I finally had a chance to see Moon by Director Duncan Jones, a.k.a. Zowie Bowie, a.k.a. son of music legend David Bowie. I suppose it's really not fair to have to live in the shadow of his father. Damn, that has to be frustrating. Well, I think Duncan Jones, as he prefers, has finally made a name for himself. The quiet little Moon is no slouch. He deserves the respect and praise he received for his film on his own merits. For me, as a friend put it, "it's different." It's a thought-provoking piece that remains with you after watching it. It's a simple concept of one man living on a lunar base on the moon owned by Lunar Industries.
Moon plays with a number of different concepts and possibilities and tackles such ideas as corporate indifference or even malfeasance, the future of human cloning and what it means to be human and alive. It is a powerful, emotive tale without being sentimental here, but indeed it was moving at points despite its cold, near desolate isolation.
Set design and visual effects are simple but credible. You'll love those Moon harvesters and Moon rovers. You even have a lunar base robot, Gerty [a nod to ET: The Extra-Terrestrial no doubt and even HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey], tending to the needs of one Sam Bell, deftly played in two different personas by the underrated actor Sam Rockwell. Rockwell's solo show is impressive. It may not be quite as gripping or intense as Tom Hanks' performance in Castaway, but the film is effective if slightly unnerving even creepy. I don't want to say too much, but I think it's worth a go. And when Sam Bell reaches out to his wife, Tess Bell, if that doesn't impact your heart and mind a bit I'm not sure what will.
In science fiction's strictest and purist sense it's easy to understand why this film is a darling for critics and for many fans. It is a solid, inventive piece of sci-fi isolation and human nature coping with loneliness, but it is much more. Save for the fact it was a tad too mild for my taste, it is very good. I would have preferred a touch more drama, maybe a bit more intensity, but it's still an ambitious and original picture and you can't fault Jones on vision or ambition. Honest folks, I don't need laserfire and alien creatures to be happy, but it's always nice.