Clifford and I watched The Martian Saturday night. We hadn’t had a date night in forever because of, well, life. So it was great, but for the record, I don’t think he’ll be watching a sci-fi flick with me again anytime soon.
Yes, I am an artist, but, way back when, science was one of my favorite subjects. It was actually one of my best subjects, too. Then things like chemistry and physics happened (too much math) and let’s just say any interest I had was quickly replaced with tennis, art and a social life. I even tried making a go of it again in college with an astronomy course taught by a former NASA employee. I thought I’d be learning about stars and space not doing more math and watching videos by Carl Sagan. Seriously, it ruins everything (math, not Carl Sagan). So my penchant for needing to understand every plot point coupled with my ridiculous indifference towards science speak means I have questions when watching theoretical futuristic films.
Give me Apollo 13, I’m with you. The Right Stuff? I can follow along. Hell, even Armageddon was easily understood – big rock v big drill with Aerosmith serenading softly in the distance. These were things that happened or were produced for sheer entertainment purposes that I get. It’s spelled out very clearly. But give me scientific theories being explored through cinematic delineation, well then I have questions that need answers, my friends.
Fast forward to The Martian. I don’t think it helped that we only watched Interstellar a few months ago and Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain were in that as well. So I was struggling in the beginning to wrap my brain around the difference between the two. I don’t know if it’s Hollywood’s portrayals of galactic space missions gone awry or if it’s my attention span these days but a lot of the Gravity/The Martian/ Interstellar type films sort of seem the same at first glance. Till they start throwing theories my way. The Martian intrigued me. The concept of a scientist problem solving for survival – going back to basics and as said in the movie, making science his bitch, was fascinating. It ALMOST made me regret passing notes during chem class in lieu of listening to Mrs. Reagan connect Periodic Table dots for the masses. Almost.
So it began …
Me: How long does it take to send and receive messages between here and Mars?
Me: Don’t astronauts have to make weight?
Me: How did their shit get sealed in those foil bags?
Me: Why do they seal their shit in foil bags?
Me: How does just adding fertilizer to sand make soil?
Me: Wait – how does he know that exactly 2 parts Hydrogen will connect with 1 part Oxygen when he lights the fire? Like what if a third part wants to connect?
Me: How long will the Hydrogen burn?
Me: How does a botanist know all of this engineering tech stuff?
Me: What kind of duct tape is that? We need that duct tape.
Me: So we just left the Pathfinder up there?
Me: Could he really just subsist off of potatoes for that long?
Me: Could he grow anything at all other than potatoes?
Me: Why do they always float down the hall backwards?
Me: Does it really take two years to get to Mars?
Me: So he can only go four hours and then he has to do a solar reboot. Why can’t he finagle it so he can power the thing all day? The sun is like right there.
Me: How does he puncture a hole in his suit and not essentially implode?
Me: How do they not get vertigo?
Me: How do they avoid black holes? I saw that movie. That movie is scary.
Me: Would the Chinese really help us?
Me: Is that a body double? There is no way that’s Matt Damon. That’s a body double, right?
Ok, so maybe the last two don’t seem scientific, but the last one was definitely, you know, for science. These are things a girl’s got to know when it comes to body doubles and backsides. *cough*kevincostnerprinceofthieves*cough* I’m about authenticity.
There were many other questions throughout the movie. Needless to say Clifford thinks I should now keep google on hand for all future viewings of any sci-fi related films. He was a tad … put out.
Though it reminded me how little the effect math, chemistry and Cosmos have had on my day to day understanding of life and the universe in general through the years, I totally recommend the movie. It was well done and really interesting. If this was an actual review, I’d give it two snaps up in a circle and encourage you to go.