30.9.15

The Martian | Movie vs Book & General Review

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I read The Martian by Andy Weir in anticipation of the movie, and I finished it in four days. You can probably guess how excited I was to watch the movie after that, especially since it's directed by Ridley Scott (and I'm a huge Blade Runner fan). I therefore went to the Cineworld preview screening around my area last week; here are my thoughts.

IF YOU'VE READ THE BOOK:


The story is quite true to the book, which is something I really liked. I loved it so much I didn't want them to make it into something else, and they didn't. I'm very happy about that.

They obviously had to take out a lot of the "science talk" to make it more interesting for everyone, I guess. But I'm fine with that. I appreciate the research on the book, a lot, but I don't think it would have had the same effect on the movie. The thing they took out that annoyed me a little (these are half spoilers, but if you've read the book then you're okay) was his struggle with carrying everything on the rover, his trip across Mars and how long it took (in the movie he just turns up near the crater, no big deal), and most of the communication issues. I agree it would have made the movie longer and they would have had to explain a lot more, but they make it seem like he only struggles with food, oxygen, and water.

I know I said I was alright with almost everything, but there's just one part I was disappointed with: the ending. (No spoilers ahead). Why did they change it? Someone please tell me why. The outcome is the same, but the way it happens isn't, and I just don't understand why they thought the book ending wasn't good enough. Instead, they turn it into this "fake" thing, very hard to believe, and it doesn't make that much sense. I love that the book is true to science, that you can believe the story is real, and this just threw it all to the ground. I still loved the movie, though.

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IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOK:


You need to. What are you waiting for? It's probably my favorite book I've read this year, and I don't say that lightly. But on with the movie review.

The Martian follows the story of an astronaut who gets left behind in Mars. Everyone thinks he's dead, until he makes contact. How is he going to survive and can NASA bring him back? That's what you'll see in the movie.

Mark Watney (played by Matt Damon) is one of the most likeable characters I've ever read/seen on screen, which makes the movie so much better. He's a very funny guy and, even though the story depicts an overwhelming situation, you will laugh quite a bit during the movie.

It's very different from other science fiction movies in the sense that you will forget it's actually fiction. I think the role NASA takes in it makes it easy to believe, as well. You will be rooting for this guy, wanting for him to come back to Earth alive.

The shots of Mars and space (especially Hermes) are breath taking. I watched it in 3D and I'm glad I did because of that. I will watch it again in 2D because why not, but if you're not too sure which one to go for, I enjoyed it a lot and I'm not usually a fan of 3D.
I recommend this movie to everyone. It's one of those anyone can enjoy. Again, it's very different from anything you've seen before, so it's refreshing. You will be on the edge of your seat.

13.9.15

The Scorch Trials | Movie vs Book & General Review

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The second installment in The Maze Runner series, The Scorch Trials, is now out in the UK, and will be out in the US next week. Being a huge fan of the books for a few years, I obvioulsy had to check it out as soon as possible. I should also mention The Scorch Trials was, and still is, my favorite book, so the expectations were high.



IF YOU'VE READ THE BOOKS:


The already changed things in the first movie, so it was expected to have a few changed as well on this one. With that said, there are many differences. Many. All over the place. 


The first part of the movie, before they get out into the Scorch, is completely different. I very much liked the way it was in the book, so I was a bit disappointed, especially because my favorite scene (metall ball head, anyone?) was not there. There's no group A-B situation with all boys + Teres and all girls + Aris. The tattoo part where they all had a "role" is also ignored, but they do happen to have tattoos. A wasted opportunity.


The plot, as you can imagine, got a lot more simple. To the point that it's just them trying to get to the Right Arm. Very basic. They still kept most of the middle stuff with Brenda though, even though I felt like that wasn't as important. In my opinion, in an attempt to reach a broader audience, it lacked personality compared to the books.



IF YOU HAVEN'T READ THE BOOKS:


The Scorch Trials is a good post-apocalyptic movie that reminded me of some others at some points. They've tried to make it simple so more people are attracted to it, so let's see how that works for them. 


It's filled with action and you can expect some comedy moments (I'd like to "blame" Wes Ball for this, I think he's a pretty funny guy), as well as some darker moments (it is a post-apocalyptic movie after all, deaths are expected).


The cast is great. I've been a huge fan of Dylan O'Brien for years and I do consider him one of the best actors out there (I think he'll get a lot more recognition from critics in a few years, once he's not considered just a young actor) so his performance was brilliant. Thomas Brodie-Sangster is also a personal favorite, so I obvioulsy thought he was great. As a villain, Aidan Gillen does a pretty nice job as well (if you also watch Game of Thrones, you won't be able to help hating him).


I really enjoyed it as a film on itself, and I can see a lot of people liking it as well. Not sure if you can say it was amazing (because I can't help but miss those things from the book that make the series unique), but it's worth giving it a chance.



OTHER THINGS I WANT TO BRING UP:


They say the word 'sh*t' a lot in the movie. I'm not sure what they were trying to do with that, but they say it a lot more than necessary. Yes, they do get surprised about things, but there are many other words that could have been used instead. I don't have a problem with the word, but it was annoyingly noticeable.


I also don't know what is up with blocking doors. I also understand people are coming after them and all, but there are at least 4 sequences where they're just blocking doors.


(update 2 hours after first publishing) Is it me or do they never say the word Scorch in the movie? From what I can remember, they don't. That would be confusing for people who haven't read the books.


If any of you are going to watch the movie, or have watched it already, you can let me know your thoughts in the comments, or over on Twitter @LuMontes.