For our next entry in this month’s Genre Grandeur – Space, here’s a review of Moon (2007) by Justine of Justine’s Movie Blog.
Next month’s Genre is Biographical movies, so please send me your review by 25th October to firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s hear what Justine thought of this movie.
Moon is the feature film and directorial debut of Duncan Jones. I imagine he has plenty to prove, being the son of legendary musician, David Bowie. Fortunately, Jones’ Moon doesn’t disappoint. With a low budget, it manages to engage and entertain the viewer with a story that has an interesting premise and an impressive performance by its star, Sam Rockwell. Moon maintains a level of simplicity that can be easily appreciated when comparing it to the large quantity of sci-fi films clogging the big screens that rely solely on visuals as opposed to an actual story. Are they fun? Yeah, sometimes. But it’s hard for me not to give credit to the movies that prove you don’t need hundreds of millions of dollars to make something worth watching.
Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is an astronaut working for Lunar Industries. His job involves a 3-year contract on the moon mining resources that are used on Earth as a form of clean energy. His only company is a computer named GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey), who, aside from providing comfort through a slightly creepy voice, displays his short range of emotions through smiley face emoticons, which I’m sure is enough to help anyone get through 3 years of solitude, am I right? An accident that Sam has in one of the harvester vehicles sets off a series of events in which Sam finds out the true reality of his situation involving some disturbing secrets the company is keeping from him.
The first time I saw this movie, GERTY the computer really freaked me out. I think it’s probably due to the influence of HAL 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey. But that’s one of the great things about this movie–not knowing his true motivations. You know whenever there is a talking, intelligent computer and/or robot in a movie, it’s going to have some part in what is about to happen, and a lot of the time, that part involves betraying and killing humans. So what is the deal with GERTY? Is he good? Is he bad? Will he be going on any killing sprees any time soon? You don’t really know the answers right away. For the record, without giving much away, I like where this story went with GERTY.
Sam Rockwell is an actor I always love to see in movies. His talent is really quite limitless. He can do comedy and he can do serious, and even better, he can do serious with a bit of comedic flair. That’s what his role is like in Moon. It’s a story with a serious premise, but Sam Rockwell wouldn’t be who he is without a few little laughs here and there. What blew me away about this particular performance is that he is carrying this movie solely on his shoulders. He doesn’t have other actors to play off of, or really expensive, spectacular visuals to fall back on. Don’t get me wrong, this movie is actually quite impressive visually, even with a $5 million budget. The moon landscape looks pretty legitimate. But I digress. Without Rockwell, it’s hard to say whether I would’ve enjoyed this film as much as I did. He is the heart of it all, and I’ll be damned if the Academy doesn’t give this man some recognition for his talents some day.
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away for people who haven’t had a chance to see this film, but I will say that the plot is somewhat simple, yet not too predictable. It’s not a “woah, special effects in your face” kind of movie either. It’s more story driven and it develops a little slower than your run-of-the-mill sci-fi, yet still manages to wrap it all up in 97 minutes. So, in other words, it’s a pretty balanced film when looking at the story, pace, visuals, and performances. I think it’s a successful debut from Duncan Jones, and shows his potential for future films to come (ahem, Warcraft in 2016). Moon is one compelling space movie I don’t think you’ll want to miss.
Thanks again to Justine for this review!