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Duncan Jones' Moon is a surprising film, one that neatly (and not so neatly) skirts the narrative problems that arise from a storyline that involves a man and his computer on the moon.

Having reached the end of his three year contract with Lunar Industries, Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell), is anticipating going home. He misses his wife, and his child, and he is starting to see things, and become easily distracted, so much so that he burns his hand beneath a tap by accident. His mental deterioration is, in part, aided by the fact that for three years he has lived on the Moon in the company of a computer called Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey) and unable to have live contact with his wife, due to a distortion with the transmitters on the base. Shortly, however, the issues of Sam's declining mental state becomes quite an issue as he, on the way to a harvester, crashes a vehicle and is seriously injured.

Moon skirts a lot of influences and a lot of clichés repeatedly throughout its length. The influence of Kubrick's 2001 is hard to deny, and you'll be forgiven, if in the early part of the film, you accidentally refer to Gerty as Hal. Indeed, a lot the problems that exist in the film surround the computer's presence, as it is required, by sheer sense of not being accused as a rip off of Kubrick's film, to be different to Hal--which of course means that Gerty must be helpful, instead of a hindrance, and must provide the answers to Sam's questions, rather as if it were an electronic God, and a benevolent one at that. At one point, the audience must face the fact that the film would be no longer than fifteen minutes, if Sam had just turned to Gerty, and said, "What's the deal here, Kevin?"

"The company is evil, Sam."

Which is, in essence, what actually happens towards the end of the film.

Yet, still, the film is quite decent, and the one plot device that drives it (conveniently left out so as not to spoil it for you, as it's rather the entire film) allows for Sam Rockwell to do some fine work, and your enjoyment of the film ultimately comes to the question of if you enjoy what he is doing or not. Oh, there's some nice imagery of the Moon itself, though occasionally you might ask yourself why exactly the Moon needs giant harvesters to do its job, just as you may ask yourself the whys and wherefors of various other questions relating to the plot in the film, all of which are not explained to you.

Which, of course, is fine, since the film isn't about that. It's about a man cut off from everything, and what happens when he realises he won't get what he wants. It's moves along at a good speed, it's entertaining, and it's well made, for the most part. Worth the time spent, if you have an interest.


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Oct. 11th, 2010 06:12 am (UTC)
and there's a ping pong sequence!
Oct. 11th, 2010 09:13 am (UTC)
that there is.
Oct. 11th, 2010 07:58 am (UTC)
I loved it. Don't know if it's a film that I'll return to often but I thought it was really well done.
Oct. 11th, 2010 09:13 am (UTC)
yeah, i dunno if i'd watch it again, to be honest. but i liked it well enough.
Oct. 11th, 2010 08:40 am (UTC)
Haven't seen the film but I reckon they'd be graters, not harvesters.

For the cheese, you know.
Oct. 11th, 2010 09:13 am (UTC)
damn you and your sparkling wit!
Oct. 11th, 2010 10:31 am (UTC)
If I recollect correctly I did a slap of the forehead sometime before the reveal of the plot device. But I was happy to go long with it, even if, well, I'm not entirely sure it makes sense.

There's a dose of Silent Running in there (and I just hoped there'd be a Major Tom in there somewhere)

I also got obsessed with the continuity of whether there was a mug on Gerty or not. I seem to recall it vanishes and reappears between shots. Maybe it gets pulled into the robot and reheated.

I want to see what Jones does next.
Oct. 12th, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
yeah, i thought the plot device was kind of obvious, and saw it coming, but that's not a killer for me. if they do it right, i'm all good with it.

i did not, however, notice the mug.

but then i never notice these things.
Oct. 11th, 2010 10:47 am (UTC)
I thought Solaris was the closest point of comparison (only seen the Soderbergh remake, to my shame) in that it was about a man in space in an isolated, paranoid condition, who suffers from emotional afflictions.

But the premise wasn't as good and the twist was rather predictable.

Reckon it's a very solid film though. Well made, enjoyable and Rockwell was well cast and does well. Agree entirely with your review.
Oct. 11th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
Please watch the original Solaris when able. It puts the Soderbergh remake to shame.
Oct. 11th, 2010 10:37 pm (UTC)
Yeah, so I've heard, and I'm sure I will see it some time. I have a feeling it may even be available for free streamed online somewhere.

What I'd really like to do, though, is read the original work by Stanislaw Lem :-)
Oct. 12th, 2010 03:58 am (UTC)
i actually think i've seen the original, a long time ago. i think i was pretty young at the time, some late night, odd thing, and it's mostly just fragments now.

i haven't read lem's novel, though, which is a bit of a shame.
Oct. 11th, 2010 08:18 pm (UTC)
From what I have seen of 2009 films, this was my clear-cut favorite.
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