Mars Potatoes with Vicodin: THE MARTIAN

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Highlight: A Ridley Scott Film: THE MARTIAN

By Tinsel & Tine Editor, Le Anne Lindsay

Matt Damon joins the ranks of Tom Hanks (Castaway), Ryan Reynolds (Buried), James Franco (127 Hours), Suraj Sharma (Life  of PI) Sandra Bullock (Gravity) and Robert Redford (All is Lost) - Movies where the main character is stranded somewhere alone and must rely on their own wits to not only survive, but to entertain themselves. (click links for T&T posts)

In THE MARTIAN Mark Watley (Damon) is an Astronaut with a background in Botany. He's part of a crew of 5 sent to explore Mars.  All is witty repartee and good natured barbs at one another, over the spacesuit intercom until a storm on Mars comes whipping up. The captain, Melissa Lewis (Jessica Chastain) quickly assesses the situation and decides it's time to abandon the mission and head back to earth. Watley disagrees, but mid sentence he's struck by an antennae; and with all the dust and wind, visibility is impossible, he's out of sight. The crew doesn't want to leave him behind, but when they can't get a signal from his suit, it's Melissa's call to leave him for dead.

But of course he's not dead and upon waking up abandon, Watley becomes Macgyver 2.0 in space!  There's nothing he can't think up, fashion, figure out, come up with, fix or maneuver. It's like this guy took one of those Limitless pills!  I mock to be humorous, but in actuality Ridley Scott's The Martian, based on a book by Andy Weir, is completely believable, the production is mind blowing, just as good as Gravity,  the science feels credible and the script is acutely intelligent without being dense.

T&T LAMB Score: 5 outta 5


Two actors, an astronaut and Mr. Mars 

Walk into the Fels Planetarium 

I got to attend a panel discussion to promote The Martian in Philly at Fels Planetarium at the Franklin Institute moderated by Chief Astronomer Derrick Pitts. The participants: were two cast members from The Martian, Sebastian Stan (Mars crew) & Mackenzie Davis (Mission Control), retired NASA astronaut, Nicole Stott and Dr. Jim "Mr. Mars" Green - Director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA, also the film's consultant, and lead scientist on the announcement this past week on the discovery of streaks of water on Mars.

Astronaut Nicole Stott discussing the accuracy of the movies crew
As I said, the movie feels completely realistic, but don't take my word on it - during her time at NASA Astronaut Stott spent 91 days on the International Space Station and 6 hours outside doing a space walk. She had nothing but praise for THE MARTIAN and particularly felt they got the camaraderie, both professionally and personally completely right between the crew and the crew's relationship with Mission Control.

Actress Mackenzie Davis discussing her training for "The Martian"
Mackenzie Davis (That Awkward Moment, What If, Breath) plays a young Communications Engineer at Mission Control, who discovers Mark Watney is still alive. She notices a discrepancy on the monitors transmitting different images from Mars after the crew's departure. Davis was asked during the Q&A about her interest in space and whether space exploration is a worthwhile endeavor. Davis says getting this deeper understanding of what NASA does has been amazing and that since she was a little girl she's been fascinated by black holes. She's even imagined going on a space expedition, but for some reason never imagined coming back. She has since had a chance to visit Johnson Space Center (NASA) but did not get to go ahead of filming the movie. She was able to converse with consultants prior to the movie - however, she contributes most of the authenticity to Ridley Scott's interactive, immersive sets and amazingly real environments.

Actor Sebastian Stan discussing wire acting
Sebastian Stan  (Captain America, Gossip Girl series) said the movie reinvigorated his interest in science and space exploration.  He was asked how much astronaut training he was given prior to shooting? His response, not much. Most of the physical training pertained to mastering the wires used to make them look as if they are weightless and floating around the ship. He said it's a lot harder than it looks, you're in a big heavy spacesuit that is not weightless, and gravity & physics tend to spin the person on the wires in a way that would not take place if you were actually in space.

 For what gems Dr. Jim "Mr. Mars" Green imparted 
you can watch this short video
I even got to ask him a question!
NASA's Dr. Green discussing the validity of growing potatoes on Mars
Note:video will not be visible to those receiving Tinsel & Tine via RSS Feed. Click HERE to view

Be sure to keep watching after he answers Dr. Pitts questions, there's a brief pause and then I have the mic

Food n Film:  Mark Watley figured out how to ration his Martian grown potatoes, but he forgot to ration his ketchup, so he dips his potato into some Vicodin. Hey, when you're alone on your own planet, why the hell not!

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About This Blog

is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.

Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?

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