Saturday, January 2, 2010

A Few thoughts on 'Moon'

I watched Moon recently. Moon is a sci-fi film released this year starring Sam Rockwell. It's about a man who is stationed on a base on the far side of the moon at some time in the future, harvesting moon rocks that somehow have absorbed energy from the sun, and are being used for cheap, clean energy on Earth. Sam (also the character's name) is near the end of his 3-year contract, and preparing to go home soon. 'Gerdy', the on-board artificial intelligence voiced by Kevin Spacey doing a dead-on Hal from 2001 impression, is his only company. Sam interfaces with his wife at home through recorded video messages. And then strange things start happening.

Rockwell is awesome as usual. He is the only human actor throughout the length of the movie, other than a few of the humans that he sees on recorded messages on video screen, (his wife, and the higher-ups at whatever corporation, or government agency he's working for) and he handles the job well. Fear not, this isn't Castaway in outer space. Also, Clint Mansell, who has scored all of Darren Aronofsky's films, does the score for Moon, and, though not as genius as his scores for Requiem for a Dream or The Fountain, it is a nice, emotive score.

That said, the film comes off as a mixture of 2001, Solaris and a third film which I will mention below in the spoiler section. But it's still an interesting, enjoyable film, overall. If not wholly original.

Now for some spoilers, so don't read on unless you have seen Moon, or don't want to see it.


Spacey being cast as the computer, and doing a dead on Hal impression vocally, I think was done as a piece of misdirection. Of course everyone knows what Hal (and subsequent AI/androids in other movies) were programmed to do; preserve the mission, to heck with the humans on-board. And Spacey, ever since playing John Doe and Kaiser Soze, has that veiled-menace thing to his voice. Like the first time you see Usual Suspects he just comes off as effete and even weak, but on a second viewing you hear like an underlying evil. So you have these prior associations with this character, and this vocal actor, but then in this movie the computer turns out to be an altruist computer, confounding expectations. Like the anti-Hal, even going so far as to sacrifice itself to help the clones. But then it's almost too obvious in the other direction, because right from the beginning I thought "they're not going to have this comp. turn out to be a killer too, are they? they can't", cause that would have been TOO derivative, so I was actually expecting that not to happen.

Also the scenes where he has visions of his daughter grown up early in the film A) don't make sense and B) are pointless. The film has enough stuff going on, it didn't need those bits thrown in

The third film it's a mixture of is Multiplicity, w/o the comedy. But it has clones interacting with one another, and the clones, due to genetic imperfections from the cloning process, are easily injured etc. Like the progressively dumber/weaker clones in Multiplicity

No comments:

Post a Comment