Original, intelligent and one of the best films of 2009.
- Moon review by Shatner's Bassoon
After the energy corporation ‘Lunar Industries’ finds a cost efficient way of mining the clean and abundant gas Helium-3 from moon rocks it solves the Earth's growing energy problems. As the lone employee the Lunar Industries mining station based on the far side of the moon, Sam Bell is on the last two week stretch of a three year contract and anxious to return to Earth and be reunited with his wife and daughter. His job entails overseeing the automated harvesting machines, which in an all in one process mine rocks from the moon’s surface, extract the gas, and compress into canisters which Sam periodically loads into a bay which rockets its precious cargo back to Earth. With a faulty communications system which only allows for the sending and receiving one way video messages Sam’s sole companion is ‘GERTY’ an artificial intelligent computer system which attends to his day to day needs. After a three year stretch of enforced isolation Sam has had time to reflect on his life, his troubled marriage and tackle his own personal demons, though the pressure of the solitude is now starting to affect him. Following an accident with a moon harvester Sam wakes up in the infirmary to find not everything appears as it seems and he soon begins to doubt his own sanity and true identity.
I really didn’t have many expectations for this film; I just rented it as it had a bit of media coverage for being directed by David Bowies son Duncan and had gained good reviews from critics, but I have to say this for me was one of the best films I’ve seen of 2009.
The design of the film is fantastic, paying huge homage to the look of films like ‘Alien’, ‘2001’, ‘Silent Running’ and TV shows like ‘Space 1999’, the 70’s retro modular white plastic set is visually stunning. The design of ‘GERTY’ is also very clever. Voiced by Kevin Spacey ‘GERTY’ is an intelligent computer system which can only exhibit basic emotions via a small screen which displays ‘MSN’ style emoticons. The subtle use of CGI reserved for exterior shots on the moon surface are high-quality and never over the top and the overall attention to detail towards the look and feel of the film really adds a huge amount it.
The film only has one ‘physically’ onscreen actor throughout the entire film and it takes a very special type of actor to be able to single-handedly carry a film for an entire 97 minutes, but Sam Rockwell does a phenomenal job. There are no showy over the top acting performances, just a gently paced portrayal of a lonely individual who has to face an unimaginable revelation that shatters the reality of his own existence. There are no aliens, no futuristic battles, no faster than light spaceships, just a lonely astronaut with only an impassive computer for company, and an engaging and intelligent storyline which will hook you in from start to finish. The actual twist in the story comes quite early on in the film and changes the film from what could have been a thrilling mystery into a quiet, thoughtful, moving and incredibly poignant tale.
Original, intelligent, well written and beautifully directed, this is easily one of the best films of 2009 and a future classic.
6 out of 8 members found this review helpful.
Atmospheric, effective indie sci-fi
- Moon review by PS
Why is there a moon base with only one guy working there? Is the friendly robot helper all he seems? What happens if anything goes wrong up there? Duncan Jones crafts an effective movie on a small budget, thanks to the excellent performance of Sam Rockwell. The reveal happens quite early, allowing for a gradual understanding of decisions and their consequences. Thoughtful, intelligent, and rewarding.
4 out of 4 members found this review helpful.
- Moon review by Lorna
had problems running the dvd but looked online and found the solution, if it plays with the voice over commentary and you cant get it to play normally, when the film has just started playing press audio button on ur dvd remote two or three times. apart from that i enjoyed the film the whole way through.
3 out of 4 members found this review helpful.