Sci-Fi Storm

Tag: the martian

Mad Max: Fury Road cleans up while Star Wars and The Martian blanked at Oscars

by on Feb.29, 2016, under Movies

While the Oscars were good in general for genre movies at least for nominations, it was Mad Max: Fury Road that stood out with the statues, collecting six of them in a near-sweep of the technical awards (Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Make-up and Hair, Best Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing), and coming out the big winner of the night.

However, the rest of the genre fell flat, with favorite The Martian and Star Wars: The Force Awakens not getting any awards, and Ex Machina winning for Visual Effects and Inside Out winning for Best Animated Film.

All is not lost – at least Fantastic Four made a good showing at the Razzies. 🙂

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Star Wars shut out of core Oscars; The Martian and Mad Max in but Ridley Scott isn’t

by on Jan.14, 2016, under Movies

The Force may be with Rey and Finn, but the Academy isn’t. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was left out of the “big six” awards when the nominations came out this morning, although Mad Max: Fury Road (who led all nominations with 10) and The Martian snagged Best Picture nods, with Mad Max also getting the nod for Directing for George Miller, and The Martian a Best Actor nomination for Matt Damon. The Martian director Ridley Scott was left off the list.

Star Wars did pick up nominations for Film Editing (Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey), Original Score (John Williams), Visual Effects (Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Chris Corbould), Sound Editing (Matthew Wood and David Acord), and Sound Mixing (Andy Nelson, Christopher Scarabosio and Stuart Wilson).

Mad Max: Fury Road also received Film Editing (Margaret Sixel), Production Design (Production Design: Colin Gibson; Set Decoration: Lisa Thompson), Visual Effects (Andrew Jackson, Tom Wood, Dan Oliver and Andy Williams), Cinematography (John Seale), Costume Design (Jenny Beavan), Makeup and Hairstyling (Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega and Damian Martin), Sound Editing (Mark Mangini and David White), and Sound Mixing (Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff and Ben Osmo).

The Martian also received Production Design (Production Design: Arthur Max; Set Decoration: Celia Bobak), Visual Effects (Richard Stammers, Anders Langlands, Chris Lawrence and Steven Warner), Adapted Screenplay (Drew Goddard), Sound Editing (Oliver Tarney) and Sound Mixing (Paul Massey, Mark Taylor and Mac Ruth).

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The Martian: The Best Worst Day At Work Movie

by on Oct.26, 2015, under Movies

I finally got to see The Martian this weekend thanks to several hours free in the middle of my non-stop schedule lately, with nothing to do while trapped in Boston.

I described Gravity as “the worst work day ever”. But it was relentless – a constant series of just bad things happening that just somehow impossibly not end up killing the protagonist. Great visuals, but TOO intense and non-stop.

The Martian is Gravity done a TON better. And more enjoyable.

In The Martian, as seen in the previews, a sudden massive storm forces the abort of the Ares III mission on the surface of Mars. While attempting to reach the ascent vehicle, astronaut Mark Watney is struck by a piece of debris, and his bio monitor indicates that his suit had been ruptured. The rest of the crew are unable to locate him before he would likely run out of air, and are forced to take off.

Miraculously, Watney survives and makes it back to the habitat, and realizes his situation. He’s trapped on another planet alone, communications are out, a rescue mission would take 4 years to reach him without nearly enough food and many things that if they broke would kill him.

The Martian dispenses with the intensity for realism. It isn’t a constant series of bad things happening, but there is the constant threat of it. But Watney is given the chance to think through his options, and not have to improvise every second. He works through the solutions and, for the benefit of the audience, talks through them via the video logs he makes in case anyone can retrieve them.

Matt Damon did a spectacular job as Watney. He managed to effectively bring the humor to a character in a dire situation. He appears defeated when things go south but never gives up. And everything he does is believable, and for the most part, accurate. As part of that, in some cases the technospeak might lose some portion of the audience – such as all the talk about intercept velocities. But it is something that they had to deal with, so the audience had to deal with it too.

Perhaps the weakest parts of the movie may have been with the supporting cast. Not that anything was horrible, but at times I just didn’t connect with the emotion or passion the characters should have been generating. I hate to say this, but I think Sean Bean’s portrayal of flight director Mitch Henderson, who I felt should have been making a more impassioned plea of NASA director Teddy Sanders (Jeff Daniels), but more often looked like someone who just wanted to go to bed. And I LOVE Sean Bean. But keep a watch out for the meeting where they discuss “Project Elrond”…

Visually, the movie is spectacular…the flat Mars landscapes punctuated by tall, wind-carved mountains, looked incredibly realistic. I was VERY impressed. They did a spectacular job of not making it look like he was just filmed in a greenscreen room and everything was just composted in.

I believe The Martian is probably the best movie I’ve seen in years.

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HotShot Trailer: The Martian

by on Jun.08, 2015, under Movies

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive. Millions of miles away, NASA and a team of international scientists work tirelessly to bring “the Martian” home, while his crewmates concurrently plot a daring, if not impossible rescue mission. As these stories of incredible bravery unfold, the world comes together to root for Watney’s safe return. Based on a best-selling novel, and helmed by master director Ridley Scott, The Martian features a star studded cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover.

In theaters November 2015

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