Hey, You Got Some Science In My Fiction

Posted by on Oct 19, 2015 in Movie Reviews | 0 comments

The hubby and I did our usual anniversary thing last week, dinner and a movie. Yeah, it’s a little cliche, but we like movies, and we like food. So why not? Anyway, the dinner was pretty great, and if you are in the Seattle area I can’t recommend The Pantry enough. We had a wonderful dinner chock full of apples with some fun people. But, that’s not why I brought you here, that was just to set the stage for the real purpose of this post.


Seriously, I’m not even messing around here. If you haven’t seen it yet, go out and get some tickets right freaking now. I’ll wait.

Ahem. Okay, now I’ll tell you why it’s so good. Very mild spoilers follow, but nothing you couldn’t glean from the trailer.

Science. That may not be enough to get you out of your seat, but it was enough for me. Good science. Real science. In all its terror and glory. Sure, there were some things I could quibble with, of course there were, but I won’t, because it was real enough. The essence of science is what’s most important, and that’s what The Martian does so, so well. There were none of the fake, dumb scientists of some recent science fiction movies I won’t name *cough*Prometheus*cough*. None of the intellectual dishonesty or fear of exploration that sometimes plagues science fiction in general, and space movies in particular. It was good. It was true. It was magnificent.

Writing. The thing that really shone for me in the writing department was the delicate balance of dramatic tension and humor. I haven’t seen a movie that handles the two so deftly in a long time. The tense moments were tense, and then there would be just enough funny to let you relax, but not too much. The humor to me felt completely organic, and that’s pretty rare for me to say.

Acting. Okay, I’m not Matt Damon’s biggest fan, not by a long shot. Considering this movie is about 50% Damon taking to a camera in a video journal, his performance is pretty damned impressive. I didn’t have any problem believing he was marooned on Mars or that he thought he was going to die.

Resolution. The ending of this movie is a triumph because no one person saves the day. It takes a fucking village. To me, that is what NASA and what the international science community is all about and this movie brought that home for me in a way I’ve never seen another movie do. It gave me all the warm fuzzies.

I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that a movie about science and about how people all over the world can act together is making money. Hopefully this shows the people holding the purse strings in Hollywood that more than one kind of movie can be made and be successful. I hope it wins a boatload of awards next year.

Hearts, puppies, & science-fucking-fiction,


The trailer:

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