Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wacky, Wonderful, Profane "Book of Mormon" at Broward Center


Wacky, Irreverent “Book of Mormon” Charms at Broward Center

By Skip Sheffield

What a wacky, irreverent, dirty and ultimately wonderful musical “The Book of Mormon” is. Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of “South Park” and Robert Lopez of “Avenue Q,” it continues through Feb. 7 at Broward Center for the Arts.
This is the third production of “Book of Mormon” I’ve seen. I feel it is the best. The singing, dancing and joke delivery are near perfect. The script has been revised and tweaked in each subsequent touring company. There is a new visual comedy bit at the very end that makes for a perfect finale. I won’t give it away except to say it involves Arnold Cunningham (Chad Burris), the shyer, less handsome “elder” who discovers he is a lot more charismatic than he ever knew.
“Book of Mormon” is a satirical comedy aimed mostly at the peculiarities of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Ladder-Day Saints. Original church prophet Angel Moroni (Daxon Bloomquist) is an easy target. Supposedly back in 362 A.D. God spoke to him directly and he engraved God’s instructions on golden plates. The plates were buried in Upstate New York for safe-keeping. There they remained until 1823, when they were discovered by Joseph Smith. Smith allegedly translated the information into a book that became the Book of Mormon. The church was formally opened in 1830 in New York. Smith was murdered by an angry mob in 1844 and church leadership was taken over by Brigham Young from 1844 until his death in 1877. All these characters are played for laughs, including Jesus Christ. One of the oddest claims of the church is that Jesus appeared to Moroni in the USA after his resurrection.
Ryan Price is requisitely handsome and charming as the outgoing Elder Kevin Price. How can a 19-year-old boy be an “elder?” Never mind.
Chubby Chad Burris is the scene-stealer as Elder Arnold Cunningham, a guy who “makes things up,” but finds a way to communicate with the Ugandans, where Price and Cunningham had been dispatched as missionaries. Among the natives Arnold charms is Nabulungi (Candace Quarrels), daughter of the local Chief. The most colorful character is a brutal, Idi Amin-style General we shall just call BFN, powerfully played by David Aaron Damane.
There is a big production number on the African song “Hasa Diga Eebowai” with a big punchline when the meaning is revealed.
“Book of Mormon” is the kind of show you can discover new things on every viewing. It is no accident it won a whopping nine Tony Awards, including Best Musical. If you don’t mind some foul language or pointed satire at rigid religious ideas, you should enjoy it as much as I.
Tickets are $40-$150 at TicketMaster or the box office Call 954-462-0222 or go to

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A Strange, Sorrowful Puppet Animation Movie


A Weird, Wonderful “Anomalisa”

By Skip Sheffield

What a weird and wonderful stop-action puppet-animated film “Anomalisa” is. It opens for an exclusive run at the Shadowood Theater Friday, Jan. 22. It may open wider later.
“Anomalisa” is a project of the wizard of weird, Charlie Kaufman. He is the mastermind of such enigmatic masterpieces as “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Being John Malkovich.”
Shall we cut to the chase? The meaning of the title is not revealed until halfway through the movie. I don’t think it is a plot-spoiler to reveal Lisa Hesselman (voice of Jennifer Jason Leigh) considers herself an anomaly. That means she deviates from the normal or expected. Her name is Lisa, hence “Anomalisa.”
It has been a banner year for Jennifer Jason Leigh, who was most recently battered as a condemned desperado in Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight.”
Lisa is not so desperate. She is terribly insecure though. When motivational specialist Michael Stone (voice of David Thewlis) travels to Cincinnati to speak on his latest book, he discovers that Lisa and her friend at staying at the same posh Fregoli Hotel. This is an inside Kaufman joke, as the movie was based on a play written by him under the nom de plume Francis Fregoli. It takes some convincing on Michael’s part, but after some drinks and a visit to his room, he seduces Lisa.
“Anomalisa” features some of the most realistic puppet sex you will see. But this is not a happy-ever-after story. Michael has big emotional problems, and he has a kind of breakdown at his big speech. Instead of motivating them, Michael makes them question if life is worth it.

I had a little discussion with my friend Beth after the screening. I saw it as a romance. She disagreed, and saw it more as an anti-romance. She is a woman and she is probably right. One superbly weird thing about “Anomalisa” is that all parts other than Michael or Lisa are voiced by Tom Noonan. This definitely adds to the creepy factor, and it gets creepier still when Jennifer Jason Leigh’s voice suddenly becomes Tom Noonan’s. What it all means I do not know, but it is unsettling, and in this case that’s a good thing.

A Smart Salute to US Coast Guard


“Finest Hours” No Masterpiece but a Stirring Tribute to US Coast Guard

By Skip Sheffield

The U.S. Coast Guard is the oldest branch of American military service, dating to 1790. It is my favorite service because its primary purpose is to save people, not kill them.
“The Finest Hours” centers on an incredibly difficult rescue mission off the coast of Chatham, Mass, on Feb. 18, 1952 in the middle of a ferocious nor’easter blizzard with high winds and higher seas. Two large oil tankers were being battered apart and in danger of sinking. The movie, directed by Craig Gillespie (“Million Dollar Arm”), concentrates on the more dramatic wreck of the SS Pendleton. It was an older ship with a shoddy repair of an 18-foot gash. When the weld gave way the ship literally split in half. The bow portion sunk quickly, taking officers with it. The remaining 34 crewmen huddled in the stern section.
The commander of the Chatham Coast Guard Base asked for four volunteers to get in a 36-foot rescue craft and try to make it out to the sinking Pendleton. The first to put up his hand is Bernie Webber (Chris Pine) a gung-ho Guardsman if there ever was one.
Chris Pine is an inordinately handsome man, but as an actor he is a bit, ahem, wooden. Bernie is falling in love with gorgeous Miriam (Holliday Grainger), who looks like a Disney princess come to life. The couple’s romance, impending marriage and Miriam’s worry about the dangerous mission are all subplot. Volunteering with Bernie are Richard (Ben Foster), Andy (Kyle Gallner and Daniel (Eric Bana).
The de facto commander of the doomed Pendleton is chief engineer Ray Sybert, played by Casey Affleck. Ray is not a very likeable guy, but he gets the job done.
The voyage out of Chatham Harbor and into the open sea is predictably perilous. There is a lot of grimacing, wincing and frightened looks from all crew members. The special effects are reasonably good, but sometimes you can tell it’s a scale-model boat being buffeted in a studio pool.
A nice thing the studio did was to invite a group of Coast Guard veterans, decked out in formal regalia and seated at place of honor in the VIP section. One of them was seated next to me. I did not ask his age, but Bruce Parmett told me he was a Korean War veteran before joining the Coast Guard. He teaches boat safety classes the fourth Saturday of every month.

“The Finest Hours” is no movie masterpiece but it serves a noble service honoring the America military’s most unsung heroes.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Haunting, Mournful "45 Years" of Marriage


A Marriage Reaches the Final Stretch

By Skip Sheffield

Marriage is not for the faint of heart. You start off with all the best intentions, but little things happen along the way. Sometimes they pile up and fester. Sometimes you reach a point of no return and even though the marriage has been long-lived, you have to admit defeat.
“45 Years” is a haunting, melancholy portrait of a long-married British couple facing their 45th wedding anniversary. Their 40th anniversary was cancelled when Geoff Mercer (Tom Courtenay) had to have emergency surgery.
His wife Kate (Charlotte Rampling) is determined to do it up grand for their 45th. However a letter from Swiss police authorities arrives for Geoff with unsettling news. The body of his long-ago girlfriend Katya has been discovered and identified in a crevasse in the Alps. Geoff never mentioned his first love to Kate. Why should he?
The news of Katya’s recovery rattles Geoff to the core. His wife can’t help but wonder what other secrets he has kept from her.
“45 Years” is based on David Constantine’s story “In Another Country.” The screenplay is adapted by director Andrew Haigh.
Charlotte Rampling is ideal to play Kate. She already has a mournful face. The corners of her mouth naturally turn down.
Tom Courtney is also well-cast as the seemingly meek and unexciting Geoff who harbors a volatile secret.

“45 Years” is not much fun, and it is worse if you have been through failed marriages as I have. It is not pretty watching a long marriage fall apart, even if it is just a movie. Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay have already received accolades at major film festivals. If you want to see masterful acting, this is for you. Just don’t bring a date.

Monday, January 25, 2016

A Sad, Lovely Hopeful "Violet"


“Violet” a Lovely, Sad, Ultimately Hopeful Musical

By Skip Sheffield

“Violet” is a sad and lovely musical presented through Feb. 7 in the Amaturo Theatre of Broward Center for the Arts.
Based on the book “The Ugliest Pilgrim” by Doris Betts, “Violet” features music by Jeanine Tesori and book by Brian Crawley under the direction of Patrick Fitzwater.
In a curtain speech, Fitzwater explains that while the character of Violet has a disfiguring scar on her face, he chose not to have it depicted through makeup or prosthetics. Lindsey Corey, the young woman who plays Violet as an adult, is actually quite lovely with a matching lovely voice. Her younger self in flashbacks is played by winsome 10-year-old Lucia Fernandez de los Muros.
It is because of her scar that Violet decides to travel by bus from North Carolina to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where there is a faith-healing television evangelist she thinks may heal her.
The year is 1964 and the Vietnam War is heating up. On the journey west, Violet meets two soldiers. The older of the duo is Flick (Andre Russell), an African-American soldier in his 30s. Monty (Alex Jorth) is a younger paratrooper preparing to ship off to war. Both men develop an interest in Violet for different reasons. Their emotions are played out in songs, backed up by a live ensemble led by Manny Schvartzman. Shane Tanner plays Violet’s father; a complicated role that is neither hero nor villain. A show-stopper is Kendra Williams, who sings a gospel-inflected ballad “Raise Me Up.” Christina Alexandra is exciting in "Lonely Stranger."
“Violet” is about hope, love and regrets. It had a rather short run on Broadway. We are fortunate that Patrick Fitzwater had the astute judgement to select it for his first Slow Burn season at Broward Center. It is gratifying to be introduced to a new work.

Tickets are $45. Call 954-462-0222 or go to

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Love and Conflict in "South Pacific"


An Excellent Production of “South Pacific” at Wick Theatre

By Skip Sheffield

“South Pacific” has been part of my DNA since age 9, when we first saw it at Coconut Grove Playhouse with Betsy Palmer as Nellie Forbush. The production of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic runs through Feb. 14 at the Wick Theatre, 7901 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton.
I also saw “South Pacific” with someone I love, which only enhanced the experience.
“South Pacific” is all about love under duress in an exotic location. It’s during World War II on two remote islands in the French Polynesian South Pacific. Emile De Beque (Nat Chandler) is a French expatriate who fled his country after he killed a man in what he considered to be a justifiable homicide. Nellie Forbush (Adrianne Hick) is a self-described “hick from the sticks” of Arkansas and a Navy nurse. Nellie is also a “Cockeyed Optimist” as she sings in her first song with Emile De Beque.
There is a secondary romance going on, between Lt. Cable (Marc Koeck) and Liat (Jen Chia) the beautiful daughter of local Polynesian entrepreneur Bloody Mary (Amy Jo Phillips). Bloody Mary wants the best for her daughter, and she sees Lt. Cable as her ticket to ride. Additional comic relief is delivered by Michael Iannucci as seaman Luther Billis.
You can’t have love without conflict. In the case of both Nellie and Lt. Cable there are inherent prejudices. “South Pacific’ has a strong message on racial prejudice, especially considering it was written in 1949 by Oscar Hammerstein and Joshua Logan, who directed the original Broadway production.
I had the privilege of knowing Mr. Logan when he was artist-in-residence at FAU. Logan was from Texarkana, Texas, but raised in Mansfield, Louisiana in the Deep South. Racial prejudice is brought up in the brilliantly ironic song “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught,” sung by Lt. Cable. But as I said at the outset, “South Pacific” is about love; romantic love, with all the joy and pain that entails. The most famous song in “South Pacific” is “Some Enchanted Evening,” but my favorite is “This Nearly Was Mine,” sung by Emile De Beque.
Nat Chandler has the requisite rich baritone for that song, but moreover he was the maturity and experience to invest the words with the proper gravity and sorrow. As good as Adrianne Hick, Amy Jo Phillips and Marc Koeck are, this is Nat Chandler’s showcase. I think it is the best performance of Emile De Beque since I saw Robert Goulet do the role at Parker Playhouse in 1995. Kudos to director Norb Joerder and musical director Michael Urusua (though the music is recorded), this is a most excellent production of a timeless American Musical classic.
Tickets are $85. Call 561-995-2333 or go to

Kevin Hart Rides Again


Silly, Funny “Ride Along 2”

By Skip Sheffield

Silly, silly, silly but funny, funny, funny: that’s the word on “Ride Along 2.”
This sequel continues the adventures of taciturn Atlanta cop James Payton (Ice Cube) and excitable rookie Ben Barber (Kevin Hart).
Kevin Hart is the 5-foot-4 fireplug heart of this caper, which starts in Atlanta but is mostly set in Miami and Miami Beach.
Ben is engaged to be married to gorgeous Angela Payton (Tika Sumpter), James Payton’s little sister. But more than anything Ben wants to be a full-fledged cop. When James Payton gets an assignment from his boss Lt. Brooks (Bruce McGill) to ferret out some wrongdoing in Miami, Ben begs to come along. Reluctantly, James agrees.
So begins a caper written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who were involved in the first “Ride Along” in 2014. It is directed by Tim Story, who directed the original.
Plot is the least important aspect of a caper flick like this. There is a bad guy, mobster Antonio Pope played by an emaciated-looking Benjamin Bratt, and a tough Miami lady cop Maya, played by Olivia Munn. Apart from the antics of Kevin Hart, the most important element is the gorgeous Miami area locations. Sometimes we forget what fabulous places Miami Beach and Biscayne Bay are. This silly movie reaffirms the fact we live in a paradise that most can only dream about.

This movie is aimed squarely at the African-American audience. I am not one of the demographics, but funny is funny regardless of race, color or creed. This is a funny movie with lots of eye-candy treats.

"Mustang" Not About a Horse or a Car


Girls Corralled in “Mustang”

By Skip Sheffield

“Mustang” is a curious name for a movie that is not about a horse or a car, but five young sisters living in the repressive Islamic culture of Turkey.
The story, written by director Deniz Gamze Erugven with Alice Winocour, begins on a summer afternoon when the five sisters are let out of school with a group of friends. They go to the beach and begin to frolic in the water, fully clothed.
Some local busybody witnesses the girls and boys playing together, and concludes they were up to no good. The girls have no mother, but they live with their grandmother (Nihal G. Koldas), who is very strict. When Grandma receives word the girls may have been misbehaving with boys, she is furious. Even more furious is the girls’ father (Ayberk Pekcan), who decides the girls should be prisoners in their own house until they can be married off. The dad goes to the extent of welding bars on the windows.

Is it any wonder the girls rebel against such oppression? For those of us who are not familiar with strict Islamic living, its systematic abuse and neglect of women and girls is hard to understand. I will be the first to admit I do not understand. But since it is a religion, I really have no right to criticize. But the point of this story is that these girls did not choose to live this way. It was forced upon them, and that is just not right.

Complicated Love During the Holocaust


Love Amidst the Holocaust

By Skip Sheffield

“Closed Season” is set in Germany during World War II, but it is not about the Holocaust. It has a German couple, a young Jewish man and a Nazi officer as main characters, but it is still not about the Holocaust. “Closed Season’ is a very unusual love story; a triangle if you will.
The movie, directed by Franziska Schlotterer, begins in Israel in 1970. A young man (Pepe Trebs) has travelled from Germany to meet the man he thinks might be his biological father.
Albert (Christian Friedel) ignores the young man. Finally the young man’s persistence pays off, and he tells Albert his story as he understands it.
It began in a remote farm in the Black Forest of Germany in 1942. Emma (Brigitte Hobmeier0 and Fritz (Hans-Jochen Wagner) barely subsist. Nevertheless when Albert (Christian Friedel) flees the Nazis and hides out in the woods, they take him in. Fritz could use some help on the farm, he reasons.
Albert is by nature a more sensitive, caring person than Fritz. When Fritz forgets his wife’s birthday, Albert gives him a handmade piece of jewelry to give her to save face.
Emma and Fritz have been married ten years, but they remain childless. Evidently it is Fritz who is infertile. Using his practical German logic, Fritz suggests that Albert have sex with Emma in hopes of making her pregnant and bearing a child.
Neither Emma nor Albert likes the idea, but reluctantly they agree to the scheme.
As you can imagine there are complications. There is no such thing as sex without consequences. The script, by Gwendolyn Bellman and the director, delicately handles the moral issues without passing judgment. There is a Nazi in the story; a young officer named Walter (Thomas Loibl), but he is not a villain. As a matter of fact he knows Emma and Fritz are harboring a Jew, and he turns a blind eye.

Ultimately any story set in Germany during World War II is about the Holocaust. Inevitably the blind hate and treachery of Nazi Germany intrudes into what is essentially a romance of a most different sort. That is what makes “Closed Season’ so fascinating.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Bach Bonanza in Boca


Top: David Kim
Bottom: John Dee

A Bach Bonanza With The Symphonia Jan. 8-10

By Skip Sheffield

A bounty of Bach is in store for the second Connoisseur Concert of the Symphonia Boca Raton. On the program for 3 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10 at Roberts Theatre of St. Andrew’s School will be Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3; his Concerto for Violin and Oboe in C minor and his Brandenburg Concerto No. 2. Also featured will be Bach contemporary Johann Pachelbel’s Canon and Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires. Violinist David Kim, Concert Master of the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1969, will serve as guest conductor and John Dee, Professor of Oboe at the University of Illinois, will be featured soloist.
For his many accomplishments, David Kim is a very modest artist.
“Last season with the Symphonia was a fantastic experience,” said Kim, who is also concertmaster of the All-Star Orchestra of New York City and on PBS stations throughout the nation. “I made a lot of friends at our concerts in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Boca Raton. A concertmaster is really the more important member. As conductor I wave my hands around a bit.”
John Dee, who was a South Florida resident for 26 years, looks forward to working with David Kim for the first time.
“He seems to be a lovely person and he has every right to be at the top of the pile,” says Dee of Kim. “The Bach Concerto (for violin and oboe) is a beautiful work with solo lines weaved in for violin and orchestra. I played it with the Florida Philharmonic with Mark Kaplan and found it challenging and exciting.”
As for classical music in general, Dee says it is about communication. He should know. He worked with the great Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti enough times with Miami Opera to call him a personal friend.
“You get to the point where you are comfortable, and that’s when you can communicate,” he says. “I tell my students the art of music is making it look easy.”
For music lovers who want to learn more about the music and the musicians, the Symphonia will host a Lunch with the Symphonia at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 8 at the Unitarian Congregation, 2601 St. Andrews Blvd. Tickets are $35.
For future audiences, a Meet the Orchestra session is held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9 at Roberts Theatre. Tickets are just $5 for adults and free for children, but reservations are required.
For northern country residents, an Encore Concert will be performed at 8 p.m. Jan. 9 at Eissey Campus Theatre at Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens.
Single tickets are $45-$75. Call 866-687-1201 or go to

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Leo DiCaprio Mans Up for "The Revenant"


Leo DiCaprio Roughs It in “The Revenant”

By Skip Sheffield

One-time pretty boy Leonardo DiCaprio is all grown up and all manned up for his role as rugged frontiersman, Hugh Glass, in “The Revenant.”
There is little doubt DiCaprio will be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor for his punishing performance as Hugh Glass.
There really was a Hugh Glass, born in 1790 and killed by hostile Arikara Indians in 1833. “The Revenant” (it means "thing reborn" in French) covers the most incredible chapter in Glass’ tumultuous life. It occurred in 1823 in the area of present-day Montana and South Dakota. Glass was the experienced scout in a fur hunting party led by Capt. Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson).
Mexican-born director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (“Birdman,” “Biutiful”) begins the story with a prophetic prologue uttered by Glass: “As long as you can grab a breath, you fight,” followed by a brutal attack by savage Arikara Indians. Half of the company is killed and the other half flees on a raft and thence into the wilderness with Glass leading the way.
Glass knows that wilderness like the back of his hand and he understands Native American well enough he speaks the language and married an Indian woman who bore him a son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), who is part of the party. Second in command is John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), who is clearly envious of Hugh Glass and untrustworthy.
When Glass encounters two grizzly bear cubs, he is savagely attacked by the mama bear. Using CG effects, it is one of the most convincing animal attacks you will see. Glass survives the attack and is forced to kill the bear, but he is sorely wounded. The men fashion a sled so Glass can be dragged along. The opportunist Fitzgerald suggests they just put Glass out of his misery so they can move faster, but the highly principled Capt. Henry pledges to protect him and even offers a reward for his safe return.
The arc of the story hinges on a betrayal. Hawk and young Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) stay behind to protect Glass. When their backs are turned, Fitzgerald tries to smother the helpless Glass. Hawk intervenes and is killed by Fitzgerald. This is the second major loss for Glass, whose Indian wife (Grace Dove) was killed earlier. Glass makes it a personal crusade to free Powaqa (Melaw Nakehk’o), daughter of the local Chief.
Left for dead and robbed of his possessions including his guns, Glass miraculously survives and begins a literal 200-mile crawl back to Fort Kiowa, South Dakota.
While “The Revenant” is as violent as “The Hateful Eight” it differs in the fact it has a moral compass. Hugh Glass is a good and honorable man who loves his family and endures unbearable loss. Fitzgerald is a devious coward who deserves whatever comes his way.
“Only God can claim revenge,” Glass concludes as he faces his nemesis in a final showdown.

“The Revenant” boasts spectacular cinematography by Emmanuel Lubezki and a moody, spooky musical score by Ryuichi Sakamoto. It is a frontier action-adventure, but it is also a work of art.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Bring Matt Damon Home


Mars Continues to Fascinate

By Skip Sheffield

What is it with Earthlings and the planet Mars?

Of all the planets, Mars seems to fascinate us most, and that includes filmmakers. As a matter of fact one of the earliest Edison films was “A Trip to Mars” from 1910.
“The Martian” may be the best movie about Mars to date. It stars Matt Daman as Matt Watney, an American astronaut who was injured in a violent space storm and assumed dead by his company, who hightailed it back to earth.
“The Martian” is directed by Ridley Scott, who knows a bit about space science fiction, having directed the thrilling classic “Alien” in 1979 and “Prometheus” in 2012. It is based on the book by Andy Weir with script by Drew Goddard (“World War Z,” “Cabin in the Woods”). Not only does Matt Damon give an Oscar-level performance in a crowded Best Actor field, the special effects are so good you think yeah, maybe this could happen.
The movie starts off light-hearted with Mark Watney (Damon) joking around with teammate Rick Martinez (Michael Pena). Then uh-oh, an Emergency Storm Warning light comes on.
Team Captain Melissa Lewis says “We’ll wait it out.” Then she rethinks it. “We’re scrubbed,” she says. “That’s an order.”
But meanwhile Mark Watney goes outside the spacecraft, fiddling around with some doo-dad when the predicted storm struck. Something pierced his spacesuit.
“He was hit!” Martinez cries. “How long can he survive decompression?”
“About a minute” is the answer.
“Mark is dead,” Capt. Lewis concludes.
Meanwhile back at NASA control, project commander Teddy Sanders (Jeff Daniels) makes an executive decision.
“We have no choice but to abort the mission.”
And so the crew blasts off, leaving Mark Watney behind.
Watney goes into a pressurized module, cuts off his suit and assesses his wound. It’s serious but not fatal.
So begins the rest of the story of the seemingly impossible survival and rescue of Mark Watney. It will take four years for a rescue team to return to Mars. Mark has about a one-year food supply.
“I’m not going to die,” he vows. “I need to figure out how to grow three years’ worth of food. Luckily I’m a botanist.”
Like Robinson Crusoe in the 19th century, Watney improvises to survive in 21st century space.

Of course back in Houston, the big thing they are worried about most is a public relations disaster. “The Martian” draws together disparate elements to create the most realistic, compelling and warm-hearted sci-fi what-if ever.