in Review

Man on the Moon


Further postponing my “Top Ten Baseball Movies” due to the fact that I still need to see a few more films, here are my thoughts on the relatively new indie/sci-fi flick Moon. Directed by first timer Duncan Jones (AKA Zowie Bowie, the son of David Bowie) and filmed on a minimal budget, Moon is low-key sci-fi thriller propelled by the performance of it’s talented lead and atmospheric surroundings.

Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is an astronaut employed by Lunar Industries to extract helium-3, as a solution to the Earth’s energy crisis. Stationed at a lunar base for almost three years, Sam (along with only a computer companion named Gerty (Kevin Spacey) now eagerly awaits his return home to his family. Though with no more than a few weeks left, Sam’s mental state slowly starts to deteriorate, leading him to discover that things may not be as they seem.

There’s not a lot I can say about the story without revealing too much, but Moon certainly has it’s fair share of twists and turns and is compelling both as science fiction film and a drama of the psychological variety. Rockwell’s more or less one man show is quite impressive as he never fails to disappoint with his enthusiasm and rather oddball charm. The voice of Kevin Spacey is also a nice touch and despite the minimal cast, there’s rarely a dull moment.

Naturally the strong acting and intriguing story are a driving force, but I find the film’s setting and atmosphere to be the true centerpiece. The desolate and dreary landscapes are beautifully photographed and some of the model work has an excellent retro charm to it. I’ve heard some critics compare Moon to Douglas Trumbull’s 1972 ecological sci-fi film Silent Running and I definitely see a resemblance in the style and even some of the themes and other elements.

Duncan Jones looks to have a bright future ahead of him, especially if he keeps to sci-fi. It’s always nice to get somewhat of a throwback in the genre opposed to some of the loud and flashy sci-fi films of today. So far it’s been these indie flicks that have kept me coming to the theaters this summer and it’s always a nice change of pace. Moon will probably challenge some moviegoers patience with it’s somewhat slow pacing or lack of extravagant effects but I found it to be a mildly entertaining little sci-fi flick and would recommend it to sci-fi fans.


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