When you think of movies about space travel, you probably would think of Ron Howard’s Apollo 13, starring Tom Hanks. I guarantee that will change with the release of Ridley Scott’s The Martian, starring Matt Damon.
In this high-intensity movie, Mark Watney, played by Matt Damon, is part of the ARES missions to Mars and is left behind on the planet during a massive sand storm under the assumption that he is dead.
He somehow manages to stay alive, but cannot contact NASA, so the rest of the world thinks he is dead.
Watney immediately starts growing food and making water on a planet that nothing grows on.
None of this matters if he can’t get in touch with NASA, though. And while he finally does, he has to wait about a year and a half, so the question arises: is the wait even worth it?
While The Martian is a very intense movie dealing with heavy topics, there were many comedic moments, even in the face of possible tragedy.
The movie had me laughing and crying, but ultimately had me on the edge of my seat begging for more.
The Martian displayed many similar features to Apollo 13.
For one, both films are about astronauts stuck in space with minimal connection with NASA. While many elements of The Martian seem relatively far-fetched, that’s the way it was for Apollo 13, and that was a true story.
I watched the film with Alverno College Professor Paul Smith who was the teaching assistant at MIT this summer in an online course about space travel, where he worked with NASA astronaut Jeffrey Hoffman.
Smith answered the question on how realistic the movie was.
“We have rockets that can get us to Mars, and we have ways to land on Mars, but keeping people alive for that length of time, and not just the time, but through the amount of radiation, is a big deal,” Smith said.
I highly recommend this film to anyone who is a space enthusiast or who just likes movies.
From the intense moments to the comedic ones, The Martian is bound to make anyone laugh, cry and yearn for more.
by Clayton Holbrook