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Tag - The Martian

The Top 5ish Quotes from “The Martian” by Andy Weir

Full disclosure, there are more than five quotes. You see, as I was working on this post I had a really hard time deciding which quotes to use, because The Martian is so good. So, instead of agonizing over which quotes to cut, I just included all of them. You’re welcome.

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If you haven’t read The Martian yet, you are missing out.  Do you have a favorite quote?

For more on The Martian check out our book and movie review!

The Martian book review

The Martian movie review

4LN’s Favorite Movies of 2015


Jeff Merrick

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
2015 will forever be defined as the year of “The Force Awakens.” The record breaking “Episode 7” was great comfort for all of us jilted Star Wars fans who, still bitter from the disappointment of the prequels, breathed a giant sigh of relief as JJ Abrams revived the proud franchise. “Force Awakens” was the perfect blend of strongly paced action with well-timed humor as the old guard passed the torch to a new generation of Star Wars heroes.

“The Force Awakens” passed the $1 billion mark after just two weekends at the box office.

Inside Out
I don’t think a motion picture studio today exists that pulls at the emotions the way Pixar does. So it was only a matter of time before the innovators of digital animation released a movie that dealt only with emotions. And the well-cast emotions of Riley (the film’s featured human who must endure the rigors of her preteen years in the middle of her family moving) made “Inside Out” one of Pixar’s best movies to date (and with Pixar’s track record, that’s saying something).

Jurassic World
If you want to pluck holes into every motion picture for it’s plot, acting, and screenwriting, then Jurassic World does not belong on your list. But I had more fun watching this movie than any other film I saw in 2015 (well, until I saw “The Force Awakens”). It definitely helped that my expectations were fairly low for the film, which I only expected three things from: 1. dinosaurs (check) 2. dinosaurs chasing and eating stupid people (check) 3. dinosaurs fighting dinosaurs (check). And we also got the bonus of Jimmy Buffett running away from pterodactyls, but not without his Margaritas.

The true moral of the story here is that we all need a movie every couple of years where people run from dinosaurs and “Jurassic World” quenched our thirst for now.



Mad Max: Fury Road
Tom Hardy is my favorite actor in the whole world. I’ve seen the movie This Means War about 1,000 times just because he’s in it. The Mad Max franchise just also happens to be my favorite film series in the whole world, and when I heard that my boy Tom Tom was gonna be playing Max Rockatansky I literally s**t my pants. I’m not kidding. I was standing in the middle of Subway waiting on my veggie sub, just scrolling through The Mary Sue and there it was. “Tom Hardy to star as the title character in new Mad Max film”. I just couldn’t physically contain myself. Anyway, it was worth it. This movie is FABULOUS! Go rent or buy it right now!

Straight Outta Compton
I love rap music. I started getting into it with Tyler, The Creator and the Odd Future crew, but lately I’ve been more into guys like Pitbull and Flo Rida. Obviously I’d heard of Doctor Dre and Shoop Dog and Iced Cube, but I really didn’t know much about the original rap super-group, The NWA. This movie was absolutely fantastic! It’s all about the fellas and how they came up to be one of the more popular groups in rap music. It also has Paul Giamatti in it, playing that group’s manager, and I didn’t intentionally know that he was in it. I was pleasantly surprised because he’s one of my favorite actors of all time.

The Martian
I read this book and so I had to see the movie. I was really glad I did because it’s become one of my favorite movies now. It’s got Matt Damon staring as an astronaut who gets stranded on the planet Mars and has to grow potatoes to survive until NASA can save him. It was fantastic! Boy, I’ll tell ya what, had that been me, I’d need more than potatoes to survive if I was stranded on Mars. I’d need like cheeseburgers, and tacos, and onion rings, and root beer, and Chex mix, and beef jerky, and Snickers, and more tacos, and maybe some apples too I guess. Anyway, good on Matt Damon for making it with potatoes.


Cam Clark

Star Wars: The Force Awakens
I’m not going to lie to you.  I put this movie on here before I’d even seen it.  Lucky for me, I saw it this afternoon and I was completely blown away by it.  Very few films have been surrounded by the amount of hype this movie has, and even fewer have lived up to it, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens is far and away they best movie of the year.  The story is highly entertaining, and the characters – both new and old – are incredible.  This movie is for sure one I will be catching a few more times while it is in theaters, and I never go to the theaters twice for the same movie.  Drop whatever you are doing no matter how important it may be and go see this film.  You won’t regret it.

The Martian
The Martian follows astronaut Mark Watney, played fantastically by Matt Damon, as he has to figure out how to survive alone on Mars until NASA can figure out a way to save him.  The novel was far and away one of my favorite books I’ve read over the past year or two so naturally, the movie adaptation was high on the list for movies I wanted to see.  Lucky for me, Ridley Scott adds another great sci-fi movie to his belt.  Everything about this movie – from the cinematography to the acting – works and works well.

Mr. Holmes
The addition of this film surprised even me.  When it first came out I planned on seeing it, but just sort of forgot about it.  My wife and I decided to rent it on one of the few nights we had away from the kids (because we are obviously a lot of fun), and man was it great.  Ian McKellan plays an aging Sherlock Holmes who is beginning to lose his mental faculties.  After seeing a film of his last case, he realizes that the idealized version of that case is not what happened because whatever happened caused him to hang up his deerstalker cap (that he never actually wore).  The problem is he just can’t remember exactly how that case ended.  While Holmes works to fill in the blanks, he befriends the son of his housekeeper who encourages Holmes by reading his case notes.


Stephen Andrew
First off, we’re all kidding ourselves if anyone acts like The Force Awakens wasn’t the absolute most exciting movie-going experience of the year. With that in mind, I’ve decided to do my list a little differently than the others (plus it’s *technically* my article so I get to be Cartman and do what I want). See, I typically choose my favorite films list by looking at which films I saw multiple times in the theater and/or bought on Blu-ray. It just so happens that all 3 of the films at the top of my favorite movies of 2015 list I’ve already done reviews on, so there’s really nothing else I can say about them that I didn’t already say. I hope that, if you haven’t already, you’ll check out my reviews for these 3 fantastic films of 2015:

  1. Kingsman: The Secret Service
  2. Marvel’s Ant-Man
  3. Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron

Rather than regurgitate everything I’ve already said about these three films, I’ve decided to go Fiona-Apple-at-the-1997-MTV-Video-Music-Awards an “use this opportunity the way I want to use it.” I’d like to acknowledge a film that had a lot of hype and then for some reason seemed to fizzle with audiences…
Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak.

This movie was marketed as a horror film but when I saw it I realized how it’s much more complex than that simplistic genre association can convey. It has many horror elements but at its heart it is a suspenseful drama with horror themes used to carry the story along. Think, more Exorcism of Emily Rose than The Exorcist. It’s also a period-style film with brilliant performances from Mia Wasikowska, Tom Hiddleston, Jessica Chastain, & Charlie Hunnam. I watched this movie in an empty theater all by myself and, to put it in sophisticated terminology, I was genuinely creeped the f*** out. There were scenes that made my skin crawl, as well as film shots that took my breath away. I feel like this movie has become criminally underrated and I hope that you guys will check it out when it drops on Blu-ray and DVD.

4LN Movie Review – The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir is one of the absolute best books that I read last year.  When I found out that it was being adapted into a film with none other than Ridley Scott would be at the helm I was ecstatic. Before we get into the review, here is the summary from IMDB:

During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meager supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

At its heart, The Martian is a survival tale – think Cast Away, but with a lot more science and a lot less crazy.  It follows Astronaut Mark Watney, the botanist on NASA’s Ares III Mars mission, as he attempts to survive being stranded alone on the harsh Martian landscape.  If you stop and think about it, being the only human being on a planet not suited to human beings with help possibly years away is more terrifying than most horror films.  Think Cast Away, but with a lot more science and a lot less crazy.

Let me just talk about the cinematography for a minute, because Ridley Scott is one hell of a filmmaker.  The shots of Mars’ landscape (apparently filmed in a Jordanian desert) are beautiful and desolate.  It really gives you this sense of awe and dread.  It’s definitely a movie you will want to see on the big screen to see the Martian landscape in all its glory.  I also liked that he doesn’t drown out the images with an oppressive soundtrack.  Many of the scenes only have the sound of the Hab’s oxygenator or just Watney’s breathing, which adds to the feeling of isolation.  When the music did show up it was a beautiful orchestral score that had this classic sci-fi feel to it.


The book was mostly told from Mark’s perspective as a collection of video journal entries, with a little bit of exposition about what was going on back at NASA.  Watney’s character is sarcastic, extremely proficient in profanity, and hilarious, even in the dire situations that constantly present themselves trying to survive on Mars.  I was wondering how they were going to integrate the concept of journal entries into film without it feeling awkward, but Matt Damon absolutely nails it.  Like Ian McKellan as Gandalf, Matt Damon’s characterization of Watney is about as close as you can get when translating a book character to film.  He manages to provide his own comic relief by breaking the tension in a multitude of life or death situations with a witty one-liner or joke.  After seeing the film, I can’t think of another actor I would’ve rather had fill Mark’s Astronaut boots.

What real Martian's look like

What real Martians look like

Matt Damon isn’t the only one knocking his role out of the park, at the very beginning of the movie we are introduced to the Ares III crew led by Interstellar’s Jessica Chastain.  She, along with the rest of the crew consisting of Kate Mara, Michal Péna, Sebastian Stan, and Aksel Hennie also turned in great performances.  The camaraderie feels like they are a team that have known each other for years.  Jeff Daniels also brings his considerable Newsroom gravitas to his role as the Director of NASA, and Chiwetel Ejiofor is excellent as the director of the Mars program.  Overall, it seemed like everyone knew their part and played it well.

Another neat thing about this movie is that Andy Weir went out of his way to get the science right, which is pretty incredible when you consider that every answer to every problem is sciencing “the shit” out of it.  So how does the science stack up?  Well according to the multitude of tweets from America’s favorite astrophysicist, it is way closer than most sci-fi flicks:

The Martian is a mostly true-to-the-book sci-fi epic that delivers.  Everything in this movie, from the cinematography, to the acting, to the effects, to the tone, to the score, just worked.  In a year with some really great movies, The Martian stands out as one of the best.  As I said earlier, The Martian was one of the best books I read last year, and it looks like, outside of Star Wars (I haven’t seen it, but I can’t help but feel like it’ll have to be my favorite just on principle), the film might just be one of the favorite movies I see this year.  Go buy the book, buy movie tickets and dive in to this great story of survival and humor in the face of overwhelming odds.

4LN Book Report: The Martian by Andy Weir + Film Trailer

There is just so much I want to say about this book.  I have read a lot of good books, but very few have been as gripping as this one.  All told, I read it in less than three days, which is a feat in and of itself considering I have a full-time job, a wife, and two children.  What I am trying to say is, you need to read this book.

The Martian tells the story of astronaut Mark Watney who becomes stranded on Mars after a massive dust storm forced his team to abort their 31 day Mars mission on day 6.  A communications array had other plans and knocked Watney out of commission.  His team, thinking him dead, had to abandon him on the Martian surface in order to have any chance of making it back to their shuttle, Hermes.  This leads to a surprisingly realistic survival tale as Mark has to figure out how to survive on Mars without any contact with Earth.

The Martian is basically Cast Away in space, but astronaut Mark doesn’t even have an anthropomorphized volley-ball to talk to.  Instead, Watney talks to us through a series of sometimes-serious-but-mostly-hilarious journal entries chronicling his quest for survival.  Considering the dire circumstances, the book is surprisingly humorous.  I found myself laughing while reading about how he got himself out of one catastrophe after another.


Weir does a great job making sure the catastrophes Watney faces are plausible, and not just some wildly unlikely occurrences.  At the end of the book Weir provides insight into the story, and states:

I knew from the very beginning that I didn’t want my hero to suffer one unlikely, disastrous coincidence after the next.  I decided that each problem Mark faced had to be a plausible consequence of his situation-or better yet, an unintended consequence of his solution to a previous problem.  He could suffer an equipment failure in machinery stretched beyond its intended use, but he couldn’t be struck by lightning and the have a meteor crash on him.

The plausibility is what adds to the ever building sense of dread as NASA attempts to launch a rescue mission.  The science found throughout this book is pretty astounding.  Weir is a computer programmer by trade, but the science of space travel is his hobby (a hobby which requires more smarts than most people’s professions).  You can tell that each problem Watney faces, and each solution he comes up with, are painstakingly thought out, which just adds to the sense of realism.  What this all amounts to is a surprisingly realistic sci-fi, survival story that will keep you on the edge of your seat to the last page.


The book itself was initially released chapter by chapter on Weir’s website.  When it was completed his fans asked him to put it in Kindle format and self publish it so it would be easier to read.  He complied and sold it for $.99 (the minimum price allowed for Amazon Kindle books).  A short amount of time later he was a New York Times Bestselling author, a publisher bought the rights, and now there is a movie deal (the book and movie deal came within a weak of each other).  The movie is slated to come out in November 2015 with Ridley Scott at the helm and Matt Damon as Mark Watney (perfect casting), and after reading the book I cannot wait for this movie to come out.

I highly encourage you to head to your local bookstore (or online retailer) and purchase this book.  If you are in any way a fan of sci-fi, science, space exploration, or just a good, old-fashioned survival story, then this is the book for you.  The book gets bonus points for having a terrific audio book as well.  If you buy the Kindle version for $7.99 you can get the audio book for $2.99, and the voice actor is terrific.  Have you read The Martian?  If so, let us know what you think in the comments below!