Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Martian

I’m stranded on Mars.
I have no way to communicate with Earth.
I’m in a Habitat designed to last 31 days.
If the Oxygenator breaks down, I’ll suffocate. If the Water Reclaimer breaks down, I’ll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I’ll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I’ll eventually run out of food and starve to death.
So yeah. I’m screwed.

The Martian is one of the best thrillers I've read in a long time. The technology is beautifully researched and based on what is currently envisioned for a manned flight to Mars. It feels so real it could almost be non fiction, and yet it has the narrative drive and power of a rocket launch. This is Apollo 13 times ten. It's Robinson Crusoe on Mars, 21st century style. I simply couldn't put down this book. Engineers and scientifically-minded readers will love this suspenseful story of technological survival. Read the text before the film version is released later in the year.

Most of Ridley Scott’s film The Martian takes place on Mars, but don’t expect to see any xenomorphs during this space adventure. “Just geology,” the Alien director said to PEOPLE of his new film, which focuses on an astronaut named Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon), who gets stranded on the Red Planet following a mishap. “The last thing Mark’s thinking about is life on Mars. He’s thinking about how to save his life on Mars.”

Based on the book by Andy Weir (mentioned above), Scott’s The Martian features an all-star cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean and Donald Glover. But it’s Damon who stands at the front, playing a man with only a finite amount of time to figure out how to survive after a storm leaves him behind on Mars and presumed dead by his crew.“He finds he has a problem, and instead of him collapsing into terror—because he’s got 28 days to live – and that’s if everything goes well for him – he knuckles down and actually starts to work it out,” Scott said.

The Martian is the second movie in a year to feature Damon lost in space, following Interstellar. Both of those movies share another connection, too: Chastain, who stayed earthbound in Christopher Nolan’s space drama but plays an astronaut in The Martian.“I need to do another film with Matt, because we have very little scenes together in this film, and he is a pleasure to work with,” Chastain said. “I have been a fan of his work for so long – everything from Good Will Hunting to The Informant. He is just brilliant, and I think his performance in The Martian is going to blow people away, to see him as they have never seen him. It is exciting for me to watch.” (Entertainment Weekly)

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