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Quick Words on They Came Together (2014) and The Martian (2015)

January 26, 2016

When it comes to romantic comedies, I can only name about a hand’s full of films that I actually enjoy most of which aren’t even considered by many when discussing the genre (It Happened One Night, Before Sunrise, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Before Sunrise, Sunset, and Midnight, Annie Hall). Therefore, it’s probably predictable that I’d love a film that nitpicks and pokes at the genre as a whole. When you mix that element with the absurdity of comedian and director David Wain’s humor you get priceless moments within the film where character’s get diarrhea in their outfits, or fall out of windows unexpectedly, and repeat lines that get beaten over the head into ad nauseam.  Thus is They Came Together, an insane hodgepodge of romance, comedy, stupidity, and wit.

Science Fiction films align more with my personal tastes. Yet, even when the The Martian released last year I found myself apathetic about seeing it. The hype and Oscar nominations ensued and I finally made the time to watch it. Disappointment is the first word that rings to mind, but disappointment would mean that I expected something different. The Martian didn’t exceed my expectations, nor did it elude them. It just existed in the vain of mediocrity that I expected it to, which I guess is most disappointing of all. Ridley Scott’s visuals are nothing short of amazing. This is the man that brought the world Alien, Blade Runner, and Black Hawk Down, staples within the sci-fi and action genres. Nevertheless, Scott also gave us the highly whitewashed Exodus: Gods and Kings and the underwhelmingly scatterbrained Prometheus which unfortunately has a sequel on the way. The Martian felt like a contemporary Ridley Scott film, all bells and whistles when it comes to visuals, but hollow depth of characters and development. The story is impressive thanks to the adapted screenplay based on Andy Weir’s original novel. But, Drew Godard’s screenplay gives more reprise and focus to the science used within the film rather than the character’s inner turmoil and dilemma’s.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely badass seeing Matt Damon get left behind on Mars having to show how he’s half-computer half-botanist who figures out a way to survive and grow food on Mars, but to return to his home planet on a mission that will take years. He’s got some of the greatest minds in the world helping him perfect his theories and ideas and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing that play out. But, the script is as bland as his four year diet on Mars. It’s cheap and the dialogue is poorly written. Matt Damon’s character is simply a character. He seemingly has no life outside of the space program, no music that he wishes he had to listen to, no hobbies, no friends who aren’t on NASA, or anything remotely relatable which just left me to watch this random dude struggle on Mars.

With all that said I decided to do my very first video review centering around both of these films. What transpired while filming myself was loads of confusion, accidentally deleted takes, loss of memory from my iPod, and ultimately the sad reminder that I am a much better writer than I am a speaker. One day I’ll get it together, but feel free to watch my poorly constructed video below and know that in the future they will be a lot better.

They Came Together. SEE IT. 

The Martian. AVOID IT.

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