Tuesday, November 3, 2015

I'm not gonna die here.

Science was always my worst subject. Followed by math.
Following long, complicated directions? Not really my strong suit.
And when things go wrong, I'm a big fan of sulking. Like, huge fan.
But the number one reason why I would never make it?

I get dizzy. Easily. And once it starts, I'm going to have to lie down for awhile. That, or clean the vomit out of my helmet.

Over and over again.
Go ahead and drop him off at our house.
While my head remained still, for the most part, it was my heart that was spinning end-over-end. Undoubtedly one of the best cinematic experiences of my (movie-going) life, The Martian bordered on big screen Hollywood perfection. Seen in 3D with my wife on a quiet Fall Saturday, Ridley Scott's latest is the perfect blockbuster. Equal parts crowd-pleasing and pulse-pounding, the film based on Andy Weir's book was an absolute joy to watch. I know they can't hear me scream in space, but can they hear me squeal?

Matt Damon plays Mark Watney, an astronaut left behind in an emergency evacuation of a manned mission to Mars. Fortunately Mark is a botanist (a job title now neck-and-neck with ninja or Patriots QB as most badass ever), and quickly formulates a plan to survive where things simply don't. His problem is essentially a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but with Damon's charm (not to mention Watney's a f--king genius), anything is possible. And leaving the theater that day? I couldn't have agreed more.

While Damon filmed 99% of his scenes alone, good thing for us - he isn't. No matter how big or small the part is, Scott has assembled an impressive cast of great actors with familiar faces. Anchoring the NASA side of things, are Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor and (f--king) Kristen Wiig (of all people).

Daniels plays the director of NASA, Teddy Sanders, struggling to balance Whatney's worth against the lives of every one else involved. Ejiofor does that thing he does so well, playing a guy who is the HEAD OF MARS MISSIONS for NASA, but still coming off as one of us, not a dignified, charasmatic, f--king super genius (think Jeff Goldblum in...anything, minus the desire to f--k every woman alive). Last, but shockingly not least, we find Wiig in the fun-sized role of NASA's head of Public Relations, and she is pleasantly perfect for the role.

As all the suits are in and out of crisis mode, occasionally we're thrown back to the ship that Watney should be on, the Ares 3. Led by Captain Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain, always making me go for launch) and her culturally-diverse crew, these poor souls, while lucky to be alive, are headed home with heavy hearts. When eventually there's even the slightest mention that Watney's alive, Lewis and her crew don't hesitate to risk everything. It's cliche, sure. But it's also pretty inspirational, too.

Inspiring no one at any time in the course of human history, are the Yays and Boos. As stupid as they are, they keep reminding me that they too, like Mark Watney, have traveled into space and back. I mean, how else are you reading them now?

Looking at this picture? The best ten seconds of my day.
  • Science. Yeah, I know it's a movie, but c'mon. If there's a better two-hour commercial for how f--king rad it is to be a scientist, I need to see it. Twice.
  • Shit. It's like, the best thing ever.
  • You actually can't go wrong with the Happy Days theme song in any circumstance, right? But here? For Watney's situation? It's perfect. Aaayyyyyyyy!
  • Though a close second? Hot Stuff by Donna Summer. Sure, I tend to think of naked Irish guys when I hear that song, but being that it was featured over Damon kicking ass on the Red Planet...well, it's more of the same when you really think about it.
  • On the other end of that spectrum, let's talk about fully-clothed gents, shall we? The space suit featured in The Martian was impossibly badass.
  • Yes, the suit was super-cool and all, but perhaps just a little more clutch? Duct Tape. Well, hold on, Space Duct Tape.
  • F-Word. F-Word. F-Word. 
  • Dude, always go High School Senior. Always.
  • I'm not sure why it made me so emotional, but to see a film where China wasn't the ultimate Evil was oddly inspiring. Seriously, I was f--king thrilled when they stepped up. I thought I was going to cry. First boneless spareribs...now this? Bless you, China. Bless you.
  • Oh my, that kiss on the space helmet? I was wrecked. (clearly this was an emotional one for me...clearly)
  • Full Iron Man. Which is fantastic because we have Ant-Man's sidekick flying the ship Watney's trying to reach (by the way, Michael Pena should be required, by law, to do a crazy voice-over in every movie he's in). 
  • That end-credits sequence was fantastic. 
  • And finally, Matt Damon. I have always liked him as an actor, but he's quite honestly getting better with age. At this rate, when he's an old man, well...it's going to be pretty awkward around these parts. In fact, I'm not even sure who likes the guy more, me or my wife. I'd like to think if she were ever stranded on a distant planet she'd want me to be with her. Apparently, I also like to lie to myself, too.
  • Okay, Scott. What is the f--k with you and self-surgery scenes? Sure this ain't as bad as the last one, but damn, dude. I almost had to operate on the Mrs.
  • You ever have something really bad happen, then have to drive home and think about it the whole way? Imagine if that drive lasted for almost half a decade. Yikes.
  • While I loves me some irony, burning to death making water is too much.
  • I get it, sure. But how can you not tell them? Harsh, bro. Harsh.
  • Faced with imminent death or having to listen to Turn the Beat Around for more than ten seconds, I'm taking death. I hate that song so much. I'd rather get my balls torn off by a Miami Sound Machine.
  • So...with a bucket of popcorn in my lap (and a smuggled in burrito in my stomach), I almost gave up all hope when Watney lost his...well, you'll see (both the green stuff and the red stuff).
  • Speaking of, what the shit was with that taped-up door? Look, I'm no genius, but if you're not going to use the f--king thing anymore, maybe we go ahead and put some shit in front of that plastic sheet right, Mark? Might sleep a little bit easier than knowing that one stray bolt could instantly kill you.
  • Okay, there was a part where some Math Genius made some calculations and on his device and it read CALCULATIONS CORRECT on the display. Just...no. That's like titling this blog SUCKY OBSERVATIONS BY A MORON. I'm sorry, but you're going to have to read it to figure that out. I mean, you gotta work a little bit.
  • I wrote in my notes 'that was a naked woman, right?' (this is a Boo because I don't remember what this was in reference to)
  • And finally, the final plan. Hey, Mark. Go all the way to the thing, right? Yeah. Now take all of the shit out of it. Oh, and the roof, too.
The last time my wife and I were at Disney (okay, the only time my wife and I were at Disney), we decided to go on this stupid ride, Mission: Space. I thought, sure, no problem. Just let me finish this ice cream bar, first. Apparently, on this 'ride', you get assigned some important job as a member of a team of elite astronauts. My role? I think I was supposed to fire the thrusters, or something like that. Anyway, after our mission briefing, the whole world starts to spin at a million miles an hour, and I was supposed to lift my arm from my chest and...push a button.

I couldn't do it. And, let's just say...the mission was an absolute failure (poor random Ecuadorian kids that were on my crew). And all I could tell my wife at the end, as I staggered out of there?

Bring me home.


  1. Awesome review dude - couldn't agree more! One of my favourite films of the year so far, possibly THE best. I can't decide between this and MM:FR. Anyway, great write-up!

    1. Hahaha, thanks. I think that The Martian and Mad Max would be a helluva double feature, but if you ask me, right now anyway, I would probably lean toward The Martian as my favorite.

      But, yeah...they are probably my top two at this point, uh....too.

  2. "I wrote in my notes 'that was a naked woman, right?' (this is a Boo because I don't remember what this was in reference to)" - oh man :)

    You forgot the cool LotR reference and Sean Bean being here! I hear he actually lives in all of his 2015 movies, this is remarkable. I really liked the movie. I thought it was a bit too light for the subject of 1. someone being on their own for some long 2. people having to decide not seeing their loved ones for even longer time if they go back for him - which in effect made it very unrealistic, but it was entertaining and Chastain going out to get him and that whole scene that follows was just stunning

    1. I really forget whatever it was that I thought was a naked woman. But, then again...that happens a lot with me. The 'forgetting'...not the 'nak-' aw, shit...you know what I mean.

      I TOTALLY forgot the LOTR reference, dammit. Shit!

      You know, I really liked how light it was. I know it could have been heavier, MUCH heavier, but Damn just keeps his cool and it made him even more endearing. I'm not suggesting that him dealing with some dark shit would have made him less of anything, but the fact that he just kept bouncing back in the face of crazy-ass adversity made go from rooting for him to loving him like a member of my family. Does that make sense? Probably not.

      There was some weight to the crew not seeing their family, wasn't there? I mean, they were torn up about it...but maybe not as much as they should have been, I guess. the way I looked at it, they weren't that upset, because there wasn't really a question of not going back. They had to. Plain and simple.

  3. Great review! I love this movie and the book so much. It's my favorite of the year so far. My only boo, aside from the typical "I can't believe they left this out of the book!" was Kristen Wiig. She was horribly miscast.

    1. (am I crazy or did I already respond to this comment? Sati's too. I think I imagined typing all this already....)

      Anyway, as much as I think I would love the book, I'm going to leave the experience of this story at the movies. In fact, I loved it so much I don't ever plan on seeing it again (it was that good).

      Aw, I kind of liked Wiig. But then again, I don't have an irrational hatred of her...like some people I know. Not you, uhhh...this other lady I know. Her name? Uh...Britt...ley. Yeah, that's the ticket.

  4. Love your review! Glad you dug this so much. I thought it was a really great popcorn flick. Definitely more feel-good than I expected, but it was a lot of fun. I bet if Whatney's character had kids (or a wife?) it could not have been nearly as light-hearted as it was. It was for the best, because it let him be funny which I preferred over something really heavy.

    1. JESS! Yes! I love that you love that I loved it. It was super feel-good and that made me feel super good. Okay...I can't keep this up.

      That's interesting what you say about Mark, and you're totally right. Had he had a family, it would have changed everything. It would have been 'stop f--king around, Mark and get your ass home' versus, 'Oh, Mark...so dreamy. I'd eat his shit-potatoes anyday!'

      Maybe that's just me, huh?

  5. Great review! Haha I like that you liked the dialogue as much as I did "F-word F-word F-word!" !!!

    1. I thought Damon felt incredibly natural and believable in every aspect of playing Mark.

      F-word he was good, you know?

  6. Glad to hear this is good! I need to hit my son up for one of those free movie passes and go see this if it's still in the theater.

    1. Yes, you need to tell that kid to pony up, asap. This one is made to be seen on the big screen!

  7. BOW!!!

    I hate that I haven't seen this one yet, and I really want to catch it before it leaves the theater since it feels like such a theater experience kind of movie...but the wife almost stopped breathing while watching Gravity and she thinks that this looks just as anxiety inducing.

    Maybe...I'll have some time...to go to the movies alone :-(

    1. Gravity is like a spinning punch to the dick in the cold depths of space, while bouncing on a trampoline in slow-motion with someone you love. Both will likely leave you breathless, but for entirely different reasons.

      Dude. Are you sweating going solo to the movies? What the f--k? I rock that shit day and night.

    2. LOL...no...I love going to the movies alone...I was sweating finding the time...which isn't going to happen.

  8. Seriously, how strong is Damon in this flick? And I love that you also loved that China wasn't the bad place in this movie. So refreshing.

    1. Damon is damn near perfect in this one. Not a missed note, as far as I'm concerned.

      Chinaaaaaaaa, f--k yeahhhhh! *guitar riff*