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moon
Click for full sized poster

Moon

Starring Sam Rockwell, Kevin Spacey, Matt Berry,
Screenplay by Duncan Jones and Nathan Parker
Directed by Duncan Jones
website: http://www.moonthemovie.com/

IN SHORT: Arthouse friendly SF that almost makes the big crossover. [Rated R for language. 97 minutes]

In the science-fantasy world of Moon, mankind has discovered and is mining a new element - Helium 3 - on the surface of the dark side of the moon. Said element is providing 70 per cent of the entire world's energy needs, meaning everything else that has had countries at each other's throats for the last thousand years became moot. All is well and peaceful on the planet. All is equally well and peaceful and very, very quiet on the moon, where Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is a mere two weeks away from completing his three year contractual stint. Said stint has been even harder than he would have suspected, as a solar storm disabled direct communications to earth and what was patched together -- prerecorded messages sent via a link near Jupiter -- is not exactly satisfying.

Again, at that two week point, Sam is more apt to fantasize about seeing his wife Tess (Dominique McElligott) and daughter Eve (Kaya Scodelario) than pay attention to his driving on the surface of the moon. Needless to say, smash up your lunar rover big time and you pay an ultimate price. Sam smashes up big time. How he wakes up in the infirmary, tended to by the autonomic system called Gerty 3000 (voiced by Kevin Spacey)  is the only sticking point in the story . . . until you get another couple of scenes in, where Sam meets another Sam, hale and hearty, performing his duties on the station.

Sam's got a clone. But the new Sam is just as surprised to see his twin. . . and If you're thinking, "Which Sam is which?" you're already deep into the story. What's worse is that, having seen each other, having figured out that someone was a clone, both know that "the company" sending a rescue mission was really sending a hit squad to, essentially, clean up the mess. Everyone on earth thinks something different is going on moon-side. What they think is never tipped in the film. Had the screenwriters gone through another pass, there could have been some deeper stuff to dig around in. Maybe writing  a story complicated enough to keep the audience working to follow it was the goal. That isn't supposed to be how it works . . .

. . . what happens when Sam gets home is tossed away in one line as the end credits roll. It is terrifically unsatisfying, but the rest of the film is all Rockwell's to win or lose. It's a task he pulls off well, especially as the Sams aren't all that different to the viewer. They wouldn't be, as clones (theoretically) the personalities are the same. We're not getting into any nature vs nurture arguments here, the pair behave like friendly brothers. That they go separate ways for logical reasons as the film progresses eases up on any possible confusion.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Moon, he would have paid . . .

$6.50

Moon is a very . . . interesting . . . film to watch. We didn't wriggle at all until our screening ended -- without the big surprising whammo of an ending that we just knew was coming. That wasn't a  huge disappointment though it means Moon may work best for you as a rental. Those who prefer their films independent should be very happy.

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