Author Topic: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review  (Read 40993 times)

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Offline German_EE

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #75 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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Offline Vgkid

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #76 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 #77 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 #78 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 #79 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 #80 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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Online HighVoltage

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #81 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 #82 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.
 

Online HighVoltage

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #83 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 #84 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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Online HighVoltage

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #85 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 #86 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 #87 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.

Warren Buffett
 

Offline gordo51

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #88 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 #89 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 #90 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 #91 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 #92 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 #93 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 #94 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.

Warren Buffett
 

Offline wraper

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #95 on: November 06, 2015, 05:38:26 am »

 :-DD
 

Offline mikerj

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Re: eevBLAB#15 - The Martian Movie Review
« Reply #96 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 #97 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 #98 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 #99 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.
 


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