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One-man mission

撰稿:外语教研室  审核:陈梦实  更新时间:2016/6/15 16:00:46  点击数:5061 


      It used to be the default plot for space sci-fi movies–aliens invading Earth and soldiers shooting them with laser guns.


    But in the past few years, there has been a growing appetite for what’s called “serious sci-fi”, where little is based on sheer imagination and more is about how human beings interact with the universe.


    Examples of this new trend include the Oscar-winning Gravity (2013) and last year’s blockbuster Interstellar, as well as the latest Ridley Scott movie The Martian, which comes to China on Nov 25.


    After being hit by a nasty sandstorm on Mars, astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is presumed dead and is left behind by his fellow crewmembers. With the next mission scheduled to arrive in four years, Watney has to come up with ways to grow food and create water on Mars while trying to contact NASA. He also manages to scavenge resources to produce energy to keep the rover working.


    The tricks Watney uses–including growing potatoes in human feces and creating water by burning oxygen and hydrogen–are actually plausible in a real Mars environment. In fact, NASA experts consulted on the movie to make it as real as possible.

    As The Washington Post commented, The Martian is “more ‘sci’ than ‘fi’”.


    The movie livens up its science-heavy plot with a dose of humor and humanity. Though he spends hundreds of days in isolation on a hostile planet, Watney manages to stay optimistic and light-hearted. “Mars will come to fear my botany powers,” he jokes.

    “What’s so stirring about the film is that, before and after everything else, it truly is about being human, which means... being fueled by a volatile mixture of wisdom, endearing arrogance, beguiling folly and, when the situation demands it, a kind of courage that knows no planetary bounds,” commented The Wall Street Journal.

    Given the fact that Scott’s previous films, including Alien (《异形》) (1979) and Blade Runner (《银翼杀手》) (1982), are all filled with fear and despair, The Martian is a big change for him. “This time, the dystopian maestro sees hope in our stars,” wrote Variety.


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