In Ridley Scott's "The Martian," an astronaut is accidentally left behind on Mars. His struggle to survive while a rescue is planned drives the plot forward, with plenty of tension and action along the way, against a background of lavishly photographed effects and sets. This epic movie hits a lot of the same buttons, culturally, as the original round of golden-age space-race films from the 1950s, but this time the colonialism and paternalism is left behind at liftoff.
What I didn't know as a child — most adults I meet are similarly oblivious — is that L. Frank Baum's book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," upon which the movie is based, was a political allegory for American politics at the dawn of the 20th century.
Friday morning's massacre in Colorado at a showing of the new Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises," is prompting heightened security measures at screenings around the Baltimore region, including Harford County. "We are aware of the incident in Colorado, discussions have occurred and appropriate planning is in place," Monica Worrell, spokesperson for the Harford County Sheriff's Office, said Friday afternoon.