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Moon DVD

2009 independent science fiction film starring Sam Rockwell in dual roles.

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Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do

  • Mar 7, 2010
  • by
Rating:
+3
If ever there were a debut with an elephant in the room this is it. And, here, it's an elephant which no-one seems to want to acknowledge: not the director, not the marketers, and curiously, not the critics: every review you see studiously and kindly and respectfully treats Duncan Jones as just any first-time feature film director. Yet everyone quietly wills him to do well, giving hopeful benefit of the doubt to a feature which, for about 30 minutes, looks to be a pretty mediocre sort of outing.

And then it dawns on you that this film isn't ordinary at all, and it's casually dug into some gnarled and complex questions about isolation and alienation, through the metaphor of a lonely and seemingly deranged individual, rattling around in - well, in a tin can - irredeemably isolated, far above the world.

And then you notice the big old elephant again, sitting quietly in the room, and you get to wondering what it might have to do with anything.

For, to spell it out, the scenes where Sam Bell (a terrific Sam Rockwell) is forced, quite literally, to confront himself, and doesn't like what he sees, resonate very strongly with the artistic output of another fresh-faced British artist whose burst on the scene, a generation ago, exploring similar themes through the prism of similar metaphors.

Moon doesn't owe everything to David Bowie, of course, but pretending it would have been picked up, financed, viewed or received as it has been had Duncan Jones not been christened Zowie Bowie seems fanciful. That's certainly why I made a point of seeing it. To be sure it is artfully low budget (the crappy miniatures of the moon base are hilarious), its production design is neat and cheesy (somewhere between the The Tomorrow People and Silent Running) and it bears as much resemblance to Silent Running and Solaris as it does to its more obvious analogue, 2001, a Space Odyssey. And here perhaps is another in-joke: Jones, in his directors Question and Answer Session, makes much of Alien and Blade Runner as antecedents and jokes (no doubt referencing Space Oddity), that 2001 was really more an influence on his parents' generation than his own!)

I'm not sure I'd put Moon quite in Ridley Scott's league), although robot Gerty, not altogether persuasively voiced by Kevin Spacey, is something of a cross between HAL and Huey, Dewey and Louie.

Moon certainly gets better as it goes along: early plot improbabilities (such as why would anyone, let alone a man with a young wife and child, take up a three year janitorial role in solitary confinement on the far side of the moon?) are resolved satisfactorily, and rockwell's excellent performance builds out impressively as the narrative develops. This is certainly thinking persons' sci fi, and I'm pleased I saw it.

Jones' next film, he says, will be the "spiritual successor to Blade Runner".

Fighting talk.

Olly Buxton

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More Moon (2009 movie) reviews
review by . January 14, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
What Makes a SOUL?
   I’ve always had a fondness for movies about isolation, science fiction and most especially psychological thrillers. Little wonder that I would be interested in the debut film of director Duncan Jones with the movie called “MOON” since it blends all three of those themes. “Moon” premiered in the Sundance film festival and enjoyed a limited theatrical run. It was the recipient of the “Best British Independent Film” in BIFA (British Independent …
review by . January 22, 2010
I thought this was a great movie that really makes you contemplate the issues. I highly recommend adding this to your Netflix Queue now!      Solid acting was performance by Rockwell, he deserves an Oscar nod for his performance of Sam.      SPOILER ALERT -- Please see the movie first before reading any further.      I liked the starting point, we have fixed the worlds energy crisis, we are now clean and green. Wow, I wonder if we can get …
review by . April 13, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A Surprisingly Well-Constructed Piece of Indy Filmmaking
Once in a while, and more frequently in this genre than most others it seems; a film comes along with a very modest budget (in this case $5M), a limited cast, and a whole lot of heart.  In the case of Moon, director Duncan Jones continues on in the tradition of works like Danny Boyle’s Sunshine or perhaps even more appropriately, Neil Blomkamp’s District 9.  However, its inclusion in the oft-suspect category of independent science fiction entertainment is by no means synonymous …
review by . July 19, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Moon is sci-fi in the order of 2001 A Space Odyssey, not Star Wars. It's great film to make you think.      I don't wanna give things away either.  I watched Moon not knowing anything about what was going to happen and I think that made it much more better.  Thus I suggest avoiding any spoilers or even the trailer if you can.      The computer in Moon instantly reminded me of HAL from 2001.  I will say that things are not as they appear …
review by . March 28, 2010
There was a time when Science Fiction movies were about big ideas, not big explosions. The 1960's and 70's produced movies like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running, Solaris, and Dark Star. Moon, the directoral debut of Duncan "Son of David Bowie" Jones, is definitely of that lineage.       From the start, it's apparent that Moon wears its influences unashamedly on its sleeve - all of the aforementioned films are echoed in some way, with the addition of Alien and Outland. …
review by . January 22, 2010
Here's a funny thing: I had a moment of desperation towards the end of Act 2 where I thought it was going to fall apart. Everything was going well - tight dialog, well acted, interesting twists - and I could predict a cliche, see-it-all-before Hollywood ending that was going to destroy the film. I actually paused and opened a bottle of wine to numb the potential studio train wreck that was bound to happen. Yet bizarrely, the writers managed to take the film in a completely different direction in …
review by . April 11, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
  Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is a man working for the Lunar Industries on a trip by himself to the moon. He has a three year contract to live there alongside the most helpful computer GERTY (Kevin Spacey). Unfortunately for Sam, there is no direct communication from where he is and Earth, making Sam all too lonely over the years doing nothing but talking to himself and his intelligent computer that attends to his needs everyday. Sam desperately wants to go home to Earth where his wife and child …
review by . February 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
In a not-so-distant future, Earth's energy is being supplied through extraction of Helium-3 from the Moon. Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell, a space miner whose job is to make sure that the massive mining machines keep running and to ship the fuel they extract back to Earth. He's at the tail end of a three year stint, and can't wait to go home -- and Gerty 3000, his robot companion whose design and mission is a significant twist from that of Hal 9000 (of 2001 - A Space Odyssey), seems worried …
review by . February 27, 2011
posted in SF Signal
   I finally got to see this much talked about, minimalist science fiction film from debut director David Bowie's Son (Duncan Jones). I have to say up-front that I was bothered about the premise of this film from the moment that I first heard it in teaser ads: lone inhabitant of a Lunar mining station goes bonkers - maybe. People go nutso when they are all alone for too long and there is no way that anyone investing the untold billions necessary to mine the moon would risk their …
review by . May 09, 2010
Initially, Moon might seem like a remake of 2001 - A Space Odyssey - it even has a HAL-like computer called Gerty - but it takes a different turn. In fact, after the first half-hour, Moon is more about lunar technician Sam Bell's mysterious origins than space exploration. The plot is surprisingly thick and takes some unexpected turns. I won't spoil it, but it's definitely pretty cool.     I love the ambience of the movie. The sterile, white setting really does seem like a realistic …
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Olly Buxton ()
Ranked #459
Member Since: Sep 26, 2009
Last Login: Dec 22, 2010 09:37 PM UTC
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Wiki

Moon is a 2009 science fiction/thriller film about a solitary lunar employee who finds that he may not be able to go home to Earth so easily. The film is the feature film debut of commercial director Duncan Jones, and actor Sam Rockwell stars as the lunar employee. Kevin Spacey voices his robot companion. The film premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival in January 2009, and was released in selected theatres in New York and Los Angeles on 12 June 2009. The film will expand to additional theaters in the United States on 3 July 2009 and 10 July 2009, and will be released in the United Kingdom on 17 July 2009.
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Details

Director: Duncan Jones
Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller, Fantasy
Release Date: January 23, 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Duncan Jones, Nathan Parker
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010
Runtime: 97 minutes
Studio: Sony Picture Classics
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