Posted by: David Stewart | July 12, 2009

Reality: It’s overrated (Movie Review | “Moon”)

Sam Bell is a lonely guy, and he knows it.

Sam is nearing the end of a three-year contract of working in total isolation on the dark side of the moon, with only his computer, Gerty, to keep him company. It’s especially hard when you left a wife and new baby back on earth, and direct communications are down.

So Sam does what a lot of us might do – he does his job, he works out, he putters around with a few meaningless hobbies, he watches old reruns of Bewitched and he generally longs for home. That is, until he nears the end of his contract and things start turning a little weird. He starts thinking he is seeing other people – or is he?

Moon is in the style of science fiction movies in the pre-Star Wars era. It owes much to Silent Running and even Dark Star, as lonely people in space try to figure out the core of the mystery in the story. There is also much in common with Solaris, as existence itself becomes tangled up with corporate responsibility and greed.

Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell, and the film is nearly his one-man show, with only the voice of Kevin Spacey as Gerty to balance him. I find it hard to watch Rockwell without seeing his performance as the spaced-out President of the Galaxy, Zaphod Beeblebrox in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, but he is able to bring more drama to this role without losing some of the silliness.

It’s a good movie, but try to see it if you can without reading any reviews, so you can appreciate the mystery at the center of Moon.


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