What a riveting movie. A Sci-Fi movie of the first order. Maybe the best since The Day The Earth Stood Still – not to dis all the Alien films which I loved. I don’t count stuff like like the Star Trek franchise which I tend to stay away from, so perhaps I’m not the best judge. Wait. I forgot 2001: A Space Odyssey. Which brings me to the obvious comparisons between the two computer systems in control of the rather claustrophobic environments. In Moon, we keep waiting for the computer system (GERTY) to mimic the malevolence of HAL. Whether this ever happens I won’t reveal, but it’s a tribute to Kubrick that HAL’s presence(or non-presence) is so palpable. On the other hand, this may just reveal that we think of computers differently than in the days of HAL – or should I say in the days when the Kubrick film was made. Then, computers were viewed by many as technology making dangerous incursions into our lives. Do we not see a shift today. Computers as friend? Helper? Meant to make our lives easier? The downside seems to have receded into the background. But it lurks.
One is tempted to say that this is Sci-Fi only in the sense that it takes place sometime in the future. In a time when space travel is ordinary. When exploration of space has turned into exploitation of space. Talk about inevitable…There are no aliens, monsters, little green men. What there is, is boredom bred from isolation, loneliness and the edge of sanity, not aliens, but alienation. What there is is man stretched to the limits, not of physical endurance, but of psychological endurance. The major plot device (which I won’t reveal) places this firmly in the truly classic realm of thoughtful sci-fi.
Tautly directed by Duncan Jones (from his original story), this is his feature film debut. He calls David (The Man Who Fell To Earth) Bowie, Dad.The lack of ‘action’ and laser beams blasting may hurt its box office, but I hope people see it. It’s better than movies made with 10-times the budget for this one. At $5 million, the incredible thing is that this never has the look of a low-budget film. Quite the opposite, I was shocked to learn of that low figure..It’s thought provoking and entertaining as well. Sam Rockwell, as Astronaut Sam Bell is great as the space worker fulfilling his three year contract with an International conglomerate at a base camp on the moon. Kevin Spacey, by the way, is the voice of the ubiquitous computer system that monitors all things on board the spacecraft.
You’d do well to fit this one in between all those summer blockbusters.
And, from Dad’s “Space Oddity”
Here am I floating round my tin can
Far above the moon
Planet earth is blue
And theres nothing I can do.