(I don’t have the mental capacity for full reviews this week, so here are some short thoughts.)
1. Glengary Glen Ross (1992)
About five minutes into watching this, I thought, This feels like a David Mamet play. That would probably be because it was written by David Mamet. The story is as simple as a day in the life of shady real estate salesmen, but the crisp and snappy dialog and brilliant acting make this incredibly dark and tense.
2. The Martian (2015)
Capturing almost everything I loved about the book, the movie was just as funny and thrilling as I hoped it would be with gorgeous shots of the martian landscape.
3. We Are Still Here (2015)
This fairly standard haunted house movie set in the early ’80s features a family trying to start over, a suspiciously creepy small town, and a violent ghosts. The opening sequences are unsettling with sparse images of a snowed in landscape, which building to a conclusion full of bloodplatter. Just what I wanted to see.
1. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (mini-series, 2015)
2. Big Hero Six (2016)
3. Home (2015)
Note: This post involves minor spoilers.
A significant portion of Andy Weir’s The Martian centers around a lone astronaut using his wits to survive in impossible circumstances.
During a massive sandstorm and an evacuation of the mars expedition team, astronaut Mark Watney is hit by a radio dish and presumed dead. But he wakes on Mars alone, still alive in a hostile environment. The only way to survive is to use scientific knowledge and engineering skills to make an uninhabitable world inhabitable for four years when the next Mars mission is set to return.
Space and travel to other planets are incredibly dangerous for human being. There are thousands of ways for a person to die, from severe cold to lack of atmosphere to the wrong oxygen/nitrogen/carbon dioxide mixture in a space suit. A small error in judgment, one tiny unconsidered element of physics (like a single flawed bolt or a piece of overstretched fabric) can mean catastrophe and death. This epically fun book makes this danger brutally clear.
1. Ex Machina (2015)
2. American Mary (2012)
3. Kingsman: The Secret Service (2015)
4. It Follows (2014)
1. Farewell, My Queen (2012)
2. Jurassic World (2015)
3. Hotel Transylvania (2012)
4. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
5. The Fourth Kind (2009)
6. Hellraiser (1987)