Friday, October 9, 2015

The Martian

First of all, an excellent film. I loved the book, and the film does not disappoint. This is pure space sci-fi, with the primary fiction being that we are witnessing the third manned mission to Mars. After that, it is all science. Mark Watney is stranded on the planet after his crew does an emergency departure during a storm and leaves him for dead. Watney is the team botanist and mechanical engineer, so he is constantly calculating and improvising his resources to stretch sustaining his life one more day. With this life or death tension riding over the entire story, we manage to be entertained by Watney's approach to life, his interactions with NASA, and by the fact that as the omniscient viewer we see the silliness and/or audacity of many of the decisions that are made. I love that this came across as sci-fi realism and was simultaneously able to capture the excitement and joy and passion of science.

5 stars (out of 5)

Saturday, October 3, 2015


Pierce Brosnan continuing to develop his action hero chops. Here he plays "The Watchmaker", the cold, calculating, professional assassin, bad guy. Milla Jovovich is the U.S. State Department rising star who is sent to London to oversee the security of granting visas to the U.S. Brosnan is hired to initiate a terror attack and Jovovich is the only one who can stop him. I will say this is pure action, but I suppose I mean that it is only action. If you want to see a prototypical film where the characters are truly one-dimensional, this should be your case study. We know absolutely nothing about the character background or motivation. In fact, I have given you above the entire backstory for the to prime characters. So if a mindless action film with no real stunt work or clever plot is what you are looking for, look no further.
2 stars (out of 5)