I think most of you have noticed my excitement about The Martian. I finally got the chance to see it last night and I have to say that I was quite pleased. There were a few changes from the book, but I can understand why those had to be made.
Originally I thought Matt Damon was a poor choice to play Mark Watney, but after seeing the final product, he was pretty damn good as the smartass astronaut. He definitely pulled off some of those funny, scary, emotional scenes that were in the book. My favorite is probably the constant jokes about Lewis’ terrible taste in music.
Also, Mars looked amazing. Actually all of the set stuff looked exactly like how Andy Weir described it in his book. For example, the Rover was pretty much what I pictured and Weir did such a great job explaining things that when Watney is making modifications to the Rover, it ended up looking like what I pictured. That is pretty cool, since there are so many times where what I imagine in my head comes nowhere close to what ends up on screen.
I do have one complaint though. There was not enough of the science. In the book, Mark constantly explains to us what he is doing and what the science is behind it. Also, he explains a few times that not only is he a botanist, but he is also an engineer. So that is what makes him perfect for this situation. I missed some of those problems he faced in the book such as small parts on the water thing breaking and him having to use his knowledge to fix it. Or the whole hooking up power tools to the battery (I am going off memory here) and that causing a few problems.
Also, they skipped the whole drive to the MAV out. That was probably one of the hardest parts of the book. At one point it really did seem like he would not make it in time, but the movie just made it a straight jaunt. I guess they needed to cut stuff so they could show more of the crew or back at NASA.
I did enjoy the ending though, with (I guess this is a spoiler) Mark teaching a new crop of astronauts. That was a cool touch, plus the movie really did a great job of showing how the entire world could unite because of one man. Even if the movie cut out most of the Chinese space agency’s huge debate about helping or how the Chinese scientists had to sacrifice their own space project to save Mark.
If you saw the movie (I am looking at you Greg), let me know your thoughts.