Author Topic: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review  (Read 44555 times)

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Offline EEVblog

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eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« on: October 01, 2015, 06:11:52 pm »
Dave reviews the movie The Martian, based on the Andy Weir novel of the same name.
SPOILER ALERT: May contain spoilers of some form.

 

Offline bookaboo

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2015, 06:32:58 pm »
As I don't want spoilers I assume from the still frame above that it's worth going to see?
 

Offline Psi

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2015, 06:34:23 pm »
I'm definitely going to see this at the movies as opposed to downloading, i may even shell out for the ridiculously overpriced popcorn and frozen coke.

From everything i've been told, this movie is going to actually be good at a technical level :)
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2015, 06:49:19 pm »
From everything i've been told, this movie is going to actually be good at a technical level :)

Not as much technical stuff as I was expecting actually.
 

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2015, 07:12:43 pm »
I didn't expect it to be as technical as the book. It targets more people.

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Offline Karel

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2015, 07:19:41 pm »
I have read the book last summer on the beach. I liked it very much (the book and the beach).
Tonight I'm going to watch it in the bioscope  :)
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Offline AndreasF

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2015, 10:14:34 pm »
 :-+

Watched it last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not too surprised that they made it less technical than the book, though I do wonder if the significance of certain technical details came across for a non-technical audience.

There were a couple of scenes that I didn't like that much (e.g. right at the beginning after he returned to the HAB), but all in all it's a well-made film. I agree about the ending.

I think I'll read the book again over the next few weeks and watch it again (maybe in 3D this time).
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2015, 10:54:02 pm »
I agree about the ending.

I forgot about one really silly bit near the end, must have erased that from my memory before leaving the theatre. They jumped the shark with the ironman thing.
 

Online firewalker

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2015, 11:13:52 pm »
I am going to the theater now.  :D :D :D

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Offline drws

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2015, 03:26:37 am »
Just finished the book in the last few minutes. Excellent read (thanks Dave and Firewalker for the recommendation).

Looks like it's rated 12A in the UK, so I guess some of the language has been toned down for the movie?
Would like to take my 8 year old if it's safe (not worried about the odd bit of foul language)
 

Online firewalker

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2015, 04:28:18 am »
Just came back. Really good movie.  I sure enjoyed it! They shouldn't have gone with the Ironman thing though.

I hope that they will release an extended version with couple hours more of geeky stuff!!!

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Offline nixxon

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2015, 04:52:18 am »
It must have made a big impression, as Dave went directly from the movie theatre to his lab to make this eevBLAB   ;D

Love your enthusiasm, Dave  :-+ Keep it coming!

I will even try to convince my wife to join me on this one.
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2015, 07:16:23 am »
I've no doubt the amount of science and engineering that actually made it into the movie was partially a result of test audiences.  If you look over at the critic reviews at Rottentomatoes.com you'll find a pleasantly large number of them who appreciated what they had, but some found it utterly (in one critic's words) impenetrable.  Some people who only went through the arts have zero background in science.  It's always going to be a tough thing to bring something like this to a broad audience.

Reminds me of Patton Oswalt's "Physics for Poets" bit.  No video but very NSFW languge:

 

Nonetheless, I hope the film inspires a lot of kids to get into science and engineering, even if they want to be artists. 
 

Offline Chris C

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2015, 07:40:26 am »
Loved the book.  I always expect less from a movie by default, but it sounds like it's meeting or exceeding those expectations, so that's awesome.

Last book I read and subsequently saw the movie for was "John Dies At The End".  That conversion should have never been done without an essentially unlimited budget, mandatory LSD use, and possibly some help from Alejandro Jodorowsky.
 

Offline f5r5e5d

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2015, 08:30:03 am »
tossed the book down after a few dozen pages, revised downward my opinion of people giving it glowing recs on "technical content"

of course I have a Biology degree, ~1/4 of my college course hours were wet labs - then I decided Science had too long a feedback/reward path and took Mech E courses for linear systems and controls - followed up with a career as practicing EE
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 08:40:29 am by f5r5e5d »
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2015, 11:20:56 am »
I agree about the ending.
I forgot about one really silly bit near the end, must have erased that from my memory before leaving the theatre. They jumped the shark with the ironman thing.
The movie tries to keep technically realistic most of the time, with the main plots holes things essential to move the plot along (e.g. things happening on Mars apparently visible on CNN instantly, which they do point out can't happen). However, I found it interesting that the two key plot holes start and end the drama. The storm that sets things off at the beginning is implausibly strong for a thin atmosphere (no spoiler there - its the very beginning), and there's a jet of gas used at the end in a way that is implausibly well controlled (not much of a spoiler there. I avoided saying very much). It seemed like lazy storytelling, when the rest was done fairly well.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2015, 11:27:48 am »
Yeah, that was pretty much the conclusion I came to as well. Thanks for the spoiler alert, but why even have them in a movie review? You're potentially going to encourage people to go see the movie. Spoilers would not be helpful.

I don't think there are any real spoilers in my review. But some people get, you know, all up tight about such things so it's a generic disclaimer for those dumb enough to watch a review and then complain it ruined there experience  ::)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2015, 11:31:49 am »
The movie tries to keep technically realistic most of the time, with the main plots holes things essential to move the plot along (e.g. things happening on Mars apparently visible on CNN instantly, which they do point out can't happen). However, I found it interesting that the two key plot holes start and end the drama. The storm that sets things off at the beginning is implausibly strong for a thin atmosphere (no spoiler there - its the very beginning)

But that's the whole (admittedly false by Weir) premise of the book. It's not the movie making this up.

Quote
, and there's a jet of gas used at the end in a way that is implausibly well controlled (not much of a spoiler there. I avoided saying very much). It seemed like lazy storytelling, when the rest was done fairly well.

Yes, I rolled my eyes when they decided to add this bit. I though it was unnecessary, as obviously did Weir in his bit. There was already enough suspense and things that went wrong in the whole sequence, they didn't have to add another silly element.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2015, 11:42:28 am »
The movie tries to keep technically realistic most of the time, with the main plots holes things essential to move the plot along (e.g. things happening on Mars apparently visible on CNN instantly, which they do point out can't happen). However, I found it interesting that the two key plot holes start and end the drama. The storm that sets things off at the beginning is implausibly strong for a thin atmosphere (no spoiler there - its the very beginning)

But that's the whole (admittedly false by Weir) premise of the book. It's not the movie making this up.
As the story unfolds we find that although the crew were only to be on Mars for 30 Mars days, the ascent rocket had been there several years waiting for them. So, they sent a robot ship to Mars that would carefully land itself on a suitable flat surface close to where they wanted the manned mission to land, settle itself down to an idle state, and keep itself in flight ready condition for several years. However, they sent one that could be blown over in a storm? I could expand on how big a plot hole that is, but it involves definite spoilers.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2015, 11:46:59 am »
As the story unfolds we find that although the crew were only to be on Mars for 30 Mars days, the ascent rocket had been there several years waiting for them.

Yes, that's actually part of the plan for several real viable Mars missions, like Mars Direct for example.
But yes, it's a plot hole with the whole wind thing. Weir knew that but couldn't figure out a better way to do it.
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2015, 11:59:26 am »
As the story unfolds we find that although the crew were only to be on Mars for 30 Mars days, the ascent rocket had been there several years waiting for them.

Yes, that's actually part of the plan for several real viable Mars missions, like Mars Direct for example.
But yes, it's a plot hole with the whole wind thing. Weir knew that but couldn't figure out a better way to do it.

He mentioned recently that had he known that Martian storms can generate lightning (which a NASA guy told him long after the book came out), that he totally would have went with that.  All he was concerned with was Nature getting the first punch. 
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2015, 12:28:21 pm »
As the story unfolds we find that although the crew were only to be on Mars for 30 Mars days, the ascent rocket had been there several years waiting for them.

Yes, that's actually part of the plan for several real viable Mars missions, like Mars Direct for example.
But yes, it's a plot hole with the whole wind thing. Weir knew that but couldn't figure out a better way to do it.
He mentioned recently that had he known that Martian storms can generate lightning (which a NASA guy told him long after the book came out), that he totally would have went with that.  All he was concerned with was Nature getting the first punch.
A ship built to sit in an idle state, maintaining itself in flight ready condition, for several years would need to be built to withstand the severest of lightning strikes, whether its on the Earth or on Mars. Haven't these people ever heard of EMI/ESD/EMC testing?  :)
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 12:48:46 pm by coppice »
 

Offline GK

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2015, 01:36:20 pm »
Have seen the trailer on TV in an advert break. Looks like standard Hollywood fare - and the films hero even used the word science as a verb!  :palm:   

Offline LukeW

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2015, 06:33:53 pm »
Just finished the book in the last few minutes. Excellent read (thanks Dave and Firewalker for the recommendation).

Looks like it's rated 12A in the UK, so I guess some of the language has been toned down for the movie?
Would like to take my 8 year old if it's safe (not worried about the odd bit of foul language)

Yeah, almost all the bad language in the book is taken out.

We can put a man on Mars, but he's not allowed to swear on the comms back to NASA :)

It generally remains true to the book, except for generally being shorter and having some scenes stripped down or glossed over, which is what you'd expect with just about any book-to-film adaptation, especially a geeky one.

Love the way he's just cavalier about handling hydrazine inside the hab without any protective clothing - that stuff will get you seven different kinds of dead well before you've extracted enough hydrogen to start a fire/explosion from the hydrogen.

Does this forum software have "spoiler tags"?

It's pretty good :)
 

Offline AndreasF

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2015, 07:47:55 pm »
Just finished the book in the last few minutes. Excellent read (thanks Dave and Firewalker for the recommendation).

Looks like it's rated 12A in the UK, so I guess some of the language has been toned down for the movie?
Would like to take my 8 year old if it's safe (not worried about the odd bit of foul language)

Yeah, almost all the bad language in the book is taken out.
...

I liked how they shot one particular outburst from the outside of the rover so you couldn't hear what he was saying, but still clearly see it.   ;D
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Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #25 on: October 03, 2015, 03:41:36 am »
Just saw it.  Loved it!  Will probably see that a few more times.   :)

Sorry for the following vagueness, but I'm trying to keep this spoiler-free.

Re: the "Iron Man" bit.  I agree it was probably a mistake.  I can also see exactly why the screenwriter (Drew Goddard) put it in, because in the book, the protagonist is completely passive in a critical moment, and that would have grated hard against his writing instincts.  (writer hat on) I'd suggest keeping the joke about him doing it, but having Lewis do what she suggested.  You could frame the subtext right there as "there's a point when you've done all you can and you need help." This idea was threaded through the film already, so it wouldn't be wandering off the reservation to add one more instance for punctuation.  Plus teamwork!

On the other hand, I loved the actual ending, which also wasn't in the book.  Weir's ending was uber-disciplined, but lacked the closure the audience would want.  Goddard, I believe to his credit, gave it to them.
 

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #26 on: October 03, 2015, 04:10:26 am »
Watched just now, great movie. Only thing made me "meh" is a part about bomb, closing can of Liquid oxygen with tight cap. That bottle would have explode in few minutes just from pressure buildup and gas expansion. I know as working with liquid nitrogen commonly, and was making "bombs" with cocacola bottles filled with LN2 and cap on :)
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Offline Psi

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2015, 03:03:30 pm »
The only line in the movie i felt shouldn't have been there was that scene in Chinese mission control when Mitch Henderson insults the big China boss guy.

He says something like "no disrespect, but we haven't done it that way since Apollo era" in the middle of them trying to help.
It was pointless, why insult them at all.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 03:09:05 pm by Psi »
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2015, 03:21:01 pm »
I liked how they shot one particular outburst from the outside of the rover so you couldn't hear what he was saying, but still clearly see it.   ;D

Yes, clever!
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2015, 03:23:54 pm »
On the other hand, I loved the actual ending, which also wasn't in the book.  Weir's ending was uber-disciplined, but lacked the closure the audience would want.  Goddard, I believe to his credit, gave it to them.

Yes, I would have felt cheated if they ended it like the book.
 

Offline TSL

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #30 on: October 04, 2015, 03:39:04 pm »
I've just come back from seeing it and its and excellence movie :-+

If they're trying to raise science awareness in the general public, this is a good way to go about it :)

Yes, there is some "Hollywood physics" but not so much that it ruins the film.

I'm hoping a directors cut comes out on BlueRay with more in it  :popcorn:
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Offline Psi

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #31 on: October 04, 2015, 03:59:39 pm »
I'm hoping a directors cut comes out on BlueRay with more in it  :popcorn:

+1 for ~4hour long LOTR style directors cut :)
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Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #32 on: October 04, 2015, 06:47:04 pm »
I'm hoping a directors cut comes out on BlueRay with more in it  :popcorn:
+1 for ~4hour long LOTR style directors cut :)

Yup, give the nerds what they want!
 

Offline warp_foo

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #33 on: October 04, 2015, 11:28:11 pm »
As the story unfolds we find that although the crew were only to be on Mars for 30 Mars days, the ascent rocket had been there several years waiting for them.

Yes, that's actually part of the plan for several real viable Mars missions, like Mars Direct for example.
But yes, it's a plot hole with the whole wind thing. Weir knew that but couldn't figure out a better way to do it.

J. Michael Straczynski puts it best: The plot needed it. I'm OK with it, as long as the story is good.

And let's be honest here, Hollywood making good movies on new stories is a rare beast these days.
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Offline adamf

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2015, 09:07:21 am »
Yes, there is some "Hollywood physics" but not so much that it ruins the film.

Noticed that too, but in any case, nowhere near as much as other recent good movies like Interstellar.

Anyway, loved the movie, and it was really cool to see Murph rescue Dr. Mann.  ;D
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 12:32:37 pm by adamf »
 

Offline drws

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2015, 03:43:17 am »
Finally saw it today. Very good movie in all I thought.
Shame a few bits were left out, but understandable for time.
It felt like the last third of the book happened in the last fifth of the movie.
There's more I could say but not without a spoiler warning...

Will need to watch it again when it's out on bluray.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #36 on: October 08, 2015, 03:43:16 pm »
I just saw the movie. It definitely should be seen on the big screen. I was a bit hesitant about Matt Damon (whom I liked in other movies) but he does the role very well.
Why were you hesitant? He was nominated for an Oscar for playing a fairly similar character.
 

Offline drws

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2015, 04:06:49 am »
Anyone seen the Internet chatter showing people who think the movie is based on a true story?
Ok, the sampled people are probably a little simple but I think it says a lot about the production of the movie (and narrative of the book) that it seems believable enough to some to be seen as a true event. (Or is a damning insight into the stupidity of humanity)

I was also hesitant about Damon in the starring role, nothing against him but he wasn't the Watney I'd pictured when reading the book either. Maybe too sticky or not nerdy enough, not sure. However I think it worked.
I liked Pena as Martinez, that's who I thought of when I read the book. Mainly because of his role on The Shield. (Ex-military, cheeky chap etc.)

 

Offline phamuc

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #38 on: October 09, 2015, 06:41:06 am »
Here is the real back ground info of the Martian story. Direct from the "horse's mouth". He knew the sand storm was BS. Enjoy!
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 04:13:15 am by phamuc »
 

Offline apis

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2015, 09:29:42 am »
I watched it tonight, I think it was good. Now I will have to read the book.  ^-^

As others have said, there were some "hollywood physics" but it was mostly visual things so I assume it wasn't exactly like that in the book (except the storm maybe). (And I can understand the "need" to make things more visually interesting/dramatic.)

Love the way he's just cavalier about handling hydrazine inside the hab without any protective clothing - that stuff will get you seven different kinds of dead well before you've extracted enough hydrogen to start a fire/explosion from the hydrogen.
I winced a bit at the hydrazine setup, isn't that stuff extremely toxic? I think I would have taken more precautions, but I suppose it could be made to work and Watney didn't have much to loose.
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2015, 06:27:21 pm »
Here's a deleted scene from the movie!
Now I really hope there's a stretched version for the Blu-ray.

 

Offline TSL

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #41 on: October 10, 2015, 12:07:07 am »
Here's a deleted scene from the movie!


Wow! - excellent - makes me want more  :-+
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Offline Noise Floor

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #42 on: October 11, 2015, 09:05:36 am »
I liked the book and movie.  Refreshing to have content not be completely dumbed down for theatrical release.  Thought Matt Damon and Ridley Scott (and countless others) did the source material justice, which is about as good of compliment I can give when book is made into a movie.
 

Offline aargee

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2015, 10:29:33 pm »
OK, saw the movie. Impressed.

I was under strict instructions from the better half not to open my mouth until the credits finished.  :popcorn:

As Margaret P would say, "What do you think David?"
David S: "Most movies require you to suspend your disbelief to come along for the ride, I'm glad to say that 'The Martian' did not require a great suspension of disbelief."
(Most Aussies should get this reference).

Go see it.
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Offline kfitch42

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #44 on: October 14, 2015, 01:29:38 am »
I have to agree with Dave, TWO THUMBS WAY UP!

I am guessing the line that Dave disliked was the one about Gods.

From a technical/science perspective, the move was WAY better than most of what comes out of Hollywood. But, that level of performance makes the few gaffs I noticed stand out more in relief.

NOTE: Spoiler-ish stuff below.

1) The suit heads up display showed pressure in PSI. NASA don't use no stinkin' Imperial units! Although I can kind of understand this was to help the "general" audience grok "pressure" at a glance, (Kilo)Pascals probably aren't as recognizable as PSI,but I could live with atmospheres or Bar, which would probably be recognizable.

2) The hex dump we see when the text file is opened up is definitely not ASCII. I immediately noticed numbers below 0x20 (there was a 1A or 1E or something like that) and above 0x7F (pretty sure that was a bunch of AA or similar). I actually wondered for a second if they were changing this bit from what was in the book.

3) VERY SPOILER: The "Iron Man" scene felt weird. He cuts one glove, and is suddenly out of control. But later seems to be steering himself with both hands... When/how did he cut the other one while steering himself with a cut glove?

EDIT: Almost forgot, the hydrazine. He takes way more precautions with it in the book. I don't think it was really necessary to dumb that one down.
« Last Edit: October 14, 2015, 01:35:19 am by kfitch42 »
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #45 on: October 14, 2015, 01:52:43 am »
Speaking of pressure, they could reduce pressure considerably to save on vehicle, suit and habitat structure.

Space suits usually use around 0.3 atm.  Although the ISS uses SLP, so they probably want to keep things safer in the larger structures (dilution with N2 or Ar provides some cooling that keeps fire hazard lower than reduced pressure O2 -- let alone full pressure O2).

Speaking of structures, the bag-over-burst-hatch depiction only inflated to about, what, a foot of water column, if that?  (Of course, it would've been easiest on set to just get a big powerful fan and point that at the patch.)  That ~1.5m hatch would've had to actually bear about 5.4 tonnes of force*, minimum, and more likely 10-15.  (Any guesses how much duct tape would be required? :) )

(*That is, tonne-force, i.e. 1000 kgf, as in, the accepted figure on Earth.  Dang, kgf etc. would all be different units, following their colloquial definitions, on Mars, or the Moon.)

Curious how the book handled it; I expect it was simplified for the movie.

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Offline olewales

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #46 on: October 15, 2015, 11:21:48 pm »
I just watched it yesterday and I must say that although I was having very good time for 2+ hours in the cinema I feel that praising this movie for being "scientific" or "plausible" is a bit too much. Maybe Dave's review set my expectations a bit too high but I really couldn't tell which one of the scenes in the ending sequence Dave found most ridiculous (and I would include even more as candidates if I didn't know that I was to expect it at the end). I guess, for me the "density" of "holywood moments" in the movie was a bit too high. I think I would like reading the book more.

Still, I would recommend this movie to almost everyone. But don't despair if you didn't get to watch it on the big screen. Visuals, although great, are not the main reason to see it.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #47 on: October 16, 2015, 12:51:30 am »
I just watched it yesterday and I must say that although I was having very good time for 2+ hours in the cinema I feel that praising this movie for being "scientific" or "plausible" is a bit too much.

Apart from the dust storm, the rest is pretty plausible, and that's why the book has gained the popularity it has. The other major point of the movie is that is showcases science, and that's essentially the main point, most hollywood movies don't attempt that. Still problems of course, but an order of magnitude more plausible than most hollywood space fluff.
 

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #48 on: October 16, 2015, 01:04:02 am »
I am guessing the line that Dave disliked was the one about Gods.

Bingo! First one to guess it.
Yes, I groaned and shook my head at that line. The part with the cross is in the book, but I felt like they changed a line for the movie just to appease the religious. (I have to watch it again to be sure I heard it correctly)
In a movie that showcased science, I found it disappointing and a cop-out.
And from my perspective, a missed opportunity to ram home the point of the silliness of religion and the triumph of science over it, which I think was Weir's subtle intention in the book with that part (he's agnostic/defacto atheist).
 

Offline olewales

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #49 on: October 16, 2015, 01:08:54 am »
Apart from the dust storm, the rest is pretty plausible, and that's why the book has gained the popularity it has.
Well, maybe I am just a pessimist then. Apart from science related stuff I even doubt NASA (or the US government) would't try hard to cover the whole thing up from general public.
Still problems of course, but an order of magnitude more plausible than most hollywood space fluff.
Yeah, but that's probably why I wasn't impressed as much as many other people. I was already expecting much more from it than from any other hollywood movie. I had somewhat similiar "problem" with Interstellar. Too much hype.
 

Offline mikerj

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #50 on: October 18, 2015, 07:50:35 am »
NOTE: Spoiler-ish stuff below.

1) The suit heads up display showed pressure in PSI. NASA don't use no stinkin' Imperial units!

Someone should have told the Mars Climate Orbiter team...
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #51 on: October 18, 2015, 09:44:42 pm »
I just watched it yesterday and I must say that although I was having very good time for 2+ hours in the cinema I feel that praising this movie for being "scientific" or "plausible" is a bit too much.

Apart from the dust storm, the rest is pretty plausible

The rest was plausible? Not much of it was plausible if you look closely. For example, why would they have a cart being wheeled away with solid heavy wheels on it? A high school hobbyist could design a a better vehicle. And the magical gravity on board the spaceship that even affected hair... complete rubbish. But the biggest disappointment was the film was boring, having little depth beyond that of a corn syrup sugar hit from the an American breakfast serial. It will be a movie soon forgotten, like most modern Hollywood films. The only thing missing was a cop car CB talk in the distant background with a "breaker breaker one nine" as he returned to earth. Almost as nauseating at the sugar hit film Gravity.

The 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey left this crap film for dead, but then again so does Bad Boy Bubby.  :-DD
 

Offline Noise Floor

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #52 on: October 19, 2015, 12:45:11 am »
I just watched it yesterday and I must say that although I was having very good time for 2+ hours in the cinema I feel that praising this movie for being "scientific" or "plausible" is a bit too much.

Apart from the dust storm, the rest is pretty plausible

The rest was plausible? Not much of it was plausible if you look closely. For example, why would they have a cart being wheeled away with solid heavy wheels on it? A high school hobbyist could design a a better vehicle. And the magical gravity on board the spaceship that even affected hair... complete rubbish. But the biggest disappointment was the film was boring, having little depth beyond that of a corn syrup sugar hit from the an American breakfast serial. It will be a movie soon forgotten, like most modern Hollywood films. The only thing missing was a cop car CB talk in the distant background with a "breaker breaker one nine" as he returned to earth. Almost as nauseating at the sugar hit film Gravity.

The 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey left this crap film for dead, but then again so does Bad Boy Bubby.  :-DD

We will never see a "scientific" movie blockbuster that will meet your ideals.  It appears many of us are so starved for something we embrace what we get.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #53 on: October 19, 2015, 04:12:40 pm »
Could someone direct me to the science in the movie?  I just got out of the 3D movie due to a demand by the spousal unit.  It was funny mostly, and a good movie.  But everybody is gaga over the "science."  What science? 

- How in the *&^! did live potatoes get sent to Mars?  Mars is effectively a quarantine zone.  There's no way those would be sent there without sterilizing them.  One of the main precepts guiding Mars exploration is that things that come from Earth do *NOT* end up growing on Mars. 

- How does one make a replacement hatch out of plastic sheeting?  The force on that 7' diameter door at 12 psi is over 66,000 lbf.  I'm sorry, but plastic sheeting and duct tape don't cut it.  There's a reason hatches in space ships look like bank vault doors. 

- How does one jump into a spacesuit at 4 psi from a 12 psi N2/O2 environment without pre-breathing O2 and not get the bends? 

- How does one survive on Mars with a space suit that does not inflate?

- How does one grow spuds indoors without direct sunlight and lots of it?

- How does sound from a spaceship travel in a vacuum?

- How much did GoPro pay to have their freaking camera EVERYWHERE?  After a while, it just got ridiculous.  There's product placement, then there's stupid. 

- What is with the fear over RTGs?  They are safe as long as the enclosure is intact.  Why cover it with mylar?  It's already shielded. 

These are but a few of the things that mystify me.

The movie was not nearly as bad as the book.  It was fine as a great sci fi movie that relies on grit and brainpower instead the usual Hollywood "mass murder will solve all problems" genre.  So, I really liked it from that aspect.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #54 on: October 19, 2015, 05:04:49 pm »
- How in the *&^! did live potatoes get sent to Mars?  Mars is effectively a quarantine zone.  There's no way those would be sent there without sterilizing them.  One of the main precepts guiding Mars exploration is that things that come from Earth do *NOT* end up growing on Mars. 
So all the things which are contained in the habitat, and which strictly avoid contact with the outside environment, would need to be sterilised? I think fully sterilised humans aren't going to be particularly useful on Mars.
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #55 on: October 19, 2015, 05:27:57 pm »
- How in the *&^! did live potatoes get sent to Mars?  Mars is effectively a quarantine zone.  There's no way those would be sent there without sterilizing them.  One of the main precepts guiding Mars exploration is that things that come from Earth do *NOT* end up growing on Mars. 
So all the things which are contained in the habitat, and which strictly avoid contact with the outside environment, would need to be sterilised? I think fully sterilised humans aren't going to be particularly useful on Mars.

Yes, this.  Humans are teeming with bacteria and human life depends on it. 

Also, what is a sterilized potatoe? One with no bacteria on its skin? Even if so that would not prevent it from growing. The presence of the potatoes and a small amount of earth soil (i.e. Non-sterile, living soil) was explained in the book and completely plausible. Whether Martian "dirt" would support growth of potatoes even after innoculation with earth soil and human excrement is another question- but not totally inplausible IMHO.
 

Offline TSL

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #56 on: October 19, 2015, 05:36:05 pm »
Whether Martian "dirt" would support growth of potatoes even after innoculation with earth soil and human excrement is another question- but not totally inplausible IMHO.

It would grow spuds with a little effort. One  study shows that martian soil has almost identical makeup to that found in Iceland.

https://theconversation.com/can-you-grow-potatoes-on-mars-48018

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Offline mtdoc

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #57 on: October 19, 2015, 05:46:08 pm »
Whether Martian "dirt" would support growth of potatoes even after innoculation with earth soil and human excrement is another question- but not totally inplausible IMHO.

It would grow spuds with a little effort. One  study shows that martian soil has almost identical makeup to that found in Iceland.

https://theconversation.com/can-you-grow-potatoes-on-mars-48018

Interesting link, thanks. So Martian dirt has the right minerals.  I'm no soil scientist ( though i used to date one!) but I do grow some potatoes and i believe soil needs more than the right minerals and introduced bacteria. I believe it needs humus and other organic matter to be fertile.  But, as i said, i didn't find that part of the story completely inplausible.
 

Offline GNU_Ninja

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #58 on: October 19, 2015, 06:25:36 pm »
Went to see this on Saturday, it was ok. But seriously; Sean Bean, cast as a NASA administrator, what were you thinking Ridley  ::)
« Last Edit: October 19, 2015, 06:30:51 pm by GNU_Ninja »
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #59 on: October 19, 2015, 06:57:14 pm »
- How does sound from a spaceship travel in a vacuum?

Yep, one of my pet dislikes, but tolerable. I just pretend there is enough gas emission for the molecules to vibrate at sonic frequencies. But when American Hollywood bozos send background random beep noises as data is output to a monitor, I simply get up and walk out of a cinema, because it is guaranteed to be :bullshit: movie with a crap ending designed to steal your money and a couple of hours of you life.

Americans do make some excellent Sci Fi movies though... Fail Safe made in 1964 (well it is science and it is fiction, but not necessarily Sci Fi). Profound concept, script and acting, second to none. My favourite of all time.

Of course, there is Philadelphia Experiment, Time After Time, Back the the Future, The Day the Earth Stood Still and When Worlds Collide ... I lighten up on those. Hollywood used to make good Sci Fi films. I think good stories these days have been replaced by cheap thrills. I don't think Hollywood could make a film like the German film The Lives of Others, or the Russian classic Come And See, or the film Ghandi.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #60 on: October 19, 2015, 09:57:35 pm »
- How in the *&^! did live potatoes get sent to Mars?  Mars is effectively a quarantine zone.  There's no way those would be sent there without sterilizing them.  One of the main precepts guiding Mars exploration is that things that come from Earth do *NOT* end up growing on Mars. 
So all the things which are contained in the habitat, and which strictly avoid contact with the outside environment, would need to be sterilised? I think fully sterilised humans aren't going to be particularly useful on Mars.

Yes, this.  Humans are teeming with bacteria and human life depends on it. 

Also, what is a sterilized potatoe? One with no bacteria on its skin? Even if so that would not prevent it from growing. The presence of the potatoes and a small amount of earth soil (i.e. Non-sterile, living soil) was explained in the book and completely plausible. Whether Martian "dirt" would support growth of potatoes even after innoculation with earth soil and human excrement is another question- but not totally inplausible IMHO.

What I also meant but neglected to state, was that for the potatoes to keep, they would need to be essentially dead.  My potatoes tend to grow eyes and turn green at room temperature. I have a difficult time believing under current policies that a responsible space agency would deliberately send living organic matter (humans and their nastiness aside) to Mars

And yes, humans are a major source of contamination. That's the other thing that's troublesome with all plans to send humans to Mars including this movie. In order to study Mars as Mars exists, there will need to be some very stringent decontamination regimens exiting the spacecraft / habitat.

There is, in fact, an international treaty prohibiting anyone from sending a device near a Martian water source "harmfully contaminating" another world.  NASA's policy is to not send rovers near any potential, known water source on Mars. And interestingly, this is because of the difficulty in conclusively decontaminating a device without destroying it. Humans in spacesuits will be far more challenging to decontaminate.

See: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/searching-for-life-in-martian-water-will-be-very-very-tricky/
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 02:36:27 am by LabSpokane »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #61 on: October 19, 2015, 10:59:34 pm »
Yep, one of my pet dislikes, but tolerable. I just pretend there is enough gas emission for the molecules to vibrate at sonic frequencies. But when American Hollywood bozos send background random beep noises as data is output to a monitor, I simply get up and walk out of a cinema, because it is guaranteed to be :bullshit: movie with a crap ending designed to steal your money and a couple of hours of you life.

Sounds like you wouldn't enjoy 99% of movies at the cinema. I feel sorry for you.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #62 on: October 19, 2015, 11:06:05 pm »
The movie was not nearly as bad as the book.

Bingo. Therein lies your answer. You didn't like the book, ergo you didn't like the movie.
Funny how practically everyone at NASA and every engineer, scientist and tech person you talk to loved the book and the movie.
Neither are perfect, but they are refreshing.
My advice, chill a little on the details  ;D
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #63 on: October 19, 2015, 11:09:19 pm »
I watched this last night:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stranded_(2001_film)

If you want to know how bad The Martian could have been x100, watch this.
 

Offline olewales

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #64 on: October 20, 2015, 12:08:14 am »
- How in the *&^! did live potatoes get sent to Mars?  Mars is effectively a quarantine zone.  There's no way those would be sent there without sterilizing them.  One of the main precepts guiding Mars exploration is that things that come from Earth do *NOT* end up growing on Mars. 

Well, Mark Watney is a botanist. I guess NASA had some experiments planned if he was sent to Mars

- How does one make a replacement hatch out of plastic sheeting?  The force on that 7' diameter door at 12 psi is over 66,000 lbf.  I'm sorry, but plastic sheeting and duct tape don't cut it.  There's a reason hatches in space ships look like bank vault doors. 

This also struck me hard when I saw it. But, not having knowledge necessary to do the maths myself I assumed that maybe this is one of the things that are unbelievable, yet possible. The balloon "extension" to the rover is basically the same deal.

Also, if this thread became spoiler heavy anyway, why exactly Watney could not plant potatoes again after airlock explosion and repair? Maybe this was explained in more detail in the book but in a movie its a bit of a plot hole.
 
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #65 on: October 20, 2015, 12:25:24 am »
- How in the *&^! did live potatoes get sent to Mars?  Mars is effectively a quarantine zone.  There's no way those would be sent there without sterilizing them.  One of the main precepts guiding Mars exploration is that things that come from Earth do *NOT* end up growing on Mars. 

Well, Mark Watney is a botanist. I guess NASA had some experiments planned if he was sent to Mars

- How does one make a replacement hatch out of plastic sheeting?  The force on that 7' diameter door at 12 psi is over 66,000 lbf.  I'm sorry, but plastic sheeting and duct tape don't cut it.  There's a reason hatches in space ships look like bank vault doors. 

This also struck me hard when I saw it. But, not having knowledge necessary to do the maths myself I assumed that maybe this is one of the things that are unbelievable, yet possible. The balloon "extension" to the rover is basically the same deal.

Also, if this thread became spoiler heavy anyway, why exactly Watney could not plant potatoes again after airlock explosion and repair? Maybe this was explained in more detail in the book but in a movie its a bit of a plot hole.
It wasn't so much the way he sealed it that struck me as wrong. It was that he simply trusted it. A failure would have been certain death. The storms howled and the plastic sheet flapped around, and he seemed OK with that. Any rational person, after finding the sheet had sealed adequately, would have been shoring it up, perhaps with a soil bank outside, to ensure it remained stable.

As for not replanting, I think the plants were supposed to have frozen so badly they all died. However, he should have had some of the potatoes in his larder, so he should have had something to restart with.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #66 on: October 20, 2015, 02:01:25 am »
The movie was not nearly as bad as the book.

Bingo. Therein lies your answer. You didn't like the book, ergo you didn't like the movie.
Funny how practically everyone at NASA and every engineer, scientist and tech person you talk to loved the book and the movie.
Neither are perfect, but they are refreshing.
My advice, chill a little on the details  ;D
Normally, I just enjoy fiction books and movies as "storytime" and ignore the details.  The Martian book and movie are the exceptions because I keep hearing that they are so good *because of all the great, realistic detail*.  So, when I read the first thirtysome pages of the book and while at the movie, I could not help but consider the details.  And the details are strange to say the least. 

I did find the movie to be very *entertaining* and laughed a lot.  See the movie for the entertainment value, and one won't be disappointed.  :)  My favorite character was the "astrogator" who worked on the orbital mechanics.  They channeled the best of the irreverent genius of now late Robert Farquhar and added some of their own spice to the mix. 

I also very much enjoyed the depiction of the members of the Chinese space program as our comrades.  Showing the public science's true collaborative nature was fantastic, and I liked that aspect. 

I will argue that NASA loves the book and the movie simply because it's the best advertising for continuing funding they've had in very long time.  The movie promotion has almost literally been a joint venture of the studio and NASA.  And that's fine.  I vastly prefer funding peaceful space exploration than most everything else our government funds, but let us call this promotion what it is:  advertising. 
« Last Edit: October 20, 2015, 03:30:40 am by LabSpokane »
 

Offline alsetalokin4017

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #67 on: October 21, 2015, 01:54:43 am »
I want some of those NASA scissors that will cut anything from reinforced dome material to multilayer EVA suits, like a knife through butter.
The easiest person to fool is yourself. -- Richard Feynman
 

Offline GNU_Ninja

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #68 on: October 22, 2015, 01:46:26 am »
I want some of those NASA scissors that will cut anything from reinforced dome material to multilayer EVA suits, like a knife through butter.

Check these out: http://www.telkominternational.com/scissors-kevlar-ceramic.html  :)
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #69 on: October 22, 2015, 01:50:13 am »
It wasn't so much the way he sealed it that struck me as wrong. It was that he simply trusted it. A failure would have been certain death. The storms howled and the plastic sheet flapped around, and he seemed OK with that. Any rational person, after finding the sheet had sealed adequately, would have been shoring it up, perhaps with a soil bank outside, to ensure it remained stable.

You obviously don't have The Right Stuff  ;D
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #70 on: October 22, 2015, 01:54:48 am »
Normally, I just enjoy fiction books and movies as "storytime" and ignore the details.  The Martian book and movie are the exceptions because I keep hearing that they are so good *because of all the great, realistic detail*.

You are missing the reason why people say these things about the book (and the movie). It's not because it's 100% technically accurate and written by a Nobel prize winner in every field possible. Its just because of "The Vibe" (Australian joke, not sure it translates into Yankee)
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #71 on: October 22, 2015, 05:51:09 am »
Normally, I just enjoy fiction books and movies as "storytime" and ignore the details.  The Martian book and movie are the exceptions because I keep hearing that they are so good *because of all the great, realistic detail*.

You are missing the reason why people say these things about the book (and the movie). It's not because it's 100% technically accurate and written by a Nobel prize winner in every field possible. Its just because of "The Vibe."
You're absolutely correct. I never got "The Vibe" because I could telepathically sense my seventh grade literature teacher's groans and face palms over the author's wretched writing.

 ;D (just having fun with ya Dave!)
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #72 on: October 22, 2015, 08:02:04 am »
I just saw the movie tonight and whilst I enjoyed it a couple of things bugged me a little:

1) No way for the habitat or the manned rover to contact Earth. In the 1979's the lunar rover had a small dish antenna and in the 2010's we have robotic Mars rovers that communicate with satellites orbiting the planet. Not having a dish antenna on the manned rover and/or the habitat was silly.

2) I know that astronauts are supposed to have 'the right stuff' but the guy finds a decades old space probe, brings it back to the habitat, plugs in the cables and the thing bursts into life. Whatever happened to different connectors, connectors being the wrong gender, different pinouts, different voltage levels and different communication protocols between the two systems?

One other thing, am I the only person to think that the female commander of the Mars mission was hotter than fire?  8)

8/10
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Online Vgkid

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #73 on: October 22, 2015, 04:47:18 pm »
Watched it yesterday, very entertaining.
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Offline crispy_tofu

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #74 on: October 22, 2015, 08:52:26 pm »
Watched it as well (and read the book), it was awesome. Felt sorry for the potatoes though.  ;D
 

Offline Svuppe

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #75 on: October 22, 2015, 09:52:40 pm »
I've seen the movie as well, and enjoyed it as most others here.
However, there was one scene where I really wanted to facepalm myself, and I don't think it has been mentioned yet:

The scene is onboard the big spaceship, where commander Lewis is in a hurry to get around a 90 degree corner (in zero gravity). She pushes herself forward using the walls and then starts to turn the corner. But when she lets go of the walls and is floating freely, she CONTINUES the circular trajectory around the corner :wtf:

Apart from that I only noticed a few minor whoops'es like Mark Watney closing a laptop on a desk in the habitat, and as soon as the camera angle changes, the laptop is seen in the background.... open.
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #76 on: October 23, 2015, 10:45:23 pm »
I just saw the movie tonight and whilst I enjoyed it a couple of things bugged me a little:

1) No way for the habitat or the manned rover to contact Earth. In the 1979's the lunar rover had a small dish antenna and in the 2010's we have robotic Mars rovers that communicate with satellites orbiting the planet. Not having a dish antenna on the manned rover and/or the habitat was silly.

2) I know that astronauts are supposed to have 'the right stuff' but the guy finds a decades old space probe, brings it back to the habitat, plugs in the cables and the thing bursts into life. Whatever happened to different connectors, connectors being the wrong gender, different pinouts, different voltage levels and different communication protocols between the two systems?

One other thing, am I the only person to think that the female commander of the Mars mission was hotter than fire?  8)

8/10

Re:  Your last point, no you are not.   :)

As for antennas, it was an extensive point in the book, but like a lot of things, was trimmed or concatenated from the book. 

The thing is, is that movies made from books must pick and choose what they keep, the mediums do not map one-to-one.  Easy things in one medium are very tough in the other.  For instance, the science in the book was presented with an ease bordering on glib.  There were film critics who thought the science in the movie to be utterly impenetrable.  How much do you keep in?  Running time is a huge constraint in movies.  More to the point, if you do keep it in, is it still on subtext? 

In one's zeal to see if they can spot technical errors or simplifications, one can easily lose sight of the story they are trying to tell.  Even the most mundane police procedural makes up stuff that doesn't line up with reality.  E.g., phones in police stations don't constantly ring, and cases are not neatly solved, ridiculous amounts of gunplay, etc. 

Story telling conventions are there to help get across the subtext of the story, not to show how accurate their knowledge of stoichiometry is.  I was personally disappointed they glossed over so many details of the mission architecture, but I understand why.  How many people would have been confused by the presence of the Ares III Mars Descent Vehicle?  Or the pre-supply landers that delivered the rovers and hab?  Probably a lot of people would have been, even by one of those things.  So I get it.  I assumed they landed on the other side of that rocky outcropping and proceeded to enjoy the story.
The wire work for the zero-g was not perfect, but when has it been?  It's impressive they bothered to even have zero-g+centrifuges, not to mention thermal radiators!  Radiators are incredibly rare in Sci-Fi movies, much less very realistic ones.

Even the previous high-water mark for big-budget sci-fi scientific verisimilitude (2001) was dripping with errors despite the fact they tried their best to have it not be so.
This is quite possibly the only sci-fi movie that had anything resembling accurate astrodynamics!  There was a guy at NASA who worked out the launch date of Ares III from clues in the book!
Fun talk at NASA Andy Weir gives on Science in the book, the astrodynamics, and (amusingly) the guy who figured out the launch date showed up at the Q/A!
 

Offline warp_foo

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #77 on: October 24, 2015, 11:43:20 am »
I just saw the movie tonight and whilst I enjoyed it a couple of things bugged me a little:

1) No way for the habitat or the manned rover to contact Earth. In the 1979's the lunar rover had a small dish antenna and in the 2010's we have robotic Mars rovers that communicate with satellites orbiting the planet. Not having a dish antenna on the manned rover and/or the habitat was silly.

2) I know that astronauts are supposed to have 'the right stuff' but the guy finds a decades old space probe, brings it back to the habitat, plugs in the cables and the thing bursts into life. Whatever happened to different connectors, connectors being the wrong gender, different pinouts, different voltage levels and different communication protocols between the two systems?

One other thing, am I the only person to think that the female commander of the Mars mission was hotter than fire?  8)

8/10

1]  The bit that hit Watney? That was the dish antenna from the Hab. The other antenna was on the MAV. OK, they didn't cover that in the movie, but it is in the book. The folks in Houston did claim triple redundancy, but I don't recall what the third method is.

2]  Also not covered in the movie, but there are a few paragraphs in the book which discuss the level of standardization for the connectors used.

m
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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #78 on: October 24, 2015, 10:28:05 pm »
I just watched it in original English language in Germany last night and liked it a lot, although not all was scientifically correct and pointed out in this thread already.

Mostly wrong was probably sealing the habitat with plastic foil and pressurize the room in no time. No space age plastic foil or tape could hold that force. Although the tape he used, really looked like space age tape.

But how did he know, that there wars still a piece of metal inside of him at the beginning, when he operated on himself?

I do agree that this was good advertisement for NASA, the movie deserves its >8 rating!
Highly recommended.
 
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Offline mtdoc

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #79 on: October 25, 2015, 09:26:46 am »

But how did he know, that there wars still a piece of metal inside of him at the beginning, when he operated on himself?


Oh man, don't even get me started about the implausabilities of the medical parts. But that's typical of all hollywood movies and it was only a very small part of this one.
 

Offline HighVoltage

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #80 on: October 25, 2015, 07:36:26 pm »
Oh man, don't even get me started about the implausabilities of the medical parts. But that's typical of all hollywood movies and it was only a very small part of this one.
I can only imagine how it must be to watch hollywood movies with a background as medical doctor. But who knows, may be sometimes you learn something?
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Offline German_EE

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #81 on: October 25, 2015, 07:59:01 pm »
Some time ago I had surgery and there was a small piece of plastic the size of a cherry left inside me (on purpose) to hold some of the bits together till I healed. It was quite easy to feel that piece of plastic even though it was inside me and the medical student taking it out two months later under local anaesthetic felt REALLY weird.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

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Offline HighVoltage

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #82 on: October 25, 2015, 09:46:23 pm »
Some time ago I had surgery and there was a small piece of plastic the size of a cherry left inside me (on purpose) to hold some of the bits together till I healed. It was quite easy to feel that piece of plastic even though it was inside me and the medical student taking it out two months later under local anaesthetic felt REALLY weird.
Hmm, may be I am wrong and Mark Watney could "feel" the metal part inside of himself.
In the movie, they should have given him a cool portable x-ray machine at hand to look at his internals and find the item and not a "mirror"!

But why did the medical student feel REALLY weird?
Interesting also, that a medical student was performing the operation on you.
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Offline SeanB

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #83 on: October 25, 2015, 10:36:27 pm »
Students have to learn sometime, and the only way is to use real live patients. If you are in a teaching hospital then it is very likely that every person who examined, treated or operated on you was a student, either working solo or under supervision.

I had minor surgery done in the military by a few, and some I reminded gently on 3 things.

I will wake up eventually or will die on the table causing you grief
I am a senior rank to you
I know where you live.

No 4, which was not mentioned, was that I had a good rapport with the senior Sister, who would have made their lives a living hell. I saw her do it on a few occasions, but she always treated me with good professional care, because I treated her with respect for both her position and her ability.
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #84 on: October 26, 2015, 06:47:42 am »
Exactly, this was a teaching hospital and the student was working under the supervision of the surgeon who carried out the original operation. Later on she confessed that this was the first time she had cut into someone who was still breathing, fortunately this was an operation on my back so I could not see her shaking hands.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

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Offline gordo51

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #85 on: October 27, 2015, 04:41:48 pm »
I just watched it yesterday and I must say that although I was having very good time for 2+ hours in the cinema I feel that praising this movie for being "scientific" or "plausible" is a bit too much.

Apart from the dust storm, the rest is pretty plausible

The rest was plausible? Not much of it was plausible if you look closely. For example, why would they have a cart being wheeled away with solid heavy wheels on it? A high school hobbyist could design a a better vehicle. And the magical gravity on board the spaceship that even affected hair... complete rubbish. But the biggest disappointment was the film was boring, having little depth beyond that of a corn syrup sugar hit from the an American breakfast serial. It will be a movie soon forgotten, like most modern Hollywood films. The only thing missing was a cop car CB talk in the distant background with a "breaker breaker one nine" as he returned to earth. Almost as nauseating at the sugar hit film Gravity.

The 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey left this crap film for dead, but then again so does Bad Boy Bubby.  :-DD

2001 : A Space Odyssey was a good movie??? There was no way you could understand what was going on unless you first read the book. The Martian you can just watch and understand what its all about. It's entertainment, not a science lecture.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #86 on: October 27, 2015, 05:09:17 pm »
2001 : A Space Odyssey was a good movie??? There was no way you could understand what was going on unless you first read the book. The Martian you can just watch and understand what its all about. It's entertainment, not a science lecture.
I was 14 when 2001 came out, and I went to see it on my own during the day. There were lots of small children there, who appeared to have been taken because their parents had mistaken 2001 for a children's movie. I remember when the movie ended the small children were mostly confused, and making a lot of noise asking their parents what it was all about. As a 14 year old I didn't find its ideas difficult to follow. What was ambiguous to me were the things that remain ambiguous after reading the book, because it was intentional.
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #87 on: October 29, 2015, 03:58:14 am »
2001 : A Space Odyssey was a good movie??? There was no way you could understand what was going on unless you first read the book.

Mind elaborating?  I thought 2001 was incredibly linear with no plot twists at all.  It doesn't tell you much, but it shows you everything.  As it didn't have any crass narration like 2010, and was deliberately devoid of almost all but the most mundane dialog, it had to all get its thematic elements across 2 by 4 fashion. No subtlety allowed.

Btw, here's a glowing review of the Martian (many swear words:  fair warning),

but it does underscore my question of how much science is appropriate in mass market movies.  The reviewer freely admits he only understood about "20%" of what little science was in the story.  On the other hand he clearly understands the many technical demands of fiction, like story structure and thematic elements, and understands that science is used as a subtextual element, not as a manual on how to fly to Mars.


Funny story.  I was at a showing of "No Country For Old Men" at an arthouse theater, and one of the patrons was apparently unaware that they show arty movies in those things.  Apparently weirded out by the separation of the protagonist and the Hero into two different characters (and what happens to the protagonist), he began heckling the film, and at one point got up and yelled, "This movie f*n SUCKS!!" and stormed out.  This was during Tommy Lee Jones' speech at the end.  He stormed out with 30 seconds to go.  Couldn't feel the end coming.  Amazing.
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #88 on: October 31, 2015, 06:55:13 pm »
Here's a fun talk that "The Martian" Author Andy Weir does with Mythbuster Adam Savage and astronaut Commander Chris Hadfield.
Interesting comments on the movie, and if you've watched any Weir interviews, you'll hear some stories he has to tell all the time, but in this one you get astronaut anecdotes from Chris Hadfield.  Fascinating stuff, and even as a long-time space geek, things I'd never heard before.

Very interesting getting three people from very different backgrounds talking about the same thing:
 

Offline VK3DRB

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #89 on: November 02, 2015, 11:19:18 pm »
Yep, one of my pet dislikes, but tolerable. I just pretend there is enough gas emission for the molecules to vibrate at sonic frequencies. But when American Hollywood bozos send background random beep noises as data is output to a monitor, I simply get up and walk out of a cinema, because it is guaranteed to be :bullshit: movie with a crap ending designed to steal your money and a couple of hours of you life.

Sounds like you wouldn't enjoy 99% of movies at the cinema. I feel sorry for you.

Actually its about 90%, hence I rarely go to movies and when I do its gold class because there is a less chance of chip packet rustlers sitting behind. Foreign Arthouse movies are more realistic than most of the modern American sugar-fix films. There are exceptions of course, like Apollo 13, and in the case of non sci-fi, No Country For Old Men... "Step out of the car, sir. Will you hold still, please sir?"

 

Offline Dr Bob

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #90 on: November 03, 2015, 07:21:14 pm »
As a certified spacenut and former rocket scientist, I was very disappointed in the technical bits. The storm winds on Mars aren't as powerful as portrayed. Fast? Yes. Powerful? No. (volts and watts). The soil on Mars is loaded with peroxides and other chemistry that reacts rather strongly with water. The whole bit about just chucking some regolith inside the habitat and using unsterilized human waste as a fertilizer to grow food has got a hole in the bottom that lets all plausibility drain out. Stripping down the return rocket is clever, but NASA not being able to accurately calculate a speed and trajectory much closer makes them look like a bucket of prawns, which they certainly are not. There are loads of other small things that drive me nuts. It wouldn't be all that hard to get an actual scientist on staff that could tell the writers when they are making a blunder and be able to suggest plausible scenarios to keep the drama high.

Most missions are pretty boring in that they go along with the plans page by page. The Martian stories moves from one major engineering fault to the next.
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #91 on: November 04, 2015, 07:05:16 am »
Now you know how electrical or electronic engineers feel when their favorite technology is featured in a movie. 1930's engineers using brown and blue plastic mains wiring, IP Addresses with numbers >255, power sources that seem to last forever and of course the genius's that are able to crack any password in thirty seconds using a laptop and a bit of Visual Basic. Years ago I had a girlfriend who was a CSI and she didn't watch programmes such as CSI or Bones because she found it too stressful.

Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

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Online wraper

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #92 on: November 06, 2015, 05:38:26 am »

 :-DD
 

Offline mikerj

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #93 on: November 07, 2015, 12:08:01 am »
As a certified spacenut and former rocket scientist, I was very disappointed in the technical bits.

As someone who enjoyed the book and has the ability to actually watch a film rather than analyse it, I really enjoyed it and will definitely be a Blu-ray purchase for me when it comes out.

This was never supposed to be a documentary, why try to view it as such?
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #94 on: November 07, 2015, 01:44:00 pm »
As a certified spacenut and former rocket scientist, I was very disappointed in the technical bits.

As someone who enjoyed the book and has the ability to actually watch a film rather than analyse it, I really enjoyed it and will definitely be a Blu-ray purchase for me when it comes out.

This was never supposed to be a documentary, why try to view it as such?

Because over and over and over The Martian has been reviewed and presented as such by the author as some type of extensively researched blueprint for getting to Mars. Had it been presented as a simple work of fiction, there would be far less interest in critiquing it.
 

Offline mtdoc

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #95 on: November 07, 2015, 05:21:07 pm »

Because over and over and over The Martian has been reviewed and presented as such by the author as some type of extensively researched blueprint for getting to Mars.

That hasn't been my impression at all. In every interview of the author I've seen (including the linked video above) he has talked about the inaccuracies.

I think you're mixing up the praise it has gotten for having extensive science and engineering based content (especially the book) with some false idea that it has been presented as 100% scientifically accurate and plausible.  There's a reason it's called science fiction.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #96 on: November 07, 2015, 05:35:35 pm »
Because over and over and over The Martian has been reviewed and presented as such by the author as some type of extensively researched blueprint for getting to Mars.

The author has no hand what so ever in the movie.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #97 on: November 07, 2015, 11:49:46 pm »
A bit late to the part I know but I just saw it yesterday...

Disclaimer: Yes, I read the book about six months ago (right after it was mentioned on XKCD).

The movie? Yes, it's dumbed down. I was a bit disappointed that that they couldn't even manage 5 minutes of real tech stuff in such a long movie. I'm sure they could have had a 30-second scene with him experimenting with the solar panels, calculating consumption, recharge time, how many panels he'd need, stuff like that. Three or four real tech scenes would have made all the difference IMHO.

The only real disappointment was the scene where the airlock blew up. That was way over-simplified. Also the plasic bag he put over the hole with duct tape  :palm:

To be fair, that's the only real head facepalm in the movie, thast and the silly "Iron-man" ending. It's nothing compared to the never-ending facepalms in (eg.) "Gravity" (which everybody told me was incredibly scientific and realistic, LOL!).

But complaining is easy, on the whole i'll give it a  :-+ Don't miss it if you're a nerd.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #98 on: November 08, 2015, 03:31:17 am »

Because over and over and over The Martian has been reviewed and presented as such by the author as some type of extensively researched blueprint for getting to Mars.

That hasn't been my impression at all. In every interview of the author I've seen (including the linked video above) he has talked about the inaccuracies.

I think you're mixing up the praise it has gotten for having extensive science and engineering based content (especially the book) with some false idea that it has been presented as 100% scientifically accurate and plausible.  There's a reason it's called science fiction.

I read the first thirty odd pages of the book and the "science and engineering based content" is pretty wanting there as well.  So wanting, that the numerous examples of bad science are being used in the curriculum at a local university.

I LOVE science FICTION. But I keep hearing this book and movie are so fantastic because of the great science content. I can't find the science content in either and when I challenge people to show to me, I get the response that I'm looking too closely and need to enjoy both book and movies as works of fiction.

Thus, I now take it we are all agreed that the content and concepts of both works squarely fall into the fiction category - which is great with me. :)
 

Online Fungus

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #99 on: November 08, 2015, 04:11:13 am »
I LOVE science FICTION. But I keep hearing this book and movie are so fantastic because of the great science content. I can't find the science content in either and when I challenge people to show to me, I get the response that I'm looking too closely and need to enjoy both book and movies as works of fiction.

It's all relative. This is unbelievably technical/nerdy compared to most books that the public read.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #100 on: November 08, 2015, 09:37:21 am »
I LOVE science FICTION. But I keep hearing this book and movie are so fantastic because of the great science content. I can't find the science content in either and when I challenge people to show to me, I get the response that I'm looking too closely and need to enjoy both book and movies as works of fiction.

You missing the point of the book. There aren't formula on every page, it's just a "the vibe".
You are one of very few technical people who are complaining about the book, there is a reason for that...
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #101 on: November 08, 2015, 09:40:44 am »
Three or four real tech scenes would have made all the difference IMHO.

To who? Us?
It's got 93% on the Tomato-meter. Adding that scene would not have helped with the public's perception of the movie as a "movie that involves science" in the slightest.
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #102 on: November 08, 2015, 10:19:06 am »

I can't find the science content in either and when I challenge people to show to me, I get the response that I'm looking too closely and need to enjoy both book and movies as works of fiction.

Thus, I now take it we are all agreed that the content and concepts of both works squarely fall into the fiction category - which is great with me. :)

You are so missing the point.  It doesn't matter how objectively plausible something is, in fiction everything portrayed is still false.  None of it happened, and none of it's going to.  Even the similarly themed historical fiction Apollo 13 is just a loose interpretation (fictionalization) of real events arranged into a story.

The point of Art is to communicate something, not instruct you on how something is supposed to work.  Exaggerations of artistic license exist to help communicate an idea.  In the case of The Martian, they could have easily done a more typical "believe in yourself and you can do anything" type theme, etc.  The theme of the The Martian is so unusual in it's acceptance of science as something that's not only powerful, but as human as music (and just as beautiful!), that it almost stands alone. 

Small bit of film analysis linked below.  Here, a guy breaks down and analyzes the famous "trio" scene from the end of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.  He shows you the power of film to communicate something very powerful with three guys just standing there for three minutes.  If you look close, you will see substantial anachronisms.  A pedantic sort of person might be "taken out of the story" because even though they are just standing there, what's shown is physically impossible in the setting of the story, and thus utterly miss the point of the scene.  It's the difference between hearing and listening.
 

Offline mikerj

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #103 on: November 08, 2015, 10:36:48 am »
Also the plasic bag he put over the hole with duct tape  :palm:

I have to admit that my suspension of disbelief was pretty much suspended when I saw that :D 

Overall it was good though; expecting perfect technical accuracy from a Hollywood movie is just unrealistic (and undesirable if it gets in the way of making something that's engaging to watch).
« Last Edit: November 08, 2015, 10:44:15 am by mikerj »
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #104 on: November 08, 2015, 01:15:26 pm »
I LOVE science FICTION. But I keep hearing this book and movie are so fantastic because of the great science content. I can't find the science content in either and when I challenge people to show to me, I get the response that I'm looking too closely and need to enjoy both book and movies as works of fiction.

You missing the point of the book. There aren't formula on every page, it's just a "the vibe".
You are one of very few technical people who are complaining about the book, there is a reason for that...

I don't know what the hype has been like in Australia, but watching the hype here in 'Merica has been annoying to say the least .

NASA has landed on The Martian like a fly on shit, and is using fantasy science to promote a manned Mars mission of extraordinarily questionable planning.  We have a poorly written book full of bad science which begat a good movie with the prerequisite bad science both being used to promote an ostensibly "real" Mars mission who seemly can't grasp the concept that sending astronauts stuffed into the Orion capsule like sardines to Mars (among many other very real problems) is a ludicrous idea.

We will not get to Mars with these endless circle jerks of fantasy science that let anything we want to believe be true.  Magical thinking will not let us travel to the planets and to the stars. Good science will.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #105 on: November 08, 2015, 05:31:01 pm »
Three or four real tech scenes would have made all the difference IMHO.
To who? Us?

Yep. We're not that much of a minority.

It's got 93% on the Tomato-meter. Adding that scene would not have helped with the public's perception of the movie as a "movie that involves science" in the slightest.
It would't have scored lower because of a couple of minutes of extra nerdiness.

It had extra added scenes at the end with him as a teacher saying "You solve one problem, then you solve the next...". Just show us him actually solving a problem or two!
 

Online Fungus

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #106 on: November 08, 2015, 05:34:14 pm »
We will not get to Mars with these endless circle jerks of fantasy science that let anything we want to believe be true.  Magical thinking will not let us travel to the planets and to the stars. Good science will.

You never enjoyed Star Trek?

Magical thinking will get NASA funding. NASA funding is what gets people to Mars, not hardcore science in cinemas.

 

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #107 on: November 08, 2015, 06:01:28 pm »
Some people who only went through the arts have zero background in science.

Yet they have no problem expecting scientists to appreciate art.

It's always going to be a tough thing to bring something like this to a broad audience.

The real problem is that most people have no background in anything.

No, that's not true. The whole 'background' thing is a red herring. Some people have no natural curiosity. Some people see stuff they don't understand and their reaction is to go on Wikipedia and fill in the gaps. After a few decades of that, well... you end up knowing lots of stuff. It's inevitable. nb. You don't have to be a hardcore scientist to do this, there's taxi drivers who win quiz shows simply because they like reading about stuff.

Other people see stuff they don't understand and their reaction is.... nothing. I've had conversations with people who simply don't have the "why?" reaction. They're perfectly happy to be ignorant unless it's something that immediately benefits them (eg. learning to use a smartphone). What they know today is almost all they'll ever know in their lifetime. I don't get their point of view, they don't seem to get mine.  :-//
« Last Edit: November 08, 2015, 06:22:17 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #108 on: November 08, 2015, 06:24:02 pm »
Calling the science in The Martian "Fantasy Science" is far more grotesque an exaggeration than any artistic exaggeration that was done in the story.  Reducing hydrazine into hydrogen and N2 then burning the hydrogen to make water is a real chemical reaction.  Determining how many calories he needed to survive to impose a time constraint was completely plausible.  Electric propulsion is real.  Centrifuges are real.  The orbital dynamics were accurate enough that a NASA engineer was able to (correctly) deduce the Ares III launch date from the scant clues in the book.  Made particularly difficult since the Hermes did not use impulsive burns on the transfer.  The bit with second sandstorm was not only plausible, but his discovery that the subtle effect would kill him and his solution to it was brilliant.  Shedding mass on the Ares IV MAV to make the deltaV requirements for escape was 100% plausible.  Using waste heat from an RTG to keep warm so he could save battery power is 100% plausible.  IIRC, the RTG had the same specs as the Curiosity rover's RTG.  Etc., etc.  The whole mission architecture is largely based on Mars Direct, which is a massive concession to reality.  One could easily call every real NASA Mars DRM prior to Mars Direct "unrealistic."

Comparing any of this to Sci-Fi where they make up substances that have properties that magically allow whatever they need in the story (cavorite, dilithium, element zero, "dark matter" as a power source, etc.) is ludicrous.  Gravity and it's Protagonist Seeking Debris Field is a polar opposite to the whole mindset of The MartianThat's fantasy science.  It's also typical of what we get from Hollywood.  Normally their only concern (in any genre) is storytelling. 

Berating Weir for getting some details wrong has a level of irony when it's not uncommon to get manuals or official documentation or even reference or text books that have stuff in them that are wrong, when they should be gospel.  I have a history book that has a factual error in the first sentence.  It's a lot to expect for anyone to have both the story-telling skills and the cross-disciplinary scientific and engineering expertise to make it letter-perfect.  Even if it were made absolutely plausible, you could still argue with it.  On that note, I think The Martian is a monumental achievement.

Science Fiction, like Star Trek (with it's four-dimensional array of bullshit physics) inspired tons of people to become real scientists and engineers.  The Martian can do the same.  This is why NASA (and huge numbers of their staff) like it so much.  You know what won't get us to Mars?  People not caring about it because science is perceived as boring facts and figures.  I think Mark Watney is going to inspire tons of kids to become real engineers and scientists.
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #109 on: November 08, 2015, 06:55:47 pm »
Some people who only went through the arts have zero background in science.

Yet they have no problem expecting scientists to appreciate art.


Not an expectation, choosing a target audience is a financial reality. 

Quote

The real problem is that most people have no background in anything.

No, that's not true. The whole 'background' thing is a red herring. Some people have no natural curiosity. Some people see stuff they don't understand and their reaction is to go on Wikipedia and fill in the gaps. After a few decades of that, well... you end up knowing lots of stuff. It's inevitable. nb. You don't have to be a hardcore scientist to do this, there's taxi drivers who win quiz shows simply because they like reading about stuff.

Other people see stuff they don't understand and their reaction is.... nothing. I've had conversations with people who simply don't have the "why?" reaction. They're perfectly happy to be ignorant unless it's something that immediately benefits them (eg. learning to use a smartphone). What they know today is almost all they'll ever know in their lifetime. I don't get their point of view, they don't seem to get mine.  :-//


George Carlin had a bit about how people were trained to be just smart enough to work the machines, but just dumb enough to not tell they were being screwed over.  I don't know about you, but the school system I went through did not have a culture of celebrating learning so much as celebrating sports.  True or not, it's easy to connect the dots between those ideas.  Empirically, I think we got exactly the population we paid to get, whether it was on purpose or not.

I'm in a peculiar position of being an artist with a technical background.  The ability for those two groups to communicate with each other is frustrating, but being able to talk with both, I have to say they are not as far apart as it seems.  I believe it's mostly a top-down vs bottom up approach to language.  In science, precision is important to the meaning of words, whereas in the arts, it's very context-sensitive.  One is about inference, the other about perception.  There are strong analogies between many of the thought processes they both use, but they use different words to describe them.  Inevitably, this can lead to both completely missing what the other is trying to say--even if it's largely the same thing.

Deftly steering my comments back on-topic, I must say The Martian is a lovely synthesis of the technical and artistic.  It's success is proof that there are a lot of people who want to hear about this stuff, just not as a laundry list of facts.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #110 on: November 08, 2015, 07:30:38 pm »
Yep. We're not that much of a minority.

Yes, we are.

Quote
It would't have scored lower because of a couple of minutes of extra nerdiness.

I may very well have.
There are already many reviewers saying there was "too much science" or insert word like "impenetrable", or phase like "over my head".
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #111 on: November 08, 2015, 07:36:24 pm »
Calling the science in The Martian "Fantasy Science" is far more grotesque an exaggeration than any artistic exaggeration that was done in the story.  Reducing hydrazine into hydrogen and N2 then burning the hydrogen to make water is a real chemical reaction.  Determining how many calories he needed to survive to impose a time constraint was completely plausible.  Electric propulsion is real.  Centrifuges are real.  The orbital dynamics were accurate enough that a NASA engineer was able to (correctly) deduce the Ares III launch date from the scant clues in the book.  Made particularly difficult since the Hermes did not use impulsive burns on the transfer.  The bit with second sandstorm was not only plausible, but his discovery that the subtle effect would kill him and his solution to it was brilliant.  Shedding mass on the Ares IV MAV to make the deltaV requirements for escape was 100% plausible.  Using waste heat from an RTG to keep warm so he could save battery power is 100% plausible.  IIRC, the RTG had the same specs as the Curiosity rover's RTG.  Etc., etc.  The whole mission architecture is largely based on Mars Direct, which is a massive concession to reality.  One could easily call every real NASA Mars DRM prior to Mars Direct "unrealistic."

Comparing any of this to Sci-Fi where they make up substances that have properties that magically allow whatever they need in the story (cavorite, dilithium, element zero, "dark matter" as a power source, etc.) is ludicrous.

Well said, nailed it.  :clap:

Quote
Even if it were made absolutely plausible, you could still argue with it.  On that note, I think The Martian is a monumental achievement.

Yep, I suspect that nothing would ever satisfy LabSpokane, and that is why hardly anyone else technical shares his viewpoint. Most are able to see it as you described above.
 

Offline Len

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #112 on: November 09, 2015, 04:04:35 am »
You missing the point of the book. There aren't formula on every page, it's just a "the vibe".
You are one of very few technical people who are complaining about the book, there is a reason for that...

Andy Weir could write a book with all the calculations and justifications for the science in "The Martian", and maybe he should, but it would be a completely different type of book.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #113 on: November 09, 2015, 07:12:30 am »
Yep, I suspect that nothing would ever satisfy LabSpokane, and that is why hardly anyone else technical shares his viewpoint. Most are able to see it as you described above.

I would be satisfied by my tax dollars going to fund a plausible mission to Mars, rather than promoting Andy Weir's book and Ridley Scott's movie.

Unlike some very fortunate people here, I do not get to interact with the real movers and shakers of our space program often.  The few times I have, the conversations are more magical, more interesting, and more entertaining than anything fantasy science has to offer. 

I will grant you all that "Mac Gyver goes to Mars" has a high degree of entertainment value, and that "the vibe" of that is much cooler than of typical Hollywood fare.  If Marc Watney inspires students to reach into space, so be it. 
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #114 on: November 09, 2015, 07:14:58 am »
You missing the point of the book. There aren't formula on every page, it's just a "the vibe".
You are one of very few technical people who are complaining about the book, there is a reason for that...

Andy Weir could write a book with all the calculations and justifications for the science in "The Martian", and maybe he should, but it would be a completely different type of book.

Well, Andy *did* write a book with a bunch of calculations.
 

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #115 on: December 03, 2015, 09:09:58 pm »
Is the book a dumbed down version of the .txt chapters that where originally on the web site and the movie is a dumbed down version of the book?
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #116 on: December 03, 2015, 09:48:16 pm »
Yep, I suspect that nothing would ever satisfy LabSpokane, and that is why hardly anyone else technical shares his viewpoint. Most are able to see it as you described above.
I would be satisfied by my tax dollars going to fund a plausible mission to Mars, rather than promoting Andy Weir's book and Ridley Scott's movie.

How were your tax dollars spent on this book and movie exactly?
Sure NASA consulted on the movie (perhaps even paid consulting?), but they do the same for many movies like this. Nothing unusual at all there. Just like the military will lend an operational aircraft carrier for use in movies. It's agency publicity 101.
And grumbling over NASA consulting on such a movie that can ignite the imaginations of a generation of kids, and also possibly influence funding for the agency for new missions etc, is just truly sad  :palm:
IMO it's one of the best bang-per-buck uses of their budget possible.
This might help:

 

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #117 on: December 03, 2015, 09:49:04 pm »
It is a legit question..
Dumbed down in the Prometheus sense of look there is air -> remove helmets, be responsible for the mapping, get lost, that kind of Hollywood dumbing down.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #118 on: December 04, 2015, 02:25:12 pm »
Yep, I suspect that nothing would ever satisfy LabSpokane, and that is why hardly anyone else technical shares his viewpoint. Most are able to see it as you described above.
I would be satisfied by my tax dollars going to fund a plausible mission to Mars, rather than promoting Andy Weir's book and Ridley Scott's movie.

How were your tax dollars spent on this book and movie exactly?

The money was spent on endless promotions.  Maybe you missed it in Australia, but it was pretty obvious here.  You can label it "inspiring the children."  I call it corporate welfare.  It is re-appropriation of money that was supposed to conduct space exploration, instead frittered away making the rich richer. 

Quote
IMO it's one of the best bang-per-buck uses of their budget possible.

While movie promotions may be arguably better uses of the money than the current Orion / Mars mission train wreck, I can think of a TON of better ways to inspire young people to explore the stars.  Instead of all this fantasy, how about spending money helping kids explore space REALITY.  Building a cube sat, getting telescope time, working as an intern, instrumenting model rockets, teaching basic orbital mechanics...   I could go on for pages, and there's a gazillion ways to inspire space exploration that do not involve re-distribution of wealth from the 99% to the 1% - to use common euphemisms. 

 If NASA wants to promote movies, then we seriously need to consider cutting NASA's budget and funding real science.  Real space science is in a world of shit here.  NSF is getting ready to jettison the Arecibo observatory as well as a good deal of other irreplaceable astronomy infrastructure.  Without Arecibo, there would have been no ISEE-3 rescue mission.  Even though that effort did not ultimately succeed, ISEE-3 Reboot was a model for how to engage the public with real space science.  Watching a crew of citizen engineers and scientists try to rescue a real space probe in real time was awesome, inspirational, and incredibly educational. 

As one of the 300-odd million people actually paying for NASA's activities, I have a right to voice my opinion on how my tax dollars are being expended.  And there are simply much better options than subsidizing the entertainment industry.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #119 on: December 04, 2015, 02:36:33 pm »
The money was spent on endless promotions.  Maybe you missed it in Australia, but it was pretty obvious here.  You can label it "inspiring the children."  I call it corporate welfare.  It is re-appropriation of money that was supposed to conduct space exploration, instead frittered away making the rich richer. 

Part of NASA's directive is also education. They even have a whole department for it:
http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/index.html

Quote
While movie promotions may be arguably better uses of the money than the current Orion / Mars mission train wreck, I can think of a TON of better ways to inspire young people to explore the stars.  Instead of all this fantasy, how about spending money helping kids explore space REALITY.  Building a cube sat, getting telescope time, working as an intern, instrumenting model rockets, teaching basic orbital mechanics...   I could go on for pages, and there's a gazillion ways to inspire space exploration that do not involve re-distribution of wealth from the 99% to the 1% - to use common euphemisms. 

They do that stuff, like CubeSAT's:
http://www.nasa.gov/feature/elana-ix


Quote
If NASA wants to promote movies, then we seriously need to consider cutting NASA's budget and funding real science. 

They aren't just promoting a movie, they are promoting science and space, that's part of their job!

Quote
Real space science is in a world of shit here. 

And that won't get fixed long term without inspiring kids to getting into a STEM and space stuff. NASA would have been fools, and probably criticised very harshly if they refused to participate in a huge movie like this.
And arguably, this movie has been the biggest shot in the arm for NASA and science and public interest in space since the Apollo program.

Quote
As one of the 300-odd million people actually paying for NASA's activities, I have a right to voice my opinion on how my tax dollars are being expended.  And there are simply much better options than subsidizing the entertainment industry.

I think your view of this is completely warped.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2015, 02:38:31 pm by EEVblog »
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #120 on: December 04, 2015, 02:45:27 pm »
How were your tax dollars spent on this book and movie exactly?
The money was spent on endless promotions.  Maybe you missed it in Australia, but it was pretty obvious here.  You can label it "inspiring the children."  I call it corporate welfare.  It is re-appropriation of money that was supposed to conduct space exploration, instead frittered away making the rich richer. 
Do you have numbers for how much was spent? Without supporting evidence anecdotes like this just sound like the ranting of a grumpy old man.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #121 on: December 04, 2015, 03:37:48 pm »
How were your tax dollars spent on this book and movie exactly?
The money was spent on endless promotions.  Maybe you missed it in Australia, but it was pretty obvious here.  You can label it "inspiring the children."  I call it corporate welfare.  It is re-appropriation of money that was supposed to conduct space exploration, instead frittered away making the rich richer. 
Do you have numbers for how much was spent? Without supporting evidence anecdotes like this just sound like the ranting of a grumpy old man.

I don't just sound like a grumpy old man, I *am* a grumpy old man!!! :palm:

 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #122 on: December 04, 2015, 04:40:15 pm »
I don't just sound like a grumpy old man, I *am* a grumpy old man!!! :palm:
You do realise that is a choice, don't you? Not all of us escalate in grumpiness with age, and its really sad to watch those who do. We are building a new house, and the garden will be unfenced. I invite any local children to play on any lawn we might have there, as long as they keep it tidy and are polite.  :)
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #123 on: December 05, 2015, 07:11:20 am »
I don't just sound like a grumpy old man, I *am* a grumpy old man!!! :palm:
You do realise that is a choice, don't you? Not all of us escalate in grumpiness with age, and its really sad to watch those who do. We are building a new house, and the garden will be unfenced. I invite any local children to play on any lawn we might have there, as long as they keep it tidy and are polite.  :)

You're correct. I am a horrible person. I yell at small children. I  kick dogs. I don't eat all my vegetables.  All of this is true because I don't like my money being diverted from space exploration to subsidize the wealthy. 
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #124 on: December 11, 2015, 08:58:31 am »
Apparently the movie is up for "Best Comedy or Musical" at the Golden Globes.
Somebody in charge was either incredibly high or got hit in the head by a baseball or something when they watched it.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/la-et-mn-golden-globes-2016-nominees-winners-list-story.html
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #125 on: December 11, 2015, 02:52:47 pm »
Apparently the movie is up for "Best Comedy or Musical" at the Golden Globes.
Somebody in charge was either incredibly high or got hit in the head by a baseball or something when they watched it.

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/la-et-mn-golden-globes-2016-nominees-winners-list-story.html
And Matt Damon is up for best comedy actor for The Martian. In Shakespearean terms it is a comedy. All it needs is a happy ending for that.
 

Offline Brumby

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #126 on: December 17, 2015, 07:12:14 pm »
Considering the topic of sending humans to Mars is now a "Going to happen" thing and there are active moves heading in this direction, I think the movie would be an excellent promotional platform and very well timed.  Even if it has flaws, it will act as a point of reference to people who will want to discuss the subject - even if only to prove a point (one way or the other).  It will certainly help awareness and is more than likely to gain support from the public - who ultimately hold the power over funding.

Also, on a more direct path, how many people have been (and will continue to be) inspired by a movie?  You never know when a wild and fanciful idea in a movie gets picked up by some 10-year-old who makes it a science project in high school and follows it through to find a real solution to the Hollywood premise.

Any interest and support from NASA in this movie is, IMHO, very much on topic.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #127 on: December 17, 2015, 08:53:31 pm »
You're correct. I am a horrible person. I yell at small children. I  kick dogs. I don't eat all my vegetables.  All of this is true because I don't like my money being diverted from space exploration to subsidize the wealthy.

Space exploration requires funding.
Funding comes from the government (via the taxpayer).
If the government had it's way they would spend less on space exploration and more on war, or whatever their financial beneficiaries want this year.
The public are inspired by movies like The Martian, arguably more so than anything else.
The public, and pretty much the public alone can put pressure on the government to spend more on space exploration.
Ergo, movies like The Martian are a good thing for space exploration whether you like it or not.

Your grumpy old man position is untenable.
 

Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #128 on: December 18, 2015, 07:52:33 am »
You're correct. I am a horrible person. I yell at small children. I  kick dogs. I don't eat all my vegetables.  All of this is true because I don't like my money being diverted from space exploration to subsidize the wealthy.

Space exploration requires funding.
Funding comes from the government (via the taxpayer).
If the government had it's way they would spend less on space exploration and more on war, or whatever their financial beneficiaries want this year.
The public are inspired by movies like The Martian, arguably more so than anything else.
The public, and pretty much the public alone can put pressure on the government to spend more on space exploration.
Ergo, movies like The Martian are a good thing for space exploration whether you like it or not.

Your grumpy old man position is untenable.

Listen here Mr. Jones, there is no one who is going to out grump me on an Interwebs forum!  I will never relinquish my position. Consider the gauntlet thrown down, sir. I've put the gauntlet in a bottle into the ocean and it should reach you after it makes a side trip to Japan....

I don't do a lot of pop culture, so I'm very out of tune with how the general public is inspired.

As for government spending, the US defense budget is out of control even though we are supposedly at peace. I would be ecstatically happy to see a large chunk repurposed for science and exploration.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 07:55:08 am by LabSpokane »
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #129 on: December 18, 2015, 07:59:14 am »
Listen here Mr. Jones,

*LabSpokane turns around dramatically in his high-back chair, petting his black cat with his metallic hand*

Tim
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Offline LabSpokane

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #130 on: December 18, 2015, 01:38:12 pm »
Listen here Mr. Jones,

*LabSpokane turns around dramatically in his high-back chair, petting his black cat with his metallic hand*

Tim

I couldn't afford Mr. Bigglesworth. Being a despotic Interweb troll isn't the financial windfall I'd hoped. I can barely keep up with the payments on my volcano lair.
 

Offline German_EE

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #131 on: December 18, 2015, 07:58:56 pm »
Plus there's the upkeep of all those minions and keeping that Bond fellow away, hard work being a tyrant.
Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.

Warren Buffett
 

Offline TheAmmoniacal

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #132 on: December 20, 2015, 04:33:22 am »
Just some comments on the growing of potatoes.

If I remember correctly, he used potatoes meant for food, so I assume they were cooked? Cooked potatoes wouldn't be viable.

Martian soil is definitely not suitable for growing earthian plants - even if it did contain all the necessary nutrients it also contains a lot of toxic substances like Na2O, P2O5, K2O, SO3, CaO, NaClO4, and KClO4. All of which would make the soil unsuitable for growing anything.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2015, 04:35:06 am by TheAmmoniacal »
I collect [corporate] mugs.
MTBF ~ 700.000 h
 

Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #133 on: December 20, 2015, 08:22:32 am »
it also contains a lot of toxic substances like Na2O, P2O5, K2O, SO3, CaO, NaClO4, and KClO4

Cite?

When mineralogists discuss soil or rock or ceramic compositions, they do it in terms of bulk oxides.  The form is certainly not pure isolated oxides!  For example, pure Na2O and K2O would combine spontaneously with CO2 from the atmosphere, but more likely are present as salts with Cl- or SO4(2-), or combined in natural feldspars, or adsorbed as ions in clay-like compounds.  The latter of which would be exceptionally helpful for plant growth (being measured as the CEC, Cation Exchage Capacity of a soil).

Perchlorate wouldn't be especially helpful, though.

That said, it's not as toxic as it sounds, in fact despite its oxygen-rich structure, it's rather harmless -- the main effect being displacement of iodine leading to hypothyroidism.  The effect seems to be similar in plants: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23673920 I wouldn't really call millimolar levels 'strong', and I don't know offhand how much the soil has in it, but it's possible that potatoes would concentrate it in their leaves, leaving the tubers healthy. :)

Tim
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Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #134 on: December 20, 2015, 02:39:07 pm »
If I remember correctly, he used potatoes meant for food, so I assume they were cooked? Cooked potatoes wouldn't be viable.
We see him cutting up fresh potatoes. I think on a real trip any fresh potatoes would have been gamma irradiated, but give them some slack. If he had no foodstuff that could grow again the author couldn't have built a reasonable plot. I was more bothered by the idea that he only had one food in a state where he could grow from it? If the potatoes had viable shoots, shouldn't there have been some other fruit and veggie that contained viable seeds, or could have grown from cuttings?
 

Offline HP-ILnerd

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #135 on: December 20, 2015, 11:20:40 pm »
Originally, Weir was going to use peas (because dried peas are their own seeds and viable--properly stored they can last for centuries!), but he switched to potatoes because they generated more calories per square meter in his farm.  This necessitated a reason to have live potatoes along at all, but luckily  they are  traditional Thanksgiving fare in the US, hence the mission date chosen.

Another option for him would have been to cobble together a hydroponics-style garden, rather than attempting dirt farming.  He had plenty of plastic/Hab Canvas around, he'd just need water.

IRL water would be no problem (and no one knew this at the time the book was written) because Martian regolith is apparently lousy with water, so he wouldn't have had to do the Hydrazine trick, but of course that would still work even if that patch of Acidalia Planitia proved dry.  http://www.space.com/22949-mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover.html

Incidentally, this is precisely the sort of conversation that can inspire kids.  Classrooms could not only discuss Watney's options for survival, but try experiments etc.  Science is best learned hands-on.
 

Offline TheAmmoniacal

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #136 on: December 22, 2015, 03:05:38 am »
it also contains a lot of toxic substances like Na2O, P2O5, K2O, SO3, CaO, NaClO4, and KClO4

Cite?

When mineralogists discuss soil or rock or ceramic compositions, they do it in terms of bulk oxides.  The form is certainly not pure isolated oxides!  For example, pure Na2O and K2O would combine spontaneously with CO2 from the atmosphere, but more likely are present as salts with Cl- or SO4(2-), or combined in natural feldspars, or adsorbed as ions in clay-like compounds.  The latter of which would be exceptionally helpful for plant growth (being measured as the CEC, Cation Exchage Capacity of a soil).

Perchlorate wouldn't be especially helpful, though.

That said, it's not as toxic as it sounds, in fact despite its oxygen-rich structure, it's rather harmless -- the main effect being displacement of iodine leading to hypothyroidism.  The effect seems to be similar in plants: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23673920 I wouldn't really call millimolar levels 'strong', and I don't know offhand how much the soil has in it, but it's possible that potatoes would concentrate it in their leaves, leaving the tubers healthy. :)

Tim

I'm not a mineralogist or geologist, just a chemist. You might be able to inform me as to what these chemicals mean/imply? http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA16791 and http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/jpeg/PIA16572.jpg for me (as a chemist) they are all stable molecules that could exist on Mars perfectly fine. None of them would react with CO2 as they are, although CaO and MgO could if they first reacted with water (CaO + H2O -> Ca(OH)2 + CO2 -> CaCO3 + H2O).
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Offline T3sl4co1l

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #137 on: December 22, 2015, 02:38:24 pm »
Given that we know there's water about, it seems unlikely that they wouldn't have reacted, though.

Yeah, spectrophotometry -- so, they're only seeing the high energy electronic resonances of atoms in the material, and expressing it as average composition of probable equivalent content.  Absolutely nothing about form, indeed it's averaged over a powder sample (soil or drillings?).  I don't know about the exact methodology and response, but it should be typical of others (like XRF).

It should be that, in the raw data, there will be a monstrously huge spike corresponding to O (and probably nothing for H, because H doesn't respond to x-rays -- its highest energy level is only 13.6eV, i.e., UV -- so no measurement of water or hydrocarbons from this process), and then spikes (groups of spikes actually, since many elements, especially heavier ones, have multiple excitations) corresponding to all the base elements shown here.

Or for all I know, they might not even have O (and N, C, F, Li, Be, etc. -- light elements with low energy resonances -- most of which are rare or volatile, at least), and they're simply assuming everything is reasonably oxidized (which is, after all, a reasonable assumption, considering they're drilling recognizable rocks and minerals).

Interesting, in the second graph, the four rightmost "elements" are starred.  A note about oxidation state perhaps?  Fe would be present as both Fe(II) and (III), after all.  That's something you can tell absolutely nothing about in this kind of measurement, unfortunately.  At best, you'd have to add up all the elements and their average oxidation states, cross this with the oxygen content, and assign an oxygen balance to whatever the most variable elements are.  (Such as, you're extremely unlikely to have Ti(III), and you probably won't have Fe(III) at the same time as Cu(I) or Cu(II).  And most oxidized alteration products, like Fe(III) and Cu(II), are probably extremely rare on a world that probably* never had the narest hint of an oxygen atmosphere.)

(*But if we can prove that it did, that would be stupendous.)

Disclaimer: I'm only an armchair chemist these days, but I've done quite a bit of amateur inorganic study before, and I retain quite a lot of knowledge about everything from atomic physics to chemistry and electronics. :)

Tim
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Offline rrinker

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #138 on: December 28, 2015, 02:06:20 pm »
Originally, Weir was going to use peas (because dried peas are their own seeds and viable--properly stored they can last for centuries!), but he switched to potatoes because they generated more calories per square meter in his farm.  This necessitated a reason to have live potatoes along at all, but luckily  they are  traditional Thanksgiving fare in the US, hence the mission date chosen.

Another option for him would have been to cobble together a hydroponics-style garden, rather than attempting dirt farming.  He had plenty of plastic/Hab Canvas around, he'd just need water.

IRL water would be no problem (and no one knew this at the time the book was written) because Martian regolith is apparently lousy with water, so he wouldn't have had to do the Hydrazine trick, but of course that would still work even if that patch of Acidalia Planitia proved dry.  http://www.space.com/22949-mars-water-discovery-curiosity-rover.html

Incidentally, this is precisely the sort of conversation that can inspire kids.  Classrooms could not only discuss Watney's options for survival, but try experiments etc.  Science is best learned hands-on.

 Indeed, if the supposedly smart people who run the schools hadn't reassigned my ex (who has a double major in chemistry and biology, in addition to a masters in education) from teaching 6th grade science, I KNOW she would have done stuff around this movie. If people weren't so upset of a few swear words, she might have even taken her class to see the movie. But, the powers that be decided she should teach social studies and English. Back when she was teaching science, I would occasionally take a day off to help out for things they did, and it was refreshing to see the enthusiasm for science she generated in her class, compared to some of the other teachers who barely had a clue about what they were teaching. Something awesome they used to do in her district, they have an old bus converted into a Space Shuttle mockup, and each class did a one day a year thing where they each tried various stations based on Shuttle jobs and experiments carried out in space as well as various ground control stations - everyone got a shot at each position. Since the retirement of the real Shuttle, as well as the teacher who started it all more than 20 years ago, the district no longer uses it, so it was donated to the local airport where it remains accessible to all teachers and students in the district.  http://patch.com/pennsylvania/southwhitehall/parklands-space-shuttle-blake-bound-for-lvia-southwhitehall
 It even made a trip to Kennedy Space Center.
 The day's program started with a NASA video on the history of the shuttle program, at the time it included the Challenger disaster. Dead silence, even from a bunch of highly excited 6th graders. Still brings a tear to my eye when I see it, because I vividly remember what I was doing.


 

Offline rr100

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #139 on: December 31, 2015, 07:54:41 pm »
I read the book more than one year ago I think (I'm quite sure after it was recommended on this very forum but I can't find the thread ... also that would make the date a bit more precise than my recollection). I was quite surprised when a movie was announced (or when I learned about it, maybe they had it in the making for quite a while) and even more so when they released it this year.

I've seen the movie recently, not bad but they really left out lots and lots of stuff. Sure, I don't know how much I would enjoy 6-10 hours of this (probably the minimum to cover all the sub-plots in the book). Maybe if somebody crafty would manage to split it into 3-6 episodes, each ending with a small cliffhanger (we can easily identify quite a few in the book: losing the potatoes, supply ship blows up, frying Pathfinder, the dust storm)...

I'm not sure about how much the scientific accuracy makes any difference at all for the large public. Sure, the TYPE of movie does make a difference and "The Martian" and "Apollo 13" are in another league compared to psychedelic multidimensional crap like Interstellar or some other slimy-monster movies, etc. BUT "the large public" can't tell the difference between A-TEAM building some improbable, impossible and pointless contraption and MythBusters building something.



 

Offline rr100

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #140 on: December 31, 2015, 08:42:36 pm »
2) I know that astronauts are supposed to have 'the right stuff' but the guy finds a decades old space probe, brings it back to the habitat, plugs in the cables and the thing bursts into life. Whatever happened to different connectors, connectors being the wrong gender, different pinouts, different voltage levels and different communication protocols between the two systems?

In the book "voltage converters" are mentioned - I assume some kind of DC-DC converters, also that there are bare parts like resistors (mentioned explicitly) in the "electronics" kit. Sounds reasonable to have a way to output various voltages (or at least some used regularly) when you have tons of stuff running on electricity. As for connecting the power I can't remember how it was explained in the book but for sure is doable without much fuss, just find the wires going to the solar panels or battery and connect there.

He had watt-meters too - but without logging - important for the "storm" sub-plot :-)

For communication it was wireless after NASA patched remotely the old probe and Mark entered some command/patch by hand in rover's computer. It isn't that much of a stretch as it might seem at first glance; even now many consumer "things" are SDRs (software defined radios) that can do mostly anything - and we're talking 15$ USB tuners. As for the DC power supply - for such a complicated mission, with multiple rovers, science experiments, so many people/life support, etc, etc you'd have for sure some SDR capabilities one way or the other. Especially for talking some older, much much slower protocol.
 

Offline rr100

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #141 on: December 31, 2015, 09:06:13 pm »
As for not replanting, I think the plants were supposed to have frozen so badly they all died. However, he should have had some of the potatoes in his larder, so he should have had something to restart with.

Yes, this is what I was thinking too. Granted, not until I've got to the part where the accident happened but I'm not an astronaut, my life doesn't depend on it, I don't work at NASA and I haven't been thinking about this more than some hours, total. People are having bug-out bags at home, at work, in the car knowing very well you need redundancy, you might not have access to your stuff, it might be destroyed, etc. You can't keep all the eggs in a basket and then if a decompression happens (even while you aren't there to kill you directly) you're still dead. There are also more reasons to keep a totally independent stash with potatoes (and soil and whatever you need to start from scratch), for example the crop might develop some kind of bacteria and be all compromised. This was supposed to be a very long term project, it was clear that many things can happen and some will.
 

Offline rdl

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #142 on: January 06, 2016, 09:51:23 am »
Dammit! I watched this movie for the first time the day after Christmas and I've had disco music running through my mind ever since. Waterloo, Waterloo, Waterloo...
 

Offline GK

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #143 on: March 20, 2018, 12:23:50 am »
Saw this the other night on TV. What a heap of boring crap. It was soooo contrived right from the beginning - "How long could he survive the breach of his suit" (as if they wouldn't know already) and from then on it only got worse, the way everything was spelled out for the benefit of the viewer. And I'm sure I couldn't be the only person so far to cringe when the word science was used as a verb.

But the worse failing, making the film a total bore, was the virtually complete absence of any kind of character backstory or development. At about the halfway point I flipped a walnut over whether or not to go to bed early. There was nothing engaging here - I honestly couldn't have cared less from that point on how the rest of the story was to unfold or if Mr Potato was going to get off the planet or not. 

The interplay between the NASA staff was more cartoonish than suspenseful, but any element of humor fell as flat as the characters which were all cardboard cutouts. Just who the feck, for example, was that maverick dude who saved the day with his awesome rescue plan? First he gets a whole scene where he pulls an excited happy face after the super-dooper NASA super compuda says "Computations correct". Then there is the whole minute or so scene where he reveals his plan (playing with plastic models) to the head honchos who maintain deadpan faces, and that's basically it.

And then towards the end Mr Potato mostly disassembles a big rocketship with a K-Mart tool kit and lifts the 400kg nose cone off on his back. Living on half a potato for a gazzillion sol cycles obviously turned the dude into He-Man. In truth anyone living on an exclusive diet of potatoes would generate enough methane to haunch themselves off Mars in just one week. Mr Potato would have been constantly gassing himself in that spacesuit. I mean, really, they could have at the very least written just one fart joke scene into the dull and banal script.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 11:54:27 am by GK »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #144 on: March 20, 2018, 12:30:47 am »
So I'm guessing you didn't like it much  :-//
 

Offline mikerj

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #145 on: April 26, 2018, 02:43:35 am »
So I'm guessing you didn't like it much  :-//

A surprising number of people sat down to watch a Hollywood blockbuster whilst expecting to see a documentary...
 

Offline Nusa

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #146 on: June 29, 2018, 11:03:23 am »
And then towards the end Mr Potato mostly disassembles a big rocketship with a K-Mart tool kit and lifts the 400kg nose cone off on his back. Living on half a potato for a gazzillion sol cycles obviously turned the dude into He-Man.

The 400 kg of mass would only weigh 400 kg on earth. On mars it would be more like 150 kg. Less if you use leverage to only lift one side before sliding. For a fit guy of his size, you don't have to be that much of a he-man to do it.
 

Offline GK

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #147 on: July 10, 2018, 09:35:51 pm »
And then towards the end Mr Potato mostly disassembles a big rocketship with a K-Mart tool kit and lifts the 400kg nose cone off on his back. Living on half a potato for a gazzillion sol cycles obviously turned the dude into He-Man.

The 400 kg of mass would only weigh 400 kg on earth. On mars it would be more like 150 kg. Less if you use leverage to only lift one side before sliding. For a fit guy of his size, you don't have to be that much of a he-man to do it.

"The first cellular analysis of muscles from astronauts who have spent 180 days at the International Space Station shows that their muscles lost more than 40 percent of their capacity for physical work, despite in-flight exercise.

No matter how good their shape was before the astronauts left, they returned with muscle tone that resembled that of the average 80-year-old. In fact, the astronauts who were in the best shape before they launched were the most likely to come back with withered, or atrophied, muscles.

NASA currently estimates it would take a crew 10 months to reach Mars, with a one year stay, and 10 months to get back, for a total mission time of about three years. These studies suggest they would barely be able to crawl by the time they got back to Earth with the current exercise regime.

"The lack of load" – pressure on muscles – "is the main problem," said biologist Robert Fitts of Marquette University. "There is no gravity and so any fibers within those muscles are unloaded. The load normally maintains protein synthesis and the size." Even with plenty of activity, the lack of load leads to atrophy."

https://www.wired.com/2010/08/astronaut-muscle-waste/


How long did it take Mr Potato to reach Mars again and how many sols did this fanciful fiction have him subsisting on the concentration camp crash diet?

« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 06:42:29 pm by GK »
 

Offline Nusa

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #148 on: July 10, 2018, 10:14:40 pm »
I doubt the long-term zero-gravity studies can be strongly applied to most of the situations presented in the movie. The long trip to/from the planet was in a ship that provided centrifugal gravity for most of the trip. And Mars itself is NOT a zero-gravity situation. Low but real gravity and actually needing to use legs for locomotion on a regular basis may turn out to be quite sufficient to counter most of the negative effects.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #149 on: July 11, 2018, 04:57:03 am »
"The first cellular analysis of muscles from astronauts who have spent 180 days at the International Space Station shows that their muscles lost more than 40 percent of their capacity for physical work, despite in-flight exercise.

No matter how good their shape was before the astronauts left, they returned with muscle tone that resembled that of the average 80-year-old. In fact, the astronauts who were in the best shape before they launched were the most likely to come back with withered, or atrophied, muscles.

NASA currently estimates it would take a crew 10 months to reach Mars

So? You make a ship with artificial gravity (by spinning it).
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #150 on: July 11, 2018, 05:15:59 am »
"The first cellular analysis of muscles from astronauts who have spent 180 days at the International Space Station shows that their muscles lost more than 40 percent of their capacity for physical work, despite in-flight exercise.

No matter how good their shape was before the astronauts left, they returned with muscle tone that resembled that of the average 80-year-old. In fact, the astronauts who were in the best shape before they launched were the most likely to come back with withered, or atrophied, muscles.

NASA currently estimates it would take a crew 10 months to reach Mars

So? You make a ship with artificial gravity (by spinning it).
You have to make a really big ship for that to work well. If the ring you spin is much less than a kilometre across the difference in centripetal force between your head and your feet will make you constantly queasy. 2001 tried to be pretty realistic, but although the huge space station around the Earth was so big it would have provided a practical synthetic gravity, the ship to Jupiter would have been problematic.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #151 on: July 11, 2018, 08:16:32 am »
So? You make a ship with artificial gravity (by spinning it).
You have to make a really big ship for that to work well. If the ring you spin is much less than a kilometre across the difference in centripetal force between your head and your feet will make you constantly queasy.

How about .... two small ships joined by a piece of string?  Would that work for you? :popcorn:
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 07:27:11 pm by Fungus »
 

Offline Nusa

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #152 on: July 11, 2018, 10:26:07 am »
So? You make a ship with artificial gravity (by spinning it).
You have to make a really big ship for that to work well. If the ring you spin is much less than a kilometre across the difference in centripetal force between your head and your feet will make you constantly queasy.

I suspect that's only a short-term problem on smaller rings, much like ocean sea-sickness is for most. After the first day or two your body/mind adapts to it and it stops being a problem. Also, you'd only have to lie down to relieve the symptoms of having your head and feet at different levels.
 

Offline GK

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #153 on: July 11, 2018, 07:05:13 pm »
And Mars itself is NOT a zero-gravity situation.



It doesn't have to be a zero gravity situation. A 62% reduction in gravity is hardly an insignificant reduction as far as human physiology is concerned. There is no way that even Arnold Schwarzenegger from his Mr Universe days could spend 575 earth days on Mars on a starvation diet that wouldn't by a long shot give a calorie surplus to sustain any kind of worthwhile strength training without ending up with the physique of Mr Burns from the Simpsons.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2018, 07:08:46 pm by GK »
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #154 on: July 11, 2018, 07:52:42 pm »
It doesn't have to be a zero gravity situation. A 62% reduction in gravity is hardly an insignificant reduction as far as human physiology is concerned. There is no way that even Arnold Schwarzenegger from his Mr Universe days could spend 575 earth days on Mars on a starvation diet that wouldn't by a long shot give a calorie surplus to sustain any kind of worthwhile strength training without ending up with the physique of Mr Burns from the Simpsons.
I wonder how much astronaut health has taught us about how the human body would react to a wide range of levels of gravity? We seem to only have results for 0G and 1G. I suspect anyone heading to Mars will be heading very much into the unknown, and will be a heck of a long way from a decent hospital.
 

Offline Nusa

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #155 on: July 12, 2018, 05:16:50 am »
What Coppice said.

I never said it was insignificant, I merely said it is probably not as bad as you suggest. Straight-line approximations between 0g and 1g are probably wrong IMO, but we are short on empirical data points to create the correct curve.
 

Offline GK

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #156 on: July 16, 2018, 11:31:56 pm »
Yawn. Gravity is the one thing that has been basically constant for all of human evolution. Sure there are unknowns, but one of them certainly is not that long term exposure to just 0.38g will result in, amongst other things (reduced bone density, reduced circulatory health, etc), a significant degree of muscle atrophy. How completely any deleterious effects of 0.38g can be effectively countenanced in the long term is anyone's guess for now - but a starvation potato diet certainly isn't going to make any future suggested cures list.

Online Fungus

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #157 on: July 16, 2018, 11:40:14 pm »
a starvation potato diet certainly isn't going to make any future suggested cures list.

Presumably we'd send some extra food and vitamins along, too.

(Even The Martian had real food until it ran out...)

Or we can send Bear Grylls, he'll find something to eat on Mars.
 

Offline apis

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #158 on: July 23, 2018, 10:15:23 pm »
So? You make a ship with artificial gravity (by spinning it).
You have to make a really big ship for that to work well. If the ring you spin is much less than a kilometre across the difference in centripetal force between your head and your feet will make you constantly queasy.

How about .... two small ships joined by a piece of string?  Would that work for you? :popcorn:
Yes, you don't need a gigant ring for spingravity, just a long wire and a counterweight.
 

Offline coppice

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #159 on: July 24, 2018, 05:16:15 am »
So? You make a ship with artificial gravity (by spinning it).
You have to make a really big ship for that to work well. If the ring you spin is much less than a kilometre across the difference in centripetal force between your head and your feet will make you constantly queasy.

How about .... two small ships joined by a piece of string?  Would that work for you? :popcorn:
Two small space stations connected by a cable is a scheme found in several sci-fi stories. It should be fine once you are in there, but getting in and out could be a pain. Two ships connected by a tube, with some kind of docking bay at the middle of the tube seems more realistic. Then you can dock reasonably easily, by spinning your ship until it syncs with the station, ala 2001. If the tube is long enough the spin speed should be low enough not to make everyone vomit during docking - although it would probably be fairly disorienting for most people.

Making a ship like this could be more problematic. If both the pair of connected ships have comparable drive systems, and run them in accurate synchronisation, they could accelerate the structure orthogonal to direction of spin. Any mismatch in the two drive units could produce some funky high stress results, though.
 

Online Fungus

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #160 on: July 24, 2018, 07:54:31 pm »
Making a ship like this could be more problematic. If both the pair of connected ships have comparable drive systems, and run them in accurate synchronisation, they could accelerate the structure orthogonal to direction of spin. Any mismatch in the two drive units could produce some funky high stress results, though.

You normally wouldn't be landing/docking while spinning and course corrections are very tiny if done early.

I imagine the biggest problem would be slowing it down when you arrive but really it's just math and fuel calculations. I wonder if weight could be transferred from one side to the other along the cable. This would move the main ship towards the center of mass. This could be followed by reeling in the cable with a bit of weight left on it. The "reeling in" could cancel a lot of the spin of the main craft using just electric motors, no fuel needed.

 


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