One of the benefits of living in NYC besides, well, everything that makes New York, New York, is the fact that limited release films are now much more accessible. As someone who strongly dislikes watching amazing cinema through the second camera it was filmed on (the one in the theater camming the film) and streaming perfectly good shots, there can finally be a sigh of relief on this end. *sigh*
Moon is a film I watched the trailer for so many months ago and was instantly hooked. Think 2001 a Space Odyssey but for the here and now. The film revolves around an employee on a lunar mining base who is about to finish up his 3 year contract when he discovers that he is not alone on the surface by finding himself in a wrecked lunar buggy.
Duncan Jones must have been watching Kubrick since popped out of his Mom many years ago. The guy does clean Sci-Fi so clean it will have you saying "oh my science!" Not only does he does he make the film look beautiful with his use of shots and framing and well, its all freaking stellar. Seriously though on to his actual directing of our good friend Sam Bell (Rockwell). This is a true actors film, meaning that the film has to be carried by just one person for the most part. Sam Rockwell as Bell has to entertain us throughout. He is our weather vane, our guide, our eyes into this strange and complex story. Guess what, he kills it too.
Rockwell gives an outstanding performance in this film. He has to confront himself and take himself way inside to tiny places I am sure he never wanted to go, and then come back out again. It isn't supposed to be scary, but it is. It's scary how much he makes us believe this is happening, he pulls you out of your seat and into his shoes in the film.
As for the other actors, well Kevin Spacey plays our 2009 version of Hal as GERTIE. Even though his voice is semi-digi and he is a robot, its really hard to believe that the little microchips and gears don't care about Bell throughout the film. So if they nominate Mr. Spacey for the best supporting role as a robot, I'll let him have it, he made it work.
How do you film a movie about a place only a handful of people have ever visited, well I don't know, but Gary Shaw did as cinematographer. I hope this movie makes a billion dollars so he can get some of that money and fly to the moon, because he needs to see it for real and then tell us all "i told you so." He does a great job of showing the loneliness and desolate traits of such a large and mystical place. Whether drama he adds through the lighting inside the base or the coldness he brings to the barren landscapes, Shaw nails it. Thumbs up.
I want to kick it out to the Special FX guys here. THIS WAS ALL IN CAMERA! Yes models, yes like star wars, yes like little plastic stop animation. This stuff has been around forever and forgotten, but not here and not today. It looks so good that it is better than CGI, you know the little vehicle is a model sometimes, but that makes it real. Hats and hair off to Cinesite for delivering excellent special FX.
The soundtrack was good but not very expansive for this film. I wasn't sure if the composer Clint Mansell did this on purpose or if he just didn't know where else to go with this. I mean we never leave the same character or location, so why switch up the soundtrack. In my honest opinion I would have liked to heard more variety from the soundtrack but for what is played it is beautiful and fits great.
Overall this is a wonderful film. The acting, directing, look, and feel of this film are all enchanting or as the french would say enchante. Should everyone rush out to see it, no. This is a limited release film and I am blessed to be in a city that carries such films, but for those of my dear readers that are not blessed with the convenience of this, don't rush hundreds of miles to see it, BUT PLEASE RENT IT! This a great film to watch at home so please do whatever you can to get your hands on it when it is released. On that note I am going to hit up some Sinatra, can you guess the song?
Banana-meter: 9.3/10 Bananas