Lone astronaut Sam Bell (Rockwell) is nearing the end of a three year service harvesting the Moon for much needed resources to keep Earth functioning. While carrying out his duties, he is involved in a collision resulting in a serious concussion. Upon wakening, he realises that things are not as they seemed during his years of isolation and that he‚(TM)s not been alone either.
While having some obvious comparisons to ‚2001: A Space Odyssey‚? in terms of it's onboard computer Gerty (voiced by Kevin Spacey) resembling HAL- and a similiar structurely directing approach to Stanley Kubrick‚(TM)s, that‚(TM)s where the comparisons end. The themes of isolation and loneliness have more in common with Steven Soderbergh‚(TM)s tormented ‚Solaris‚? or the existential pondering and exploration of individuality and memories echo the work of Ridley Scott's ‚Blade Runner‚?. Being a fan of both of those, I found "Moon" to be very appealing indeed.
In a time where science fiction, seems intent on throwing as much money on the screen as possible, it's refreshing to see one that works on it's simple, yet very effective, concept rather than smooth over the cracks with excessive special effects. It's through this that real talent is allowed the room to develop and that opportunity is seized by an outstanding Sam Rockwell. In a year that Awards pretty much had Jeff Bridges‚(TM) name already engraved on them for "Crazy Heart", Rockwell‚(TM)s performance here was shamefully overlooked. He at least deserved a nomination. By now, everyone is aware of this great actors talents but Jones gives him the chance to really show his range in multiple roles and without his sublime and commanding work, this film might not have worked as well as it does. However, it does work and very well at that. Jones has a good handle on the thought provoking material and shows a restraint beyond his years, while the subtlety of Rockwell's performance brings out the spiritual and intellectual struggle of his character(s).
Gary Shaw's sublime cinematography does not go unnoticed either. He perfectly captures the claustrophobic environment which only serves to heighten a foreboding sense of paranoia and Clint Mansell‚(TM)s excellent use of music is eerily atmospheric by simply using basic piano notes.
Not only on modern terms, "Moon" can hold it's own with some the best that science fiction has to offer and just goes to show that a basic concept, a basic structure and a minimal cast can culminate into something quite special.
This cemented an already talented actor‚(TM)s reputation and heralded the arrival of a promising new director. With the impressive "Source Code" already in the bag and the forthcoming "World of Warcraft", Jones is certainly one for the watching. He‚(TM)s a director that already shows confidence in himself and won‚(TM)t be rushed into telling his story, making it all the more satisfying for a contemporary audience that's been slapped around the head with too many Michael Bay movies.
There is a lack of scientific realism, and the movie kind of feels a little pointless and inconsequential, but there's some interesting stuff going on here. Don't expect it to be realistic, and try to be cool with a fair amount of filler, and you'll probably like this movie.
There's not much plot, and not much action, but that didn't bother me. It has a dark unnerving atmosphere to it, and mood and tension are the main proprities here anyway. The visual scheme and set direction are really nice, and Sam Rockwell does a great job. He basically has to. He's gotta carry the whole film essentialy. Kevin Spacey lends his voice, but he's not heard as much as you might think.
This is not a film for everyone. Like I said, there's a good amount of filler, it's not super slow, but it's not fast paced, either. Also, not a lot happens, and most of the focus is on one guy being bored and getting involved with an eerie mystery. If you want a different type of sci-fi movie though, then check this one out. It's a spiritual relative to movies like 2001 and Solaris, but it's a bit more accessible.
Sam Rockwell, recently appearing in "Cowboys And Aliens" performs the best role of his life as Sam Bell, an astronaut working on the moon. He is hired by Lunar, a company that mines Helium 3 off the moon in order to solve the energy crisis on Earth. Things are going well as he nears the end of his three year contract, but that's when he makes a discovery and the story really picks up.
Reminiscent of 2001, Jones directs in a similar style to Kubrick. The film is extremely atmospheric with all the essentials of a great, added with an incredible script, courtesy of Mark Bowden and Nathaniel Parker.
Every time you believe something will happen, it doesn't, yet the film is shocking, heart-warming and jaw dropping, sometimes all at the same time.
It could have won Best Picture if it had not been Jones first feature. A film to be watched properly, not a lazy half hearted, one eye and one ear open for a Sunday before work, this is a film that needs to be watched and thought about.
Overall, a film that should be watched. An independent first feature film that looks like the work of a Hollywood legend. A tiny budget creating incredible special effects with a script and director to fight over.
**** 4 Star