Sunday, July 12, 2009

Review: Moon

Grade: A

Moon takes place in the near future. The energy crisis has been solved when it was discovered that Helium-3, found on the moon, could be used as an energy source and currently powers more than 70% of the planet. The corporation Lunar has set up a base on the far side of the moon to harvest H3 and people work the base, alone, in three year shifts. Sam Bell is the current worker on the moon and is nearing the end of his three year contract. The satellite link to earth is broken so Sam has no direct contact with people, the only companionship he has is with the robot helper GERTY. Two weeks before Sam finally gets to go home and see his wife and daughter he starts hallucinating, hearing things and feeling strange. When a routine extraction goes horribly wrong he discovers that Lunar has their own plans to replace him and that his replacement is a little too familiar.

I'm going to give fair warning that there may be some minor spoilers in this review as there is no way around some of the facts in the movie, most of my spoilers can be figured out from the trailer however. This movie is just too difficult to write about without giving away major plot points as most of them start rolling out early in the movie and the majority of the film is based around one major point. The studio has done a great job keeping the secrets of this movie.

This movie was absolutely fantastic, one of the best of the year so far. This is the writer/director Duncan Jones first feature film and it was great. Jones shows amazing talent in his story and direction and could have a great career ahead of him. He does a wonderful job showing and displaying the isolation that Sam Bell is living in for three years. He did a great job making a top notch Sci-Fi movie on an "indie" budget and making all look real as most of the movie is based around one character. The special effects were great and seamless, which could be explained by the fact that this was shot during the WGA strike so Jones managed to get some of the best special effects guys in the business to work on this film.

Sam Rockwell (Frost/Nixon, Choke) plays the main, and practically only, character in the movie. Rockwell does an amazing job. I have always like Rockwell and felt that he had great potential and this movie proves it. He does such a great job portraying Bell, a man who has been in isolation for three years, his only companion is a robot that helps out around the base called GERTY, voiced by Kevin Spacey. Here comes the spoiler as I can't help but talk about it: when he discovers his own (still living) body in a wreck at one of the harvesters, we see a dramatic change. The interactions of Sam talking to himself are amazing, especially given the differences in the two, one has been on the moon by himself for three years, one thinks he's just arrived on the moon. Rockwell deserves an Oscar for this performance in my opinion, simply brilliant performance.

This movie is amazing with twists and turns and emotional changes every couple minutes. The movie moves pretty quickly and keeps you interested the whole way through and the ending is an excellent conclusion that leaves you feeling good. I must insist that everybody go see this movie. If you want to see an amazing performance that drives a beautiful and emotional story, go see this as soon as you can.

Great quote: "Hey, we made a beautiful daughter, high five."

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