The Martian

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Paul S Person

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Sep 21, 2021, 11:33:10 AM9/21/21
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I finally rented this from Amazon and saw it last night.

It is a well-done film and would be worth four stars except for one
small problem: it is as dull as dishwater. Three stars, then.

This may not be apparent unless you view it, as I did, as being in the
same "realistic space movie" category as /Apollo 13/. Comparing the
two shows the difference between a really good movie and one that is
well-done but ... dispensible.

IMHO, of course.
--
"I begin to envy Petronius."
"I have envied him long since."

Lynn McGuire

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Sep 21, 2021, 3:46:45 PM9/21/21
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On 9/21/2021 10:33 AM, Paul S Person wrote:
> I finally rented this from Amazon and saw it last night.
>
> It is a well-done film and would be worth four stars except for one
> small problem: it is as dull as dishwater. Three stars, then.
>
> This may not be apparent unless you view it, as I did, as being in the
> same "realistic space movie" category as /Apollo 13/. Comparing the
> two shows the difference between a really good movie and one that is
> well-done but ... dispensible.
>
> IMHO, of course.

You and I must have watched different movies. I gave it 5 stars out of
5 stars. 37,424 people on Amazon gave it 4.5 stars.
https://www.amazon.com/Martian-Michael-Pe%C3%B1a/dp/B018HIZSIA/

Lynn



Paul S Person

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Sep 22, 2021, 11:25:20 AM9/22/21
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I'm sure we watched the same movie.

But /de gustibus non disputandem/. You and the 38K people on Amazon
are, each and every one of you, entitled to your own opinion of it.

Joe Pfeiffer

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Sep 23, 2021, 10:05:15 PM9/23/21
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Paul S Person <pspe...@ix.netcom.invalid> writes:

> I finally rented this from Amazon and saw it last night.
>
> It is a well-done film and would be worth four stars except for one
> small problem: it is as dull as dishwater. Three stars, then.
>
> This may not be apparent unless you view it, as I did, as being in the
> same "realistic space movie" category as /Apollo 13/. Comparing the
> two shows the difference between a really good movie and one that is
> well-done but ... dispensible.
>
> IMHO, of course.

And not a HO I share in the slightest. I had the same sense of constant
tension in the Martian as I did in Apollo 13.

I'll say having any tension at all in Apollo 13 is a *real* tribute to
everyone involved in the film, since we all know how it came out decades
before the movie was made.

Paul S Person

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Sep 24, 2021, 11:15:42 AM9/24/21
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On Thu, 23 Sep 2021 20:05:12 -0600, Joe Pfeiffer
<pfei...@cs.nmsu.edu> wrote:

>Paul S Person <pspe...@ix.netcom.invalid> writes:
>
>> I finally rented this from Amazon and saw it last night.
>>
>> It is a well-done film and would be worth four stars except for one
>> small problem: it is as dull as dishwater. Three stars, then.
>>
>> This may not be apparent unless you view it, as I did, as being in the
>> same "realistic space movie" category as /Apollo 13/. Comparing the
>> two shows the difference between a really good movie and one that is
>> well-done but ... dispensible.
>>
>> IMHO, of course.
>
>And not a HO I share in the slightest. I had the same sense of constant
>tension in the Martian as I did in Apollo 13.

There is no need for you to share my HO. You are entitled to your own.

I had the blahs all too much of the time.

And, the moment they skipped the pre-launch tests because "they only
catch a problem one time in twenty" I /knew/ the rocket was going to
explode. It was cinematically inevitable.

I will concede that the climax was a bit exciting, although, again, it
was cinematically impossible for the attempt to fail. So any tension
was of the "how do they manage it" rather than "will they manage it"
variety.

Just as, when I watched /The Bad Seed/, I shortly found I could tell
when someone would be knocking at the door: the conversation was
heading toward a point where two characters would be able to compare
notes and figure what was going on, and /that/ couldn't be allowed.
The knock at the door stopped the conversation every time -- and it
never resumed from the point of interruption.

The climax, while quite rushed, was, however, a suprise.

The child abuse at the end was ... well, I am old enough to recognize
that it was amusing to the audience, but I no longer find it so.

>I'll say having any tension at all in Apollo 13 is a *real* tribute to
>everyone involved in the film, since we all know how it came out decades
>before the movie was made.

Which is what makes it a /much/ better movie.

And /2001/ did it better as well.

novaste...@gmail.com

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Oct 6, 2021, 12:01:10 PM10/6/21
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This is typical of most moviegoers now. They expect nonstop CGI action, and if it's a space movie, it's gotta have alien invaders.
People now don't want a movie where you have to think.

Your Name

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Oct 6, 2021, 5:35:19 PM10/6/21
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The only thing "2001" did 'well' was put people to sleep ... it's a
great cure for insomnia. :-\



> This is typical of most moviegoers now. They expect nonstop CGI
> action, and if it's a space movie, it's gotta have alien invaders.
> People now don't want a movie where you have to think.

The author of 'The Martian' book has written another 'space novel'
called "Project Hail Mary", which this time does include an alien ...
and not one that can be done by Hollyweird as a human actor wearing
bits stuck on their face. The movie version is already planned.
<https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12042730/>


Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha

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Oct 6, 2021, 6:37:32 PM10/6/21
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Your Name <Your...@YourISP.com> wrote in
news:sjl4ql$lob$1...@gioia.aioe.org:
That's not the *only* thing it did. The ending also confused the
hell out of me. Even after reading the book, I have no idea what
was supposed to be happening. Best I can figure, it was a film
representation of an acid trip.

Only movie I've ever seen mroe confusing was the one with Van Damme
tied down in the desert, killing a vulture with his teeth.

--
Terry Austin

Proof that Alan Baker is a liar and a fool, and even stupider than
Lynn:
https://www.cbp.gov/newsroom/stats/sw-border-migration
(May 2019 total for people arrested for entering the United States
illegally is over 132,000 for just the southwest border.)

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

Mike Van Pelt

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Oct 6, 2021, 11:57:53 PM10/6/21
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In article <XnsADBB9EF0825...@85.12.62.232>,
Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha <taus...@gmail.com> wrote:
>That's not the *only* thing it did. The ending also confused the
>hell out of me. Even after reading the book, I have no idea what
>was supposed to be happening. Best I can figure, it was a film
>representation of an acid trip.

It didn't look like flying through galaxies, which is
what it was supposed to be. Real 60s "swirl colored oil
and water on an overhead projector" stuff.

I liked the Mad Magazine take, after Bowman has landed
in the hotel room. "You have just crashed through all
2001 floors of the Jupiter Museum of Modern Art."

--
Mike Van Pelt | "I don't advise it unless you're nuts."
mvp at calweb.com | -- Ray Wilkinson, after riding out Hurricane
KE6BVH | Ike on Surfside Beach in Galveston

Paul S Person

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Oct 7, 2021, 11:09:55 AM10/7/21
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>This is typical of most moviegoers now. They expect nonstop CGI action, and if it's a space movie, it's gotta have alien invaders.
>People now don't want a movie where you have to think.

I never thought of /2001/ or /Apollo 13/ as "nonstop CGI action".

I still don't. And I've always found them worth watching.

The problem isn't the lack of "nonstop CGI action". The problem is
that the film is duller than dishwater, albeit better than watching
grass grow.

And what "thinking" do you imagine /The Martian/ inspires? Apart from
that required to recognize the unrealistic nature of the storm and the
various attempts to somehow channel /Apollo 13/, that is?

Paul S Person

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Oct 7, 2021, 11:10:22 AM10/7/21
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On Thu, 7 Oct 2021 10:35:17 +1300, Your Name <Your...@YourISP.com>
wrote:
If you say so.

>> This is typical of most moviegoers now. They expect nonstop CGI
>> action, and if it's a space movie, it's gotta have alien invaders.
>> People now don't want a movie where you have to think.
>
>The author of 'The Martian' book has written another 'space novel'
>called "Project Hail Mary", which this time does include an alien ...
>and not one that can be done by Hollyweird as a human actor wearing
>bits stuck on their face. The movie version is already planned.
><https://www.imdb.com/title/tt12042730/>

I'll probably see it, if it looks at all attractive.

Paul S Person

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Oct 7, 2021, 11:14:57 AM10/7/21
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It can certainly be argued that it had much the same effect.

Well, except that most acid trips don't end up with the Star Child at
the end, looking at the Earth as if it were a shiny new toy.

IIRC, some of the trip at the end was regarded, by reviewers, as very
advanced and very cool. /Star Trek -- The Motion Picture/ did
something like it, although whether that was deliberate or not I have
no idea.

>Only movie I've ever seen mroe confusing was the one with Van Damme
>tied down in the desert, killing a vulture with his teeth.

That one I missed, God be praised.

Despite buying a "Van Damme 4-Pack" (4 films, 2 per side of a DVD) to
get a /letterboxed/ version of /Timecop/.

The others looked, to me, like three different lessons in how /not/ to
make a movie.

Paul S Person

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Oct 7, 2021, 11:21:26 AM10/7/21
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On Thu, 7 Oct 2021 03:57:52 -0000 (UTC), m...@shell.calweb.com (Mike
Van Pelt) wrote:

>In article <XnsADBB9EF0825...@85.12.62.232>,
>Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha <taus...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>That's not the *only* thing it did. The ending also confused the
>>hell out of me. Even after reading the book, I have no idea what
>>was supposed to be happening. Best I can figure, it was a film
>>representation of an acid trip.
>
>It didn't look like flying through galaxies, which is
>what it was supposed to be. Real 60s "swirl colored oil
>and water on an overhead projector" stuff.

You forgot the "false color images of lakes and their surroundings
pretending to be the surface of a star" bits.

>I liked the Mad Magazine take, after Bowman has landed
>in the hotel room. "You have just crashed through all
>2001 floors of the Jupiter Museum of Modern Art."

As usual with Mad, that makes /perfect/ sense.

Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha

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Oct 7, 2021, 11:22:57 AM10/7/21
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Paul S Person <pspe...@ix.netcom.invalid> wrote in
news:7f3ulgt38kbbn6j66...@4ax.com:
There's no reason they couldn't, what with the hallucinations and
all.
>
> IIRC, some of the trip at the end was regarded, by reviewers, as
> very advanced and very cool. /Star Trek -- The Motion Picture/
> did something like it, although whether that was deliberate or
> not I have no idea.

"Now that we have them just where they want us."

And that sums up the high points of that turkey of a movie.
>
>>Only movie I've ever seen mroe confusing was the one with Van
>>Damme tied down in the desert, killing a vulture with his teeth.
>
> That one I missed, God be praised.

The first time I saw it, it was chopped up for television, as
movies often are.

It made *more* sense that way.

(I'm not sure, but I *think* it was "Cyborg.")
>
> Despite buying a "Van Damme 4-Pack" (4 films, 2 per side of a
> DVD) to get a /letterboxed/ version of /Timecop/.

Timecop had it's charm.
>
> The others looked, to me, like three different lessons in how
> /not/ to make a movie.

Starting with "Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme." Or "With Jean-
Claude Van Damme in a cameo role." Or "Jean-Claude Van Damme has
heard this movie eixsts."

Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha

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Oct 7, 2021, 11:25:49 AM10/7/21
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Paul S Person <pspe...@ix.netcom.invalid> wrote in
news:bd3ulg9juanonqp6h...@4ax.com:
The plot summary (of the novel) on Wikipedia did not inspire me.
Not that the movie is likely to have much to do with the novel.

Paul S Person

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Oct 8, 2021, 12:03:07 PM10/8/21
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On Thu, 07 Oct 2021 08:22:52 -0700, Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha
It is the /only/ Van Damme film whose reviews impressed me enough to
go watch it in a theatre. As with Nick Nolte and /Mother Night/, this
may be Van Damme's One Good Film.

>> The others looked, to me, like three different lessons in how
>> /not/ to make a movie.
>
>Starting with "Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme." Or "With Jean-
>Claude Van Damme in a cameo role." Or "Jean-Claude Van Damme has
>heard this movie eixsts."

It was the /Quadruple Feature Van Damme Action Pack/, containing:
Time Cop
The Quest
Hard Target
Street Fighter

Each of the last three seemed to me, as I watched them, to be a
completely different way to make a bad movie.

I was wrong about the packaging: it contains two DVDs, each with two
films on it. This, of course, greatly increases the chances of
actually getting the side with the film you want face-down in the
player, something entirely likely with two-sided disks unless you are
paying strict attention.

Particularly since while, in most cases, the lable around the center
hole refers to the /other/ side (so you put that lable up to play the
desired side), it worked the opposite for some of them. Of course, the
position in the case can be used help "remember" which side goes down.

BDs, as I understand it, simply avoided the problem from the
beginning. This was very useful in looking for long films on one side
of one disk: if the "number of disks" was 1 and it was a BD, then
there was only one side for the film to be on.

For some reason, commercial BD-Rs were dropped and MoD ("Manufactured
on Demand") BDs were used instead for the market pioneered by the
commercial DVD-Rs. All in all, this stuff just gets wierder and
wierder as time goes on.

Paul S Person

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Oct 8, 2021, 12:03:27 PM10/8/21
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Well, precisely.

It all depends on who makes the film.

Although a good story does help.

Jack Bohn

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Oct 8, 2021, 1:03:05 PM10/8/21
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Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha wrote:
> Your Name <Your...@YourISP.com> wrote in
> news:sjl4ql$lob$1...@gioia.aioe.org:
> >> On Friday, September 24, 2021 at 9:15:42 AM UTC-6, Paul S
> >> Person wrote:
> >>> And /2001/ did it better as well.
> >
> > The only thing "2001" did 'well' was put people to sleep ...
> > it's a great cure for insomnia. :-\
> That's not the *only* thing it did. The ending also confused the
> hell out of me. Even after reading the book, I have no idea what
> was supposed to be happening. Best I can figure, it was a film
> representation of an acid trip.

The story of my second try at watching 2001:
A college dorm committee had decided to spend its funds to show it in their lounge one night.
The first thing I should mention is that the movie was anamorphic: the widescreen image had been squeezed left-to-right to fit in the full frame of the standard film, but the projector didn't have the anamorphic lens necessary to unsqueeze the image on projection, so everyone looked tall and thin, but after a while you get used to it. We weren't quite Mystery Science Theater 3000, because that hadn't been invented yet, but it was a relaxed crowd. We enjoyed the antics of the monkeys, and the suck-ups to the Space Executive, debated the visibility of rocket exhaust in space and how much moondust would accumulate on a landing pad, and cheered everyone's hero, HAL, who, having decided to kill all the humans for the good of the mission, suggested Dave needed a stress pill to rationally discuss the situation. It was a bit into the stargate sequence that someone suggested that maybe Dave shouldn't have taken that stress pill after the conversation with HAL.

(As I said, we had gotten used to everyone looking tall and thin, so it was a bigger change in one of the last scenes with Dave lying in the hotel bed. Horizontally, his face was now smushed forehead-to-chin, and pushed forward. He looked like... well, "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" had been in theaters the summer before. Now here's the brilliance of Kubrick as a film director: 15 years before, he had calculated the time it would take some wag to say, "Eee tee, phooone hooome," to get everybody on the same page; THEN Dave points up to the monolith -because he's pointing up- with a very long, thin, finger!)

--
-Jack

Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha

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Oct 8, 2021, 1:30:01 PM10/8/21
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Paul S Person <pspe...@ix.netcom.invalid> wrote in
news:btq0mghnm8ol8c2r8...@4ax.com:
it is sxceedingly rare that a movie "based on the title of a
popular book we haven't read" isn't crap, ragardless of who made
it. Ther are exceptions, but not enough that I'm giving anyone the
benefit of the doubt.

Paul S Person

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Oct 9, 2021, 11:36:03 AM10/9/21
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On Fri, 8 Oct 2021 10:03:04 -0700 (PDT), Jack Bohn
<jack....@gmail.com> wrote:

>Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha wrote:
>> Your Name <Your...@YourISP.com> wrote in
>> news:sjl4ql$lob$1...@gioia.aioe.org:
>> >> On Friday, September 24, 2021 at 9:15:42 AM UTC-6, Paul S
>> >> Person wrote:
>> >>> And /2001/ did it better as well.
>> >
>> > The only thing "2001" did 'well' was put people to sleep ...
>> > it's a great cure for insomnia. :-\
>> That's not the *only* thing it did. The ending also confused the
>> hell out of me. Even after reading the book, I have no idea what
>> was supposed to be happening. Best I can figure, it was a film
>> representation of an acid trip.
>
>The story of my second try at watching 2001:
>A college dorm committee had decided to spend its funds to show it in their lounge one night.
>The first thing I should mention is that the movie was anamorphic: the widescreen image had been squeezed left-to-right to fit in the full frame of the standard film, but the projector didn't have the anamorphic lens necessary to unsqueeze the image on projection, so everyone looked tall and thin, but after a while you get used to it. We weren't quite Mystery Science Theater 3000, because that hadn't been invented yet, but it was a relaxed crowd. We enjoyed the antics of the monkeys, and the suck-ups to the Space Executive, debated the visibility of rocket exhaust in space and how much moondust would accumulate on a landing pad, and cheered everyone's hero, HAL, who, having decided to kill all the humans for the good of the mission, suggested Dave needed a stress pill to rationally discuss the situation. It was a bit into the stargate sequence that someone suggested that maybe Dave shouldn't have taken that stress pill after the conversation with HAL.

As to the anomorphism: at least they had an excuse! I have twice seen
films that started out that way because nobody had the sense to set up
the lens. Which they demonstrated conclusively by setting it up while
the film was running.

And only one of them was in an Army theater in the early 70s. The
other was in a civilian theatre in the 2010s.

>(As I said, we had gotten used to everyone looking tall and thin, so it was a bigger change in one of the last scenes with Dave lying in the hotel bed. Horizontally, his face was now smushed forehead-to-chin, and pushed forward. He looked like... well, "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" had been in theaters the summer before. Now here's the brilliance of Kubrick as a film director: 15 years before, he had calculated the time it would take some wag to say, "Eee tee, phooone hooome," to get everybody on the same page; THEN Dave points up to the monolith -because he's pointing up- with a very long, thin, finger!)
--

Paul S Person

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Oct 9, 2021, 11:37:22 AM10/9/21
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On Fri, 08 Oct 2021 10:29:57 -0700, Jibini Kula Tumbili Kujisalimisha
As I said, it also has to look attractive.

The trailer has to actually entice me to watch the film.

And the reviews that actually discuss the film need to say something
that makes it appear to be at least ... watchable.
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