Hey, Mom! The Explanation.

Here's the permanent dedicated link to my first Hey, Mom! post and the explanation of the feature it contains.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #102 - The Martian

Hey, Mom! Talking to My Mother #102 - The Martian

Hi Mom,

So Dad and I went to see The Martian yesterday at the Alamo Drafthouse as a lunch time matinee experience.

I must have cried three times, at least, from the tension alone, though life and death stuff and any sentimental talk about parents and pride wrecks me right now.

I read Andy Weir's The Martian earlier this year and LOVED IT.

I am careful to keep a short list of science fiction novels that I would recommend to non-science fiction readers but rarely are those novels "hard" science fiction, by which, we SF people mean novels that are FULL OF SCIENCE.

But this novel makes the list because it manages what I thought was an impossible task: it makes a hard science novel into a thrilling page-turner.

SPOILERS................. if you have not seen the movie or wish to avoid spoilers skip the rest

Though, there are no real spoilers for you, Mom, as you are here with me as I do everything.

I love Ridley Scott, so I find not fault with his direction.

I understand why some parts of the book were cut or trimmed, especially the long trek to the Schiaparelli Crater with the storm and the sand shelf incidents. I also understand why Rich Parnell was re-invented as the actor for the movie was a fine choice.

I loved the movie nearly as much as the book... nearly, because, the beginning.

I had a feeling as the opening credits rolled that the film would start with the Ares III mission and the incident that strands Mark Watney on Mars. But this is not how the book begins. Here's how the book begins.

"I'm pretty much fucked.
        That's my considered opinion.
Six days into what should be the greatest two months of my life, and it's turned into a nightmare."

Watney has awoken from the accident in the storm that trashed his bio-monitor, leading the Ares crew to think him dead, and is reporting his log of events since the crew's departure, filling in the gaps.


The reader is dropped directly into the action and the book just accelerates from that start.

I get why the movie script downplayed the profanity to get a better rating and more of an audience. That's fine. The book is the book and will always be the book.

And don't get me wrong, I loved the movie.

But I quibble with the beginning.

I get why it starts with the Ares mission and the coming of the storm and Mark's accident, setting the film up to proceed in chronological order. Context. Sets the scene. Flashbacks are cheesy.

BUT how great would it be to have the movie START with Watney waking up in his space suit, injured, the Ares crew gone, realizing he's stranded. He could watch video recordings of the storm and the departure instead of his own flashbacks, which, yes, are cheesy.

It's a quibble. The movie is still great, but the sheer drama that would be generated by starting with him waking up?


Have someone give you a kiss, and tell you that I love you.

Talk to you tomorrow, Mom.


- Days ago = 103 days ago

- Bloggery committed by chris tower - 1510.16 - 17:35
and again 1510.17 - 7:49

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