Friday, October 9, 2015

Dear Jodie - The Martian

The Martian film poster.jpgDear Jodie,

I've never thought much of Matt Damon as an actor. Oh, I've always found him to be competent and serviceable, but not great … or even good really. I'm not going to say that The Martian completely changed all of that for me, but it was a start.  He was good, quite good actually, and in a roll that if he had been only competent and serviceable the movie would have fallen flat on its ass.

Why is that?  Because he is alone for most of his scenes, and that is incredibly difficult to play. Tom Hanks did it well in "Cast Away."

This movie just rocked me … no pun intended.

For me, Ridley Scott's movies move a bit slowly sometimes and The Martian is no exception. In this case, though, I think it was necessary. We needed a little time to FEEL Mark's isolation. We need time to RELATE to Mark as he did things few humans can do, if any. I confess I have no idea whether it is scientifically possible to make water the way that he did. Is it possible?  I don't know and don't care, really. I believed it. We needed the time to CONNECT.

BAM! We have a movie!

I liked the Jessica Chastain character, Lewis. She owned her error … and I think she could have searched more in the beginning than she did. But, then again, I'm sitting in a theatre seat making judgments. I truly don't know if spit hit the fan whether I would have done any different … or as much. Regardless, she owned it, and made sure the decision to risk it all to save Mark was unanimous. When everyone agreed, she went into action to save him.

I'm thinking you really must have gotten into the human choices made … or not made.

Like NASA's decision whether to let him die, or go for it. Only when NASA determined that it would get out that they let him die, did they determine to do the right thing. It had nothing to do about saving a human being. It had to do with the decision best equipped to save their collective backsides.

Damn, that made me angry … just as Ridley Scott intended.

I also wanted a little more on the families of the astronauts. That was a helluva sacrifice they made, and we really didn't get much on that. It seemed glossed over.

Those complaints, though, are minor.

This movie was such a fun ride for me, Jodie! I'm giving it 8 out of 10!

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