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Christopher Webster [Film Festival 04.25.09] scifi



Year: 2009
Directors: Duncan Jones
Writers: Duncan Jones / Nathan Parker
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: agentorange
Rating: 8.5 out of 10

For such a "small movie," Moon manages to be a lot of things. It's working man's scifi, an old-school FX extravaganza, a tragic drama, a comedy, a buddy movie and a thriller all rolled into one giant indie geekgasm and slapped onto celluloid. Yes, I LOVED this film. Let me put in in perspective. I've never had the urge to get up and slow clap Rudy style at the end of a movie - then I watched Moon. It made me laugh, then it broke my heart and then it renewed my faith in smart fanboy filmmakers. I already know it'll make my list of best films of 2009 and I hope to god Sony releases it widely in the theaters because this is one film you guys just have to see on the big screen. In short, Duncan Jones has put himself on the map in a big way with his ambitious debut and it completely lived up to my expectations both dramatically and visually.



The story of Moon is deceptively simple. In fact it's really just about one guy; Sam Rockwell, who plays Sam Bell, a moon rock miner who's come to the end of a long and solitary five year work rotation. One day he gets into an accident while working and his whole life begins to reveal itself as a lie. Vague I know, but I don't want to spoil any plot points.

I could see some viewers complaining that the story of Moon becomes "predictable" by the beginning of the second act but I think it's wrong to assume that movies are meant to hide surprises. Moon is more about a quest for truth and identity. It's about big existential ideas so the journey you take with the main character is a little different than your average thriller.



There is also A LOT to geek out to in the film. Its got Douglas Trumbull (Silent Running) FX techniques. Its production design is amazing, hinting at everything from the sleek interiors of 2001 to the utilitarian designs of Ron Cobb (Aliens). It's loaded with top notch (if somewhat standard) scifi ideas and it's even got the most lovable robot friend since R2-D2 named Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey). I want a Gerty.

Of course I also have to mention Sam Rockwell who just went from being one of my favorite actors to my favorite. Straight up. Rockwell is a fantastic actor and if he doesn't get nominated for an academy award for Moon there's just something terribly rotten wrong with the whole system. This movie is 100% Rockwell all the time and he;s more than up for the task. Again, I wish I could go into exactly why he's so great in this but I would give way too much away.

In my recent review of Sleep Dealer I mentioned that it and Moon will no doubt go down in history as being the two film one-two punch that changed the face of independent science fiction filmmaking in 2009. But, upon further reflection the two films share much more in common than just great screenplays and some outstanding special FX. They are also thematically similar. Both are about working class guys living at the mercy of a dehumanizing corporate world. Both are about characters who are estranged from their loved ones. And, both seem to fetishize and fear technology. If at its best, science fiction should use hyperbole to alert us to the state of the world we're living in now, I can't help but think the fact that both these films are so similar in themes should be seen as a sign that we're all moving towards a lonely future.

Moon is a must see so check it out.

Also, here's a re-edit of the film's trailer I made using Phoenix's "Sick for the Big Sun." It's basically the same as the official trailer with minor adjustments made to slip timing and sound in order to make it all fit together but it's my first experiment with this new video editing software I recently picked up so I figure it's okay if it's simple. I think the song fits well.

My Moon trailer (song is Phoenix's "Sick for the Big Sun")




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Anonymous (10 years ago) Reply

Good job! Not one mention of David Bowie.

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Anonymous (10 years ago) Reply

I really am super stoked to see it.
Glad to hear good things,I hope I get to see it in Dallas in the theatre...?

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Bob Doto (10 years ago) Reply

Couldn't agree more. Loved this film. Loved it.

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projectcyclops (10 years ago) Reply

Great review. Moon just came out on dvd in the UK so I rented it last week, and I can't agree more with your thoughts, it's a really astonishing film. So sad though!

I want a Gerty too...


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