Moon

>> Sunday, July 12, 2009

Just got out of Duncan Jones' Moon. I don't want to say too much about it, because I think it might be a little better to go into it cold (I was prepared for a minor, early plot twist--I don't think it was spoiled for me, exactly, but I don't know if it would have been a surprise, if you see what I'm saying).

I will say that I think it's very, very good, and that I think a lot of the regulars who come 'round Giant Midgets would enjoy it greatly. I walked out thinking it was what the late Sir Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick would have called "the proverbial good science fiction movie." Of course, as soon as I thought that, it also occurred to me that we SF fans maybe complain too much and there are more "smart" science fiction movies than we usually remember to acknowledge, perhaps because they get sort of drowned out in the zeitgeist-or-whatever by the big dumb explodey SF movies.

Moon isn't as epic or cosmic or grand as 2001 (the "proverbial good science fiction movie" that Messrs. Clarke and Kubrick, of course, made), and I would have been happier in the last five minutes if they'd gone for a darker ending, but it does have points of comparison somehow--the mining facility in Moon could easily be over-the-next-rise from Clavius Base and has the same lived-in-future aesthetic that Kubrick pioneered in 2001. (And Kevin Spacey's performance as GERTY owes a little to Douglas Rain; Kubrick and Clarke failed, however, to realize the significant role emoticons would play in AI/human relations, one of several extremely clever touches in Moon that leads to a surprisingly affecting moment in the film.)

I'll also say that part of what makes Moon interesting is that it's a very intimate story in which the SF elements are integral and yet peripheral: that is, it's not a story about moon bases or AIs or robots--it's an entirely a story about a guy--and yet it's hard to think of how you'd translate the story to the Middle Ages or the Victorian Era or last week; the SF elements are vital but not distracting, and you quickly come to take them for granted in a good way.

There's also, unless I saw something that wasn't there, a classic-SF in-joke in a computer password, but I'll let you keep an eye out for that yourself.

See it, or rent it. I think you'll like it. I did. And that's all I'm going to say about it for now.

4 comments:

Kathy Sunday, July 12, 2009 at 8:10:00 PM EDT  

I heard about this movie and hope it makes it to little old Boone (where good films fear to tread, apparently). It sounds like my kind of SF!

Dr. Phil (Physics) Monday, July 13, 2009 at 1:42:00 AM EDT  

It snuck into one theatre in Grand Rapids -- I'll see it either Monday or Wednesday. (grin)

Dr. Phil

Carol Elaine Monday, July 13, 2009 at 1:21:00 PM EDT  

I'm trying to avoid reading anything about Moon as much as possible because I want it to be a total surprise (which means I just skimmed this entry). I really would like to see it - the tiny bit I have skimmed looks very appealing.

Jim Wright Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 3:30:00 PM EDT  

Well, being a huge Sam Rockwell fan I intended to see Moon anyway. Your review just reinforces that intention.

I'll have to wait for HULU or DVD though, it's not playing in Alaska, go figure. (Correction, it's playing at the Regal Fireweed Cinema, well, now I know what I'm doing next weekend don't I?)

Thanks, Eric.

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