Book vs Movie: The Martian

I did it! I saw The Martian!

After reading the book by Andy Weir back in July and waiting for a painstaking 3 whole months for the movie to come out, I have finally seen it! And let me tell you….. it was worth it.

For anyone that doesn’t know (because they’ve been living under a rock) The Martian is about an astronaut named Mark Watney who is believed dead on Mars. Only he’s not dead, and he needs to find a way to survive on a lifeless planet for at least four years.

The book was geeky, funny, and excellently written, and the movie was the same. That being said, I liked the book so much more. Here’s why:

  1. There is nothing that can simulate the incredible writing that Andy Weir delivered in his book. The book captivated you into this astronaut’s life to the point where I would go through the day and think, “man, I really need to figure out a way to get the rover to have more room.” …. I’m not even stuck in space and I’m worrying about fixing a rover? WHAT? But it’s things like that that make me realize how great of a writer he is. To be able to get someone (who knows absolutely nothing about math, science or mechanics) to truly start thinking as the main character to the point that they want to work on their non-existent space rover is a wonderful feat.
  2. The jokes!!! In the movie they keep a very good amount of the jokes and little things that Mark Watney says, but not nearly enough. I was sitting in bed laughing and reading parts of jokes to my boyfriend because I just thought it was hilarious. In the movie, there were funny parts, but they weren’t as good as the book.
  3. Matt Damon! I’ve mentioned this enough times, but I love Matt Damon. I love him in everything he’s been in. But I just don’t know if he was the right choice for this movie. While he was excellent in it, and anyone who hasn’t read the book might think that he was the perfect candidate, I just felt that the actor who played Watney should have been geekier and have less of the “I’m Matt Damon and I’m super awesome and funny” attitude.
  4. Lastly, the mishaps. In the book there are things that happen to ruin everything he has worked for in a split second. In the movie, they use one or two of them. I read the book and thought a countless number of times, “how the fuck is he going to live now?” I didn’t really get that same sense of absolute urgency and devastation from the movie. And I think it could’ve done so much better if it kept that in there (and the movie did really well).

All of that said, the movie was really great. The acting was excellent, the art direction was phenomenal, and the story was even better. I just very much advise you to read the book first. It was just so spectacular for people who like all different types of novels: funny, science fiction, character study, action, all of it! It was such a perfect book, and you’ll love it.

My verdict?

TO DATE:    Book: 5, Movie: 4

If you have any suggestions for books I should read or if you just want to say hi, you can comment below or shoot me an e-mail at rachel@booksandcleverness.com

Until next time my lovely blog family!

Rachel

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A Very Long Review of The Martian by Andy Weir

I’d like to tell you a little story about how I never listen to my dad. First, let me start by saying that when I was a kid my dad would always joke, “don’t trust your father.” Obviously he was kidding, but I did end up taking that lesson with me in two aspects: books and movies.

Movies are the easiest for me to explain. For a long time we would watch movies together that he wanted me to see and know of. I would always play it cool and say that they weren’t that great of movies (even though they were pretty fricken awesome). So whenever he recommended a movie to me he’d say, “don’t you trust me?” and I’d always say “No.” Of course this has changed, and if my dad recommends a movie now it goes immediately onto my watch-list…

…Except for Chappie, which he pitched to me as “it was so bad. You really shouldn’t watch it…. Actually, watch it and see how bad it is. It’s so bad.”

But books are different. My dad is an avid reader, albeit an incredibly slow reader, but he loves books. He got me addicted to fantasy and science fiction, and I’m forever grateful for that. However, as I’m sure you’ve figured out, I take books very seriously. I love when people give me recommendations so I can add them to my to-read list, but I don’t like being pushed into reading a book. I’m stubborn like my mom and the more you push me to read a book, the less likely I am to read that book out of sheer principle.

My dad is the King of Pushers. He will recommend a book, and I’ll usually find that book’s concept pretty interesting, but I’ll add it to my list and keep going through the books I already have lined up. This does not satisfy my dad. He will continually say, “You HAVE to read this book. When you’re done with your book, you NEED to read this one.” and when I finish my book, and start reading a different book, he’ll say the same things. Over and over again, until he gives up and reads a new book that I HAVE to read.

But something strange happened. I learned about the upcoming movie, The Martian, starring Matt Damon (and if you read my To See or Not To See post back in February you’ll know that I love Matt Damon. I really do. He’s wonderful. Also, my sister would hate me for saying this but Ben Affleck is not as attractive as everyone thinks. Matt Damon totally wins that contest, hands down), and realized it was a book. The second I found that out, I was hooked. I had to add it to my list.

But then my boyfriend and I went over to my parents house for dinner. I told my mom about this really cool new movie that’s coming out that has Matt Damon in it, about this guy that’s stuck on Mars and has to plant crops on Mars and survive, and it’s even a book! And to my surprise she said, “That sounds like the book that Dad’s reading.”

What?! My dad is reading a book I want to read before I even hear of it?? What alternate universe is this??

It turned out, he was reading The Martian. He recommended it instantly and said, “oh my God, Rae, you HAVE to read this. The writer reminds me so much of your writing style. It’s funny, written well, and you just have to read it.” But this time, I trusted him. (Note: Sorry, Dad, I’m learning how to trust you again. I know this dampens your street cred.)

What happened when I started reading The Martian, written by Andy Weirwas magical. The first page made me laugh, and I entered a world that was completely foreign to me, but I felt completely at ease.

The story is about a man who is believed to be dead on Mars, but he’s not. He needs to figure out a way to survive on Mars indefinitely, using only a small amount of resources. It’s so good.

Andy Weir’s writing style is so sarcastic, but so detailed and rich that it’s not like reading a book where the author just tries to be snarky, instead it’s actually like reading this man’s life, and reading what he’s going through – being Mark Watney’s friend. Weir is an incredible writer, with a ridiculous amount of knowledge when it comes to science and math (something that just went straight over my head), but always finds a way to make the characters relatable even with them being super science and math driven.

If I could give this book 500 stars out of 10, plus 15 high fives, and four thumbs-ups, I would. 18 Quatloo’s for you, sir!

Everyone needs to read this book before the movie comes out. I know I’ve mentioned a hundred times that I don’t necessarily think that seeing the movie first is a bad idea, but in this case: read the book first. The movie comes out October 2015, so you have a few more months to read it, even if you’re as slow of a reader as my dear old dad. Go get it!

All that said, I’d like to give a shoutout to my dad (as if there haven’t been enough in this post) for finally getting me to read one of the books he’s recommended. Good job, Pops. This is a big day for you.

If you’ve read this book, please comment below so we can discuss it because oh. my. god. All I want to do is talk about it right now. If there could be a The Martian chat room, I’d join it right now.

Until next time, blog family!

Rachel

email: rachel@booksandcleverness.com