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The following is taken from my personal blog.
Sam Bell (portrayed by Sam Rockwell) nears the end of his three year contract as the sole resident of a mining base on the moon. after waking from a serious injury and suspicious of the circumstances of the incident, he discovers more to the moon base.
REVIEW (SPOILER ALERT)
The opening of Moon. Man goes about his daily grind, exercises on a treadmill, eats meals, watches TV. Doesn't sound that exciting. Then again, it's not supposed to be. The feeling of utter drudgery is what the movie is trying to evoke.
As soon as I watched this, it reminded me somewhat of Alien and 2001: a Space odyssey. The similarity to Alien comes from the depiction of daily life on board a spaceship/space station. Eating ready meals, and not having much to do except your monotonous job. Moon also reminded me of 2001: a Space Odyssey in that both depict people doing a job far from home, having to contend with isolation and loneliness (or limited human company).
Atmosphere aside, what really struck me was how early the plot twist appears. About halfway, in fact. The protagonist, Bell, wakes up on a medical bed following an accident. Everything is fine, except it's not. With a bit of work, he discovers he is not the first crewman on this moon base but the latest of many clones. He finds the previous one (the one we've been watching) and revives him.
There's a reason why this twist happens so early. To explore the significance of this turn of events. The next half allows plenty of time to show the interaction between the two and thus explore Bell as a character. Neither is willing to believe they are the clone and both are convinced they're the real Bell. Things get violent and fights break out. Earlier on there are hints about Bell's life, including a past history of anger issues that led to estrangement from his wife. He is frustrated at past events, his loneliness and isolation. So when Bell is quite literally fighting himself, it's a reflection of his own personal frustration.
This isn't to say that Moon is flawless. This very interaction I spoke about didn't go quite far enough, so the movie falls just a little short. So to me, not a perfect movie, but one that's still pretty damn good.
There's little in the way of extras. The foreign subtitles are there, but little else to talk about.
I thoroughly recommend Moon as an amazing story of crippling loneliness and isolation.
Star - Sam Rockwell
Genre - Sci-Fi
County - UK
Certificate - 18R
Run Time - 97 minutes
Blockbusters - £0.99p per week rental
Amazon - £6.49DVD (£7.75 Blue Ray)
lunacy. The term may be considered insulting in serious contexts, though is sometimes used in friendly jest. The word derives from lunaticus meaning "of the moon" or "moonstruck".
If you are a debutante British director then Moon is the first film you want to be on your CV. It certainly guarantees you a long career in the film industry, an amazing effort from first time director Duncan Jones. He had some help, and luck, making Moon as it was the writers strike in America at the time and so idle talent drifting over to England to look for work as Hollywood ground to a halt, Jones cherry picking some hardcore special effects guys on the cheap to work with him at Shepperton, using old fashioned models for his moon base, no less, Space 1999 style! It also helps to be David Bowie's son to get things done, which he is.
Moon is an old fashioned Sci-Fi where locations, isolation, intrigue and ideas matter more than explosions and pointy eared aliens. I can't remember any other British director to have a crack at classic Science Fiction since Ridley Scott. It's very encouraging. Yes, Jones has been a bit of a magpie with some ideas and borrowed plenty from Kubrick's astounding Space Odyssey: 2001, a bit from the brilliant Dark Star and films like Silent Running, Outland and Solaris but my word it looks good on just five million quid. Nothing wrong in paying homage to some great movies like that with work like this.
Sam Rockwell ... Sam Bell
Kevin Spacey ... GERTY (voice)
Dominique McElligott ... Tess Bell
Rosie Shaw ... Little Eve
Adrienne Shaw ... Nanny
Kaya Scodelario ... Eve
Benedict Wong ... Thompson
=== The Plot ===
In the future....
Thirtysomething engineer Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) has a three year contract to work for Lunar Industries. He is the sole employee for the duration at the company's lunar station. His job is to harvest and freight Helium-3, the current clean and abundant fuel of choice back on Earth, the valuable cargo sent back to Earth in pilotless shuttles.
For some reason there is no direct communication link available between the lunar station and Earth, therefore his only company on the space station being 'GERTY', the intelligent HAL style computer whose function is to attend to Sam's day to day needs. With such little human contact and all of it indirect he is beginning to go a little bonkers, feeling that three years alone is far too long. The hallucinations have begun from that isolation as the end of his three years approaches. All he wants to do is get home to Earth to be with his wife Tess (Dominique McElligott) and their infant daughter Eve (Rosie Shaw), who was born just before leaving for the moon, beamed video messages there only intimacy.
With two weeks to go and his concentration wavering as his mental capacity weakens, he gets into a serious accident at one of the mechanical harvesting stations and is rendered unconscious in his lunar truck. When he awakes he has no recollection of the accident but suspicious of the crashed lunar vehicle next to one of the harvesters. Sneaking out in another lunar truck he recovers what appears to be another Sam, taking the body back to the station, surely another hallucination? But what if it's not a hallucination? Something very strange is going on here for Sam, especially as his employers are jamming the signal back to Earth so to begin the rescue and GERTY less than insightful on who is the real Sam Bell to be rescued.
Why Sam Rockwell didn't win The Oscar for this will remain as mystery as the film, his schizophrenic performance one of the best you will ever see in space. If he didn't get double money off the director for his efforts I would sue for half of the ten million pounds it eventually made, that, too, a criminally low gross for such a clever and inventive movie. This is old school science fiction at its best, intelligent and idealistic with some great ideas on the new slave labor to come.
Duncan Jones reveals the film was shown to some NASA boffins who questioned why harvesting of Helium3 (yes, it's real) would not take place on the near side of the Moon, where He3 is more abundant. The explanation given by Jones was that the choice was made to harvest the far side 'so as not to affect wildlife', which made me chuckle. His degree was in philosophy and that is an essential ingredient of great movies. We should be proud of this guy.
This will not only appeal to geeky science fiction fans but admirers of the craft of making movies. You don't need a huge budget to make cool sci-fi. Just look at Monsters by Gareth Evans on how to make something with nothing, that one coming in at just £50,000, named the first low budget blockbuster. He is British too and things are looking up. Check out The Raid, his last movie, one of the top ten of the year. But for Moon just sit back and lose yourself in this one, if just to admire Sam Rockwell's amazing an intense performance, an actor tragically overlooked.
Imdb.com - 8.0/10.0 (147,768 votes)
Metacritc.com - 67% critic's approval rating
Rottentomatos.com -90% critic's approval rating
Empire Magazine - 'They do make 'em like they used to - a fresh blast of old-school sci-fi, bursting with ideas and a stellar turn from Rockwell'.
Time Out - 'The film is not entirely logical, but it raises pleasing questions and looks beautiful'.
Cinema Review - 'Intriguing, imaginative, and thematically ambitious, Moon gives ample proof that Jones is a serious talent, pushing his concepts into intellectually and spiritually challenging territory'.
Film Review - 'A throwback to the golden era of 1970s sci-fi, Moon is a long overdue and morally relevant antidote to the overblown bombast of today's science fiction'.
Boston Phoenix - 'Moon entertains by posing a puzzle whose solution opens into disturbing existential truths and paradoxes'.
Variety -'Moon actually gets a little dull in the later reels, just when it should be peaking in mystery and tension'.
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== One small step ==
Moon is a modern day miracle. A low budget film, from a debut director, that not only cuts the mustard, but creates it's own flavour as well. Duncan Jones has boldly gone further than any other first time director has done for some time. Not surprising that he was so good at telling a story in space since he is the original space oddities son.
== One giant leap ==
Any self respecting son of David Bowie's has to be out there to a certain extent, and Jones' style certainly is different. He creates a very claustrophobic atmosphere that is perfect for this film. Although early days in his career, he seems to have a great future in film, and if he is half as successful as his old man, then he will go far. The fact that he admits taking influence from the film 'alien' and using it in his own work stands him in good stead.
== Cast ==
Sam Bell - Sam Rockwell
GERTY - Kevin Spacey
That is all!
== The plot ==
Sam Bell has been harvesting a renewable energy source from the dark side of the moon for almost three years. His shift is almost up, and he wants to get back to his other half, and his little girl. Having been stuck up here on his own, with no direct link to back home since the transmitter went down, Sam is quirky to say the least.
Things are weird after the accident. He finds a man who looks just like himself. He's called Sam Bell to. Strange. At least the computer, GERTY is there to keep him sane. If it wasn't for him, then that other Sam might try and take over. But at least he's company for Sam. We'll just have to keep an eye on him.
== My two cents. ==
The problem with being the only on-screen actor is, that you have no-one to fall back on. Your performance is everything. Thankfully Sam Rockwell is fantastic. He has a unique talent for being able to portray several emotions at once, and he was perfect for this role. The obvious cabin fever Sam is experiencing needs a certain type of madness on screen. His performance is a powerful one, and it is that alone that makes this film work.
The setting is typically bleak, and as such it is beautifully obsolete in the film. It does add somewhat to the claustrophobic nature of the film. As does the clinical set. No fun to be had here. Just the already small walls closing in on you. All this creates a great atmosphere, which combined with Rockwell's superb performance has you really feeling for Sam. His madness, and childishness has you really wanting to look after him, and compelling him to be OK.
The plot is a good one, and the twist is unexpected and different. This type of film is not a common one, and so it will be new ground to most who watch it. That in itself will keep you watching, as it drags you along with it. There will be obvious comparisons to space 2001, especially with the computer role of GERTY.
Kevin spacey has no on screen part in the film. He is the voice of the station computer. That said, he actually does this very well, and his overwhelming calmness contrasts well to Rockwell's frantic mania. I love the little screen on GERTY's front. It is a little smiley face, the expression of which matches the computers mood. This can lead you to plot twists, and also adds a little bit of dark humour to proceedings.
Overall, Moon is a very enjoyable watch. It is not one for lovers of action, as there is not too much to see here. It is a mood film, that will keep you watching due to your empathy for the lead character. Its went largely under the radar on its release in 2009. I only heard about it a few months ago, and only got round to watching it now, but it was worth the wait. If this is what we are to expect from Duncan Jones, then I am looking forward to seeing more. Five stars.
Moon is something of a strange film in that it is very hard to talk about without giving anything away! The main premise behind the film is that in the near future, all Earth's energy concerns have now been addressed due, in no small part, to the discovery of an alternative energy source that is derived from the rays of the sun. This energy source can only be harvested from the dark side of the moon and Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell of Hitchhikers' infamy) is the man responsible for looking after the automated systems that do this. But only for two more weeks, because his three year shift is very almost over!
Sam's only companion is Gertie, voiced by Kevin Spacey, and it is Gertie's job to keep him sane. Only, he doesn't seem to be doing too good a job because when we first meet Sam, he appears on the verge of having a breakdown. His attention continually slips, he sees things that aren't there and can't seem to sleep.
Things come to a head when Sam has an accident whilst traveling to one of the Land-Cruisers that collect energy from the sun. Because that is when things start getting very weird....
I loved this despite it being a slow-burner with very little happening for the first twenty minutes or so of the film. It has a real sense of claustrophobia and isolation about it and it is difficult not to sympathize with Sam who quickly begins to suspect he is not being told the full story. It has been beautifully filmed and is a little like 2001 without the orchestral score and the grand musical numbers. In many ways, this film is far more subtle but the comparisons are there. Gertie, for example, has a very retro look about him that is highly reminiscent of HAL.
It is not particularly original and the concept behind the main story feels entirely lifted from another big sci-fi film from days gone by that many of you will quickly get if you are fans of a certain director. I don't want to say any more but many of you will guess what film this is when you see Moon.
I would definitely recommend this but it is not your usual, conventional sci-fi film by any means. At times quirky, at other times just odd but always thought-provoking, this is a really good film that deserved to get more attention upon release but unfortunately slipped under a lot of peoples' radars!
Every so often, the film industry manages to produce a low budget, independent film which packs more intrigue, action and interest into five minutes than your average bloated blockbuster manages over three instalments. Moon is one such film.
In the future, almost all of Earth's energy is harvested from the Moon. This has created a cleaner, happier and more prosperous Earth. It's also easy to harvest, requiring one man to maintain the machinery on the Moon itself. That man is currently Sam Bell. Coming to the end of his three year contract, Sam has just two weeks to go before he can go home and be reunited with his wife and young daughter.
Moon is almost the textbook definition of a slow burner, which may be a source of joy for some and frustration for others. There are long periods where nothing much seems to happen. Indeed, the opening 25 minutes or so are about establishing atmosphere and Sam's increasing sense of loneliness and isolation. It's also clear from the off that something is not quite right and a sense of intrigue also pervades the film. There are also times when the plot appears baffling, with events appearing to make little or no sense. All these are things that may put off some viewers.
Stick with it, though because the gradual physical and mental breakdown of Sam leads to all sorts of interesting questions and a fair few emotional gut punches. Is Sam really alone on the Moon? Is everything as it appears to be back on Earth? Can Sam trust anyone, including himself? At times, it seems we are getting more questions than answers, but gradually, everything starts to become clear (or at least clearer) and the film builds to a stunning crescendo. I don't want to say too much, because it's definitely one of those films that the less you know, the better it is; but trust me: if you stick with it, Moon is an excellent, thought-provoking and challenging film.
It is also incredibly atmospheric, creating an unrivalled sense of isolation and claustrophobia, Apart from occasional long shots showing the Earth from the Moon and Sam's odd foray out onto the Moon's surface, everything takes place within the Moon base. The fact that he is (possibly) the only person on the base further adds to this sense of isolation.
A lot of credit should go to Writer/Director Duncan Jones who refuses to bow to Hollywood convention and delivers the film he wants, instead of some bloated, explosion-packed mess. He trusts his instincts and the intelligence of the viewer and constructs a deftly written script that constantly keeps the viewer on the back foot, concerned for Sam's safety and his state of mind. Jones the Director, meanwhile uses subtle camera work to create an unsettling, slightly creepy atmosphere, without resorting to cheap shock tactics.
Good though Jones' influence is, though, it's Sam Rockwell's incredible performance that gives Moon its real power. I've never really forgiven Rockwell for his Zaphod Beeblebrox in the awful Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy film. Here, he finally achieves redemption, turning in a performance that is incredibly powerful. When receiving video messages from the wife he has not touched in three years, his whole face just crumples and his body language is powerful. When sick later in the film, he looks awful (helped by some good makeup certainly, but also because of the way he holds himself). He displays an incredible versatility, whether playing Sick Sam, Homesick Sam, Paranoid Sam, Lonely Sam or Confused Sam and absolutely captures the emotions required from that particular scene.
Moreover, he achieves this without anyone to act against. Sam is alone for the entire film with only a robot (the Kevin Spacey-voiced Gertie) for "company". Yet Rockwell cuts a sympathetic figure and being in his presence is anything but boring. Sam might be all alone, but the viewer is rooting for him every step of the way.
Kevin Spacey's performance as Gertie is also worthy of note. Initially, I thought Spacey was going to annoy, his monotone delivery suggesting he was just going through the motions. In fact, it's an incredibly powerful and subtle performance. You never quite know what to make of Gertie Should you take everything he says at face value, or is there a more sinister agenda going on? Is he R2D2, devoted to his master or a Hal 9000? I'm not going to tell you anything except that, like so many other aspects of this film, the denouement of this particular thread is both rewarding and appropriate.
Moon is a deeply intelligent film, a long way removed from your average Sci-Fi movie. It is grounded in reality (within a given definition of reality) and humanity. Indeed, apart from the fact that it is set on the Moon at some point in the future, it is scarcely science fiction at all. Without wishing to sound too poncey, it is about the human condition; about how people need others to keep them safe, sane and functioning. It is a poem to loneliness and despair, yet is never miserable or depressing. Hope is a constant theme and whilst some will not doubt disagree, the whole film builds to a final scene which is both appropriate and satisfying.
Some will undoubtedly point to Moon and say it is boring, due to its slow pace and lack of action. Others will claim that it's all pointless and some of the questions that it raises are never answered. I say it's that Hollywood rarity - a film that encourages the audience to think for itself and draw its own conclusions based on what they have seen. It's also a film that bears repeated viewing and the viewer will gain a new insight every time.
I should imagine that Writer/Director Duncan Jones gets sick to the back teeth of people pointing out that he is the son of David Bowie (oops, sorry Duncan). On the evidence of this and Source Code (Jones' second Hollywood effort), David Bowie might soon be finding himself referred to as "the father of Duncan Jones"!
Director: Duncan Jones
Running time: approx. 97 minutes
(c) Copyright SWSt 2012
I seem to be going through a phase of watching movies with a minimalist cast. After my recent viewing of the one man Ryan Reynolds show that was Buried I decided to finally check out the highly rated Moon. It is a movie that has been recommended to me by numerous people and after enjoying Source Code, which was also directed by David Bowie's son Duncan Jones, I decided to take the lunar plunge and see what the fuss was about. After watching the flick I leave wishing that I hadn't taken so long to give it a go. It's one of those brilliant titles that doesn't get the exposure it deserves.
Moon, as the title suggests, takes place on a base situated on the giant ball of cheese that orbits our world. It's set in the distant future where mankind's energy needs are being met by helium-3 which is harvested from the moon's surface. Sam Bell, the main character, is responsible for overseeing the mining operation which isn't as tough as it sounds. The collection of helium is mostly automated so he is pretty much a glorified caretaker for the base. Sounds like a cushy job aside from the small matter that he is stuck up there alone for three years! Three years? Gripes. I honestly don't know how he manages to cope. A standard five day working week is long enough for me thank you very much.
When the film begins we learn that Sam's tour on the moon is coming to an end. He looks forward to returning home and seeing his wife who he can only communicate with via recorded video messages that are sent up to him. It would be nice to call them for a chat, but alas the base's satellite dish is currently broken preventing him from making calls or even watching the latest shows on Sky One. Like a movie cop that is close to retirement disaster strikes when he leaves the base on lunar rover and crashes into one of the helium harvester machines. Where did Bell get his driver's licence? There's nothing on the moon's surface aside from the harvester and somehow he manages to hit it. Suddenly I don't feel like the worst person to get behind a steering wheel.
After the crash Sam awakens in the base's infirmary, presumably rescued by the installation's super smart computer GERTY. Against the A.I's wishes Sam returns to the crash site and discovers that there is someone in the wreckage of the lunar rover. He rescues the person he finds, takes him back to the base and after removing the guy's space helmet is shocked to discover that the person he saved is... Sam Bell? As far as Sam knows he doesn't have a twin brother so what the deuce? At this point I have to cut my synopsis of the story short as we would be going into spoiler territory which I would like to avoid as Moon is such a story driven affair.
I think the overview given above should give you a good idea as to whether Moon is something you would enjoy. I know that the premise certainly piqued my interest. What exactly is going on? This is a science fiction story so is one of the Sam's in question a clone? If so which one is the real Sam Bell? Could something else explain the doppelganger? Three years alone in space does sound like something that could take a toll on someone's mind. Perhaps this whole thing is just one big hallucination? The plot thickens when you consider that the normally helpful GERTY remains tight lipped about the whole situation.
Like in my review of Buried I have to stress how important it is for the lead actor in such a movie to be up to the task. The story is brilliant, but if you don't feel for the main character there is a danger of losing interest as this isn't a fast paced movie by any means. It's heavy science fiction with little to no action. Thankfully Sam Rockwell rose to the challenge and showcased what a brilliant actor he is. Carrying a movie by yourself isn't easy and it must have been even tougher as he would have to interact with thin air in many scenes were the two Sams are talking to each other. I hope he was recompensed fairly for his work as he was in effect playing two lead roles for the price of one.
There wasn't a supporting cast to fall back on as the only other actors you see are Sam's wife and his employers via recorded messages on a screen. The only other person Sam gets to play off is GERTY who isn't human. The computer is voiced by Kevin Spacey who did a decent job although he couldn't do much in an acting sense other than speak in a calm voice. As a machine he couldn't spread his wings in terms of expressing emotion (although I presume GERTY does have some limited feelings as the smiley face on his computer screen does change depending on the scene's mood.)
I loved Moon so I am giving it full marks although I can imagine it won't be to everyone's taste. Even though I am a fan of the film I can see how some viewers could find it dull due to the lack of action. I would imagine that people who grew up on old school science fiction shows and movies will get the most enjoyment out of it. Due to budgetary restraints it does feel like one of those classic sci-fi flicks. The set and use of models instead of C.G give it a retro charm which I enjoyed. The story is clever, the acting top notch and is complimented by an atmospheric soundtrack. Overall this is a moonificant film.
Review also posted on Ciao
FILM ONLY REVIEW
Sam Bell is living on the Moon, the world has now discovered fusion energy which they get from the dark side of the moon and he is working and ensuring the control centre and machines are running properly. He is stationed there for 3 years but he is nearing his end and has only 2 weeks left before returning home. Sam is looking forward to getting back to his wife and daughter.
When one of the machine goes wrong he venture outside to see what the problem is but when he thinks he sees a human he crashes the transporters and has a very nasty accident. Sam soon waked to find he is back in the control centre and has no recollection of the accident. Sam is notified by GERTY, his only company, a robotic system which aids and helps his investigations, that he is not allowed to leave the control centre and go outside until the rescue team arrive to take him home.
Sam starts to notice things are strange and different in the control centre and he needs to get outside to see if he did actually see another human but with GERTY watching his every move this is proving difficult. Will Sam discover that he is not actually alone and what other things will he uncover when he digs a little deeper?
The story for this film seemed a little basic at first and I have to say I found the story a little slow for the first 15 minutes and only really started to pay full attention once the accident had happened and things started to get interesting. Saying this I think the lack of characters and other people did not help as there was only two main actors and a robot used throughout the whole film and I would have liked a few more to give us some variety.
Sam was played by Sam Rockwell and he did a great job. He seemed normal at the start of the film but as t moved on he started to show more of a nervous and desperate side to his character and I enjoyed seeing how this changed his state of mind and how he viewed things. The other role which was played by Robin Chalk was also very good and I loved how similar yet different they both were. There was a good on screen partnership with the men and they worked well as a team. I cannot say the name of the character for the other actor as this will spoil things for those who have not see the film yet.
Another big role in the film GERTY, he was a robot who lived with Sam and was really is only friend and company. He was voiced by Kevin Spacey and I thought he managed to bring some life and character to the robot. The way the robot had emotions and thoughts of his own was very good and I enjoyed seeing t try to portray a human and emotional side towards the end of the film. The special effects which were used for GERTY were very good and detailed and I liked how he could be anywhere in the control centre and he was able to do anything, like attending to injuries and playing games and getting Sam to do tasks. This was a good and well thought out part.
The majority of the film was based inside the control centre on the moon and I liked how is was shown to us, there was a lot of detail but it was lacking in colour, everything looked very clinical and dull. The special effects used into with the computers and machinery were good and when e did get to see the surface of the moon and Sam venturing outside I found the effects to be just as good and detailed. The music was nothing special and there is only one track which I can remember and that was 'walking on sunshine'. I think this only really stood out as it was funny considering Sam as living on the moon.
As this is a film only review there are no bonus features to talk about. The running time of the film is 97 minutes and I found this to be a suitable length and I do think I would have started to get bored if t would have gone on for any longer. The certificate is a 15 and I think this is suitable.
Overall I can only give this film 3 / 5 stars as for me the lack of characters made it slightly dull. The special effects and story line were good and I would say this make for good entertainment but don't spend money on it, wait for it to be shown on the TV instead. It is currently being shown on Sky Movies Premier.
The film Moon which came out last year (2009) was on Sky Anytime and I watched it today. It is a science fiction film that is directed by Duncan Jones who is David Bowie's son. As I am a life long Bowie fan when I saw that Duncan had directed this I wanted to see what it was like and I was not disappointed at all.
The story is very strange, in that the whole film is just about one man in his space station on the moon with no other human contact. The only other humans you see in the film are a couple of people on video links to him. This might put you off watching it but believe me, you will be missing a really good story if you don't watch it.
The plot is about a man called Sam Bell. He is living in this station on the moon, his companion is a computer/robot that is called Gertie who is there to attend to his needs and to help him in any way it can. The station is up there to control and harvest a new fuel called Helium 3 which is found in the rocks on the moon after they have been in the sun. The fuel is then sent to earth by rocket. The company that owns the station is called Lunar Industries and they have given Sam a three year contract which is nearly up, he only has two weeks left to go before he is due to be replaced and sent back to his family on earth.
One day, he is out checking one of the harvesters when he has an accident and wakes up in the infirmary on the station with the robot attending to him. He tells him he has had an accident and that there is a rescue ship on its way to the moon to help him sort out the problem with the harvester. Sam thinks something is strange and cant put his finger on what it is but decides to go out to the harvester to take a look.
What he finds there is unbelievable to him and he finds himself questioning the company and everything that is happening.
The story was really really good, I was very surprised at the bit where he went to check the harvester, it changed the whole film around and gave it a really good twist that at first was a bit hard to fathom what was going on but as you watched more of the film, little clues they gave you helped you to gradually understand what was happening. I found this really interesting and was totally immersed in the story.
Sam Rockwell was exceptional playing the role of Sam Bell. He was so good, having to act on his own for the whole film, it was just brilliant acting. Kevin Spacey was the voice for the computer that interacted with Sam.
I was pleased to see that this film won awards, it won a BAFTA Film Award for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer (Duncan Jones) and it won a British Independent Film Award for Best British Independent Film. It has won a lot more awards as well as these two and I am not at all surprised.
If you like science fiction then this film is a must watch film.
It has been given a 15 rating in the UK and it lasts for 97 minutes.
David Bowie's son's debut is awesome! A subliminal homage to the original Alien movies and the A Space Odyssey 2001 with some exciting new flavours. It's a great film that challenges the psyche and throws the viewer into questions that at first cannot be answered. I liked the movie a lot as the atmosphere is chilling as well as claustrophobic. The scenes are tense and riddled with remarkable questions. A great sci-fi movie made the way they used to be. Sam Rockwell's performance is awesome too; his charisma and acting talent really carry the film and lead you to believe in both the characters he plays. The set design and direction make the movie a visual and emotional treat. By far one of the best sci-fi films of our current era and a poignant insight into the exploitation of humans. I would recommend buying this on Blu-Ray just because of the fantastic landscapes and atmosphere.
It is unlikely admittedly, but if I was ever sent on a expedition to outer-space, and my sole companion was a robot, the very last voice I would choose for my new mechanical friend, sent up with my for the express purpose of preserving my sanity, would be that of Kevin Spacey.
Its not that I dislike Spacey, in fact he's one of my favourite actors, but it's just that there's a certain eerie monotone to his voice that is frankly quite creepy. This works well in films like Seven, American Beauty and The Usual Suspects where he plays menacing, odd and, to varying degrees, psychopathic characters. In fact it also works well in Moon, giving the robot an otherworldly quality and fitting perfectly into this strange, quirky film. It's just that spending three years with a robotic companion equipped with Spacey's dreamlike voice would be enough to turn anyone...peculiar.
This is the situation, however, that faces Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell). Bell is coming towards the end of a three year mission to harvest Helium-3, the moon's clean energy source, and ship it back to earth. There is no direct communication link between Bell and the earth, so his sole companion is GERTY, his aforementioned robotic sidekick.
Amusing himself by communicating with plants, building giant matchstick models, and talking to his peculiar assistant, Bell is showing signs of becoming mentally unhinged, even hallucinating on occasions.
One of these hallucinations causes Bell to crash during a routine rover excursion. Awakening in the infirmary, Bell hears a suspicious conversation between GERTY and Lunar Industries Headquarters and decides to take an unauthorised trip back to the broken rover. There, he makes a discovery that shocks him to the core and will make him doubt his own sanity and the reasons behind his existence.
Moon is a stunning directorial debut by Duncan Jones (son of David Bowie), which was released in 2009. Shot with a budget of just $5m, Jones was able to take advantage of a writer's strike which stopped most other productions at Shepperton studios, to attract some top-class effects people to work on the movie. The result is a slick, atmospheric, realistic piece of work that looks beautiful in its simplicity.
It is pretty clear where Duncan Jones (previously known as Zowie Bowie) got his inspiration from. With hits such as "Starman" and "Space Oddity", his old man obviously had a liking for sci-fi and themes of isolation and loneliness.
One particularly poignant story tells of father and son making motion films with an 8mm camera and the young boy's collection of toy smurfs. David Bowie, as a musician was talented, quirky, experimental and, above all, cool. It's clear this particular chip hasn't fallen very far from the old block.
Sam Rockwell, who plays superb yet diverse supporting roles in films such as The Green Mile, Iron Man 2 and the Assassination of Jesse James, gets a chance to shine very literally on his own. And it's a great performance, portraying this dangerously frayed character's loneliness in a way that Tom Hanks and his volleyball could only dream of. His physical and mental breakdown is a sad sight to see for the viewer as we fear for this family-loving man's sanity and life.
The only other actor with any significant part in the film is Kevin Spacey, who is deadpan and emotionless in a role that never stretches him. The links between his character, GWERTY, and that other famous computerised companion, HAL (from 2001: A Space Odyssey) are obvious, and quite deliberate on behalf of the filmmakers.
Shot during a writer's strike, which had caused most other productions at Shepperton studios to shut down, Jones says he got a number of top-class effects people on the crew because of the lull. The result is a convincingly stark and alien landscape, achieved without the use of CGI which is so prevalent in modern film-making.
This is sci-fi, but not as we know it. There are no warp drives, no wormholes, no lasers. Just one lonely guy and his robot in a tale of isolation, compassion, corporate greed and ethical dilemmas. From the DVDs mainly black and white cover to the sterile, almost hospital-like rooms of Bell's temporary home, the film has a minimalist feel and is shot almost entirely inside the spaceship. This adds to the claustrophobic feeling of the movie, as does the excellent icy, repetitive piano/synth soundtrack.
People will always compare Moon to 2001: A Space Odyssey and it will inevitably full short, but as a directorial debut it is an outstanding piece of work. Quirky, inventive and unique, it's nothing less than you'd expect from Kevin Spacey and the son of David Bowie.
Impessive ratings of 8/10 from IMDB, 89% from Rotten Tomatoes, and 4 out of 5 on Amazon
A lot of swearing and a bit of violence but nothing extreme. Not really a movie kids, but not exactly upsetting either.
A fairly new film, but available for about £6-£7 on Amazon.
Running Time: 97 minutes
Release date: 17 July 2009
Awards: 1 BAFTA
Trailer, two commentaries, a comprehensive "making-of", "creating the visual effects", and a nifty short film by the director. Loads of information, plenty of good old British humour. Pretty good all in all.
With a definite retro feel, Moon is a homage to sci-fi classics. Drawing inspiration from a space odyssey, blade runner and the alien films, it still manages to add something different. It is exciting without being action-packed, tense, at times confusing, but always absorbing.
As a directorial debut, it is truly first rate. From the music to the acting, to the simple but effective special effects, Moon ticks all the boxes. This is the first in a proposed trilogy by Jones and if his future work can match the quality of this one, he is a certainly a talent to keep an eye out for.
This one is best saved for the cinema or at least wide screen viewing connected to a good set of speakers!
Moon (as do all good sci fi movies of this type) owes much to the towering 2001 in terms of atmosphere and in initially obvious ways relating to the ship's computer. However, despite a somewhat slow beginning with some similarities to the aforementioned, the movie develops into one of the best sci fi flicks this century.
The main role is superbly acted by Sam Rockwell whose character struggles to come to terms with what is going on around him and his place in the universe. The computer / robot character is also well written and is involved in a small twist that gives a little inspiration about the human spirit living in a robot.
There is also something of a retro feel to this movie, there are few modern, curved, furturistic things to look at as one usually expects in movies of this genre. Instead we get the idea that the movie is paying homage to the 70's in terms of structural design. The plot is one of the best things about this movie, being both plausible and absorbing. It is well worth a second viewing.
Man, we were spoiled for Sci-Fi in 2009, weren't we? Between this, District 9, Avatar and Star Trek, as a dedicated Sci-Fi nut I had a banner year. Moon may not have made the splash that some of those other names did, but for me it represents the most lovingly-crafted and by far the most intelligent film of the bunch. Sam Rockwell turns in the performance of his career as Sam Bell, the lonely caretaker of a remote mining outpost on Luna who, on a day seemingly like any other, makes a startling discovery which causes him to question the very nature of his existence. Along with his trusty yet faintly menacing computer assistant (Kevin Spacey), Sam struggles to come to terms with his discoveries, in the face of grim odds.
Moon is very well produced, and paints a melancholic, bleak picture of Bell's lonely, isolated existence. Exterior shots in particular really help evoke the lunar setting, and the station's interiors have been crafted with good attention to detail.
Man of the match on this one is definitely Rockwell, who really shines - to say much would give away plot details, but he's given ample opportunity to show a man suffering deeply from, and coming to terms with, events outside his control, and I found his performance as a whole very moving.
If you're looking for high-octane action and suspense, you might be better off heading for one of the names I dropped at the start of the review - Moon is a slow but steady film which feels like the exploration of an idea, rather than the exposition of one. The production values are good, Rockwell and Spacey both turn in convincing performances, and the idea behind the film is pretty original territory.
The debut feature of Dovid Bowie's son Duncan Jones, is an amazing feat of cinema which was criminally overlooked by the Academy this year.
Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is a solitary member of staff running a base on the moon that is harvesting a clean renewable source energy to send back to earth. Coming to the end of a 3 year contract he is looking forward to returning home to his wife on earth. His only company of the station is a computer/robot called GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey)
After an accident Sam wakes up the infirmary and starts seeing another version of himself, wondering if he is going mad or is something sinister is going on.....
This is an excellent film and a brilliant début by Jones, who fully deserved the BAFTA he won for this film. The pacing is excellent and the score by Clint Mansell is quite haunting and suits the atmosphere of space perfectly.
But despite all this it is Sam Rockwell who steals the show, seeing as he carries this film almost totally by himself and acting alongside himself, it is ridiculous that he was never nominated for the Best Actor oscar!
'Moon' is possibly one of the most under appreciated films of last year; it wasn't very well publicized, it had no flashy graphics and it didn't exactly have an A list cast (even with Kevin Spacey), yet it is a truly stunning film and one that really deserves more recognition that it currently has.
The basic plot of 'Moon' is that Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell, more on him later!) is a worker for the company that produces energy for Earth using the moon. I'm not sure of the science behind it, but it is briefly explained! He is the only employee on the moon, and is on a 3 year contract, waiting to go home to his wife Tess and young daughter Eve. His sole companion is a computer robot by the name of GERTY, voiced by Kevin Spacey. Unfortunately, a computer is not adequate mental stimulation and his mental health seems to be a little out of touch - or is it? I won't say any more on the plot, because you need to watch this film!
The main set is a futuristic looking space ship, all white clean lines, and like with most things in this film, very subtle and almost redundant. The music is simple, no blasting pop songs like Armageddon, no flashy robotics or off to the cuff dialogue! The script is very simple, yet still engaging and the acting from Rockwell is astounding in places. Spacey does a great job at voicing GERTY, and there are other contributing players who all contribute to the high quality, but make no bones about it, this is all about Mr Rockwell. Personally I haven't seen anything he's been in before so he's a new actor to me - and I am pleased to say, it's a pleasant discovery! In my mind, he should be up for an Oscar, unfortunately the film seems to have been overlooked completely.
I really can not praise this film enough. Yes, the pace is slow and the ending is a little abrupt, but it just seems to work so well that you can't complain. The acting and writing is superb, as is the filming (that shot of Sam looking out at the earth, anyone?!) and overall, I can not fault it. It is a little weepy in places and not full of laughs, but strangely relaxing and very thoughtful. Make sure you watch it, you won't regret it.
Moon is a refreshing attempt at what science fiction films used to be. Things are kept simple, centering on the main character and let the plot slowly unfold, hitting the dramatic notes, building up to the last fitting revelation. The film stars the excellent Sam Rockwell as a lonely employee on the Moon, mining for an energy source. He is coming to the end of his three year contract, but living on his own for all that time with only a computer (voiced by Kevin Spacey) for company, his mental stability has been affected. I won't reveal any of the plot points after this, but there are a few great twists in this film that keep you interested and guessing what is really going on. The main character is the subject of very strange events and the trust he has for his employers and indeed the computer he resides with, is called into question.
The film was made of a low budget, but this fact does not hinder what is on screen. The sets are perfect, the technology is believable, and the surface of the moon is achieved to great effect.
The central performance of Sam Rockwell is fantastic and should lead to more leading roles for him as he certainly proved he has the ability and range of emotions to make the viewer truly care about the character.
The DVD comes with audio commentary from the writer, director and producer. I consider this a good extra as I always find these commentaries insightful.
On the whole I would recommend this DVD to fans of science fiction and films about isolation, though it is a slow moving film so it's not for everyone.