Sunday, February 28, 2010


Moon (Duncan Jones, 2009) [8]

Moon hearkens back to when Science Fiction films were challenging films that told human stories more than special-effects laden fantasy pieces. Existing somewhere in the realm of 2001 and Solaris, Moon is not quite in their realm but is a very accomplished film with a great performance by Sam Rockwell. Rockwell plays Sam Bell, who has been solitary stationed at a helium mining moon base, his only companion a HAL-like robot voiced by Kevin Spacey. It's getting near the end of Sam's three year contract and thing begin to go haywire. Sam's psychical and mental state being to deteriorate. Out on a routine maintenance mission, Sam's state causes an accident. Sam awakens in the base's infirmary with no memory of the accident, except with a hint that things may not be right. Sam ends up finding another version of himself and the rest of the film attempts to unravel the mystery of why there are numerous cloned Sams running the base. That that particular question is never concretely answered is both the appeal and confusion with Moon. The film addresses the notions of isolation and identity in a human way, not having any omniscient answers. Yet there are holes in the logic of the story that are frustratingly not answered (why the Sams life spans are only three years and why do they even need clones in the first place come to mind). For all its unclear answers, there's no denying that the acting and execution of the film are first rate. Rockwell's performance is surely underrated, playing at one point three different versions of Sam. That he occupies almost all of the film's running time and manages to keep rapt attention on his performance is a really good achievement. The film itself has the look of classic science fiction, down to the non-CGI special effects. Duncan Jones for the most part, has a command on the film and story that keeps its from delving into crackpot babbling. It's a superb effort in a genre that all too often is overly concerned with visuals and nonsensical characters or settings (this may or may not refer to Avatar).

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