Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Moon

What is the real mystery on the moon?


Moon | A Constantly Racing Mind
Every now and again, a movie comes along that makes you think, "Moon" is one of them. Not for the action-adventure junkies, this film plays out not only in your mind, but in your heart as well. Although I wanted to see "Moon," staring Sam Rockwell, for quite some time, I also felt that the pacing of a film starring one person would put me off. Gratefully, the film also stars the Kevin Spacey as the voice of the moon bases computer, Gerty. "Moon" is a film that is worth watching, if not for Rockwell’s performance than for the story alone.


The first few minutes of "Moon" introduces us to Lunar Industries, through a commercial for the company. The commercial us that the Earth, after suffering over population, poverty and disease, Lunar Industries solved these problems with the discovery of HE3, on the surface of the moon. Lunar Industries operates mining operations on the moon with only one person to watch over the mine's automation. Alone for the last three years on a moon base located on the far side of the moon, Sam Bell, (Sam Rockwell) is on the last couple weeks of his contract. Hoping to get home to his wife and his three-year old daughter, Sam can't wait for his contract to end. However, Sam notices that his mind wandering and he is starting to hallucinate a young girl sitting at a table in his moon base, Sam burns himself with boiling water. The exchange between Sam and Gerty are reminiscent of Dave and Hal from "2001: A Space Odyssey," leaving one to wonder which one of the two are losing it. During a routine check of one the mining harvesters, remote controlled vehicles that wander around the moon processing the rocks for H3, Sam crashes his moon truck into the side of the harvester. Awakening back at the moon base, on a table, safe, with Gerty tending to him, Sam, naturally confused, asks what happened, and how long has he been out. Gerty assures him that he was out for only a few hours, asking him if he remembers what happened to him, Sam says he just remembers a crash.


"Moon" doesn't play out at break neck speed, but at a steady even pace, that keeps you interested. Written and directed by Duncan Jones, the son of David and Angela Bowie, Jones develops the character of Sam Bell quickly through quick shots of him as he goes about his business, not spending too much time on each of the boring activities that people spend their time on daily. Like Adam Maitland, from "Beetlejuice," Sam wile away his spare time recreating his hometown in miniature, jogging on a treadmill, and talking to his plants. At this point images of 1972's "Silent Running" begin coming to mind. Duncan Jones, aka Zowie Bowie, instead chose a different path and more intriguing one for the plot of "Moon." Finding himself under an unofficial house arrest, Sam catches Gerty talking to Earth in real time, as the satellite has been down for almost three years. Sam, knowing about the satellite, for the last three years records and sends his messages to his wife and superiors, believes something is up; or is it. As the plot unfolds, you begin to wonder if Sam is losing his mind, as even he remarks that, "my mind has been acting weird lately."


Only an hour and a half long, "Moon" certainly deserves your attention. Sam Rockwell gives an excellent performance and Jones's pacing keeps you interested. The musical score is space, but effective, special effects are minimal, and the story of Sam and his humanity -- compelling. If you enjoy movies that strive for meaning, and film as art, this film is for you. Now that you know what to expect, take some time and watch "Moon," you won't be disappointed.
Time to go home... Rock and Roll... and God Bless America.

Movie Data

Genre:  Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Year:  2009
Staring: Sam Rockwell, Keven Spacey
Director:  Duncan Jones
Producer(s) Stuart Fenegan
Writer(s): Duncan Jones, Nathan Parker
Rating: R