Seeing “The Martian” Two Times in Three Days

The title of this post could have been “Self-published author hits it big thanks to Mars.”

I have seen this film twice and plan to see it again soon a third time, and when the DVD comes out, I’ll buy the film and also watch it at home. The first time I saw the film was on Friday, October 2, and the second time was Sunday, October 4, and I enjoyed it even more the second time around.

Next, I plan to buy the book and read it. Hopefully, I’ll find it on CDs and listen to the audio version instead.

This is the first time in my 70 years of life that I’ve seen the same film twice at a theater. I have seen “The Lord of the Rings” three times but only once in a theater. The other two times, I watched it at home. I’ve also watched “Avatar” once in a theater and then again at home after I bought the DVD.

I’m an avid reader, who has read “The Lord of the Rings” three times and the entire Horatio Hornblower Series by C. S. Forester two times, and I am also a film addict who is easily entertained, but this is the first film that I want to watch repeatedly.

“The Martian” started out as a 2011 science fiction novel and the first published novel by American author Andy Weir. It was originally self-published in 2011. In March 2013, Twentieth Century Fox optioned the film rights.

Then in 2014, Crown Publishing purchased the rights to the novel and re-released it the same year. The story follows an American astronaut, Mark Watney, as he becomes stranded alone on Mars and must improvise in order to survive.  The Martian, a film adaptation, was directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain.

Since I’ve seen the film and haven’t read the book—YET—I’m going to copy a few pull quotes from reviews that I agree with.

“A great movie! It’s exciting, emotional, it has great storytelling and most of all, it’s surprising!” –Edgardo Resendiz, Reforma

“This is science fiction for sophisticated audiences and, as such, a fulfilling and satisfying experience.” – James Berardinelli, Reel Views

“What’s so stirring about the film is that, before and after everything else, it truly is about being human” – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

“The Martian is fueled by charm, curiosity and the scientific method.” – Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News

The Martian should do far more than just make Fox a ton of money; it could conceivably rekindle interest in the space program and inspire a new generation of future astronauts.” – Peter Debruge, Variety

“Superior to both Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and (by a smaller margin) Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity,” – Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing

“Easily one of the most engrossing, enthralling and entertaining films of the year … In essence, The Martian is the antithesis of a superhero movie; instead of one man trying to save the world, it’s about the world trying to save one man.” – Jim Schembri, 3AW

I’d share my favorite scenes but there were too many and that would more than double the word count of this post. It is often rare for media critics and the audience to agree on anything, but on Rotten Tomatoes, “The Martian” has an approval rating of 93% for all of the critics and 94% for the audience. Heck, even a New York Times critic liked the film, and that’s a rare event for any film or book.

Manohla Dargis, the NY Times critic, starts out with, “A space western and a blissed-out cosmic high, ‘The Martian’ stars Matt Damon as an American astronaut who, like a latter-day Robinson Crusoe, learns to survive on his own island of despair. At once epic and intimate, it involves a dual journey into outer and inner space, a trip that takes you into that immensity called the universe and deep into the equally vast landscape of a single consciousness.”


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal.

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Stop writing your name in Cursive. You have had Several Warnings.

Originally posted on Crazy Normal - the Classroom Exposé:

Megan Zander at She Knows wrote a post with this headline: Teacher’s aggressive note on 7-year-old’s homework goes viral, and many of the comments are critical of teachers and schools for what the alleged teacher wrote in red ink – the title of this post.

First, I was a public school teacher for thirty years, and I required my students to write their first and last name on every written assignment in addition to the period they were in and the date. When they didn’t write all that information, I wrote in aggressive red ink explaining to them why they lost some points from what the assignment was worth.

How can I justify being so aggressive? Well, I worked with almost 200 students in five or six classes often working 60 to 100 hours a week—25 hours teaching and the rest correcting work and planning lessons (

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Mercedes Schneider: Who is Roland Fryer, Jr.?

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Discover another corporate wolf in sheep’s clothing–a corporate shill appointed to deliberately destroy the public schools.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

I first learned about Roland Fryer, Jr., a Harvard economist, when he devised an experiment to pay students for raising test scores in several cities, which failed. Subsequently, he seemed to be involved in other such experiments where the methodology always involved incentives for teachers or students to get higher scores. Here is an outside review of the merit pay plan he designed for New York City. Another of his less-than-successful incentive plans was called “loss aversion.” It works like this: the district gives teachers a $4,000 bonus at the start of the school year; if scores go up, they keep it. If scores don’t go up, they give the money back.

That gave me an idea: how about “loss aversion” for economists? If their predictions are wrong, their computer is confiscated. Or their pay is cut. Or they lose a digit on one finger.

Mercedes Schneider decided to…

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Jeff Bryant: How Jeb Bush Turned Florida’s Schools into a Cesspool of Corruption, Chaos, and Cronyism

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Do we really want this fraud to be the 3rd Bush to move into the White House?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Jeb Bush is trying to present himself to the public as a moderate. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When it comes to education, Jeb Bush boasts of the wonderful transformation of the schools in Florida, but that is not an accurate portrayal of what Bush actually did. With his far-right dedication to privatization, he has created a voracious industry of greed, which relies on the public’s gullibility. Some of his allies are getting very rich, but the children of Florida are not benefitting by the opening and closing of charter schools, many of which operate for-profit.

Jeff Bryant describes how Jeb did it, knowing full well that he would destroy public education at the same time:

The obsession over money that is driving charter school growth in Florida is increasingly evident to those who bother to look.

“Outrageous,” is the word former state Senator Nan Rich uses to…

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MUST-READ: Bombshell Investigation of Charter Failures in Florida

Lloyd Lofthouse:

Jeb Bush boasts at every opportunity about his “reform” policies of privatization in Florida.

Read this article and see what you think about Jeb’s “miracle.”

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Want to get rich quick? Hurry on down to Florida and open a charter school. You don’t need any experience in education, it doesn’t matter if you failed in the past, just come up with a good idea!

The Sun-Sentinel in Florida published a powerful indictment of the unsupervised charter industry.

In the past five years, 56 South Florida charter schools have closed, expelling thousands of students. Five charter schools in Broward and Palm Beach counties didn’t survive three months.

Jeb Bush boasts at every opportunity about his “reform” policies of privatization in Florida.

Read this article and see what you think about Jeb’s “miracle.”

Unchecked charter-school operators are exploiting South Florida’s public school system, collecting taxpayer dollars for schools that quickly shut down.

A recent spate of charter-school closings illustrates weaknesses in state law: virtually anyone can open or run a charter school and spend public education money with…

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All He Had To Say Was Thank You

Originally posted on ElvesWriter:

There is an urban author’s myth of a now famous author in her undiscovered days – was it Janet Evanovich? – who spoke at a bookstore in a mall with pouring rain outside. She knew the audience would be sparse as the mall was empty, and to cheer herself up, she bought a box of chocolates from the store next door. 

Only four people turned up and she made them sit in a circle and gave them each a chocolate. They were silent as she spoke and read, and asked no questions. At the end three got up and left. The fourth thanked her and the author asked, rather desperately, if she wanted to buy a book. The woman laughed and said that all four were homeless, and just thirsted for a little culture so the bookstore allowed them to attend. The author felt compelled to give her…

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