(On TV, November 2018) I’ve been bingeing on classic cinema for months now, and I had almost forgotten what a truly wretched movie could feel like. Now, thanks to Martian Land, I’ve just had a quick and painful reminder. Produced by the infamous The Asylum production company in anticipation of The Martian, this is a film that keeps its quality as low as its budget. From a nondescript premise to terrible execution, there aren’t that many redeeming qualities to the film. In fact, it’s most fascinating when it shows that terrible movies cannot use the same tools as good movies. When bad actors get angry in terrible scripts, they become laughable rather than fearsome. When heroic deaths are sprinkled everywhere in a script that does not deserve them, they feel cheap and hollow, perhaps even reprehensible. There are a lot of special effects, and they are not good even with the possibilities of CGI. Things don’t make sense but our investment in the result is so low that it doesn’t really matter. I won’t try to claim that it’s one of the worst movies ever: that would be singling out a film that is simply too dull to be singled out. Every so often, I see a promising logline in the TV guide and record the movie just for the curiosity factor, but Martian Land will help me cure myself from the habit of doing so. It’s just dull. I’ve written too much about it already.