so my bad.

The storytelling is really masterfully done, especially when all the various players and components are working in tandem towards one common goal, and the film just keeps cutting from one to another in quick succession. Those scenes are just really happy sequences and you can't help but get caught up in the excitement.

The one knock, and I think it's a major one, is the soundtrack. I felt like the film was trying really hard to have a Guardians of the Galaxy-feel, but it just doesn't happen (or didn't for me), and felt forced way too many times. Also, it made me miss Gravity once in a major way. I can think of one scene that added nothing that I would have cut to avoid losing the audience.

The film's biggest accomplishment is that it becomes as nail-biting intense as Apollo 13 except one of them happened and the other did not. For fiction to be this white-knuckled exciting, it's a mark of a successful screenplay.

Overall, it's an excellent film and a total joy to watch on the big screen. I highly recommend it. It was just fine in 3D as well, I didn't mind it at all and many scenes were enhanced in good ways because of it. I'm a big Ridley Scott fan and I'm glad to see him find such solid footing here.

Will Sean Bean die in this one? You'll have to go find out and see for yourself!

 

Heart rating: 4.5 stars

Brain rating: 4 stars

The Martian - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews There Will Be Games

Editor rating

(Updated: May 23, 2018)
Black Barney
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Heart 
 
4.5
Brain 
 
4.0

Summary

Movie Title
The Martian

Wow, that was a fun experience. I caught myself smiling several times in this action-adventure sci-fi rescue NASA-recruitment commercial. Funny as heck too.

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Posted: 07 Oct 2015 09:14 by logopolys #212069
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Read the book last weekend at my wife's insistence (although it turns out that we both had the same reaction of "good not great"). Probably going to see the movie this weekend. I've heard only good things about the film, so I'm optimistic.
Posted: 07 Oct 2015 10:10 by aaxiom #212073
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My criticism of the book was that the guy kept rolling 20s on critical checks. Knowing the stacking probabilities against, it got tired after a while.

Still, the book was an enjoyable and interesting romp -- especially mentally -- and I was thinking that this was a case where the movie JUST MIGHT enhance the experience of the book.

Thanks for the review!
Posted: 07 Oct 2015 10:50 by Black Barney #212079
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Yeah that's a good point. We want him surviving because of actions and decisions he is making, not because he is repeatedly getting lucky that his suit breaches are happening in manageable ways.

Also the movie deals with oxygen loss well but I don’t know how accurate it is in not addressing decompression. The Gravity haters say the only inaccuracy is that Mars doesn't have dust storms like portrayed in the film
Posted: 07 Oct 2015 11:04 by SuperflyTNT #212080
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aaxiom wrote:
My criticism of the book was that the guy kept rolling 20s on critical checks. Knowing the stacking probabilities against, it got tired after a while.

Apparently you've never played Heroscape against a child.
Posted: 07 Oct 2015 12:01 by Gregarius #212090
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I read and enjoyed the book well enough, but I think I'll like the movie better. I look forward to seeing it soon.

The thing that bothered me the most about the book was that far too often the writer spoke directly to the reader, in the guise of Watley's diary. I have no problem with him keeping a journal or video diary or whatever. That made sense. Even him thinking out loud about how to solve certain problems was fine. But I hated it when he would explain things that the character would have no reason or thought to explain. It happened in the very first few pages, there was a line like "Using normal rockets, a trip to Mars would take x amount of time, but now we use technology Y, which works like this." Anyone hearing his message would already know that. Only we the readers need to be brought up to speed, and it really took me out of the book. And that sort of thing happened frequently.
Posted: 07 Oct 2015 13:03 by boothwah #212096
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Try not to groan at an early scene of when Damon gets undressed and you see he's totally ripped. At first I thought this was as unecessary as Weaver's crotch shot in Alien or Alice Eve's Into Darkness underoos.

Posted: 07 Oct 2015 13:11 by Black Barney #212101
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Greg, they're super careful about how they approach that narrative in the movie, I think you'll like it. Like when he needs to explain to the audience that he's a botanist. It's totally done in a super smart-ass way and doesn't take you out of the movie at all.
Posted: 08 Oct 2015 09:30 by Columbob #212150
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It says "Ares" on his suit, what's that supposed to be?

I'm currently reading Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy (just coincidence, I'd been itching to read smart SF since reading Randall Monroe's What If? book and learning about that Wow! signal received by SETI in 77) and the ship on which the first 100 scientists/settlers travel to Mars is the Ares.
Posted: 08 Oct 2015 09:33 by Black Barney #212151
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"Ares" is the series of manned missions to Mars. In the same way "Apollo" was the series of manned missions to space/moon

I think Ares V was the mission portrayed in the movie/book. They picked Ares cuz that's the Greek equivalent of the Roman god of war, Mars.

Posted: 08 Oct 2015 09:47 by Columbob #212154
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Black Barney wrote:
They picked Ares cuz that's the Greek equivalent of the Roman god of war, Mars.
REALLY? THANKS BARNEY!

KSR's books also show you how to say Mars in at least a dozen other languages or cultures.
Posted: 08 Oct 2015 10:10 by Space Ghost #212158
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Black Barney wrote:
"Ares" is the series of manned missions to Mars. In the same way "Apollo" was the series of manned missions to space/moon

I think Ares V was the mission portrayed in the movie/book. They picked Ares cuz that's the Greek equivalent of the Roman god of war, Mars.

Then Apollo should have been for trips the sun. Geez, what a fuckup.
Posted: 08 Oct 2015 12:10 by Black Barney #212168
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Between that and the Apollo 1 crew burning alive, if I got approached to be in the Apollo 2 mission, I would have said, "change the program name to Aphrodite or I'm going back to test-piloting jets"
Posted: 08 Oct 2015 12:15 by Columbob #212169
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Venus is still pretty hawt, know what I mean?

I only found out recently that Ares was an Avenger, until he got literally ripped apart by the Sentry.
Posted: 08 Oct 2015 16:41 by KingPut #212186
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About mid way through the movie I forgot I was watching Matt Damon the actor which is a good thing for suspending belief. Maybe it was that he was in a space suit half the time or maybe it was the beard. Over it was a pretty good flix.
Posted: 08 Oct 2015 19:27 by Black Barney #212192
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The same thing happened to me. Even without the beard, I wasn’t seeing him as Damon. Good performance
Posted: 09 Oct 2015 20:43 by Gary Sax #212255
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Shocked by how good this was, just saw it. Couple of thoughts on what made it so refreshing, I don't think this was the best movie of all time or anything, I just saw it at just the right time:

1) This movie was, start to finish, never cynical. It was like someone splashing a bucket of cold water on me refreshing.
2) The fact that the entire movie went by and there was never more than one or two mentions of the military and no guns was like something I haven't seen in a "serious" movie for a long time. Loved that---even the cooperation with the Chinese space program was a nice touch (though an obvious insertion of Chinese faces in a movie, something that happens in most big Hollywood movies these days for market reasons). Somewhat related, it was also never anti-intellectual, which I loved---there was never a point where these "bunch of pencil pushers" fucked up something whatever blue collar asshole was in the movie could easily see.
3) Like every good sci-fi movie, the martian realized that sci-fi is a setting, but you actually have to supply the theme, writing, and type of movie in that sci-fi setting. It may let you explore some things you couldn't in "real life" movies, but sci-fi is not by itself "about" any particular thing.
4) Only occasionally maudlin, which I was surprised and impressed by. This movie could have gone seriously wrong in that direction.
Posted: 10 Oct 2015 14:34 by Ancient_of_MuMu #212272
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I liked it, but found it disappointing. Can't put my finger on why, but my current guess is that I liked the book and it felt like a dumbed down version of the book, There wasn't as much sense of the difficulty of trying to do these things that we take for granted on earth but in space become tricky.
Posted: 10 Oct 2015 18:42 by King Grunt #212275
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If you're into audio books, I HIGHLY recommend this one. The story and narrator are both great. One of the best I've purchased over the years.
Posted: 10 Oct 2015 22:27 by craniac #212278
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Ancient_of_MuMu wrote:
I liked it, but found it disappointing. Can't put my finger on why, but my current guess is that I liked the book and it felt like a dumbed down version of the book, There wasn't as much sense of the difficulty of trying to do these things that we take for granted on earth but in space become tricky.

I enjoyed it, but it sort of felt like a version of Gravity but with more shortcuts in terms of effects and plot condensation. The book made me laugh out loud occasionally, and it was gripping when it wasn't tedious.

The ironman portion was not in the book, and really was kind of silly and contrived. I give it 7.3/10. I don't regret paying $5.25 to see it.
Posted: 11 Oct 2015 08:22 by Black Barney #212285
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The Gravity elements are the scenes I would have cut. I also was on the fence of the iron man stuff. The rest is excellent though.
King Grunt wrote:
If you're into audio books, I HIGHLY recommend this one. The story and narrator are both great. One of the best I've purchased over the years.

Thanks for the suggestion ! Do any of the audio books have any type of visual element to further enhance the experience ? That would be the nuts.
Posted: 15 Oct 2015 02:24 by Hex Sinister #212478
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About ten minutes into the film I had concerns... Why does my butt feel wet??

It was just soda pop, right? Yeah, soda pop. Aside from that the movie was decent.