This one is a complete accident - I must have pressed the shutter just as the fly got spooked and decided to fly away. Having taken the shot though, it seems a shame not to use it as today's blip entry, even though they are pretty horrible things, as subject matter goes!
I have to say that Cathy and I enjoyed the Martian last night. Its a blockbuster disaster movie, I don't think that I'm spoiling the plot by revealing that it all turns out well for the marooned astronaut (Watney) in the end, although there are any number of set-backs along the way that keep you on the edge of your seat.
It is beautifully filmed, as you would expect from Ridley Scott. The film is in many ways a feel good movie (perhaps surprisingly for Ridley Scott whose films generally tend to have a certain chilly world view).
Given the nature of the film there is no great exploration of Watney's backplot and no real character development. Matt Damon gives his usual charismatic performance as Watney, the wisecracking scientist astronaut who turns out to have the right stuff, when the chips are down. (If you have seen the film already I apologise for the potato based pun).
Whilst the science in the film is in the main fairly representative of what NASA are currently talking about, the film does not dwell overly much on the technology. The book itself is chock full of the science that supports the apparently unlikely solutions found for each of the various set backs that the marooned astronaut and his rescuers experience; but the film inevitably has to dispense with the detail of those explanations if it is not to become a science lecture.
However, as a result the plot can (particularly towards the end) seem too fantastical. To be fair, the final moments of the rescue were the least realistic part of the book too, but by then the Author had enabled his protagonist hero to be the first farmer on Mars, the first martian colonist, a space pirate and superhero and I was too busy rooting for Watney and his rescuers to want to pick holes.
The inevitable comparison is with Gravity. I thought that all in all it was a film with slightly more to it than Gravity, but your mileage may vary.