Category Archives: culture

The Martian: “In space, no one can hear you yawn…”?

Interested in growing potatoes in space? Then this is definitely the film for you.

...baked, chipped, fries, Dauphinoise...?…baked, chipped, fries, Dauphinoise…? The range of potato-based action on Mars is endless…

“You’re shitting me?” I hear you say. No, seriously; over much of The Martian‘s 134 minutes running time, Matt Damon shows us how high-tech human composting techniques can contribute not just to modern space potato growing techniques, but also Ridley Scott’s latest Hollywood space opera script. The film — based on a book by Andy Weir — comes over as a silly re-telling of the Defoe’s ‘Robinson Crusoe‘ (without the TV-version’s lush and romantic soundtrack and poignancy), managing to underwhelm and disappoint in equal measure.

In space no one can hear you yawn?

In space no one can hear you yawn?

It also lacks any warning that it contains explicit and repeated scenes of a technical nature. Think ‘The A-Team’s’ “torque-wrenches-and-bombs-can-overcome-all” vibe (but with weaker humour), rescripted by the producers of sci-tech educational programme ‘Mythbusters‘.

It is striking that Zemeckis’  Cast Away‘, whilst overlong, still manages to make us concerned about the fate of marooned Tom Hanks. In ‘The Martian’, however, do we really care about what happens to Damon or any of the other characters? Indeed, even the potatoes, for much of this film, manage to push the actors into the wings.  “In space no one can hear you scream”. Nor yawn, in this case?

A disappointing film and the second time since ‘Prometheus‘ that Ridley Scott has failed to breath life into a space opera. Come on man it’s *not* rocket science…!

An emphatic Soviet-era space programme ‘niet’ from me, though apparently popular amongst critics and punters alike on Rotten Tomatoes.

matt-damon-potato farmer ‘No shitting?’ – Matt Damon explains how human composting can contribute to both modern space potato growing needs and Ridley Scott space opera scripts.

“‘Bring him home” screams the Martian’s logline:


‘Bring him home?’ Better still ‘Go home’?

My response: maybe don’t bother?,

One positive for fellow correspondents in Winchester – I rather liked the new Everyman Cinema layout. Not least as the new sofas now provide the opportunity for taking 40 winks during such movies…

sofa-erage of a kind similar to that now available at the Everyman Winchester

..sofa-age of a kind similar to that now available at the Everyman Winchester


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Eurovision’s Waterloo?

“…Waterloo, couldn’t escape if I wanted to… do dooooooh do…

Conchita Wurst and Nigel Farrage pretending to be a man

“It was the best of times, it was the Wurst of times?” Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst and Nigel Farrage (farrago, shurely, Ed?)” The Janus-faces of Europe?

Highlights of this year’s Eurovision Song Contest included Poland’s entry – a disturbing potpourri of nationalist costume, incongruous Bangra-Rap beat musical ‘styling’, and Men Only fantasies.

Conchita Wurst (no really) - Head of Women's Studies, University of KrakowSlavic to the Rhythm? Poland’s Eurotrash re-defining entry ?

Meanwhile, France – managed to combine the kind of terrible, attention-seeking bad club-dancing one would only see of a drunken pair of Essex swingers on a Saturday night, alongside breath-taking cultural stereotyping…

Three French Dicks - France's Vision of Europe

“…sock it to me baby! (not)” – a limp, lamentable effort from the French at half mast.

…thereby narrowly taking the lead from Poland’s Transform Clinic-sponsored Bangra-rap-nationalist ‘butter-churn’ act.

As this Al Qaeda recruiting poster of Trans-Euro Excess unfurled,  one could only breathe a sigh of relief. The Danes, having closed and converted the Refshaleøenex dockyard in Copenhagen into the venue for the contest, are further aiding Europe’s re-positioning from the manufacture of dull old things like ships and castles of steel, towards the quintessence of the tone — and vision — of Europe?

…Waterloo, I was defeated you won the war…La-la-lah-la-lah-la…”