Monday, 3 August 2009

The Thin White Dude's Reviews - Moon

Okay, in the fallout of my movie review explosion, I managed to see two more films in the space it has taken to finish them, and the first of these is Moon. Now Moon has gotten quite a good bit of hype of publicity as an independant film and being the first movie in quite some time to tackle straight science-fiction for quite some time. Also garnering attention is it's director, first-time filmmaker Duncan Jones. Now I'll get this out of the way quickly out of respect for Jones, who really has strived to make his own name as a creator, for many years he was more famous as Zowie Bowie, also known as the son of David Bowie. Now, anyone who has been in my company for at least thirty seconds probably knows that with regards to my music tastes that David Bowie is probably the closest thing that will come to as a god for me, so put it this way, poor Duncan had alot to set himself apart from, especially in this viewer's eyes. However, I feel that Jones himself here is the best element in the film altogether. This is the kind of film I would love to make for a debut. As the head creative honcho on this project, Jones shows great restraint to pull Moon into the realm of current science fiction which usually revolves around robots hitting each other and explosions, and keeps Moon entreched in the realm of intelligent science-fiction. Unlike the only other real intelligent science-fiction movie of note recently, Sunshine, the film does not stray from it's original concept and instead remains firmly entrenched in the ideas which make the film so strong in the first-place. Also, now I will not spoil this as when I went in I did not see any trailer's or promotional material, but merely as an intelligent science-fiction fan. There are numerous plot turns throughout the film, the first beginning around the end of the first act, twenty-five or thirty minutes in. Now, one thing that certainly deserves to commended is the structurally perfect screenplay by Jones and Nathan Parker. With Jones coming up with the original ideas, twists and turns, Parker's additions to the screenplay in keeping the film consistently interesting as Sam Bell, played by Sam Rockwell, the only human precence throughout the entire film, moves through the plot and discovers more and more behind what he has been told by his employers as he is out his working post, The Moon. Parker gives some excellent dialogue for Bell as a character throughout and GERTY, the cliched onboard computer system which is very HAL and Mother. Which brings me to the performance by Sam Rockwell. Rockwell manages to maintain composure in what would surely be a difficult role and as someone who is more or less acting the entire film by himself, really shows maturity in this performance. The little nuances in his performance as the Sam Bell character are very interesting, and the fact that he does not perform Bell as extremely extroverted or over-the-top is a wise move on his part as an actor, for it fit's in with the fact that this is intelligent sci-fi, with ideas being put across, particularly those which focus on human emotion emotion. Also, on the technical side of things, cinematography is solid and the artistic direction, while not unique, certainly adds an element of depth and realism to an otherwise fantastical idea. Finally, the editing is top-notch, fitting in brillaintly with the film's top sound design. However, there are one or two elements which really got to me with Moon. For starters, while certainly satisfying, I felt the film's payoff, the ending, could have really been worked upon better. That does not mean it is a bad ending, it's just that with what has preceded, you really do feel that maybe there should have been more thought put into the climax. Now, the one thing that did really annoy truth be told was the score. Alot of people have been claiming that the score by Clint Mansell was great. I don't believe it was personally. I do not think that the score was appropriate for the film, and whenever I was watching the film in the cinema, I found the score rather intrusive, which is one thing a score should never be. That does not mean Clint Mansell is a bad composer by any means, I mean Clint Mansell was the recipient in my last years Best and Worst of The Year for the award for best comosition, I just felt the score was inappropriate for this film. However, while I did have certain issues with Moon that stop it from being a masterpiece, this is certainly an accompished and solid piece of work for which all as a finished project all involved should be proud.

The Thin White Dude's Prognosis - 8.8/10

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