When I went to see The Martian, I had no idea what to expect. I’ve heard wonderful things about the novel, and it’s been on my to-read list for a very long time. (It’s a long list that gets very little time, and I’m a slow reader.) But, this was the movie. And it was the opening weekend, so Facebook and Twitter hadn’t yet given away the entire plot, which I will attempt to not do as well.
I saw the trailer once, so I knew I was going to see a story about Mark Watney (Matt Damon), an astronaut left behind on Mars when the mission goes FUBAR. I also knew from the trailer that at some point, the crew that left him behind would be heading back to rescue him. What I didn’t know was if he would survive, and if so, how. Once I decided I was going to see it, I ignored everything about it, and even missed the fact that it was directed by Ridley Scott. And I’m glad I didn’t know, because even knowing that would have given me some expectations, and I often find those to be toxic to my enjoyment of a movie.
I got to the theater a half hour early, got a prime spot in one of the theater’s new recliners, and chowed down on a hotdog. When the movie started after twenty minutes of trailers, I was eager to get started, but I wasn’t prepared for it.
a review of M. Night Shymalan’s The Visit
By Christopher Ouellette
I want to just start off by acknowledging my estranged relationship with Mr. Shyamalan. I saw Signs not knowing anything about it. (This was before Mel had melted down and long before I knew how to pronounce Jacqueline or Shyamalan.) I had not seen the previews, so I was not among the throngs who thought they were going to a wall-to-wall alien invasion horror film. So as the Family Drama in a haunted house vibe rolled out, I was on board, and I was hooked.
Of course, where do you go after that? IMDB tells you that this is the same guy who gave you The Sixth Sense, and you now have to rent Unbreakable (from a ma and pa video store). Do you remember that time period? People were getting all hyperbolic on him: ‘The second coming of Hitchcock!’ ‘The next Spielberg!’ (This was two years before War of the Worlds, so that was still a compliment.)
The past few months have been absolutely insane with new developments that I have been itching to talk about, but couldn’t. And while, as the subject line above suggests, I am announcing one of those big news items, there is more to come! For this reason, you may receive a second newsletter from me in the coming weeks containing two more announcements and a sneak peek at all the books coming in 2015. Now let’s get to it!