Friday, March 19, 2010

#19-Moon (2009)


Okay, by this point, you've either heard of Moon, or you haven't. The film was near completely devoid of any major critical attention outside the blog-o-sphere, and where it was given the spotlight it didn't have much time. Bloggers and online filmcritics across the globe came together to celebrate this little sci-fi gem, and gave it a unanimous 'thumbs up' after it premiered at the Tribeca film festival last year. This film has a ton of support around it, and if you pay attention to the online community, you may even see a little hype being created about it. But the question is the same, indie film or not. Does it live up to standards?

Before we get into the real review process of this film, lets just take a look at some of the raw talent behind it, because it is backed very strongly by a few people. First up is Duncan Jones, the director and co-writier. While his name my not seem like much at first, just wait until you hear that this is the son of David Bowie. Yes it true. This is Jones' first job at directing outside a few commercials, and surely did his dad proud. A darling of the indie scene, Sam Rockwell is virtually the only actor on the screen. It is a unique role written specifically for him, and for a good 80 minutes, you'll be seeing no one else. Finally Kevin Spacey does have a genuine role to play here, believe it or not. He is in fact the voice of the robot GERTY, and to get Kevin Spacey in your movie, even as a voice, is something to praise.

While Moon is a very small film, in every sense of the word, one place it breaks out of those standards is the story. Had it been given a bigger budget, this plot could have been intensified a lot, but as it remains it is still excellent. Astrounaut Sam Bell is on base at the Sarang Moon Mining Fecility for three years, or so his contract says. He is the only crew on board, aside for a small companion robot named GERTY. Being alone is such a deserted place does crazy things on the brain, and Sam knows this, even as he begins to experience some himself. But what if, he isn't the one going crazy?

"Okay Sam"

The two words uttered above are virtually the only thing that GERTY ever really says, and outside a few messages sent to the base by various people, Sam Rockwell is really the only person on the screen for most of the movie. His job of playing a man who is trying to save himself from insanity, with the idea of freedom just a few weeks away was done spectacularly. He had a lot of Oscar buzz online about this, and personally, I thought it was all going to be hype, but he sincerly does a great job. I can understand his not being recognized, but I do hope that some day, someone congradulates him on an excellent performance.

For a first time director, Duncan Jones does amazing as well. He had the ability to make his low budget sci-fi movie stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best of the bunch. And for being a low budget sci-fi movie, it has a pretty good plot to boot, and even has some nice special effects, and great make-up. Whether or not he is as talented as his dad is unclear, but I definatly will see what he does in the future.

I only had one key flaw with the film, being such a great film, I'm kind of sorry that I noticed it, but after a few weeks of seeing it, it did come about. The film succeeds amazing on three key levels. Acting. Directing. And writing. But unfourtanetly for Moon, it does little for anything outside of those three categories. It is a low-budget sci-fi movie, and there is little about that we can help, but in the end, it is still just a really well made sci-fi movie. Similair to my probelms with last years The Host, which I thought was just a great monster movie, Moon is just a great sci-fi movie. So overall, I highly reccomend Moon, even despite this complaint. The general audience, as well as the art-house audience will enjoy it greatly, and that is because it is a great movie.

I Give Moon A:

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