7.19.2009

Moon : 4 of 5

This is a small independent film with a limited release and practically no marketing, so I only heard about it by browsing the listings of my local art theater. Over the past few months I've been re-watching several science fiction classics, which was the perfect background for the genre of Moon, some of the best "true" science fiction I've seen in years! Moon pays homage to iconic films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and Silent Running by telling a story that's actually science based, focusing on characters and humanity's interaction with technology, and doing it all with low-budget (yet incredibly realistic) flair. The moon base sets and computer displays are all fantastic (everything looks authentic and lived in), and I absolutely loved the fact that the exterior moon rover and mining shots were created with miniatures (I will always enjoy old school effects over pure CGI)! But above all, the plot is incredibly well constructed, and quickly becomes an intriguing mystery (on the same level as the best Twilight Zone or Outer Limits episodes) that kept me guessing and fully attentive until the end. Sam Rockwell does an incredible job as the lone maintenance man nearing the end of his three-year contract on the moon (and slightly going crazy because of it), and Kevin Spacey is great as the voice of GERTY, the AI robotic support system on the moon base. Of course, comparisons with HAL are inevitable, but GERTY's ability to reason allows him to help Sam even when it goes against previous programming, which is a wonderful twist. Speaking of twists, Moon has a huge one that I won't completely reveal (although when I read other reviews after I saw the film, about half of the reviewers told it all!), but I have to say that the plot gives Sam a chance to play multiple simultaneous roles, and the interaction between these parts is one of the best examples of this technique I've seen. I'm thrilled that Moon is keeping alive this particular genre, and it was a joy to see a movie that wasn't all CGI action and explosions for a change! Moon proves that excellent storytelling is the true core of intelligent science fiction.

2 comments:

  1. It sounds like an interesting film. I heard about this movie on NPR a few weeks back, but haven't seen any TV promos. One movie that has a bunch of TV promos, but not playing in any theaters within 20 miles of my place is 500 Days of Summer. Moon on the other hand, is playing close by. Go figure?

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  2. You should definitely see Moon - I think you would enjoy it!

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