Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Martian

The Martian
(2015) Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Sean Bean, Kristen Wiig, Aksel Hennie, Benedict Wong, Donald Glover, Mackenzie Davis

martian

So I went to see The Martian at the cinema tonight. I was hopeful yet wary at the same time. The book was so amazing, and I know how Hollywood loves to change things up, so I was a little scared. I also was iffy about the casting of Matt Damon. I thought he might be too “big” for the role, too good looking. Mark Watney was described as being a little geeky, and Matt’s not the first name to come to mind when I hear “geeky”. But my fears were all unfounded, this was a great piece of film. Matt easily pulled off Mark’s geeky charm and sense of humour, but was also there when he needed to be serious and more dramatic. There was a lot missing from the film that was in the book, but that’s to be expected, there’s no way to fit everything, but everything important was there, and they didn’t add any useless Hollywoodized crap. There was just one thing that pissed me off a little, and that was that they changed a character’s race and first name. In the book, one of the NASA people is called Venket Kapoor, and he’s Indian. In the film they made him black and changed his name to Vincent. The rest of the racially diverse cast is right, so why change that one? It’s ridiculous. But that’s really the only bad thing I have to say about the film. Everything was great, good acting all round, great story, nice visuals, even the usually annoying 3D was alright. And so it gets an almost perfect 9.5/10 from me!

M.

Mel’s 10 Things About… Space Odyssey

Space Odyssey: Voyage to the Planets
(2004) Martin McDougall, Joanne McQuinn, Rad Lazar, Mark Dexter, Michelle Joseph, Mark Tandy, Hélène Mahieu, Lourdes Faberes, John Schwab, Colin Stinton, David Suchet (v.o.)

Space Odyssey Voyage to the Planets

1. The CGI was simply breathtaking.
2. Acting was good all round.
3. The the mix of film and faux-documentary style. Sometimes that can go horribly wrong, in this case it went very, very right.
4. The science, as far as I can tell, is really good. It lines up with other shows I’ve watched and books I’ve read on the subject. Some things are out-dated, but the film was made in 2004 after all.
5. There are some good, tense scenes here and there, and one really sad one that made me bawl like a baby the first time round.
6. This still falls into the realm of science fiction, but for how long, I wonder? I certainly hope I live long enough to see our explorations of other planets and moons.
7. Everything was mostly believable except maybe putting humans on Venus and Io. Would a titanium suit really protect us from the awesome pressures and heat from Venus?
8. I was really hoping, while hovering around Jupiter and Saturn that they’d land on, or at least mention, the moons Titan and Europa. The latter, with its under-ice ocean, is tremendously exciting. (Another very good film on the subject is Europa Report, about what might be swimming around in that deep, dark ocean.)
9. That one dude who was more interested in the science than in the safety of the astronauts really pissed me off, and I’d like to say that that would never happen in real life, but really now, who am I kidding?
10. I was kinda pissed that the “weak one” was a woman. Why not a man? Or, even better, why have a weak one at all? Having a full team of great astronauts isn’t that far a stretch.

Great little film by the BBC. I’d recommend it to anyone even slightly interested in space travel.

9.5/10

 

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Prometheus

Prometheus
(2012) Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Sean Harris, Rafe Spall and Emun Elliott

prometheus

Oh, Prometheus, how could you have gone so very wrong? Where to even begin? The paper thin plot? The self-administered cesarean? People dying in the dumbest way possible (apparently, future folks can only run in straight lines)? Really I could go on for ages. But I won’t. I’ve already wasted enough of my life on this poor excuse of a movie. Could have been so good, it’s a real shame. There were so many problems in the script and the action, that it was just really hard to enjoy. All in all, quite disappointing. It gets nothing more than a very mediocre 5/10.

This movie is currently streaming on Netflix if you haven’t seen it and are in the mood to see a great franchise getting shat on. Enjoy 😉

And here, instead of the real trailer, check out this Honest Trailer. It’s funny as hell, and probably better than the actual film :-p

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Fourth Kind

The Fourth Kind
(2009) Milla Jovovich, Will Patton, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Corey Johnson, Enzo Cilenti, Elias Koteas, Eric Loren, Mia McKenna-Bruce, Raphaël Coleman and Charlotte Milchard

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So, this is a pretty big meh. Had a few good scenes, but nothing spectacular. Also the “actual footage” thing only works when said footage is real. The “real” Dr Taylor is played by an actress named Charlotte Milchard. That kinda kills the whole credibility thing. I had heard that the film was really scary, so my expectations were pretty high when I started watching it. Needless to say, my expectations were nowhere near met. A very disappointing 5/10.

This movie is currently streaming on Netflix, if you don’t wanna take my word for it.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Dark Skies

Dark Skies
(2013) Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo, Kadan Rockett, JK Simmons, LJ Benet, Annie Thurman and Jake Washburn

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Slow in some parts, but overall, a pretty decent alien flick. Not very scary, but it still manages to be subtly creepy in some parts. You never see the aliens full on, only in shadows and out-of-focus behind or beside the actors, which I think, unless you’ve got HR Giger as your designer, is the best way to do it. The acting was pretty good, a little sketchy at times, but never downright bad. And the story manages to take the over-hashed abduction story and breathe some new life into it. I give it a well deserved 7/10.

The film isn’t currently on Netflix, and the only version I found on YouTube is this french version. But go ahead and track it down. It’s worth it.

M.