Friday, October 30, 2015

REVIEW: "The Martian" (2015)

Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is left by his crew mates on the planet Mars after an unexpected sandstorm—and a collision from a satellite—leaves him presumably dead. Mark survives, however, and is alone on the red, hostile planet, assuming that his days are going south. Fortunately, there is already shelter set up. He also happens to have a background in botany, and is an incredibly skilled engineer. Determined to stay alive, his main objective is to figure out how to make food and water that will last from now to the time NASA will allow another man-mission to Mars (four years, to be exact), until eventually figuring out how to contact NASA. He records daily video journals and even displays an upbeat sense of humor “in the face of overwhelming odds.”

The Martian, in its simplest form, is a story of survival, ingenuity, and perseverance. Based on the novel by Andy Weir, sharply written for the screen by Drew Goddard (World War Z), and directed with skill by Ridley Scott (his fourth sci-fi outing following Alien, Blade Runner, and Prometheus), the film is very intelligent and key on science and authenticity. NASA was consulted to ensure that such science would be portrayed accurately and relevantly. With that in mind, this film could be a mending of science-fiction and science-fact, but without all the complexity that encircled, say, last year's Interstellar. The Martian also has an engrossing sense of humor, partly with the inclusion of 70s music (much to the dismay of Damon’s Watney). Damon is backed up by a pretty impeccable cast including Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Sean Bean, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Mara, Michael Pena, and Kristen Wiig. The music score by Harry Gregson-Williams is at times mysterious; other times, grandly-calm; and other times, appropriately-emotional. 

Hollywood seems to be revisiting and celebrating the space race in recent years. Gravity (2013) was a story about getting home, while visualizing the wonders and horrors of being in space. Interstellar (2014) was about space travel in terms of finding a new home for the inhabitants of a dying earth. Even Tomorrowland from earlier this year implied, in part, that there are still possibilities and new ideas for space exploration. 

What’s most impressive about The Martian is that it isn’t just a sole-survivor story on the surface a la Cast Away or All Is Lost. It’s a global effort, consisting of NASA and other world agencies and scientific engineers, to bring one man back home. (If you recall, Matt Damon played a similar character in Saving Private Ryan.) Writes Rubin Safaya of, “The true spectacle of space exploration . . . lies in the collaboration between people: scientists, engineers, agencies, governments, nations, and the public. . .” At the same time, the individual choices we make every day as human beings—what we choose to do, how we choose to act—can influence and bring people together to achieve the impossible. 

1 comment:


    Is the Bible the accurate word God or are the opinions of men the absolute truth?

    According to the average of May 2005, May 2006, May 2007 Gallup Polls state that 40% of protestants and 45% of other Christians believe that the Bible is the actual word of God, to be taken literally. If that is a fact, then at least 55% who claim to be Christians do not believe the Bible is God's accurate word.

    If those claiming to be Christian do not trust the Bible, then who or what do they trust? They are left with the opinions of men.

    JOHN MacArthur Quote:
    In Acts 2:38, Peter appears to link forgiveness of sins to baptism. But there are several plausible interpretations of this verse that do not connect forgiveness of sin with baptism. It is possible to translate the Greek preposition eis—”because of,” or “on the basis of,” instead of “for.” It is used in that sense in Matthew 3:11; 12:41; and Luke 11:32.

    There is not one English translation of the the Bible that translates "for" of Acts 2:38 as "because of" or "on the basis of".

    Max Lucado Quote:

    3) “What of the ones who die before they have a chance? What if I entrust my soul to Christ and before I can tell anyone or arrange to be baptized, a swarm of killer bees attacks me and I die?”
    The answer to this question is found in the character of God. Would a God of love reject an honest heart? No way. Would a God of mercy and kindness condemn any seeking soul? Absolutely not. Having called you and died for you would he cast you away because of a curious sequence of events? Inconceivable. Is it possible for an unbaptized believer to be saved? Yes, definitely. Should every believer be baptized? Yes, definitely.

    Jesus Quote:

    Mark 16:15-16 ...preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved...(NKJV)

    Realizing that 55% of those who claim to be Christian do not believe the Bible is God's word, it is no shock that men reject the clear teaching of Scripture.

    Belief and water baptism are essential to salvation regardless of man-made doctrine.

    Men are not baptized in water because they are already saved. Water baptism is in order to be saved.

    What could more illogical, than to believe the Bible is not the accurate word of God, and then believe without question, preachers, priests, Bible commentaries, church creed books and other extra-Biblical writings?