The Martian – February’s Book and Movie Review

The martian poster

Quick Book/Movie Summary:

Novel – 2011 – by Andy Weir  (Summary From Amazon): Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Movie – 2015- Directed by Ridley Scott – Screenplay by Drew Goddard (Summary from IMDB):. During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

Book/Movie Club Set Up:

Our group (women ages 23-47) pick a book that has been made into a movie. We read theThe Martian group pic book and then get together for thematic food, to discuss the book, and then to watch the movie.

On the menu:

Each of us are to bring either a drink, dessert and/or appetizer and it is fun to use the story for inspiration. This month, we changed it up a bit by doing a sleepover theme – we wore our jammies and had pizza & beer. Below is the spread.

Martian foodAppetizers: Chips & dip, Popcorn, Pizza

Drinks: Bud light, Coke, Corona

Dessert: Blueberry French Toast Bake, S’mores Dip, Twinkies, Candy-candy-candy, Astronaut freeze dried ice cream sandwich

Thoughts about the Book:

The group’s opinions about the book went from “I would not have read past the 6th chapter if it wasn’t for the book club,” to “I liked it okay,” to “Five stars!”

I was in the first category, which thought the book was too technical and could have used more relationships of any sort.

The women who really enjoyed the book thought it was full of tension and suspense and were actually intrigued by the trouble-shooting process and Watney’s survivial skills.

We all agreed Weir has a great sense of humor and thought his character Mark Watney was dynamic. (I’ll be the first in line if this author ever decides to write a ROMCOM.)

Thoughts about the Movie:

I actually liked it better than the book, which is super rare. But overall, everyone, even the people who loved the book, thought the movie was average. It stayed pretty true to the book, which is nice, but left out a few things that we really thought should have been left in there.

I didn’t actually finish the book – I just couldn’t pick it up again – and as I watched the ending of the movie I was like, “I didn’t read the best part of the book!” Although, apparently it wasn’t exactly the same as the book’s ending.

The scenery was really cool, looked like Mars to me.

I think Matt Damon was a perfect pick for this role. You have to be a pretty darn good actor to play most of the scenes by yourself and still be entertaining.

 Interesting Discoveries:

The Martian was 2016 Winner of The Golden Globes Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, & Matt Damon won for Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy This is just weird … Yes, it had funny parts, but don’t read/watch expecting a comedy.

 Astronaut ice cream sandwiches are pretty good.

The Girly Discussions:

Matt Damon: Hot or Not? (By the end of the movie, everyone agreed he didn’t look hot anymore – “Shave that beard!”) That conversation lead to, “Well, if you don’t think he’s cute, who do you think is cute?” which lead to: “Which Hemsworth brother is hotter?” (BTW – I picked Chris, of course.)

We liked that the commander was a woman.

We liked how they added scenes to the end of the movie that wasn’t in the book, wrapping everything up.

The Group’s Average Ratings:

Book: 4 bottles of beer out of 5

Movie: 3 bottles of beer out of 5

The Bottom Line:

This one is tough. It just depends on the genre of books you like to read. If you like Sci-Fi, step by step survival guides, and/or you’re a space nerd, read the book. And I think the movie is worth watching because of Matt Damon’s performance, the scenery, and the humor.

Next Month’s Book and Movie:

How to be Single by Liz Tuccillo

Love and Laughter,

Dorlana

Here are some of our past movie/book reviews

East of Eden

Drug Store Cowboy

Z for Zachariah

True Story

Atonement

Psycho

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