Moon (2009) (R)
The Earth's resources have been virtually depleted—it's the setting for many movies and many discussions. Sam Bell is an astronaut who is working on the moon, he's in a three year contract with Lunar Industries. This operation is mining the current energy source, helium-3.
Sam just wants to get back to his family, he calls them very often and they call him, but because of the technology it's very rare to get an actual conversation underway. His wife and their daughter are waiting for him when he returns and he just has a number of weeks left before his contract expires.
Sam is alone on the moon, there are no other humans on the planet. He does have one companion though, a robot called GERTY, much like Hal from "2001: A Space Odyssey". A smiley face is projected on GERTY's screen, when the robot is thinking of something that could be troubling, the face turns into a frown. GERTY is voiced by a pacific Kevin Spacey who is the best choice for this role. His voice can either be creepy like Hal or comforting, depending on how you interpret it.
The routine of Sam Bell's day is very boring—get up, push a few buttons, run on a treadmill, work on a wood carving of a miniature town, see if there are any warnings, and fix them.
But one day a warning goes up and against GERTY's suggestions, Sam rushes out to see what it is. What he finds is shocking and sends him into a tailspin.
Upon Sam Bell's discovery, the movie rises and starts into a momentous climax that never quits until the end credits roll up. The tension builds and grows so subtly that it's hard to distinguish which moment becomes the center of suspense.
Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell and it's a great performance simply because it's only him. He is the movie.
What really helps this movie is Duncan Jones's style and technique. This director came up with the story as well, which I always like to see. It makes it more personal if the director had a hand in writing the screenplay.
I have to liken the way it was shot to the original "Alien", the long shots of outer space generate a foundation of solidarity that is used to create the tension and suspense.
When the movie starts to pick up pace, it's not a mindless tension they create. Brilliant philosophical and ethical questions are raised in a true science fiction way.
It's confusing and haunting, a very interesting movie.
Score: 3 and a half starts out of 4
Posted by Micah Jones