This is "Moon"

When done right, there's nothing that gets my heart racing better than a good science-fiction movie. They're such versatile creatures, the sci-fi flicks, with their capacity to meditate very powerfully the human condition, to discuss politics (though not my favorite use of the genre and stock imagery, though it has its heroes), to discuss science and religion, the science of life and death, the struggle for solace, personal/societal collapse and enlightenment. What's most fun and satisfying for me is when a movie achieves a heightened level of intrigue with a great throughline, but quickly jettisons all standard logic and leaves you with pieces to graft together. There's almost no incorrect way to do so (except when there is), and I love the conversations that ensue after the credits roll. Science fiction is a more visual genre than others, and I think it's most effective when there aren't a million things flying about at once.

Duncan Jones' "Moon" usurps those nice conceptions we have of Mother/HAL-3000-type computers (this one astoundingly well-voiced by Kevin Spacey), mashes them with the conceit 'space-as-final-frontier' and simultaneously as literal landscape of the mind a la "Solaris," and with a touch of the same human desperation that pervaded "Sunshine" and its predecessors. It stars Sam Rockwell as Sam Bell, who composes a one-man team to mine Helium-3 from the moon for a contracted three years, with the aid of said computer. Bell comes upon the scene of some freak accident only three weeks before his contract expires, and everything starts to unravel. It was filmed on a small budget, so it's amazing that the film can look and sound so beautiful and creepy. As I've said on Twitter, I think this film is a perfect vehicle for Rockwell to show off his unique talents as a wordy, neurotic performer with a knack for the oddball and slightly threatening - emotes the internal drama one would expect of a person alone in space. The image at right is the poster, which also communicates an odd, not-of-this-time sort of feel.

Early reviews out of Sundance and SWSW come from James Rocchi and Peter Sciretta. A better synopsis comes from IGN, linked below, that I didn't want to copy here because I think theirs indulges too many details. But a gorgeous trailer from them is below. The title cards and review snippets are really effective. As is Clint Mansell's score.

Will you be flying to this "Moon"?

IMAGE from: Film School Rejects
POSTER from: Ain't It Cool
TRAILER exclusive through: IGN Filmforce


  1. do you think sam rockwell is the victim of type casting with this many sci-fi roles (galaxy quest, hitchikers, and I'm sure there's another one i can't think of right now). Sure he's great in these roles, but he needs to come back down to earth...

  2. I've been wanting to see this movie for a while now. Looks pretty interesting!

    Very nice review!


  3. I think Sam Rockwell should establish himself as an actor with a knack for a particular type of character, like Philip Seymour Hoffman (who often played oddballs who were meant to be forgettable prior to his career-making turn in 'Capote'). But, you're right, not at the expense of displaying range, which is there. He did do 'Choke' and 'Snow Angels' recently which are as far away from sci-fi as possible. And both feature amazingly detailed performances. His work in 'Confessions of a Dangerous Mind' was also great - even if George Clooney muddled up Charlie Kaufman's excellent script.

  4. Thanks, Rob. If you get to see it before I do, I'd like to know your thoughts. Even if you see it after, which is unlikely.