Thursday 24 Jul
 
 

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0

Sorcerer

William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Science Fiction
 

Moon


None July 16th, 2009

moon2

As a movie setting, outer space is most often used to create a free-for-all frontier in which good and evil can battle it out with a minimum of rules or limitations. Think "Star Wars," "Buck Rogers," "Flash Gordon" or scores of other space adventures.

Less common is the use of space as an illustration of how closely our identities as humans are tied to our original environment. Think "2001: A Space Odyssey," the first and best example, and its cinematic descendants, including "Alien," "Solaris" and "Sunshine."

"Moon" continues, with a slightly less sterile aesthetic than "2001," in this tradition, illustrating the fragility of human identity while further exploring the alienating effect of technology at the same time.

The film follows Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell, "Frost/Nixon") during the final days of his three-year stint manning a corporate mining base on the moon. In the future "” although it's not made clear how far into it "” a process is used to mine a type of helium from the sun-soaked far side of the lunar substrate. The helium is retrieved by Sam from the harvesting machines and then launched back to Earth, where it is used to fuel the majority of the planet's fusion energy.

GERTY
Sam's only companion in his lonely outpost is GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey, "21"), a ubiquitous robotic intelligence that moves around the base, offering food, drink, pain relievers and advice. GERTY is reminiscent of "2001"'s murderous HAL 9000, but he's less rigid about his programmed directives. With only an animated cartoon face that switches between half a dozen facial expressions, GERTY provides a well-meaning, but very limited form of company for Sam.

While Sam's psyche is tattered, he's kept going by video messages from his wife and daughter. He spends his downtime building a scale model of his hometown, dreaming about resuming his life there.

But things aren't what they seem. After crashing his rover while trying to retrieve a container of helium from a harvester, Sam wakes up in the infirmary. What follows is the ultimate identity crisis. Without including spoilers, it's only safe to say that who Sam is will be called into question.

While "Moon" doesn't carry the iconic or existential gravity of "2001," it does present a more cohesive and engaging story. Directed by David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones, "Moon" uses the sterility and inherent danger of the lunar environment to contrast with Sam's humanity. This helps us more closely relate to him and sympathize with his highly unusual situation. Rockwell turns in a highly skilled performance, which further helps us relate to and care about Sam. Again, without spoiling anything, the plot creates certain challenges for Rockwell as an actor, which he carries with ease.

"Moon" wasn't graced with a wide release, and it might not be for everyone. Most people go to the movies to turn off their brains, but "Moon" will make you think. If escapism is your thing, go see "Transformers" again.

"”Mike Robertson

 
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