The Earn This Podcast, Episode 20: Reviewing The Martian

martian

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Shortly after The Martian debuted, I sat down with my buddy Matt to talk about the film: what works and what is underwhelming. Given its recent Oscar nominations, including for Best Picture (!) — here’s our discussion.

Notes/corrections:

  • “In space, no one can hear you scream” is the tagline for Alien, not 2001.
  • The actor’s name we couldn’t think of is Chiwetel Ejiofor, who plays Kapoor.
  • Apologies for the minor audio issues — in my attempt to correct a microphone hiss, I clipped our voices a bit.

 

etcast

Dan S.

Dan is the editor of Earn This. He co-founded the site in 2009.

Matt C.

Matt C.

Matt is a movie buff and comedian from New York.

3 thoughts on “The Earn This Podcast, Episode 20: Reviewing The Martian

  1. More movie podcasts pls. Now, a Grinch’s take that you should probably ignore:

    Interesting point about Ridley Scott movies often having little interpersonal conflict. I do think there should have been more antagonistic ‘villains’ on Earth who didn’t support a rescue mission (and I think there would be if something like this happened in real life, given the cost). To me, that would have kept the Earth scenes from feeling so flat (the Mars scenes were much better), and made for a more complex, philosophical movie. We’ve all seen Apollo 13, Gravity, and other get-home-from-space stories before, so without well-defined characters or astonishing visuals (like in Gravity, which was also a quick 90 minutes, smartly), you wind up with a second half that really drags because of minimal dramatic tension. In my opinion.

    It seemed to be bizarrely directed too. Scott doesn’t seem interested in setting the mood of life on Mars with any sustained shots, which was a bummer to me. He’s far more interested in the science than the people, but it still doesn’t feel as cinematic as it should. And the part where Damon accidentally causes an explosion while trying to make water looked amateurish to me – it was obviously not a person standing there when it blows up and knocks ‘him’ backwards. It’s noticeably fake, which is pretty rare in movies nowadays.

    And that’s without getting into the last scene. (Why oh why wasn’t “Day 1” the last shot of the movie? So we can have Damon explicitly spell out the themes again for no real purpose? Did Christopher Nolan ghostwrite that part?)

    • I thought for sure “Day 1” was going to be the last shot too.
      Valid criticisms overall. It was still one of my favorite movies of the year…which says something about this year’s slate of movies. My favorite part was when he appropriated the reactor for heat and “Hot Stuff” played.

      • Oh, and as for “obviously CG person gets knocked backwards”, I saw it in two other movies this year: “Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day” and “Paul Blart Mall Cop 2.”

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