Hey Space Placers!
I saw Sir Ridley Scott's movie, 'The Martian' today. In a word - OUTSTANDING. I say this NOT totally because I love all things space. I'm saying it because this is a very, very good movie.
You can get the movie's basics from the IMDB link.
Here's my review.
While Matt Damon is the HUMAN star of the movie, make no mistake, Mars as it is depicted in the film is THE STAR of the movie with the impressive space hardware winning best supporting honors.
Scott repeatedly gives us grand and visually stunning views of the Red Planet. I am sure he had access to the thousands of photographs of Mars from orbit and on the planet that NASA has acquired over the years. The huge scale of geological features and the endless sand contrast so vividly with the sky and weather. The night sky scenes took my breath away.
The view of the Earth as a bright star, the transiting of the Martian moons, the famous dust devils, cirrus clouds and sunset are mesmerizing. Add to it the crushing loneliness of being the only living thing on the planet with help 50 million miles and 4 years away.
When I looked at the very plausible space hardware being used for the MULTIPLE trips to and from Mars, living on Mars, I have to be honest. I said to myself that our current broken political system would never be able to pull itself together to pay for what I was seeing. Make no mistake, going to Mars will be very expensive, but so was going to the Moon. Done over a period of decades WITH DEDICATED AND GUARANTEED FUNDING, we can send humans to and from Mars.
The movie also highlighted international cooperation in space. Can you imagine the power of China and the US applied to manned spaceflight? The movie shows what is possible and NECESSARY when it comes to going to Mars. There is real international cooperation in space going on now with the International Space Station (ISS). The U.S. and Russia, even though at great odds with one another here on terra firma, breathe, bathe, eat and watch over one another aboard ISS.
'The Martian' flows smoothly and quickly and is a joy to follow. There is no complicated science to comprehend as there was in 'Interstellar' and the science presented is completely understandable.
There is also plenty of 'feel good' aspects to this move, and yes, I got a few tears going here and there due to the sheer beauty of the scenery and humanity. I became fully enveloped as I think a lot of movie goers will.
NASA obviously plays a big part in the movie - on screen and in its making. When the launch of a new mission to Mars is portrayed, I'm pretty sure it is the actual footage from the unmanned Exploration Flight Test-1, NASA's 1st Orion mission launched December 5, 2014.
Orion is NASA's new manned spacecraft that can take astronauts to the Moon, Mars and the asteroids. The rocket that can get it there is NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) which is being built and is scheduled for its first launch with Orion - unmanned - no earlier than 2018.
'The Martian' is a movie that movie goers should see and yes, the Oscar folks take a look at for Best Actor Matt Damon, Best Director Ridley Scott, Best Special Effects, Best Cinematography and Best Sound.
It is that good.
I saw it in 2D and may (will) go back and see it in 3D.
See 'The Martian'. You will not regret doing so....
Sky Guy in VA