July 30, 2009
Rated: R Runtime: 97 min Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
This summer we’ve seen a variety of movies with science fiction trappings, but none of them are very good science fiction. Now comes a movie that’s a throwback to hard science fiction, to book science fiction.
Moon stars Sam Rockwell, and is directed by Duncan Jones, son of David Bowie. It’s set in a not-too-distant future where a corporation is mining the Moon for Helium-3 to provide energy back on Earth.
Sam is a lone astronaut sent to the Moon to oversee one of the automated bases. He has a three-year stint, his only companion the robot GERTY (Voiced by Kevin Spacey), who seems to be a cousin of HAL-9000.
He’s now a short-timer; a couple more weeks and he’ll be sent home. But he starts to observe strange things on the Moon, and he may not be alone up there. Or maybe he’s just going nuts.
This is a neat little movie in its own right, but it’s also a homage to late 1960s/1970s/early 1980s films like 2001: A Space Odyssey, Silent Running, Dark Star, Alien, and Outland. And, I suspect, the Moonscapes and miniatures of Space: 1999.
And the Moonscapes and miniatures in this are spectacular, and seem for the most part to be done Old School, with models instead of CGI.
This is a science fiction movie where the story drives the special effects, not the other way around. This is a thoughful film that depicts the Moon as a desolate, hostile, beautiful place. There’s no holes in the space-time continuum, no giant explosions, and the robots don’t transform into sports cars and 18-wheel trucks. It goes where no science fiction film has gone in a long time – up a flight of stairs for your brain to climb.
Popularity: 70% [?]
Seen it? How many stars do you give it?