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Moon – Daily Movie Review (30.12.2012)

Moon – Daily Movie Review (30.12.2012)

Review of Moon (2009) by director Duncan JonesMoon (Blu-ray cover)

Story:

Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is a lone worker stationed on the moon. There he oversees the harvesters for the company Lunar Industries. They prospect Helium-3 on the moon and ship it to earth. The only companion to Sam is GERTY (Kevin Spacey), an artificial intelligence. What is keeping Sam alive in the loneliness are the thoughts of his wife and daughter. Sam has only a few weeks left until he can return to his family. Yet Sam’s world collapses when he begins to have strange hallucinations and finds a wrecked vehicle on the moon surface. Inside the vehicle he discovers an exact copy of himself. Is Sam going insane or is there more to this than meets the eye?

My Take:

When I saw the first trailer for Moon online I was stunned. The atmosphere, the music, the premise…It all seemed fantastic! But when I actually watched the movie I was a bit disappointed. Don’t get me wrong. Moon is a good movie. But after the trailer I expected a lot more – maybe even too much. The promising reviews of Indoob! network, BlogCritics and Cinema Autopsy suggested a new sci-fi gem. While I like Moon I certainly can’t completely agree with all the praise. In my opinion Moon gives up what could have been a mindblowing twist far too soon:

Spoiler title
The fact that Sam Bell is a clone should have been revealed close to the end. I think it would have been far more interesting if director Duncan Jones had left open if Sam was just going insane or if there really was a conspiracy. By giving away this twist early the rest of the movie  lacked tension left. This was a missed opportunity in my opinion.

Otherwise Moon is a very fine film for sure – just no classic. It falls a bit short since what could have been a twist is given away too soon. This way Moon loses a lot of momentum. Especially the middle act feels dragging. What saves the movie is Sam Rockwell with his fantastic acting. He is almost the only actor seen in this movie and mostly completely alone on camera. Kevin Spacey is also a nice addition as the voice of GERTY. It is impressive director Duncan Jones (son of famous singer David Bowie) shot Moon on a budget of just 5 million US-Dollar. This movie certainly looks a lot more expensive and has some great effect shots on the moon surface. The soundtrack by composer Clint Mansell deserves a special mention as well. It is mostly made of very slow and ambient tracks with a lot of piano and electronics. The music is essential to this picture and worth buying on CD.

I own the Blu-ray released by Sony. The picture quality is surprisingly good! More than good honestly: fantastic even. Like with the effects you never feel you are watching a movie with a small budget. You can see every detail of the sets here without any technical anomalies. The lossless soundtrack is very well done, too. It features the great music prominently. There are also some nice extras on the Blu-ray. For example Duncan Jones’s short film Whistler is included.

Bottom line is: If you like other “slow” and atmospheric science fiction movies like Kubrick’s 2001 you should give Moon a shot. In my opinion it’s a bit of a missed opportunity but it certainly is a very recommendable sci-fi flick! Especially if you consider it’s budget and that it is director Duncan Jones’s first full length feature.

My Score: 7/10

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