Dope or Nope: Matt Damon the Martian

I’ve been away from the blogosphere for awhile now, but I’m back talking about one of my favorite things…MOVIES. 

As some of y’all know, I like to watch movies (old, new and everything in between, and usually with Rebecca and of the Disney variety). And because of my practice (see most recent post prior to this one) blogging about movies, I have decided I’m starting a regularly (ish) occurring column (if you will) called Dope or Nope

Here’s how it’ll go: I’ll go see or watch a movie, and will explain all of my reasons it is either Dope (good) or Nope (bad). There may be light spoilers (sorry) but I’m also going to refrain from summarizing the plot unless wholly necessary, because I’m not the plot section on movie wikipedia pages.

I’m kicking it off with the new movie The Martian, starring Matt Damon. Ready, set, go:

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First thoughts:

The movie was definitely better than I expected. It had a lot of famous people in it that I recognized from past movies, but also some actors I did not know whose faces I saw in the previews for upcoming movies literally minutes before this movie started. Pretty dope.

NED STARK IS IN THIS MOVIE. I REPEAT. FRIGGING NED STARK TAKES A BREAK FROM BEING THE DECEASED LORD OF WINTERFELL AND HELPS SAVE MATT DAMON FROM MARS.

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I’m gonna keep it 100 here and say I absolutely did not recognize Ned when I saw him. The hubs had to lean over and tell me who he was, and then I was stoked for literally the rest of the movie.

Other things that absolutely need to be discussed:

I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t have some sort of sociopolitical commentary on this movie, and it is this:

BROWN PEOPLE SAVED THE DAY.

And by brown people, I mean people of color saved the day.

The first instance of this: this dapper fellow, Vincent Kapoor (played by Chiwetel Ejiofor), whose face I hope to see more often in movies (he’s just so likable!). He was the one responsible for Matt Damon not dying. And by that I mean he convinced the director of NASA to bring him more supplies and go back and save him. Good going, guy.

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Next up: (Spoiler alert!) The Chinese Space Program graciously donated moolah and some sort of rocket deal after NASA was like “nah we don’t need to do any routine tests before we send our boy Matt Damon more supplies ALL THE WAY ON MARS” and their little rocket guy BLEW UP shortly after launch. So huge props to the Chinese for being dope in this movie.

And last but certainly not least, Childish Gambino himself, Donald Glover.

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Glover plays Rich Purnell, socially inept Astrodynamics person (not sure what this profession would be called, more on that later). And, lets be really real about this: Donald Glover being a super nerdy science whiz is MUCH more believable than him being a former star quarterback like he was in Community. (Sorry not sorry).

ANYWHO, Rich Purnell basically researches and finds the formula that will get the astronauts to within range of Earth to get the supplies the Chinese provided, back to Matt Damon on Mars to save him, and then back to Earth, without using extra fuel (that they don’t have).

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‘Twas awesome.

So yeah, the POC saving the day was pretty damn dope I must say. The only nope? Mars looks like Arizona, apparently. So there’s that.

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Matt Damon’s character, Mark Watney, though trapped on a foreign planet and probably terrified af, retains his arrogant and often frat bro level douche behavior throughout and regardless of his circumstances, and it brought some much needed humor to an otherwise terrifying movie. As usual, Matt Damon is stellar (see what I did there?) in the film. But the supporting cast of characters are every bit as great.

The ending credits start with Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” which is relevant to the movie for many reasons, and reminded me of possibly the very first viral video. I think my dad got this in an email in 1998.

Ending thoughts: This movie made me realize that for all the knowledge I have about some stuff, I know literally nothing about space. Or Mars. Or chemistry. Or botany. Or anything. As soon as this movie was over, I raced to google to learn about Mars’ atmosphere (it doesn’t have much of one), how long its days are (almost exactly the length of Earth’s because it tilts similarly on its own axis –  its seasons are similar to Earth’s too, but its years are twice as long). Someone gimme an article about what Neil Degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye say about the film, and I’ll cosign, but for someone as sadly science illiterate as me, it was

Dope.