Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Science The Sh*t Out Of It!!

I saw The Martian last week by myself, and then I saw it again with DDF last Sunday.  It takes a very good movie for me to see twice in the theater (The Road, No Country For Old Men, The Hurt Locker, in recent memory... yes, it was lonely living and working in Phoenix).

The Martian is one of those movies that is really truly worth seeing.  I was skeptical going into it, but that skepticism was quickly dashed by excellent science, excellent acting, excellent screen writing, fastidious attention to detail, technical accuracy, and a high value placed upon tenacity, intelligence, survival of the human spirit, grace under pressure, and fantastic movie making.  Even Neil De Grasse Tyson, the "rock star of science" liked it, and he pans / criticizes many science based movies.
The Hermes... next to the ISS currently orbiting the Earth, the longest serving Space Craft in the world.

I liked it the first time, and loved it by the end of the first watching.  By the end of the second watching I have this advisory for parents:
- If you are a parent of a 11 to 17 year old who has show ANY interest in Science or Engineering as a possible vocation, TAKE THEM!!!!  It is better than Apollo 13 was at it's time.  It is realistic, it is brutal (at times), it is heart warming and inspiring.
- If you are a parent of a younger child who cusses like a sailor, or if you, yourself, use "shit", "fuck" and "dick" around the house in front of the children (instead of the anatomically correct "penis" as DDF and I always did when our son was a very little boy a 1/4 of a century ago), then taking them won't be a big surprise.  The word "fuck" is used twice, shouted (appropriately) and then again later.  The word "shit" is used to describe both feces and as an expletive twice & twice as an expletive (2+2 times each, for a total of four times).  And the phrase "dick punch" is introduced by a dismayed Matt Damon upon hearing bad news.  For the record, I don't believe our son ever used the word "dick punch" until perhaps he went to college...  at least he never used it around us.
"According to my alma mater, the University of Chicago, once you grow crops somewhere, you've officially colonized it"
This is a movie for engineers, scientists, mathematicians, program managers who give a damn about the people in their programs and not just profits, botanists, computer scientists, chemists, astrophysicists, fans of the JPL, alumni of the University Chicago, people who believe NASA is not a government boondoggle and that is has INTRINSIC value to all of mankind, fans of international scientific collaborations, thinking humans, explorers, intelligent people, and people who like to see good motion pictures.  It's a story about problem solving, tenacity, valuing intelligence & human life over ideology or politics, and coming together as a species to root for the under-dog.  (as a life long Cubs fan...  I know how that feels).

Excellent quotes that stuck with me:
"I'm going to have to science the shit out of this"
"According to my alma mater, the University of Chicago, they said that once you've planted and harvested crops somewhere, you've officially colonized it...  so I guess, I've colonies Mars"
"Commander Lewis, you have horrible taste in music"
"Rich Purnell is a steely eyed missile man"
"Martinez, no barrel rolls"
"Physicists don't use the word 'fast' when describing someone's velocity"
"You solve one problem, you DO THE MATH, and then if you get it right, you get to solve another problem, and another problem, and then you get to stay alive and come come"

Sean Bean gets to play a role where he neither dies, nor is he a flawed asshole who you want to hate... hooray for Sean Bean as flight director Mitch Henderson!!!

I WISH there had been a movie like this for me, when I was in middle school and High School... instead of just Apocalypse Now, The China Syndrome,  Star Wars and An Office And A Gentleman...  that helped me to form an opinion and vision of what I wanted to do with my life, and who I DID NOT want to be (go into the military, and have Lewis Gusset Jr make my life hell...  oh heck no!!)

1 comment:

  1. Fergus and I loved it. We'd both read the book and the trailers made it look like they'd gotten the adaptation right, and fortunately it even exceeded expectations. Lovely film.


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