The Martian is Up for Seven Academy Awards Tonight

We spoke with author Andy Weir in September.


Whether or not you consider it a comedy, it's undeniable that the Ridley Scott-helmed, sci-fi rescue story The Martian has been raking in awards.  Tonight the film is up for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Writing, and Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role.

Reason TV's Zach Weissmueller sat down with Andy Weir, author of the best-selling novel that spawned the film, to talk about his amazing journey from computer programming, the challenges of writing a scientifically accurate space novel, and his thoughts on the future of real-life space travel.

NEXT: College Kids are Feeling the Bern

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  1. I come here for the hard hitting journalism. Stay for the Matt Damon.

  2. The movie should be banned for being about a white man, written by a white man and directed by one.

    Michael Pe?a and Chiwetel Ejiofor should win Oscars though for not being white.

    1. Wait, there’s an Oscar for not being white? Is it the AL Jolsen Award?

      1. At the rate things are going there will be…

        And it is Al Jolson.

        1. No need for correction. In a Sunday afternoon, spelling is just, like, your opinion, man.

          1. Isn’t son/sen the difference between Swede and Norwegian?

            1. Most of that is the Ellis Island Special. I’m a son now, but I was a sen in Norway.

  3. Lets make the guy who wins best actor president. Save a lot of time, effort and money and who would really notice the difference?

    1. Well, he’d be white, so a lot of people would notice.

  4. Also I notice there are complaints that the Oscars aren’t relevant by ignoring movies that people actually watch, that the blockbusters are shit and that the Oscars are too white. The problem is that shitty blockbusters are what people actually watch and the black movies that people actually watch aren’t very high art (see Kevin Hart and Tyler Perry).

    1. EVERY biscuit sandwich (south of the mason Dixon line and easy of nevada) is a gourmet biscuit sandwich.

  5. That movie was dumb. C’mon, he seals a huge hole in the habitat with plastic sheeting and duck tape. That was too much for me. I won’t even mention the ridiculous rescue, which is a total rip off of “Red Planet”.

    1. Plastic sheeting and duct tape are a powerful duo of tools. Why wouldn’t it work?

      1. Because the air pressure on Mars is .087 psi, badically zero. I think this is right. An 8 foot diameter circle is 50 square feet or 7200 square inches. If the pressure inside is Earth normal 14 psi that means the plastic would have 100,800 pounds of pressure on it give or take. Duck tape is good but not that good. Plus the thing was flapping in the wind like a garbage bag.


        2. Plus the thing was flapping in the wind like a garbage bag.

          That bugged me too. It screamed wrong!

          1. There would have to be equal pressure on both sides for it to that! I understand most people don’t know science but come on.

        3. Duct tape has a tensile strength of 58 pounds per square inch.

          The circumference of an 8 foot circle is 603 inches. If the tape is 3 inches wide, that’s 1809 square inches of tape. 100,800/1809= 56 pounds per square inch.

          Someone check my math.

          1. Assuming that 58 PSI is the strength of the adhesive.

            And everyone knows that duct tape works better on Mars. Duh!

            1. “Yes, of course duct tape works in a near-vacuum. Duct tape works anywhere. Duct tape is magic and should be worshiped.”

            2. Get MythBusters on it.

              1. “Get MythBusters on it.”

                yeah, they did that

                In that interview he explains a number of “bullshit physics” instances in the movie (and the book), which included the dust-storms, the completely unrealistic suits, the ‘duct tape’, and everything else dorks moan about.

                Savage later offers the generous-reader takeaway which is (paraphrasing), “how the fuck should WE know how strong this Duct Tape is *in this alternate-future time/place*?” Its fucking Space-Miltary-Martian-Grade Duct Tape. Why else would NASA have given it to them??

                1. yeah, they did that


            3. For the love of christ….

              The very premise of the movie is based on the idea that “Martian dust storms” would tip over a fucking spaceship.

              And you people are debating whether the duct tape is strong enough.


              1. That was the other thing about the dust storm premise of the story. If you’re worried about a ship tipping over on the ground because of meteorological conditions, you are not rushing off to fly it under the exact same conditions. Its like like a regional airport with all the 737s tipped over on one wing because of the hurricane, and authorizing new flights for the same craft.

                That said, the book is awesome. The movie less so.

              2. Oh that’s another reason, the duck tape was just the one that put it over the edge for me. BTW, Yoda is tall for his species.

                1. Riiiight.

                  The fact that the Martian atmosphere is so thin that a 100mph wind *wouldn’t power a goddamn medieval windmill* didn’t bother you enough to be worth mentioning…

                  ….but theoretical-future “duck” tape somehow needs to conform to contemporary ISO9000 spec or else your big fucking brain gets an itch.

                  You should probably stay away from things with any more literary-license than Ikea instructions.

                  1. Actually I was talking about the idea that plastic sheeting couldn’t hold in the pressure of a habitat on the surface of Mars but go ahead and be a huge cunt you seem to be really good at it. We all understand the movie has other problems you fucktard.

          2. No, the 100,800 pounds of presssure is on the face if the plastic. I doubt two layers of 5 mil sheeting would hold it.

  6. DAE fucking love science?!

  7. You know, The Martian was ok… but it wasn’t that great.

    1. plus there were no martians, which was a total ripoff.

      1. When it comes to Martians, Matt Damon is no Ray Walston.

        1. He will always be MY Uncle Martin.

          And he was Mr. Hand, too!

          What range.

          1. He’ll always be Boothby to me.

    1. He wasn’t even acting. He thought it was real.

      1. It must have been difficult to edit the MATT DAMON out of the sound.

    2. Good flic.

      When I first saw the above pic of Damon I thought it was Interstellar.

      I’m currently letting the news run on the TV.

      Rubio has been running ads about what a great conservative he is.

      If he was a great conservative he would be conserving his money rather than wasting it on ads in Texas.

      He’s coming in 3rd regardless of how much money he spends here.

      He should be spending that money in his home state of Florida where he lags behind The Trump.

      1. It’s weird seeing political ads in texas. My wife was like, “why is Bernie Sanders buying commercials here?” It makes me glad it’s a rarity. They are AWFUL.

      2. Sadly, not a good flic. A lot of problems. Like the way the water worked on the wave planet. The stupidity of going to a planet with so much time dilation in the first place.

        1. What is the problem with the way the water worked on wave planet ?

          1. And what would The Empire use on such a planet in place of Walkers? Swimmers, Floaters, Fliers?

            1. Which Empire ?

              The British ? Trump Enterprises ?

              This is all so confusing .

          2. MATT DAMON

          3. The fact that the crew was surprised by the tide coming in. You are a piss poor scientist if you’re going to a water planet orbiting a black hole and then be surprised by the existence of tides. Right there, lost any interest in McCaugnahey lecturing me about how he fucking loves science for another two hours.

            Also the planet would have most likely been tidally locked to the black hole anyway (see the Moon.)

            1. *sobs*

              I’m such a poor scientist.

              *quits sobbing, smiles widely and realizes*

              I’ve never had any interest in McCaugnahey lecturing me about anything.

              1. The “piss poor scientist” thing referred to the crew in the movie, not you Mx. OneOut. I sincerely apologize for the confusion, and regret any offense, macro or micro, I may have caused.

                I’m not a scientist, But the scene is even dumber when you realize they’ve probably been orbiting the planet for a few days preparing for the descent to the surface in a ship bristling with sensors aimed at the planet they’re about to explore. How the fuck can any of what they later experience be a fucking surprise?

                “Hey look at that mountain! Hey, it’s moving? It’s water? Wha?” Come on! I stopped watching right then.

                1. Nerds, you cannot ruin Interstellar for me, because I fell for all of the drama. *tears of joy* Also, Jessica Chastain. *tears of arousal*

            2. Also how the landing craft has enough fuel to get to the planet, land, and get back to the mothership despite the planet being so far down the black hole’s gravity well that there is an hours to years level time dilation effect..

              1. They shelled out for premium?

  8. My wife wanted to go see that. Guess it’s on Amazon now.

    1. I don’t want to spoil it for you but when they rescue him? an alien pops out of his chest.

      1. And demands higher pay for teachers.

      2. “Hello my baby! Hello my honey! Hello my ragtime doll!”

  9. Why aren’t you talking about poor little Melissa Harris Perry?

    1. Tho long bith!

    2. Matthew Welch is in negotiations to take her place.

  10. Fuck that movieMad Max: Fury Road should win all the Oscars

    1. It’s up for the award for greatest movie ever made.

      On a personal note, I think Gibson could have reprised his role. If Stallone at – what is he now, 90? – can play Rambo then Mel can SPOILER ALERT ride on the hood of what I assume is a standard Australian car and play second fiddle to that African-American woman Charlize Theron.

      1. The real reason they didn’t cast Gibson has nothing to do with age.

        1. Are we supposed to ask and then you tell us why ?

          1. Ignore Brochettaward, money is the reason. It’s always the reason. For the right money, they can market around anything.

            1. Yea, money is the reason that a guy who made Hollywood executives boatloads of it can’t get work. They just didn’t want to pay Gibson whose career is on fire right now.

        2. JEWS. The answer is Jews, obviously. Christ. I thought it was pretty obvious what I was getting at.

        3. And probably the amazing breakup mix tape he made for his wife on her answering machine.

      2. I think Hardy did well, and it’s a good choice as a reboot of Max, but given the state of the character in Fury Road, Gibson would’ve been much better. They wrote Max as even more tired and sullen and cynical, and Gibson’s age would have really worked with that.

    2. That movie is awful. It looks pretty, but the story is, in a literal sense, retarded. The acting is atrocious, and the script is worse than beyond thunderdome.

      1. Next you’re going to try to tell me that Maddox isn’t the best page in the universe.

      2. If you didn’t understand the plot, just admit so. Don’t disrespect great cinema as cover for your own deficiencies.

        1. I am your redeemer, FoE. It is by my hand you will rise from the ashes of this world.

          1. I’m the man who grabs the sun, riding to Valhalla!

        2. Nope. I got it. It was trite, assumed the audience was full of morons, and was poorly acted/directed. It was, as,with late Tarantino, too obsessed with what would look cool to pay the story or characters their proper due.

          Seriously, I know master blaster run bartertown. I don’t know why people thought this was a good movie (unless it’s viewed as a comedy).

      3. All that and you’re telling me neither JJ Abrams or Michael Bay were involved?

      4. I guess we know who doesn’t need another hero.

  11. I ain’t yo mammy, bitch!

    The purpose of this decision seems to be to provide cover for MSNBC, not to provide voice for MHP Show. I will not be used as a tool for their purposes. I am not a token, mammy, or little brown bobble head. I am not owned by Lack, Griffin, or MSNBC. I love our show. I want it back. I have wept more tears than I can count and I find this deeply painful, but I don’t want back on air at any cost. I am only willing to return when that return happens under certain terms.

    Boo hoo.

    1. That is the same writer who penned this insult to the English language.

      She can hardly string a single coherent sentence together. Its all riddled with these bullshit ‘stylistic flourishes’ that try and give the impression of ‘intelligence’ but do the opposite.

      1. Talia Jane now knows where to look for her next job.

    2. She is a teacher/professor, as well. Remember that. They pay her to educate people.

      I have thoroughly enjoyed the monster made by the progressives turning on them. It will only get worse and more frequent. They enabled this.

      1. “She is a teacher/professor, as well. Remember that. They pay her to educate people.”

        you had my jaw on the floor there…

        …but i don’t see anything in her various profile(s) or @ LinkedIn saying she’s ever been a teacher.

        She’s just another SocJus hack from what i see.

        But her writing itself is …uniquely godawful. Its like she’s *parodying* the worst college-sophomore essay you’ve ever read.

        A random-sample paragraph =

        “The descriptions of events in Oregon appear to reflect the usual shape of our collective assumptions about the relationship between race and guilt ? or religion and violent extremism ? in the United States. White Americans, their activities and ideas seem always to stem from a font of principled and committed individuals. As such group suspicion and presumed guilt are readily perceived and described as unjust, unreasonable and unethical.”

        Notice the always-popular “Sentence Stuffing” device, where you piles multiple ideas on top of one another…

        “”race….guilt …religion…violent extremism”

        …which evades having to make any single clear statement. It ends up meaning nothing specific and makes the reader tired, which for progressives ‘feels smart’.

        1. oh, you meant MHP.

          I have no problem with people like her being teachers. People can drop classes. She doesn’t bother anyone outside of them.

    3. How’s she going to pay her back taxes now?

  12. I personally think a little brown bobblehead would be a huge improvement.

  13. Does this mean that Reason won’t be live tweeting the Oscars?

    1. It’s the only reason I showed up here, to see if they were drunk-blogging the show. You could assign a candidates name to various groups of people and whatever somebody from that group said you’d report it as the candidate saying it. Trump = young blonde females, Hillary = all other young females, Cruz = older males, Rubio = younger males, Carson = black handicapped left-handed midgets, Bernie = older females, Kasich = anybody who starts crying, for example. I want to hear “Donald Trump” say he supports some stupid lefty cause du jour. “Free The Apollo Eleven!” or whatever.

    2. I would rather watch a GOP debate than the Oscars. Hell, a Dem debate.

      1. I have abstained for 20 years. I still seem to be alive.

    3. They were probably all at libertarian dork-fest this weekend, awkwardly making conversation with other awkward libertarians.

      1. I thought *this* was the libertarian dork-fest.

        1. Neither of us are dorks, and we are here.

          1. Oh. Um, yeah, OK.

  14. The whole movie is a rip off of Mission to Mars.

    Don Cheadle does the same thing in that movie. It’s mostly off screen, since he was the previous expedition. But the same damn thing.

    1. Guess I won’t bother to see this movie on video, since its carbon copy Mission to Mars was f***ing stupid.

    2. That was the one where the face on Mars was an alien station or something, right?

  15. Fuckin flyin a glass coffin through the dreams of corpses this March evening. Hope I see the fucking sun soon.

    1. March? What side of the International Date Line are you on?

      1. It ain’t the date line that he’s crossed.

        1. Maybe he’s circled the earth twice and entered the future.

          1. Perhaps he’s operating outside time and space as conventionally understood.

            1. Maybe it’s March on Mars?

              1. AC is a pan-dimensional entity, able to warp space-time. This is known.

  16. You mean “Honky Exploiting the Planet of Color”

    1. It would be sort of awesome if one of the award-readers staged a formal protest against The Martian by insisting that it is a tale of White Capitalist exploitation and colonization and that we need to stop littering Mars with all of our NASA trash and disturbing its pristine purity. naturally they would show their solidarity with the Red Planet by rubbing Menstrual Blood on their faces and chanting “JE SUIS MARTIAN!! NOUS SOMMES MARTIENNES!!”

      1. You can’t spell Mars without a r m s! THINK ABOUT IT!!!

      2. …and then Buzz Aldrin walks onstage and punches xe in the throat.

  17. Donald Trump stumbles on David Duke, KKK – CNN
    Trump declines to denounce David Duke and the KKK – CBS
    Donald Trump Declines Three Chances To Disavow David Duke – Huffington Post
    Donald Trump on Racist Endorsement: ‘I Don’t Know Anything About David Duke’ – NBC news


    Also Breaking = Trump “Still Undecided” on Whether He’d Go Back in Time To Kill Baby Hitler

    1. JEB BUSH: LATE TERM ABORTIONIST. I knew he was a liberal.

    2. At first I thought this was a media-invented scandal like the bogus “20% of Trump voters oppose Emancipation Proclamation” thing.

      But Reason’s article on the subject mentioned that Trump knew many years back who Duke was.

      So I don’t know what he’s up to, and if I had any f___s left to give, I’d speculate on the topic.

      1. my point was that no one who would vote for trump cares that donald is being evasive about acknowledging his icky fans

        mass-media moaning that Trump is a racist (or has racist supporters) has done nothing but make him *more* popular.

        he could be photographed raping kittens and it would hardly matter at this point.

        1. It fits the persona he’s running. What’s he going to do, apologize for it?

  18. Mad Max should win the Oscar for Most Overrate Piece of Garbage. That movie literally made me ill in the theater.

    1. Your comment should win the Oscar for MOST MEDIOCRE COMMENT EVER

    2. I love The Raid: Redemption for being an action movie that’s really heavy on the action, but Mad Max Fury Road didn’t do much for me. Probably a result of preferring hand-to-hand combat over vehicle chase stuff.

      1. After two vehicle chase scenes I stopped giving a shit. It just becomes dull and repetitive, especially when the characters are all boring as shit.

        Was I only supposed to care about Charlize Theron and the lingerie models because they’re being oppressed by a brutal patriarchal society? That’s the impression I got from everyone who gushed about her character and the movie in general. I didn’t connect and I thus didn’t care which spoils the whole movie.

        1. The movie is objectively great because a non-english speaker or deaf person could fully follow and appreciate the story w/o subtitles.

          1. It’s the future of Hollywood – movies without any dialogue.

          2. Nothing wrong with minimalist dialogue or brevity, especially when so many movies go way off the rails due to overly complex plotting and exposition (glares at The Force Awakens).

            But I still think Fury Road is forgettable due to bland characters and frantic pacing that stops being exhilarating thirty minutes in. The movie and everyone else took it way too seriously and as a result it isn’t fun.

            1. Maybe they’re just angling for the China market.

  19. Chrissy Teigan’s tits aren’t all that great.

    1. So she’s not threatening Christina Hendricks’ reign as queen of award show cleavage?

    2. I don’t know who that is, but you take that back.

  20. Good thing Joe Biden and DOCTOR JILL BIDEN (tm Huffington Post) are there.

    I’m sure it’s no trouble at all for the working class people who live in the area and need to get to work.

    1. Joe and DOCTOR JILL were at UCSF med center yesterday screwing up traffic in SF. The photo in the paper had Joe ‘looking at things’ with DOCTOR JILL ‘looking on’, according to the caption.
      I cut out the picture…

      1. Was she performing surgeries too?

        Oh, she’s not that kind of doctor????

        1. “Oh, she’s not that kind of doctor????”

          Oh, for pete’s sake! I thought, since the caption actually read “doctor” that she was an MD. She has a fucking doctorate in “Education”; a goddam degree in reading!
          We had a friend (who has moved) who always made restaurant reservations under “Doctor so-and-so”, which once got interesting when there was a medical emergency.
          One of my buds has two; both in serious, rigorous tech subjects. He asks to be known as “Mick”.

      2. So they fucked up traffic all over. Great.

    2. Yeah but how awesome would it be if Biden announces his candidacy for the presidency tonight?

  21. Watching a couple acceptance speeches, I like that when it’s a team who wins, they aggregate their time, so if the first asshole is long winded the idiots who let him go first get cut off after a couple words.

    1. That’s why I’d never team up with you.

      1. Ain’t we a pair, raggedy man.

  22. Chris Rock is sticking it to the man.

    “You know, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”

    1. My link works neener neener.

    2. Dog Whistle.

  23. Whew, at least Chris Rock is up there making uncomfortably hyperbolic jokes. Everyone can go home feeling good about themselves again.

    Rock said that other years, black people didn’t protest the Oscars because they were “too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won Best Cinematographer. When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about Best Documentary Foreign ? Short.”

    1. Thanks, I SFed the link.

    2. Well he is absolutely right.

      Anytime one’s grandmother is swinging from a tree they should be too busy to worry about who won an Oscar.

      Anyone who has a problem with his statement is a racist,

      Doesn’t everyone know that ?

      1. I’m going out on a limb and claiming that no one listening to his preaching has had a grandmother swinging from a tree in other than a tire swing.

        1. Not fulfilling the African-American Oscar quota is exactly the same as your grandmother is swinging from a tree, come on what’s wrong with you.

  24. OT: AP writer can’t tell the difference between the gov’t and business:

    “Apple’s tech allies oppose the FBI, but still want your data”
    ” Aren’t those the same companies that Apple has previously criticized by lobbing veiled accusations that they exploit your personal information ? to sell ads ? and effectively endanger your privacy?”

    I’m going with stupidity, since the cupidity required for that is beyond most any AP staff writer.

    1. OMG I’M BEING TARGETED WITH ADS. Actually I’m not thanks to AdBlock. BUT I COULD BE.

    2. Well, at least one or two commenters understands; the rest are lefties who luv them some gov’t coercion, but really don’t like any personal agreements.

      1. When this story first came up in the public arena, almost everybody I talked to supported Cook’s position. I don’t know when the tipping point came, but you see lefties and righties turning on Apple now. Different reasons, but same authoritarian impulse.

        1. Relentless pro-gov media propaganda might explain it.

  25. I don’t understand the algorithm behind the facebook trending feed. It’s listing “Olivia Munn-Actress Wears Orange Dress on Oscars Red Carpet.” OK? When did Olivia Munn become someone the masses care about? Her comic book movie hasn’t even come out yet.

    1. I don’t even know who that is. But the “Facebook trending feed” sounds like something I would avoid at any costs anyway.

    2. I suspect that a lot of that just gets paid for. So, some of it is targeted, and then some gets weighted based on how much is shelled out. If you want to raise publicity for a client/actor, it’s a new way. Better than magazine covers.

      1. Lemme guess; you don’t have web access there and you want the Cal score?

        1. Actually, Verizon just fucked me. I ported my land land to google voice because I haven’t used it in 5 years; I don’t like my home phone ringing and waking up the baby.

          After I ported the number, they shut down all of my services at midnight on Friday just to punish me. No TV, no Internet. It’s their “policy”. Nobody has the authority to restore it until business hours tomorrow.

          I really don’t have web access other than my phone.

          I’m deciding how I’m going to respond in the long term. I’ve already been blocked by Verizon’s twitter account.

          1. Sounds like taking all of your business away from Verizon would be appropriate.

            1. I like to burn bridges. Sprint fucked me about 7 years ago, and they paid 7 figures. If you steal from me, you’re gonna pay.

              1. Dayum – I always knew the 9-to-5 grind was for suckers.

                1. That was all in legal fees. $2.4 million at the conclusion.
                  They fought every step of the way, and refused to admit they were wrong. They lost.

                  My damages were in the range of $2000.

                  1. I just assume all the companies suck equally hard.

                    I get my phone service through work so I haven’t had to deal with it in a long time lucky me.

                    Cable and internet are Time Warner since there is no real competition in my neighborhood.

          2. “I’m deciding how I’m going to respond in the long term. I’ve already been blocked by Verizon’s twitter account.”

            Yeah, I’d be giving that some thought, too. One of the first tactics that seems to get some attention is the request: “Let me speak to your boss.”

        1. http://eclectikrelaxation.com/…..Munn-3.jpg

          I’ve done worse. Granted, that’s not saying much.

  26. God dammit. It’s like they’re trying to force me to vote for Trump.

      1. I had the Oscars on. That was my first mistake.

        Some shitbag used his asshole pulpit to preach.

        1. Let me guess that it wasn’t to ask Hillary to explain the security breaches and the foreign government buying access?

  27. Hey! The Martian‘s still shut out.

    1. OK, but how about “The Loved One”?

  28. Hey everybody, Joe Biden!

    1. Takin’ one for the team, Q? Is Jill there? Did they mention she holds a PhD?
      In readin’ and ritin’?

  29. Pimpin’ those Oscars:

    “Mark Ruffalo, ‘Spotlight’ director join pre-Oscars sexual abuse protest at L.A. cathedral”
    “Only a few short hours before the 88th annual Academy Awards were due to begin, Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo and “Spotlight” cowriters Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer took part in a protest against sexual abuse within the church in downtown Los Angeles.”

    ‘I swear, Chris, this was totes spontaneous!’

    1. BTW, I take it back if they wore those funny robes, collars and hats.

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