Monday, July 06, 2009

Moon (***)

Moon. 97 mins. R. Directed by Duncan Jones. Written by Nathan Parker. Starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey.

Moon is an appropriately moody, independent sci-fi film with production values that far exceed its small budget, and a provocative script that grows increasingly frustrating by its lack of desire to entertain. In an impressive debut, David Bowie's son Duncan Jones directs, and he has a great, subtle visual style, and has really nailed the sci-fi conventions made famous by Kubrick's 2001. Sam Rockwell, one of the great underrated actors working today, shoulders the heavy load in the film, acting by himself for most of it. He plays Sam, a lone astronaut working a three-year stint on the moon in the near future. He's all by himself, and only has the Hal-like robot, GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey), to keep him company. Three years alone on the moon is a long time, and things start to get a little nutty when Sam starts seeing things that aren't there. An accident on the job one day leads Sam to discover another version of himself living on the moon, and from there, things get even nuttier. There are some grand ideas in Moon, and Rockwell is awesome in it, but the big plot twists are fairly predictable and not inventively handled. Director Jones excels during the atmospheric first half-hour, when the audience is thrown into Sam's day-to-day routines in an unfamiliar environment, but after that, the movie never really achieves lift-off. Still, for sci-fi fans, Moon is definitely worth checking out, flaws and all, because it gets a lot of things right and tries to tackle something new while honoring all that's come before. I've heard a number of people call Moon the best sci-fi film of the past five years. I wouldn't say that - for my money, Danny Boyle's Sunshine is the one to beat for that title.



At 12:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sam Rockwell can make any movie at least a two star. He is a definite everyman ( usually one with some issues) and it works wonders in dramas. But for my own taste he is the best when being a cocky sarcastic slob. "Choke" had some doe-eyed moments, but "Safe Men" is where it's at. I'm also crossing the fingers about some serious super hero potential next March.


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