Thursday, January 14, 2010

Mike the Boss - Films of 2010 - Film the Eighth: Moon

Moon (2009) (dir: Duncan Jones)

There was a lot of buzz last year about the sci-fi movie Moon. It had indie acting cred with Sam Rockwell in the lead role. It had retro minimalist set designs out of the 60s and 70s. It had a first time feature director by the name of Duncan Jones (who just happens to be Zowie Bowie, son of David Bowie). However, all of this means nothing if the film is a piece of crap.

Most Hollywood science fiction films are flashy actioners with lots of special effects, minimal character development and a plot that compares well with Swiss cheese. This is a sad thing because the best science fiction novels are more a study of humanity than ridiculous flashbang pew-pew spaceship fights. So it was nice to see Moon take the quiet approach to a science fiction story, tell it well and do it with little fanfare but with great emotional panache.

Moon takes place, wait for it... on the Moon. Rockwell plays Sam Bell, in charge of a moon mining operation that is controlled by robots on the dark side of the moon. He is the only human on site, communication with Earth is sporadic due to a satellite malfunction and his contract is three years long. When we first meet him, he is days away from finishing his tour and getting ready to head back to Earth to his loving wife and young daughter. Then things start to go wrong and a mystery is unearthed that changes everything.

I won't go any further as I hate it when movies are spoiled for me. Needless to say though, things are not what they appear and by the end you will be thinking a lot about what it means to be human. This is a slow moving, peaceful film that does not overstay its welcome at a relatively brief 97 minutes long. If I had watched this last year, it likely would have made my top 10 and it certainly will be in the running for my 2010 list of favourites. Definitely recommended but don't forget to bring your brain because this in not mindless entertainment.


MLClark said...

I am so thrilled you saw and loved this film.

How'd you feel about GERTY's smiley faces? I found them adorable -- which was surprising, because I was fully prepared to be creeped out by them. Kevin Spacey sure has gotten better since returning to K-PAX!

genxmike said...

I was a little off out by Spacey's voice but I dug the robot a bunch and yes, the smilies were a nice touch. There is a lot ot recommend in the film and I liked it enough that I would watch it a second time just to see how I feel the second time through.

I was also a bit sleepy when I watched it and might have fallen asleep a bit but things kept getting better all the way to the end so it was not the fault of the film, just a failing of mine.

antihostile said...

This was a solid movie, and an original twist. A new kind of film that introduces an idea we haven't seen before and explores it. Good stuff!