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Science Fiction Done Right

A 1-post collection

The Martian: One Sci-Fi Nut's Review

Okay, before we begin, I will stick to only referencing the stuff seen in the trailer, which is pretty spoiler-iffic anyway.

There's one little thing that annoys me about this movie, but it's a spoiler. So I have to keep it to myself until such time as loads of people have seen it. UGH.

I'm already bursting at the seams with it, darnit.

You know what? If you want spoilers, go to rot13.com and decrypt this:

Ur pbhyq unir fgnegrq uvf snez bire jvgu gur cbgngbrf ur unq va fgbentr. Whfg phg gur rlrf bhg naq er-uneirfg gur cbbc.

We good? Good.

This is science fiction so accurate that NASA was involved with it. They designed the firkin space ships. They did the math. They, to use the phraseology of Mark Whatley, scienced the shit out of it.

And I love it.

I love science fiction that actually pays attention to the science. I know, there's a certain amount of bullshittium in most beloved sci-fi, but the best science fiction keeps it to a minimum.

Star Trek has Warp Speed and Dilithium crystals. Doctor Who has the TARDIS and the sonic screwdriver [lately - sonic sunnies. WTF, Moffatt?]. Most Sci-fi set in space has some variety of artificial gravity because it's cheaper to film that way.

[Trivia note: Apollo 13 was filmed almost exclusively on the Vomit Comet to get accurate weightlessness.]

Lots and lots of Sci-Fi these days involves a bad case of CG-Itis. Worst example of CG-Itis combined with Bullshittium Overload? Jupiter Ascending.

The Martian is an example of Sci-Fi done right. You don't notice the CGI because they deliberately made it as seamless as possible. There's hardly any bullshittium because they went with NASA-grade science.

You could plausibly argue that some of the tech he salvages would be defunct, but that's suspension of disbelief levels. Background noise.

On to some props: props for showing a lot more colour around than you see in your average movie, and a heck-ton more than you'd see in Science Fiction generally [seriously - why is the future always so firkin WHITE in most of these. You'd expect the future to me mixed-race at least]. Also props for passing the Bechdel Test so casually that audiences would miss it.

What I didn't expect was for the film to be funny. There's some genuinely hilarious moments, mostly featuring human nature. And disco music. I know why they picked it. I know exactly why. It's so the film wouldn't become dated by its audio content.

And I can tell you - this movie could be used as a training film for future Mars colonists. It's that damned good.

10/10. Would recommend.