Hector and the Search for Happiness

I’m writing a review for Hector and the Search for Happiness as a reminder for myself and everyone who happens to read this that we should never go see a movie based only on the lead actors. 

I like Simon Pegg and Rosamund Pyke but this movie is just terrible. Nothing seems to work and Pegg is capable of acting a lot better than that. 
If you haven’t seen it don’t bother. Go watch The Secret Life of Walter Mitty instead. 

Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

Hector is a quirky psychiatrist who has become increasingly tired of his humdrum life. He tells his girlfriend, Clara, that he needs to go on a journey to research happiness. On a flight to China, he is seated next to Edward, a cranky businessman. Edward takes Hector to a very exclusive nightclub in Shanghai, where Hector meets a young woman named Ying Li and instantly falls for her.

He asks to meet Ying Li’s family. She declines, ashamed of how she makes her living. Their date is interrupted by her pimp, who takes Ying Li away by force. Hector then ventures into the mountains and visits a monastery, where he befriends their leader and talks briefly with Clara via Skype.

Hector departs on a terrifying plane ride to Africa, where a woman invites him to her family’s house for sweet potato stew. Hector runs into his old friend Michael, a physician, with his bodyguard Marcel, and later meets a quick-tempered drug lord named Diego Baresco, who doesn’t believe in happiness because his wife is unhappy due to her medication.

Hector discovers that Marcel is Michael’s lover, and they are happy. His vehicle is carjacked and Hector is kidnapped and locked in a rat-infested cell. When the kidnappers decide to kill him, Hector claims to be friends with Diego to save himself, but cannot prove it. With a gun pointed at his head, Hector asks if he can make one final note in his book about what brings his captors happiness, revealing a pen engraved with Diego’s name to the kidnappers. Upon his release, Hector makes his way back to the village where he celebrates with the locals. He Skypes again with Clara, who is dressed in a fancy gown and seems uninterested in talking to him.

While flying to Los Angeles, Hector attends to a woman with a brain tumour. Hector then goes to the beach in Santa Monica and encounters Agnes, an old girlfriend, who is now happily married with children. Hector calls Clara and they break up in an argument.

Agnes and Hector meet with Professor Coreman, who is studying the effects of happiness on the brain. During a lecture, Coreman points out that people shouldn’t be concerned with the pursuit of happiness, but with the happiness of pursuit. Agnes and Hector check out a project Coreman has been working on, which monitors brain activity in real time and how it reacts to different emotions.

Agnes is instructed to go into an isolated room and think about three things: times when she was happy, sad and scared. Through his brain-scanning technology, Coreman is able to tell in which order she thought about the three emotions. When Hector takes his turn, he thinks about Clara marrying someone else, about his time being kidnapped, and about Ying Li, but his emotions are strangely blocked. He receives a call from remorseful Clara, who tells him she wants to be a mother. Hector explains what he’s learned, that the most unhappy thing he could imagine would be to lose her. Suddenly Hector’s brain scan erupts with a flurry of activity, mimicking the colored flags from the monastery and revealing that true happiness isn’t just one emotion; it’s all of them. Having finally achieved his own happiness, Hector rushes home and marries Clara.



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Safety Not Guaranteed

It took me 3 years but I finally watched Safety Not Guaranteed. I can’t believe this movie didn’t get more attention back when it was released in 2012 because this is one of the best movies I’ve watched in a while. 

The movie only cost 750.000 dollars but it achieves what many 100 million dollar movies fail. Safety Not Guaranteed as amazing performances by the entire cast, characters that are relatable and feel real and authentic and a great heartfelt story. 

Safety was directed by Colin Trevorrow who’s now directing Jurassic World so I’m slightly optimistic about the fourth Jurassic Park movie even considering the new genetically engineered dinosaur that “kills for sport” and the Velociraptors “bike gang”. 

I highly recommend this movie and suggest those that haven’t seen it yet not to read below. Trust me. You want to see the movie and wonder like I did. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

Darius Britt (Aubrey Plaza) is a disillusioned college graduate who lives at home with her widower father (Jeff Garlin) and interns at Seattle Magazine. One of the magazine’s writers, Jeff Schwensen (Jake Johnson), proposes to investigate a newspaper classified ad that reads:

Wanted: Somebody to go back in time with me. This is not a joke. P.O. Box 91 Ocean View, WA 99393. You’ll get paid after we get back. Must bring your own weapons. Safety not guaranteed. I have only done this once before.

Jeff’s story idea is approved by his boss, Bridget (Mary Lynn Rajskub). Jeff selects a team in the crassest manner possible – “All right. Give me the lesbian and the Indian, and I got a story” – meaning Darius and Arnau (Karan Soni), the latter of whom is a studious biology major interning at the magazine to diversify his resume. They travel to the seaside community of Ocean View to find and profile the person behind the ad. Jeff later reveals an ulterior motive for this assignment: to track down a long-lost love interest who lives in the beach community.

Darius discovers that the person behind the ad is Kenneth Calloway (Mark Duplass), a stock clerk at a local grocery store. Jeff’s attempt to contact Kenneth alienates Kenneth, so Jeff orders Darius to make contact. Darius’ disaffected attitude serves her well, and she quickly endears herself to Kenneth as she poses as a candidate to accompany him on his mission. While Kenneth is paranoid and believes that “secret agents” are tracking his every move, Darius gains his trust as she participates in a series of training exercises in the woods around his house and begins to develop feelings for him. She tells Kenneth about the death of her mother when she was young and that her mission is to prevent it. Kenneth says his mission is to go back to 2001 and prevent the death of his old girlfriend Belinda, who was killed when someone drove a car into her house.

Meanwhile, Jeff tracks down Liz (Jenica Bergere), his fling from his teenage years; although she is not as attractive as his memories of her younger self, they reconnect. He asks her to come back with him to Seattle, but she believes this is just another fling for Jeff, so she refuses. Upset by her rejection, Jeff takes Arnau out on the town, and they pick up some young women. Jeff tells Arnau to not waste his youth and convinces him to spend the night with one of the young women.

The next morning, Jeff receives a phone call from his boss at the magazine, Bridget, who has been following the notes on the story; she informs him that Belinda (Kristen Bell) is still alive. During an interview with Belinda, Darius learns Belinda was only friends with Kenneth and that Kenneth had driven into her then-boyfriend’s house, but no one was injured. After the interview, Darius is questioned by two government agents who have been following Kenneth and believe that he may be a spy because of his communication with government scientists.

Darius returns to Kenneth’s house to confront him about Belinda. Kenneth claims, if Belinda is alive, that means his time traveling must have worked. Jeff then comes in to warn them that the government agents are also on the property. Kenneth panics and runs into the woods. Darius follows him and finds Kenneth has boarded his time machine, which has been integrated into a small boat. Darius apologizes for lying to Kenneth, tells him everything else they shared was real, and joins him on the time machine. Kenneth tells Darius that his mission has been updated, saying he now wants to go back for her. As Jeff, Arnau and the two government agents watch, Kenneth activates the time machine and it disappears, along with him and Darius.

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Cast:

Aubrey Plaza as Darius Britt
Mark Duplass as Kenneth Calloway
Jake Johnson as Jeff Schwensen
Karan Soni as Arnau
Jenica Bergere as Liz
Mary Lynn Rajskub as Bridget
Kristen Bell as Belinda
Jeff Garlin as Darius’s father
William Hall, Jr. as Shannon

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The Kingsman: The Secret Service

The Kingsman as some of the best action sequences I’ve seen in a long time. It’s no wonder this movie is directed by Matthew Vaughn that also directed Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class. 

Besides its amazing action sequences the movie as great visuals and acting as well as a story that doesn’t take itself too serious and it’s interesting to find an action movie funnier than most comedy’s out there. The sequence where all the heads explode as the music plays is a great example of how awesome and not too serious the movie is. 

The actors do a great job with Colin Firth surprising me specially in the church fighting scene and Taron Egerton shows potential.

The story may not be the most briliant one out there but everything put together makes for an really great movie with Vaughn saying that he’s on board to direct the sequel if the studio gives it the greenlight. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

During a mission the secret agent Harry Hart is unable to prevent the death of one of his fellow agents. Feeling guilty, he personally delivers a bravery medal to the man’s widow and his young son, Gary “Eggsy” Unwin, saying that if they ever need help, they should call the phone number on the back of the medal and deliver a coded message.

Seventeen years later, during a mission to find Professor Arnold, a kidnapped climate scientist, another Kingsman agent, Lancelot, is killed by Gazelle, an assassin with bladed prosthetic legs who works for the internet billionaire Richmond Valentine. In London, Eggsy is now an unemployed young adult living with his mother, infant half-sister and an abusive stepfather. Despite being intelligent and capable, he left the training for the Royal Marines because his mother worried he would end up dead like his father. After being arrested for stealing a car and taking it for a joyride, Eggsy calls the number on the back of the medal and is released. Hart meets him outside the police station.

At a local pub, Hart tells Eggsy about the existence of the Kingsman: a secret intelligence agency that both he and Eggsy’s late father worked for, and informs Eggsy that the Kingsmen have a vacancy for a new agent (to fill Lancelot’s spot). When the owner of the car Eggsy stole earlier confronts them, Hart dispatches him and his thugs easily. Hart then takes Eggsy to training headquarters, where he is introduced to a group of other candidates, including a girl named Roxy. Training is overseen by Merlin, a senior Kingsman. The candidates are eliminated one by one until Eggsy and Roxy emerge as the final two. Encouraged, Hart has Eggsy issued a Kingsman suit. Eggsy ends up failing his final test, and the position is given to Roxy.

While Eggsy was being trained, the Kingsmen are investigating Valentine, who has announced a world-wide giveaway of SIM cards that allow free phone calls and internet access. Hart tracks down Professor Arnold and confronts him about Valentine’s whereabouts. A chip implanted in Arnold’s head explodes, killing him and injuring Hart. Once he recovers he poses as a billionaire and is invited to dinner by Valentine, who explains his views to Hart, stating that humanity is akin to a virus, and that global warming is the Earth’s equivalent of a fever. Suspicious of Hart, Valentine tracks him back to London, and the two meet again during Eggsy’s suit fitting.

Hart follows a lead to an obscure hate group church in Kentucky where Valentine and Gazelle are conducting a test. They broadcast a signal to phones containing his SIM card, causing everyone in the church, including Hart, to become uncontrollably violent. A mass brawl breaks out, with Hart emerging as the sole survivor. He is then killed by Valentine while Eggsy, Merlin and Arthur watch via video link. Valentine intends to broadcast the signal worldwide, using his satellite network to cause a massive culling of the human race, saving the Earth from further environmental damage, and sparing only a select few that Valentine has deemed worthy of living, including celebrities, royalty and heads of state. Eggsy returns to the Kingsmen headquarters, where he discovers that the leader of the Kingsmen, Arthur, is secretly one of the many VIPs that Valentine has implanted with a chip to block the signal. He avoids being killed by Arthur, switching a poisoned glass of brandy so that Arthur drinks it and dies.

Eggsy, Roxy and Merlin head to Valentine’s mountain base to stop the billionaire from executing his plan. Roxy pilots a high-altitude balloon into the stratosphere and uses a missile to destroy one Valentine’s satellites, delaying the broadcast and giving Eggsy and Merlin time to attack Valentine directly. During the raid Eggsy is pinned down by enemy gunfire and orders Merlin to hack the implanted chips and detonate them, killing all of Valentine’s henchmen as well as the VIPs who were part of Valentine’s plan. Eggsy fights Gazelle, fatally poisons her with a blade hidden in his shoe, and uses one of her prosthetic legs to kill Valentine.

In a mid-credits scene, Eggsy returns to his mother, inviting her to join him in his new life while confronting her abusive husband, knocking him unconscious in the same way Hart did the thug earlier in the film.

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Cast:

Colin Firth as Harry Hart/Galahad
Taron Egerton as Gary “Eggsy” Unwind
Samuel L. Jackson as Richmond Valentine
Mark Strong as Merlin
Michael Caine as Arthur/Chester King
Sophie Cookson as Roxy
Sofia Boutella as Gazelle
Mark Hamill as Professor James Arnold
Jack Davenport as Lancelot
Samantha Womack as Michelle Unwin

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Whiplash

“There are no two words in the English language more harmful than good job.”

On the Thursday where the theatre was filled with people to go see 50 Shades of Grey I went to see Whiplash. I don’t understand how people run to see a crapy movie like 50 Shades but neglect a briliant movie like Whiplash. 

Whiplash is the fourth movie of the 8 nominees for Best Picture at the Academy Awards 2015 that I have seen the others being The Imitation Game, The Theory of Everything and The Grand Budapest Hotel

Whiplash as s great story that revolves around Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons characters. Teller’s Neiman is willing to do everything to be the best including go to play after a at crash and Simmons Fletcher is willing to cross all the lines to find the next great musician. 

Whiplash is worth seeing for the briliant performance of J.K. Simmons alone but it doesn’t stop there. The story is captivating and moves at a great pace with the Teller doing a great job. We barely see anyone else besides Teller and Simmons but when they show up they do a good enough job. 

The music in the movie is great and the way the director shoots the band when they playing is very interesting. I’m not the bigest fan of that tipe of music but I rally liked the songs they played in the movie. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

Nineteen-year-old Andrew Neiman is a first-year jazz student at New York’s prestigious Shaffer Conservatory music school. He aspires to become a great drummer like Buddy Rich. Conductor Terrence Fletcher accepts Andrew into his studio band as the alternate for Carl, the core drummer. Fletcher is abusive toward his students, mocking and insulting them constantly; when the band rehearses the Hank Levy piece “Whiplash”, Fletcher hurls a chair at Andrew for not keeping his tempo, and slaps and berates him in front of the class.

Determined to impress Fletcher, Andrew practices until his hands bleed and breaks up with his girlfriend Nicole, believing she will distract him. At a local jazz competition, Andrew misplaces Carl’s sheet music; as Andrew can perform “Whiplash” from memory, Fletcher promotes him to core drummer. However, Fletcher replaces him with Ryan, the core drummer from Andrew’s former class.

The next day, Fletcher tearfully reveals in class that a talented former student of his, Sean Casey, has died in a car accident. The band rehearses “Caravan”, but Ryan struggles with the tempo; Fletcher auditions Andrew, Ryan and Carl for hours while the class waits outside and finally gives the core position to Andrew.

On the way to a jazz competition, Andrew’s bus breaks down. Determined to make the performance, he rents a car, but arrives late for rehearsal without his drumsticks. He drives back to the car rental office and retrieves the drumsticks, but as he speeds back, his car is hit by a truck. He crawls from the wreckage and arrives on stage badly injured. When Andrew is unable to play, Fletcher tells him he is “done” and Andrew attacks him in front of the audience.

Andrew is expelled from Shaffer and contacted by a lawyer representing the parents of Sean Casey. The lawyer explains Sean actually hanged himself, having suffered anxiety and depression after joining Fletcher’s class. Sean’s parents want to prevent Fletcher from teaching; Andrew agrees to testify and Fletcher is fired.

Months later, Andrew sees Fletcher performing at a jazz club. They drink together and Fletcher explains that he pushes his students beyond the expected so they might achieve greatness. He invites Andrew to perform at a festival concert with his band. Andrew agrees and invites Nicole, but she is in a new relationship and declines.

On stage, Fletcher tells Andrew he knows he testified against him, and in revenge, he leads the band in a new piece Andrew was not given sheet music for. Andrew leaves the stage humiliated, but returns and begins playing “Caravan”, interrupting Fletcher as he addresses the audience. The rest of the band joins him, and Fletcher follows suit. Andrew ends the performance with an extravagant drum solo. Fletcher, at first angry, gives a nod of approval to Andrew as he finishes.

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Cast:

Miles Teller as Andrew Neiman
J. K. Simmons as Terence Fletcher
Paul Reiser as Jim Neiman
Melissa Benoist as Nicole
Austin Stowell as Ryan Connolly
Nate Lang as Carl Tanner

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Still Alice

A fantastic performance + a okay story + a horrible ending = a mediocre movie. 

I now understand why Julianne Moore is the favorite to win the Academy Award for Best Actress. She’s phenomenal as Alice and gives one of the best performances I’ve seen but the movie fails at everything else. 

The supporting characters are not interesting enough for us to care about them (I hate Kristen Stewart and I don’t know how she got cast for this movie) , the passage of time is done in a way that we get lost trying to figure out where we are and the ending just feels empty (I looks around and everyone in the theatre was looking as lost as I was). 

It’s interesting how this movie fails where The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything suceeded. They both do a better job at making us care for the supporting characters, they both do the time jumps in a much better way (specially The Theory of Everything) and they both have much better endings that actual feel like the end of a story.

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

Dr. Alice Howland, a practicing professor of linguistics and wife of three children, learns that she is suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Due to the nature of the disease they check for a genetic marker which could have been passed on to her children, which the older daughter is found to have. The daughter is also, herself, having twins but they prove to not have the mutated gene.

Alice, concerned and afraid for her future and how that will affect those around her, devises a plan. She begins to brainstorm questions on her phone and every morning the phone will alarm and she’ll be asked to answer these basic questions about herself and close loved ones. Tagged at the end is the message, ‘When you can no longer answer these questions go to a folder on your computer labelled butterfly. Within the folder is a recording of herself addressed to herself saying, [paraphrased] “This is important. Make sure you’re alone and go to your bedroom. In your bedroom there’s a dresser with a blue lamp. Open the top drawer, in the back of the drawer is a bottle with pills in it. It says, ‘Take all pills with water’. Now, there are a lot of pills in that bottle, but it’s very important you swallow them all, OK? And then lie down and go to sleep. And, don’t tell anyone what you’re doing.”

Alice’s disease continues to progress while relations with her family are strained from many separate directions, including losing her job, her husband’s jobs demands, her continually increasing needs and her daughter’s elusive acting career. Alice is also able to attend an Alzheimer conference and deliver a moving speech due a standing ovation regarding her difficulties that she is forced to endure. Throughout this time you see her periodically answering the questions and sometimes erasing, thinking or retyping the answers, with slowly progressing difficulty. Before that becomes too difficult however, she loses her phone and has a fit because she could only remember how important it was that she answer those questions correctly, every day. This is soon forgotten, but a month later her phone is found broken and she mourns the loss.

When after having an internet video chat with her daughter, she tries to open her acting daughter’s head shot but inadvertently opens the video file addressed to herself. She recognizes the importance of the message and tries her best to complete the instructions. Through some difficulty she is able to get the pills and she grabs a random cup in the bathroom and fills it with water. She takes the pills and pours them into her palm when suddenly her front door is opened and she, flinching, strews the pills around the floor. She stands there for a couple of seconds debating her next move and looking around, almost confused, almost finally confident, the screen cuts.

She enjoys some ice cream with her husband and then has a talk with her daughter where Alice hears a story about many lost souls coming together to repair damage that had been caused. After the story, her daughter ask’s Alice what it was about, and Alice, barely able to form the sounds in her mouth, speaks one word, Love.

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The Martian by Andy Weir

After reading a lot of amazing things about The Martian I ended up giving it a try. 

The book as a good start but then it takes a while to settle. I almost gave up on it and it wasn’t until I went a few pages in and saw dialogue that I decided to keep going. Before we switch attention to what’s happening on earth it’s all about Watney trying to survive and it feels like math class (I personally suck at math). 

The deeper I got into the story the more I enjoyed it. Watney is a fantastic character that makes us fear for his safety but manages to makes us smile with some great jokes here and there. I hate disco too.

The other characters in the book are also very well writen and it’s interesting to see their reactions to what’s happening and all the adversities they find along the way. 

One of the comments I read before buying this book was that it could very well be taken outside of the science fiction section to be a true story kind of book and I have to agree on this. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

NASA astronaut Mark Watney, a botanist and mechanical engineer, is left stranded on Mars when the crew of the Ares 3 mission is forced to evacuate their landing site in Acidalia Planitia due to a dust storm with high winds. Watney is impaled by an antenna during the evacuation, destroying his EVA suit’s bio-monitor computer, and his five crewmates believe him to be dead. His injury proves relatively minor, but with no way to contact Earth, Watney must rely on his scientific and technical skills to survive, growing potatoes in the crew’s Martian habitat (or Hab) and burning hydrazine to make water. He begins a log of his experiences for some future archeologist who might discover it long after his death. NASA discovers that Watney is alive when satellite images of the landing site show evidence of his activities; they begin working on ways to rescue him, but withhold the news of his survival from the rest of the Ares 3 crew, on their way back to Earth aboard the Hermes spacecraft, so as not to distract them.

Watney plans to drive 3,200 kilometres (2,000 mi) to Schiaparelli crater when the Ares 4 mission lands there in four years. He begins modifying one of Ares 3’s rovers for the journey, adding solar cells and an additional battery. He makes a long test drive to recover the unmanned Pathfinder lander and Sojourner rover and bring them back with him to the Hab, allowing him to contact Earth. Mitch Henderson, the Ares 3 flight director, convinces NASA Administrator Teddy Sanders to allow him to inform the Ares 3 crew of Watney’s survival; his crewmates are thrilled, except for Melissa Lewis, the commander, who is guilt-stricken at leaving him behind.

As Watney’s second potato harvest approaches, a tear in the canvas at one of the Hab airlocks breaches, collapsing the Hab and cannoning Watney away from it, breaking his suit visor. Watney survives and repairs the Hab, but his plants are dead, threatening him again with starvation. NASA hastily prepares an unmanned probe to send Watney supplies, but the probe’s rocket disintegrates on liftoff. A deal with the China National Space Administration provides a ready booster to try again, but with no time to build a probe with a soft-landing system, NASA is faced with the unlikely prospect of building one whose cargo will survive a crash. Meanwhile, an astrodynamicist named Rich Purnell has discovered a “slingshot” trajectory that could get Hermes and the Ares 3 crew back to Mars on a much-extended mission to save Watney, using the Chinese rocket to send a resupply probe to Hermes as it passes Earth. Sanders vetoes the “Rich Purnell Maneuver” as involving too much risk for the other crewmembers, but Mitch secretly emails the maneuver to Hermes. All five of Watney’s crewmates agree to the plan, and once they begin the maneuver, NASA is compelled to send them the supply ship to save their lives.

Watney resumes modifying the rover, since the new rescue plan requires him to drive to Ares 4’s scheduled landing site and lift off from Mars in that mission’s Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), which has already made an unmanned landing as part of the long preparations for that visit. While working on the rover, Watney accidentally shorts out the electronics of Pathfinder, again losing the ability to communicate with Earth. The resupply probe launches and docks with Hermes successfully. As Watney prepares to leave for Schiaparelli, NASA discovers that a dust storm is approaching Watney’s course, potentially stranding him on the journey if the rover’s solar cells cannot recharge, but has no way to warn him of this new danger. While crossing Arabia Terra, Watney becomes aware of the encroaching dust storm and makes a rough measurement of the speed and direction of its movement, allowing him to go around it.

Surviving a rover rollover on his descent into Schiaparelli, Watney reaches the MAV and reestablishes contact with NASA. He receives instructions on the radical modifications to the MAV that are necessary to reduce its weight and allow it to intercept Hermes during its flyby. The modifications leave a large hole in the front of the MAV, which Watney covers with Hab canvas. During launch, the canvas patch tears, slowing the liftoff and leaving the MAV on a course too far from the Hermes for Watney to be rescued. Lewis develops a plan to intercept the MAV by firing Hermes’ attitude thrusters, then slowing down to match the MAV’s velocity by blowing a hole in the Hermes front airlock with an improvised sugar-and-liquid-oxygen oxyliquit bomb. A crewman on a tether uses a Manned Maneuvering Unit to reach Watney aboard the MAV and carry him back to Hermes. In a final log entry, Watney expresses his joy at being rescued.

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I only found about this after completing the book and went into Wikipedia to write this post but aparently there’s a movie already been shot based on this book directed by Ridley Scott and starring Matt Damon as Mark Watney. 

Considering Scott’s previous movies Exodus, The Counselor, Prometheus and Robin Hood I’m a little worried about how this movie will turn out even considering the star-filled cast that includes Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Chiewetel Ejiofor and Sean Bean (and his character Mitch Henderson doesn’t die). 

Here’s the cast:

Matt Damon as Mark Watney
Jessica Chastain as Melissa Lewis
Michael Peña as Major Rick Martinez
Kristen Wiig as Annie Montrose
Jeff Daniels as Teddy Sanders
Donald Glover as Rich Purnell
Kate Mara as Beth Johanssen
Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel
Sean Bean as Mitch Henderson
Chiwetel Ejiofor as Venkat Kapoor
Sebastian Stan as Dr. Chris Beck
Mackenzie Davis as Mindy Park
Naomi Scott as Ryoko

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The Theory of Everything

This is my second biographical movie in 3 weeks after The Imitation Game

The Theory of Everything first got my attention with the trailer and didn’t disappoint. 

The movie is supported by a fantastic pair of actors composed by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones. They bring the characters to life and go from their college years until they older and with children of their own. Redmayne and Jones both got Academy Awards nominations for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively. 

The movie also got a nomination for Best Picture which is well deserved. The story is great and the way the movie deals with the passage of time by doing a montage is interesting. The movie also has some great visuals in particularly the party scene at the beginning. 

I’m not sure what else I can say about this movie other than its a must see. I would like The Grand Budapest Hotel to win Best Picture and Benedict Cumberbatch to win Best Actor and I would like for Felicity Jones to win Best Actress but Julianne Moore is the most likely to win that award. 

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Here’s the plot from Wikipedia:

In 1963, while attending a party, astrophysics student Stephen Hawking meets Jane Wilde, a fellow student at Cambridge University who is studying literature. The two bond during the night, and Jane gives Stephen her phone number. Although Stephen excels at mathematics and physics, his friends and professors are concerned over the lack of a topic for his thesis. Stephen does not focus on this. Instead he concentrates on his relationship with Jane, and they attend the May Ball together. Stephen and his professor go to a lecture on black holes, where Stephen first notices he is not able to walk quickly. Stephen begins to wonder about black holes, and speculates that they may have been a part of the creation of the universe. While pursuing his research, Stephen’s muscles begin to give out while walking, causing him to fall and hit his head, concerning his friends and fellow students. Visiting the hospital, the doctor tells him that he has motor neuron disease, and that although his brain will remain unchanged, his muscles will soon be uncontrollable and that he will be unable to walk, talk, swallow, or move most of his body. He is told that he has approximately two years to live.

As he starts becoming reclusive Jane, along with Stephen’s friend Brian, attempt to get Stephen out of his room, Jane tells Stephen that she loves him. Jane talks with Stephen’s parents, who explain the full situation to her. Jane says that she will stick by Stephen. Cheered up by Jane and his friends, Stephen tells his professor that his thesis paper will be about time. Soon after, Stephen and Jane marry and have a son. Stephen’s ability to talk has become progressively worse. When he finally presents his thesis to the examination board, that a black hole was responsible for the creation of the universe, they tell him although there are some errors, his theory is revolutionary, and he is awarded his doctorate. However, while celebrating with Jane and his friends, Stephen realizes he is now unable to walk, and he becomes dependent on a wheelchair.

After having a second child, a daughter, Stephen has a theory about the visibility of black holes. He presents his theory at a lecture where the professors are astounded that Stephen has discovered what none of them had. This leads to Stephen beginning to become a world-renowned physicist. Stephen soon gets an electric wheel chair, allowing him to move around with the limited hand function he has left, and begins to play with his children again. However while focusing on her kids, Stephen’s health, and his increasing fame, Jane is unable to get work done on her own thesis paper, and is frustrated. After visiting his parents, Jane tells Stephen about her spiraling depression, and he says he understands if she needs help. At the suggestion of her mother, she joins the church choir, where she meets a handsome conductor named Jonathan. She and Jonathan become close friends, and she employs him as a piano teacher for her son. Jane, Jonathan, and Stephen soon have dinner together. Jonathan soon becomes a friend of the entire family, helping Stephen with his illness, supporting Jane, and playing with the children.

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Soon afterwards, Jane becomes pregnant with a third child. After the birth, they once again visit Stephen’s parents, bringing Brian and Jonathan along. Stephen’s parents see how close Jonathan is to the Hawkings, and ask Jane if the baby is his. Jane is appalled that they would think so, and sees that Jonathan overheard the conversation. Jane tries to stop him from leaving, and while the two are alone outside, Jonathan admits that he has feelings for her. Jane admits she has feelings for him as well. Jonathan then stays away from the family for a while, but Stephen visits him, saying that Jane needs him.

With his fame increasing, Stephen is invited to a concert in Bordeaux. While he is attending, Jane and Jonathan take the children camping. However, while in France, Stephen contracts pneumonia. Jane quickly visits the hospital. The doctors tell Jane that the only way to save him is with a tracheotomy, which will render Stephen speechless. She tells them to operate anyway. Stephen becomes depressed soon afterwards, along with Jane who says goodbye to Jonathan for what she believes is the final time. Hiring a helper, Elaine, Stephen begins to use a spelling board, and uses it to communicate with Elaine. The two get along well. Stephen soon receives a computer with a built-in voice synthesizer, and he is able to speak almost at a normal pace again. Stephen uses this to write his book, A Brief History of Time, which becomes an international best-seller. One day however, Stephen tells Jane that he has been invited to America to accept an award, and he will be taking Elaine with him. Jane is upset that Stephen has not invited her, and this becomes the trigger for Jane and Stephen’s realization they can no longer remain married.

Stephen goes to a lecture with Elaine, the two having fallen in love. At the same time Jane goes to see Jonathan, the two reuniting as well. While at his lecture in America, where he is introduced by his old professor, Stephen sees a student in the front of the room drop a pen from her desk. Stephen imagines himself getting up to return it, almost crying at the reminder of how his disease has affected him. However, he presses on, and gives an inspiring speech about human endeavor. Soon after, while Jane and Jonathan are living together, Jane receives a letter from Stephen inviting her to meet the Queen with him. Jane and Stephen reunite as they meet her, the two happily talking in the courtyard. Stephen and Jane look out to see their children playing, Stephen joyfully typing “look what we made.” In a final scene, the film rewinds to the moment Stephen and Jane first met, mirroring Stephen’s wish that he would like to reverse time itself to see what happened at the beginning of the universe. The closing text states that Jane and Jonathan later married, and that Jane and Stephen remain close friends to this day.

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