Dennis D. McDonald (ddmcd@outlook.com) is an independent consultant located in Alexandria Virginia. His services and capabilities are described here. Application areas include project, program, and data management; market assessment, digital strategy, and program planning; change and content management; social media; and, technology adoption. Follow him on Google+. He also publishes on CTOvision.com and aNewDomain.

Ridley Scott's THE MARTIAN

Ridley Scott's THE MARTIAN

Movie review by Dennis D. McDonald

I loved the novel as well as movies likes Scott’s Prometheus so I was really looking forward to seeing The Martian.

I was not disappointed. The images displayed in the film are how I pictured them, the main exception being that the Hermes in the movie was much more expansive and roomy than I had imagined. I had been expecting something more like the interior of an interplanetary ISS, I guess.

Matt Damon was perfect. No complaints there. He’s on screen almost constantly so I’m sure he felt like he was getting a workout.

Stepping back a bit, what are some of my larger impressions?

  • The Mars in the movie is much more craggy and mountainous than what I recall seeing in the many photos sent back by landers, rovers, and satellites. Would we really land such expensive manned and unmanned vehicles into such a mountainous area?
  • I enjoyed the focus on people and personalities, on earth, in space, and on Mars. For many years NASA presented a highly sanitized view of the space program and that has thankfully changed given its current focus on people and media based promotion.
  • The technology—except for the size and scope of the Hermes—is believable and recognizable. This makes it easier to identify with the story.
  • The special effects are for the most part superb. However, weightlessness as portrayed was a bit dodgy. I think Christopher Nolan did a much better job with portraying weightlessness in Interstellar.
  • It’s about time we started working with the Chinese on space exploration. I don’t pretend to understand the politics of why we are not doing joint planning for a super expensive Mars expedition.
  • I know the windstorm at the beginning was unrealistic given Mars’ atmospheric density but I really enjoyed seeing later on the dust devils and twisters in the distance!

All in all The Martian is enjoyable film that promotes science and exploration but on a human and recognizable scale in a way that any audience can enjoy. Recommended!

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Review copyright (c) 2015 by Dennis D. McDonald.

Ron Howard's THE MISSING

Ron Howard's THE MISSING

Now Showing: My Personal Favorites from This Year’s Alexandria Film Festival

Now Showing: My Personal Favorites from This Year’s Alexandria Film Festival