Sunday, October 25, 2009

Moon (2009)


Nearing the end of his 3-year contract with Lunar, a solar energy company, Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) has been alone on the Moon for 3 years now, only accompanied by the station's robot, GERTY (Kevin Spacey - voice).

When the credits rolled on Moon at my small local artsy theater (one I tend to avoid) a guy yelled out "now that is a sci-fi movie," silently, I absolutely agreed. I will say this right now, do not under any circumstance read any synopsis for the film, do not watch any commercial for it, just go watch it. The reason my synopsis is so small because so much of the films plot comes out over slow periods of time you'd practically have to give the whole movie to explain it briefly. Moon is slow, yes, but methodical, beautiful, intelligent, thrilling, and filled with moments that captivate any viewer who wants to be challenged. There's no insane battle sequences, massive explosions, or sacrifices in plot in favor of action... Moon does what it comes to do and does it very well.

What makes Moon work, is that it isn't a movie that tries to be something more than it is. It's political on some level, but it doesn't waste time going on with heavy handed messages. Instead it's more of a character piece, backed by an amazing performance from Sam Rockwell, that brings all the twists and turns you'd want in a sci-fi film. As a visual film, Moon will heavily appeal to those who enjoy films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, with slow pan shots, the mysterious robot, the silent moments, and a pace that could never be accurately described, except to say it just rolls along. Moon isn't going to spell everything out for you, it tells you what you need to know and moves on, anyone who can't figure it out just wasn't paying attention. So why is it slow? Well Moon is a movie that wants you to see the effect of events on Bell, how he handles them, emotionally and mentally, and as such it's very heavy on reaction not action.

Despite the slow nature I was never bored during Moon. I was captivated, eagerly anticipating the next move almost like a school kid waiting for the final bell. Rockwell is simply perfect in a role I can't explain without spoiling. He gives so much emotion and quite literally has to carry the film from start to end. Especially during some very harsh character moments brings every emotion into play. Rockwell gets support from Jones, who knows what he is doing and makes the most of each scene transition, carefully taking his time with each moment. Where the film falters is in its final 1-2minutes, I fear. It tries to get a little political, and adds a bit too much to an ending which was already perfect. Overall though I found little fault with the movie, and would happily watch and purchase the film come DVD time.

Slow, captivating, and beautiful, Jones and Rockwell's Moon is one of the best films I've seen so far in 2009.

10 better thoughts:

MovieNut14 said...

I want to see this movie SO badly! And it doesn't come on DVD until November 16th. FAIL.

BTW, I mentioned something about this movie on a recent post.

Sam Turner said...

There's been a lot of support for this over here. Duncan Jones (David Bowie's son by the way) is trying to get a campaign going for Rockwell to get an Oscar nomination on Twitter too (Jones is @ManMadeMoon if you haven't found him already)

Despite that none of my local cinemas decided to carry it for longer than a couple of days at obscure times so I missed it. DVD release is the same over here though. Looking forward to it, great review.

Lemmy Caution said...

Just got a DVD of this yesterday....plan on watching it tonight. REALLY been looking forward to it. Rockwell is a fantastic actor.

Univarn said...

@MovieNut Yeah, the movie has had a lot of trouble with getting someone to distribute it on DVD, especially in the US.

@Sam Oh I followed him the day after I watched the movie. I think this year is weak enough (performance wise) that there ought to be a notable gap between the 5th and 6th man out, hoping that isn't Sam Rockwell.

@Lemmy Ah you should let me know what you think of it, I know your blog doesn't do reviews so you should comment it up some :P

Lemmy Caution said...

Yeah, and I should....because I've been a serious film geek for many many moons.

Didn't watch it last night....for some reason watched "Wolverine" instead....which was godawful. I ended up shutting it off with a half hour left. Ooof.

Univarn said...

@Lemmy Watching Wolverine over Moon... tsk tsk tsk. I think it'd be fun to read your reviews though, your blog is always a must check.

Lemmy Caution said...

Wolverine over Moon....tell me about it. Unwise choice.

I was being lazy. Still needed to convert Moon to DVD and burn it...Wolverine was done and ready.

Thanks for the kind words!

Fletch said...

Saw this in the theater a few months ago. I'm on board for a Rockwell nom, though I doubt he'll get one.

It's an impressive film in a lot of ways. Highly recommended; one of the year's best that I've seen.

Sam Turner said...

Watched this last night and just came back to re-read your review. I was on the verge of being blown away by this to be honest. One of those rare occasions when I thought I was going to like something and then actually did once I saw it! As has been said on a few blogs (including yours) this isn't a particularly strong Oscar year and I have to say I think Rockwell is a shoe-in for at least a nom. You did well not to give away too much (as did quite a few reviews too) and I was fairly surprised by the plot movements. Awesome stuff.

Brian said...

Don't always agree with you but I was finally able to catch "Moon" on blu-ray today and it was excellent. Thanks for the recommendation.

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