Tag Archives: The Martian

‘The Martian’ Movie- This could make me want to move to Mars

10 Nov

MartianMovieA lot of you read my review on this book. I absolutely loved it and I was beyond excited to hear it would become a movie and even more so to hear it would star Matt Damon. It seemed like he was reprising his role in Interstellar but being less of a jerk. Side note- why does Matt Damon always need saving? Did Private Ryan set him on this course? Just curious.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

The Mars set. It was hard to imagine the Mars terrain while I was reading the book, but the movie brought it to life really well. The rust color and rocky landscape were really great and if they were built on a lot, I wouldn’t have known.

Matt Damon. Especially the drastic slim-down he did. I’m not a fan of actors doing that to their bodies, but it was incredible. I thought Damon was a great choice for Watney because He was able to carry the sarcastic humor that I loved in Watney while still being believable as a great scientist.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Not losing contact with NASA. While it forced Watney to be more independent and resourceful in the book, it didn’t change much about his communications with NASA in the end. They still talked and that was that. It was a setback in the book but didn’t need to be in the final movie.

The windstorm being taken out. Again, something that showed how awesome Mark was. NASA was freaking out about the windstorm while Watney figured it out and a solution in a day. Very anticlimactic. I liked the removal.

MartianThings That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

Annie’s personality. I was really looking forward to Kristin Wiig getting to play the sarcastic and hard-to-like Annie. I thought she could do a great job at it. I wanted to see her in a more serious role, but nothing too theatrical and I thought Annie would be great. But she fell really short to me. There was a lot of her dialogue that was taken out that I would have loved and she was very pushed aside. I don’t know why because Annie was a great character.

The closing log entry. This bothered me a lot, probably because I watched the trailer for the movie right before I finished the book. So in the trailer, I hear this great monolog from Damon about humanity banning together to help him and how cool that was and I liked it. Then I finish the book and see that’s how it ends and I think, “Cool, I like that the ending is him on Hermes and not on Earth because that’s not important. This is cool.” But then that monolog, which I know Damon recorded, isn’t int he movie?! Why? How does this even make sense? Instead of this great closing monolog, we have Watney teaching astronaut school. WTF?

Things That Changed Too Much

The final rescue. That was out of character for Lewis and I wasn’t OK with it. She would have trusted her crew’s skills and would have let Beck do the rescue the same was she trusts Johannsen’s calculations and Martinez’s maneuvering. She wouldn’t have taken that job from him. I could almost forgive making the rescue more dramatic for a movie, but making it Lewis ruined it a bit for me.

Beck’s character. Yes, this is related to the previous point. Beck had a minor part in the book but what defined him for me was the rescue at the end. In truth, Beck and Vogel could have been combined into one character from a story point of view but I’m guessing Weir kept them separate to be more accurate to NASA. Whatever. The point is, Beck was expendable in the movie because the one important thing he did got taken away from him. That means he was only important because Johannsen was attracted to him and there could be a romance in the book. Wooptie-freaking-do.

Reader, I’m dying to know what you think. What did you think of The Martian movie? Do you think Matt Damon’s performance was great?

Until next time, write on.

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WWW Wednesday, 26-August-2015

26 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


ScorchCurrently reading:  I finally got Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell back on Monday. Woo! This won’t be the fastest progressing book I read, but I’m excited to make headway with it.
I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai is out, too. I just want one of these now and it’s seeming like that’s too much to ask.
I just got back to The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer after a week off to get through Dark Places. I hope to finish this up soon.
Just a little bit with Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. Again, I’m close to finishing this one so I hope to get through it soon.
I decided to grab The Scorch Trials by James Dashner next. I’m hoping it’s a quick read and I can get it over with quickly and move on to some other books I’ve been looking forward to.

MiniaturistRecently finished: I finished The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton on Sunday. Review to come but in summary I’ll say this was a bit over-hyped in my opinion. Good, but not outstanding.
I finished Dark Places by Gillian Flynn on Monday. I don’t want to brag, but I half figured it out early on! I was so excited to see the story unfold. This one will be a high rating from me!

One review out this week, one you were all asking me about. Click to find my review of The Martian by Andy Weir! Please go check it out and let me know what you thought about this awesome book. I’m so excited for the movie.

Boleyn InheritanceReading Next: I think I’m going to finish up my When Are You Reading? Challenge next. I only have one book left and it’s on my shelves. So up next should be The Boleyn Inheritance by Philippa Gregory. I’m a big fan of Gregory and can only remember one or two books of her’s I didn’t enjoy. I’m looking forward to this one.


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: The Martian by Andy Weir (4/5)

24 Aug

When I hear things like ‘Science Fiction for the person who doesn’t like science fiction,’ I’m always skeptical. I usually think it’s way too science-y and hate it. But for once, the rumors were believable. This book is one with universal appeal and its 100% due to the amazing voice of Mark that Weir writes. This book will appeal to anyone who has been sarcastic for even one second of their life.

MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir

Summary from Goodreads:

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Wow. I was not prepared for how much I would like this book. I’m not someone who enjoys space books and every time I try one, I’m always underwhelmed and over annoyed. But my husband and I were driving to New York and I thought this is one we would both enjoy. We loved it. I can’t wait for the movie. Matt Damon will be amazing in the role, I’m sure. In summary, there are not enough good things for me to say about this one.

Mark is amazing. His strong voice makes the character jump off the page. Writing a voice like that is hard (I’ve tried!) and Weir pulls it off beautifully. Mark is smart, but he reacts to adversity the way most of us would, by cursing loudly and shaking a fist at the creator before figuring out how to survive. He’s likable and scrappy. In short, the perfect hero.

If anyone said their favorite character was someone besides Watney, they’re lying to you. Though, Venkat is a close second for me. I liked his dedication and love from Earth. But really, it’s all Watney.

But secret here; I’ve never been stranded on Mars. But I could relate to Watney. I’ve been stuck in situations where I had to figure things out and I was challenged. Times when I’ve struggled to think of something and the thing I think of might seem stupid for a second, but I know it is the only option and in the end, I’m surprised at my success. I think everyone’s felt that way. I think everyone has a little Watney in them.

Andy Weir Image via The Washington Post

Andy Weir
Image via The Washington Post

The rescue was amazing. It had me sitting in my car for ten minutes after I was home trying to convince myself I didn’t have to pee. I was so hooked and I had invested 9 hours in Watney already. I had to know how it was going to end. I don’t want to spoil it, but it will make an amazing climax to the movie.

I can’t think of a point in the book I disliked or thought dragged. It was a really incredible pacing job. Every time we talked to Mark, he had something different to report on and I was always interested. Hats off to Weir!

The audiobook I listened to was narrated by R.C. Bray. I thought he did a great job. He got the sarcasm of Watney right and brought a lot of character to the other speakers. If this had been a bad narration, the whole book would have been a huge drag, but Bray did a great job. It’s a lot of first person narration and I loved listening to it.

Watney never gave up. There were so many things that could have stopped him, so many times he could have stopped trying, but he never did. He was persistent and kept trying and made me want to cheer for him. I loved it. The story was about the human spirit and how far we as a human race will go to protect another person. I’m getting all mushy, but this book deserves it!

Writer’s Takeaway: Let’s talk about voice and first person narration. Weir’s book is my new favorite example. Mark is a character down to his word choice and reactions. His personality is so engrained into the book that you can’t escape it. It’s wonderful. It’s internal dialog they way we all think. I’m going to try to copy this from now on.

A great book. Four out of Five stars.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Review of The Martian by Andy Weir (You should read this book) | Sam Whitehouse
The Martian by Andy Weir | Pages and Pictures
The Martian by Andy Weir: A review. Well, a full-on analysis if I’m being honest.| The Self-Taught Author
Review: The Martian by Andy Weir |TheBookVenom

WWW Wednesday, 5-August-2015

5 Aug

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Hold HandsCurrently reading:  I almost hit the middle of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. So close. I might have to return it soon so I’m hoping I can renew it without losing it this time.
Oh hold with I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. Stand by in case I lose Cloud Atlas.
Half way with The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. I’m liking it, but still not 100% bought into the main character. You would think with such a long book I would be by now, but no such luck.
I’m on a mission to finish The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. The action was really slow to start and now that I’m over half way, I can finally see where this is going. I hope it picks up a bit more and I can get on with it.
I started a new eAudio: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands by Chris Bohjalian. It’s his first YA and it’s not the kind of YA I’m used it. It’s very ‘raw,’ which makes sense coming from an author who normally writes for adults. I’m liking it so far. Bohjalian’s daughter narrates the audio. She’s a trained actress and does a great job.

MockingjayRecently finished: Two! Two whole books, both audio. The first is Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. It was nice to refresh this one in my mind. I remembered the major actions, but not the details. It’s going to be hard to wait for November to get here! I also finished Andy Weir. This book was really great. I highly recommend it for sci-fi or adventure fans. The narrator has a strong voice so it’s great for any writers struggling with that as well.

One book review up for you all to enjoy as well, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford. I really liked this one and hope you all do, too.

WidowReading Next: I got the copy of A Widow for One Year by John Irving last week, but unfortunately that’s got to wait. First I need to read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls for a book club. I hope I can get to these soon!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 29-July-2015

29 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


MartianCurrently reading:  I’m on to the next section of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I liked the last section, about Luisa, a lot so I hope this one doesn’t let me down.
No progress with. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. Stand by.
Good progress with Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I keep imagining this as a movie and it’s going to be awesome. I’m so excited for November.
Better progress on The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer than I expected. I’m around disk ten now so I’m almost half way done. I’m getting annoyed by all the french road names. It’s reminding me of a Steig Larsson book.
Slow start with The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman. The week has been a bit hectic and I haven’t had time to read much. I’m hoping this changes.
Just to make the list of books I’m reading longer, I’m still not done with The Martian by Andy Weir. My husband and I are going to trade it back and forth for our commutes until it’s finished. I hope I can get through it soon, I’m really enjoying it.

Recently finished: Um…. yeah. Nothing this week. I haven’t had as much time to read as I’d like with physical therapy. It will be over soon, though. Then I want to hit the books hard.

However, two book reviews! Beat that! One is for Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (2/5) and the other for Harry, A History by Melissa Anneli (4/5). Check them out and let me know what you think.

CastleReading Next: While I’ve been waiting forever for A Widow for One Year by John Irving, it’s going to be put on hold. I’ve got to get to another book club selection, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. This has been on my TBR for a while and since we were discussing new selections, I came ready with some I’ve been wanting to read and snuck them onto the list. Winning!


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 22-July-2015

22 Jul

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


ExtraordinaryCurrently reading:  Slow progress on Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I’m enjoying the story a lot more now that I’m back into it. The first section was rough to get through, but I’m starting to see the connections between characters and it’s getting interesting.
No progress with. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. I lost the hold so this one might be a while.
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins flying by. I’m into the part that will make up the Part II movie so it’s all new to me again. I love it.
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer is going slowly, but it’s enjoyable. I’m on disk 6 of 22 so that’s progress, though granted not much.
I was able to start The Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman late last week. So far, so good though I’m going into this with negative connotations because I really disliked the last Hoffman book I read. Just trying to stay impartial.

ManforHimselfRecently finished: I cried finishing Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge. I think my own Titanic knowledge made it worse because I knew which characters would live and die. Bainbridge did a great job of incorporating the well-known passengers, much the way the James Cameron movie did. I started watching the movie after finishing this. Still ongoing due to a bad TV.

Only one book review this week, Wuthering Bites by Sarah Gray which a lot of you said sounded interesting. Hope you like my review.

MartianReading Next: I should get  A Widow for One Year by John Irving this week! I’ve been waiting on this one for a while so I’m looking forward to it. I’ll also be starting the audiobook of The Martian by Andy Weir. My husband and I are driving to New York and back for our annual trip so I hope this keeps us entertained while we go through Canada (fastest route between Detroit and Syracuse).


Leave a comment with your link and a comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!