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Moon (2009)

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Plot Summary:
"Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter while stranded on the moon for a three-year period."

Review by
Steven Davies
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Review Date: 12 November 2009 My Rating: out of 5


UK director Duncan Jones kicks off his features career with the astonishing sci-fi mystery 'Moon'. From all the pre-release things I had seen leading up to the movies release I for one was extremely excited about sitting down to watch this. And I wasn't disappointed.

Sam Bell, played amazingly by Sam Rockwell, has only three weeks left to run on his three year contract. Sam has been working alone on a Moon-based manufacturing facility for Lunar Industries, a company set up to harvest supplies of helium-3, a new abundant fuel source for the Earth. His only company a computer assistant named GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey). Sam longs to get home to his wife and their daughter but following an on the job accident on the moon surface Sam soon awakes back at the base to find he is no longer alone.

‘Moon’ is an extremely well executed British sci-fi movie. It’s been quite a while since we’ve seen such substance in the genre coupled with a completely flawless style and elegance. The overall look of the film has obviously been of great importance. The inclusion of good old fashioned model shots for the moon-base and vehicles is more than welcome. In a time of overused CGI shots it’s a breath of fresh air to revisit the classic methods. It visually reeks of ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ for the 21st century. It looks like nothing else and it’s a huge achievement for Jones’ first feature. I think we can safely expect incredible things from this guy in the future.

As great and visually appealing as the movie is of course it’s nothing without a good script. Luckily though Duncan Jones along, with co-writer Nathan Parker, have produced a solid and intriguing script. I won’t be responsible for spoiling the plot or the storyline for those not yet lucky enough to have discovered ‘Moon’ but needless to say it’s thought-provoking and ultimately satisfying and can safely sit on the shelf alongside other sci-fi classics. The twists and turns work really well and even the dialogue (which surprisingly there is quite a bit of) works wonders for the development of the story. And don’t worry about the ‘lonely man talking to himself’ thought that you had in your head because despite Sam Bell being alone on the base he isn’t for very long.

It has to be actor Sam Rockwell who shines above everything else thoughout this movie. Even Kevin Spaceys’ post-shoot involvement was due to him seeing Rockwell’s astounding acting job. It’s difficult to talk too much about his performance(s!?) in ‘Moon’ without delving too much into the concept and plot of the movie but without a doubt it’s a remarkable job he’s done here. Despite the inclusion of an emotion-less but excellent voiceover from Kevin Spacey and the brief appearances of some other performers (such as Matt Berry, Benedict Wong and Dominique McElligott) Rockwell carries this movie throughout and unlike Will Smith in ‘I Am Legend’ you truly get involved in the story and the emotion of the whole experience as his character evolves through the narrative – in more ways than one.

‘Moon’ is a visual treat. Its unyielding script keeps you engrossed in the story from the start to the final credits. Everything oozes style and quality. The set designs, the cinematography, the effects shots that simply help aid the scene and not distract from it and even the unflinching music and watertight sequences and shots. ‘Moon’ will and should become a ‘magnum opus’ and will join the many great sci-fi movies of decades past.

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