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I would normally never watch a film such as "The Martian," (an implausible Hollywood blockbuster about a crazy thing), but a trusted friend saw it, and told me I might like it more than I'd think (actually, the exact words were, "The Martian was not a great film. But my expectations were very low, and it surpassed them. It was amusing escapism on a day when I really needed some"), so given that I like to remain at least somewhat in touch with popular culture, why not? Plus, I've liked Matt Damon ever since "Good Will Hunting," - an underachieving film that has an interesting premise, sort of like Patrick Swayze in "Roadhouse" (a black-belt "cooler" who drives a Mercedes 560SEC and has a degree in Philosophy?) Plus, sometimes you have to just enjoy cheap (actually, not-so-cheap) escapism for its own sake, you know what I mean?

Some of these tidbits I got from, or was inspired by, Amazon X-Ray, so instead of citing each of them, I'll give a global citation here. I mention Amazon X-Ray in greater detail here.

In the opening credits, the title "THE MARTIAN" slowly fades away, but the bottom part of the "T" in Martian lingers on the screen by itself for about one second, forming an "I." This is both similar to what happened in Alien (the letters fading), and obviously a foreshadowing of what is about to occur in the movie.

The spaceship in The Martian is named Hermes, the Greek God of Scarves and Neckties, and also the Protector of Travelers. The Roman equivalent of Hermes is Mercury.

The Latin name for Mark (Mark Watney is Matt Damon's character) is Marcus, which means, "of Mars."

I have to admit that when Watney pulled the object out from inside of him (which I think might have been some vague tribute to the infamous scene in Ridley Scott's "Alien"), and was sitting in the chair, staring at the ceiling, with his predicament slowly dawning on him, and he said, "Fuck," I laughed out loud. So far (I'm writing this as I watch), I like the comic relief in this movie, e.g., when Mark threw up his arms in triumph while working with hydrazine.

In the preview for The Martian, which I first saw many months before it was released, they used the eye-rolling line, "I'm going to have to science the shit out of this." That was so off-putting to me that it, alone, made me not want to see the film. In context of the movie, it was *still* an eye-rolling line - horrible - but not *as* bad as it was in the trailer, stripped of all context and previous events. These people know what they're doing: This line might have lost my demographic as a potential audience, but it probably gained ten-times as many people in other demographics.

Okay, I'm an hour into this movie, with about eighty minutes remaining. I am predicting - but do not know - that Mark will be saved, because ... how can he *not* be? Hollywood is a mega-business, and a tragic ending would be bad for business (and it would have surely leaked out very early on). In an indie art film? Sure, but not here. No way. Just once, I'd love to see an ending like Tosca in a Hollywood nine-figure blockbuster, where the lead character drops dead right before the final curtain falls. It would make for better suspense going forward.

As a final thought, I can see how watching The Martian would make the life of someone who is trapped in a prison, or a wheelchair, or a dungeon, or some other place of absolute solitude a little more bearable, giving them just an extra ounce of hope, knowing (or even fantasizing) that as long as you're still breathing, nothing is impossible.

When I first saw the trailer for The Martian, I never dreamed that I would actually watch it, much less like it, but I liked The Martian a lot more than I thought I would.

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Hollywood is a mega-business, and a tragic ending would be bad for business (and it would have surely leaked out very early on). In an indie art film? Sure, but not here. No way. Just once, I'd love to see an ending like Tosca in a Hollywood nine-figure blockbuster, where the lead character drops dead right before the final curtain falls. It would make for better suspense going forward.

I don't want to ruin the plot for you but you might enjoy Titanic.

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Matt Damon's charm carried the film. I don't know that it would have worked as well with another actor. He was perfect for the role. Plus, I am a sucker for '80s pop music, so I liked that part of the film as well.

I saw it several months ago, on a whim, and I honestly don't remember much about it except he ate A LOT of potatoes.

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Matt Damon's charm carried the film. I don't know that it would have worked as well with another actor. He was perfect for the role. Plus, I am a sucker for '80s pop music, so I liked that part of the film as well.

The song they played when the ending credits started rolling was *the* perfect song. Absolutely perfect - to the point where the entire movie could have been constructed around this one moment.

Don't bother reading the book.

I cannot picture you having read this book *at* *all*.

Perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that the film was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar. I also never knew - and found out this very minute - that *all* sequels are eligible only for this category; never for Best Original Screenplay (which makes sense I suppose, since some or most of the story has already been written; still, I can see it going either way on a case-by-case basis).

I'm also fully aware that I place *way* too much emphasis on the Academy Awards in this forum, when other awards are more credible in my eyes; I'm just not sure which ones (anyone want to begin a thread on the relative merits of various film awards?) I feel the same way about the James Beard Awards to some degree, but there's just no good substitute for them (hey, investors, did a light bulb just blink on?)

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The song they played when the ending credits started rolling was *the* perfect song. Absolutely perfect - to the point where the entire movie could have been constructed around this one moment.

What did they play?

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The song they played when the ending credits started rolling was *the* perfect song. Absolutely perfect - to the point where the entire movie could have been constructed around this one moment. 

What did they play?

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

Well, you know it had to be disco.

The "And so you're back, From outer space" line is amazing.

There are about five disco songs that I *love*, and this is one of them.

I also *loved* them using David Bowie's "Starman."

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*** SPOILER ALERT ***

Well, you know it had to be disco.

The "And so you're back, From outer space" line is amazing.

There are about five disco songs that I *love*, and this is one of them.

I also *loved* them using David Bowie's "Starman."

That IS the perfect song for the ending! I am surprised I didn't remember that. That was my jam after my first teenage breakup. Great disco song.

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porcupine, two questions:

Will "Alien" suffer from the small screen (my obvious guess is "Yes"), but where does that leave me, wanting to see it in full for a second time?

What did you think of "The Martian?"

...as for The Martian, the movie, like the book, was a thoroughly enjoyable bit of fluff. There's nothing wrong with the raison d'ètre of a work of fiction or film being sheer escapism. The book was well researched and thought out - with a few exceptions, most of the scenarios are entirely plausible - but not terribly well written. The movie was very well made, and I really looked forward to seeing it, and I really enjoyed it, and will probably never bother to see it again. "Popcorn for dinner."

I've written elsewhere on this forum (Europa Report) about the conflation of action-adventure and science fiction, and how it drives me nuts. The Martian was a little over the action-adventure line for my taste, but to be fair it managed to not include one of my most-hated tropes: the inside bad guy who makes everything more difficult and must be defeated before the bigger problem can be solved. Hat tip to Andy Weir for not using that one, and hat tip to the filmmakers for staying true to the book.

No way. Just once, I'd love to see an ending like Tosca in a Hollywood nine-figure blockbuster, where the lead character drops dead right before the final curtain falls. It would make for better suspense going forward.

If you've never seen The Player, please do. I think your sense of cynicism is developed enough to appreciate it.

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