January 16, 2019

Review: Moon, Directed by Duncan Jones.

Independent movies are a rare breed, and independent sci-fi flicks are rarer still. Perhaps, because of the meager budgets they garner and the special effects they require, there is a lower asymptotic limit to how shoe string a scifi flick can be. True, the Dr. Who look works for things like the BBC adaptation of the Hitchhiker’s Guide, but that’s a big exception. Its just plain tough to make a sleek looking low budget scifi flick! Recently, however, I’m happy to report that we indeed found one that delivers!

Last Friday, as I searched ye ‘ole Fandango for a movie that was worth 90 minutes of my life to sit through on my birthday, I realized with a certain glee that Duncan Jones’ indie movie Moon was playing in Tampa… perhaps I was the only one along the Florida Gulf coast who knew (or cared) but this one is definitely worth seeking out. I first heard of this undiscovered gem about a week prior on NPR Sci Fri, and my wife and I were not disappointed. Moon is set in the near future, as man has begun to mine Helium-3 on the lunar far-side. The sole occupant of the mining operation, astronaut Sam Bell, (played by Sam Rockwell, who also played Zaphod in the recent re-imagined Hitch-hiker’s!) is nearing the end of his three year contract when things begin to go awry. I won’t throw in any spoilers, as the plot runs like a good murder mystery. The look and feel is very 2001: A Space Odyssey, in that you get a real feel for the loneliness and desolation of space. Jones is the son of David Bowie, a long time scifi fan and admirer of the original 2001 flick in his own right. There’s even a HAL-like computer (Gerty, played by the voice of Kevin Spacey) that keeps Sam company; we we’re glad that Gerty didn’t turn out to be evil, as scifi computers do tend to get a bad rap. Hopefully, Gerty will find his place amid the R2D2′s of scifi-dom…

 

the movie even gets the philosophical juices flowing, another rarity in scifi cinema today. On this near future Earth, nuclear fusion provides cheap, nearly limitless, and clean energy… but is this shinny white perky future worth the terrible price that even one of us must pay? What does this say about the compassion and the view of disposability held by such a society? The look is very dark and elegant throughout. We are to presume that there are no inhabitants elsewhere on the Moon, although this is never stated, or at least unknown to Sam.

I strongly urge you to seek this one out; if you live near a big metropolitan area, it may well be playing at theater near you. If you are part of the silent Netflix masses, throw it in your “Saved” queue. And if your local po-dunk theater ain’t playing it, ask them why not! Its certainly heads and shoulders above the “extended-video-game-turned-brain-fodder” that passes for major motion picture scifi these days… lets pack the theaters for this one and tell Hollywood that this what we want to see! Tell ‘em Astroguyz sent you!

 

 

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  1. [...] Independent movies are a rare breed, and independent sci-fi flicks are rarer still. Perhaps, because of the meager budgets they garner and the special effects they require, there is a lower asymptotic limit to how shoe string a scifi flick can be Here is the original post: Review: Moon, Directed by Duncan Jones. [...]

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