Moon - DVD Review

I've been anticipating Moon for a long time. Ever since people started talking about it as a science fiction film which actually meant something in fact. A science fiction film not, necessarily, about explosions. I'd been anticipating Moon and its premise to such a degree that I pinned my hopes on it a couple of months ago when trying to describe what the difference between 'new' and 'old' science fiction was and what that meant for generations on either side of that divide. If Moon had of been rubbish, I could have ended up looking very silly.

Luckily though, Moon is not rubbish. In fact it's fantastic. But why start with the positives when you can have a good old moan first hey? Moon very nearly went the way of The Escapist - so close and yet so far from five-star greatness. The last film I publicly gave five stars to on this blog was Changeling back in April. The last film I saw that I would of given five stars to was The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. I'm very careful with my five stars (I'm also very careful with my one stars but I'll save that for another time).

When I watched the film a couple of nights ago I thought it was great but the occasional fade-outs struck me as a misjudgement, sucking atmosphere from the screen and there was also a whiff of miss-explanation around the central plot point which as a fellow blogger points out, you can't even attempt to explain without spoiling it.

But having said all that there is one thing that distinguishes Moon as an undoubted five star film: after only two days, I want to watch it again. Not only that but I want it to get nominated for a host of Oscars. Basically I am finding it hard to stop thinking about how good Moon is.

That's not to say Moon is accessible. In some ways it's not. There's basically one character (Sam Rockwell's Sam Bell) and a computer (GERTY, voiced by Kevin Spacey) who talk. On the Moon. Spacey's voice, of course, is excellent but really, it's on Rockwell to anchor the film. And once again, Moon doesn't disappoint on this front either.

Not only is it extremely hard to talk about the plot without spoiling anything but because he is the plot, it's extremely hard to talk about Rockwell's performance too. Having said that, I can say this much: it is testament to Rockwell that I cannot imagine another actor filling the part. He is just 'small' enough to be able to pull it off but just 'big' enough to have the presence needed to anchor a film on your own. The role shows many changes in Bell's character and through Rockwell we see them all. I really liked Rockwell in Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind, amongst others, but this is something else. This is Rockwell in the big leagues.

I can imagine sitting down and watching Moon paying really close attention to what Duncan Jones (David Bowie's son by the way) is trying to say, or picking out themes and ideas. Equally, I can imagine putting it on in the background for the tenth time (like most of my favourite films) and just admiring the often stunning visuals created, amazingly, on a shoestring budget. Moon is excellent for a number of reasons but it is excellent also because it would not be out of place in either one of the above situations. Nor in a classroom. Nor at an Imax theatre. Nor at an Oscar ceremony.


  1. Glad you liked this movie, it's definitely up there for my top films of the year!

  2. Now I feel like a kill joy. I only gave this a B. Sam Rockwell as amazing though. And how glad am I that Changeling and Button were 5 stars? Very.

  3. Thanks for your comment Andrew, glad you're a fan of Changeling and Button too.

    Even though I really liked Moon it is one of those films where I can understand why other people didn't. I read your review and I didn't neccesarily disagree with any of the points you made. However, it is probably one where I'd probably recommend giving it another go in a few months and seeing what you think then.

  4. I am so upset this one never came near me during its theater run. I'll have to wait for DVD. I'm dying to see Sam Rockwell's performance. I'm glad he's finally getting this recognition because he's a very talented guy.