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A Movie a Week #8: Moon

It’s ironic that the first feature film from the son of “The man who fell to earth” heads back up towards the stars. Duncan Jones or Zowie Bowie (son of David) as he was previously known, provides not only a strong film making debut, but an impressive homage to all the low-key sci-fi films of the 70’s and 80’s.Moon’s gripping story is matched only by its aesthetically pleasing set pieces, full of retro space suits and sterile white space stations.
Borrowing from films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and THX 1388, Moon references the paranoia fiction that came before it. The final product is an authentic feeling genre pick and mix that avoids feeling like a cheap rip off or copy. For the past three years company man Sam Bell has been living on a lunar base mining Helium-3, an energy source which the earth has become dependent on. His only contact with home is through pre-recorded video messages and his sole companion is the ship’s computer GERTY superbly voiced by Kevin Spacey.

He’s down to the final two weeks of his gruelling shift and…well you wouldn’t be reading this if he got home without a hitch. After making a chilling discovery, he’s forced to question his sanity and humanity, all the while desperately longing to return home to his wife and young daughter. Of course, the make or break aspect of Moon is Sam Rockwell’s performance which reminds us all of his severely underrated talent. Bouncing off the walls of his claustrophobic ship, Rockwell is great. Whether you’re watching him talk to his plants or emotionally breaking down, there’s not one moment where you feel the film would benefit from the presence of another actor. Having said that, Kevin Spacey’s vocal contribution is equally exceptional. Displaying emotions via various smiley faces; does GERTY actually have Sam’s best interests in his digital mind? You’re never quite sure.  By going back to basics, Duncan Jones has fired himself onto the list of directors worth paying attention to. Proving that less is definitely more, Moon is the most compelling sci-fi film of recent years.

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