Artemis by Andy Weir – a review

Wait for the film.

That’s my advice.

Recall Matt DamonThe Martian. … Mark Watney, I mean.

Weir’s first book was a huge, surprise hit.

Yet Weir, who wears a jaunty cap and a cheery grin during most of his public appearances, says he is plagued by crippling self-doubt. What if he’s a one-hit wonder, he wonders? What if his just-released follow-up novel, “Artemis,” fails to measure up? Has his success been a fluke? Weir is clearly suffering imposter syndrome anxiety.

L.A. Times

The charm of The Martian was contrast between the down-to-earth, relatable protagonist and the fascinating hard science of travel to Mars.

In his second book Weir recreates Matt Damon … this time as a young, female Muslim  named Jazz.

You have to admire his attempt at diversity.

The title Artemis refers to the name of the first lunar city, population 2,000. His characters are members of the underclass of workers, criminals and opportunists.

Jazz Bashara is a criminal. Well, sort of.

Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

Amazon

Many don’t find Jazz believable. But she’s a geeky 14-year-old boy’s dream girl. Profane. Irreverent. Bawdy, but there’s no sex. After all this book is written at a children’s level.

The plot is stupid too.

But it doesn’t matter. Weir won Best Science Fiction in the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards for The Martian. And he wins again this year for Artemis.

Before he wrote it, Weir had a traditional print book deal. And because its 2015 adaptation of “The Martian” was such a success, 20th Century Fox has already agreed to turn “Artemis” into a movie, to be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller (who previously directed “The Lego Movie” and “21 Jump Street”).

My guess is that Artemis will make an excellent film.

This book is not nearly as good as The Martian. But I did enjoy the detailed science included on how humans could live on the Moon.

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Kingsman: The Golden Circle

I was keen to see it for retro British style.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle is a 2017 action spy comedy … a sequel to Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014) …

It’s a goof. Mocking James Bond and the ilk.

Pedro Pascal is a young Burt Reynolds in this thing. At first I thought it was Burt Reynolds CGI.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It’s made a lot of money so … sequel. Reviews are mixed. 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Big name cast. Watching Elton John fight bad guys was … amazing.

The opening car chase scene is almost worth the price of admission.

Scarlett Johansson digs older men

If there is one thing Harvey Weinstein’s Hollywood has taught me it’s than gorgeous young starlets are attracted to older men.

Leading Men Age, But Their Love Interests Don’t (2013)

Tom Hanks is a bit of an outlier, I should point out.

Is this going to change any time soon?

I doubt it.

related – Emma Stone, Jennifer Lawrence, and Scarlett Johansson Have an Older-Man Problem

Blade Runner 2049

I liked it.

Far exceeded my expectations. I expected the plot to be confusing or non-existent. It was believable and entertaining. I did not guess the ending … even though Grace whispered it in my ear.

I saw it in 3D though the stunning apocalyptic visuals would be just as fascinating  without 3D on a big screen.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It’s pretty sexist — as are most Hollywood scripts Seems guys like Harvey Weinstein are still insisting female actors be sex symbols.

Calvary (2014 film)

Calvary is a 2014 Irish drama film .. It stars Brendan Gleeson … 

In a dark Catholic confessional, an unseen man tells Father James he was horribly sexually abused as a child by a priest, promising to kill James at the beach the next Sunday (James being a good man whose death will impact the church more than would that of an abusive priest). James has a week to arrange his affairs.  …

Calvary received positive reviews from critics and has a “certified fresh” score of 89% on Rotten Tomatoes …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Good but not great is my review.

Dunkirk (2017 film)

Like many, I saw Dunkirk in the theatre. It’s the highest-grossing World War II movie ever.

Christopher Nolan wrote the script, which looks at the evacuation from three perspectives — land, sea, and air — with deliberately little dialogue, intending to create suspense through visuals and music. …

The film has received critical acclaim for its screenplay, direction, and cinematography, with some critics describing it as Nolan’s best to date, as well as one of the greatest war films ever made. …

It’s very authentic for a Hollywood film. There’s no green screen.

That said, I found Dunkirk to be one weird movie. I’m not sure I can even recommend the film.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Stephen King – It (1986)

I can’t explain it. 

Only the 3rd Stephen King book I’ve read, It was much like the other two. Far, far too lengthy. 

… narrative bagginess … circuitous, repetitious book … a thousand sprawling pages …

Adrian Daub – Where “It” Was: Rereading Stephen King’s “It” on Its 30th Anniversary

All three King books I’ve read would have been much improved by being half the length.

The unnecessary and weird sex thing would be first to go. What’s with that?

I vow never to read King again. And that’s a shame because he’s such a good story teller.

I did not see the 1990 television miniseries and hope never to watch the new hit film adaptation nor the inevitable sequel(s).  Scary movies are not my thing.