There are notes of intergalactic existentialism in "The Martian," as both Mark and the NASA crew are forced to question the nature of what they do and the benefits that it provides. Mark's time in isolation makes him question why he chose such a dangerous profession, and while he reflects on his love of natural science, he's forced to ask Commander Lewis to talk to his parents in case he doesn't return. Hermes flight commander Mitch Henderson (Sean Bean) voices one of the most powerful ideas in the film, stating that the international alliances and resources poured into rescuing Watney will make everything worth it.
The characterizations start out feeling a bit vague and flat, but deepen through the accumulation of little details. Even supporting players who show up for a scene or two have a life force, such as Donald Glover's Rich Purnell, a brilliant but eccentric young scientist who lives so deep inside his own head that he doesn't know the NASA director's name. One of the best scenes finds Kapoor and communications expert Mindy Park (Mackenzie Davis) interpreting the inflection of Mark's typed response to a radical scheme to rescue him: "Are you f-----g kidding me?" Kapoor hopes that Mark meant to indicate excitement at NASA's audacity, but deep down he knows that's probably not it.
The film's ecstatic peak is its most counter-intuitive sequence, a music montage near the climax that interrupts the flow of the rescue action to show the astronauts on Mark's old spaceship contacting their loved ones via satellite video: a husband shows his wife a record album that he bought for her birthday, and a father delights his kids by floating through the spaceship's interior in zero gravity, swallowing water globules like a porpoise going after minnows. Billions gather to watch the the rescue on live TV at the end, but nowhere else do we get the impression that all other drama has ceased while humanity frets over Mark's fate. For Mark it's life or death, but we infer that there are long stretches when the public has forgotten that he's stranded. The most significant recurring images in the film are closeups of sprigs sprouting from the potatoes that Mark buried in his greenhouse. Life goes on no matter what.
In many of the stories included in The Martian Chronicles, Bradbury explores choosing illusion over reality. The choice of illusion is related to the strong emotions of love, hate and empathy.
La Farge (3) accepts an illusion for the love of his wife; non-acceptance would have led her to suffer further. Creating illusions in order to be loved kills the Martian and brings heartache to some of the illuded townspeople.
At the Santa Clara ROADSHOW in June 2014, Books & Manuscripts expert Ian Ehling appraised a collection of books by celebrated science fiction novelist Ray Bradbury, including Something Wicked This Way Comes, and The Martian Chronicles. Jennet Johnson, a relative of the archive's owner, had been an influential and much-loved English teacher of Bradbury's at Los Angeles High School in the 1930s.
Marvin wears a Roman soldier's uniform with old-fashioned basketball shoes. The style of these resembles the Chuck Taylor All-Stars brand name, considered to be the "generic" or "standard" basketball sneaker. His head is a black sphere with only eyes for features. The curved crest of his helmet appears, with the push-broom-like upper section, to comically resemble an ancient Greek hoplite's or a Roman Centurion's helmet. The appearance of the combination of Marvin's head and helmet allegedly led to Bugs Bunny thinking he was a "bowling ball wearing a spittoon" in one cartoon. Marvin speaks with a soft, nasally accent and often speaks technobabble. The helmet and skirt surrounding him are green, and his suit is red (in a few of the original shorts, his suit was green). He is also known for his quotes, "Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth-shattering kaboom!", "Isn't that lovely?" and "This makes me very angry, very angry indeed."
On numerous occasions, Marvin has tried to destroy the Earth with his "Illudium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator" (sometimes pronounced "Illudium Pu-36"). Marvin always laboriously over-pronounces the name of the device, which resembles a mere stick of dynamite, in order to avoid any possibility of confusing it with some other similar technology. Marvin attempts to destroy the Earth because, he reasons, "it obstructs my view of Venus"; he has been trying to destroy the Earth for more than two millennia, suggesting that members of his species, and possibly martian creatures in general, have extremely long lifespans. The original reference to "Uranium Pu-36" changed to "Illudium Pu-36" in subsequent cartoons. Marvin is consistently foiled by Bugs Bunny. He has battled for space territory, Planet X, with Daffy Duck. 2b1af7f3a8