On Film

Watch the Trailer for The Martian…Then Immediately Read the Book

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The trailer for Ridley Scott’s The Martian was recently released and if you haven’t read the book already, it will have you running to your local library or bookstore to snatch up a copy.

What It’s About

Mark Watney was only 6 days into a Mars mission when a gigantic dust storm/freak accident left him presumed dead by the rest of his team. Said team was forced to abort the mission, leaving Mars and Watney behind. Extraordinarily, the accident left Watney alive, but alone, on Mars. With little hope for rescue or initiating communication with NASA, Mark begins a long journey to survive. Using his botany skills and general Mr. Fix-it-ness, Watney manages to overcome obstacle after obstacle. But even when rescue is finally within reach, disaster looms almost everywhere.

Who’s In It

Everyone, basically. Matt Damon plays Watney. The rest of his Ares team are: Jessica Chastain as Commander Melissa Lewis, Michael Pena as Major Rick Martinez, Kate Mara as Beth Johanssen, Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel, and Sebastian Stan as Dr. Chris Beck. Characters that aren’t in space for the entire movie are played by Kristen Wiig, Sean Bean, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Donald Glover, and probably a lot more. Sidenote: it strikes me that both Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain were in that other space movie, Interstellar.

My Take

The Martian by Andy Weir was one of the most fun, interesting books I’ve read in a very long time. It’s clear that Weir knows his science and he doesn’t shy away from science-ese for the reader’s sake. But even readers who don’t know the difference between a beaker and a Bunson burner will enjoy this book. It’s a thrilling ride from start to finish as we follow Mark Watney’s attempts to grow crops, establish communication, and hopefully escape Mars. Based on the trailer, it looks like some minor details may have been changed for the movie, but I am still pumped as all heck to see it.

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