Posted by: Dr P | July 10, 2009

Moon

OK, what’s the scoop?

When I first heard there was a movie coming out called Moon, I got very excited. After all, despite not much loving the soaps (Hollyoaks excepted), I was always a bit of a fan of Eastenders’ Alfie Moon, wonderfully played by Shane Ritchie. When I then discovered that it wasn’t about that character, I held out hope that it may instead be a biopic of former WWE superstar Billy Gunn, aka “Mr Ass”. Al-ass, no.

So it’s not about bottoms then …

Sadly not. And while we’re on that topic, one of the finest “moonings” of recent times was that performed by Tottington St Johns’ very own Kieran Coe following our epic cup final victory in 2005. I don’t think my Mum’s got over the shock yet. With the 2009 cup final just 6 days away, will there be a repeat performance?

You’re going off on one again …

OK, fine. Big G and I had a bit of a debate about our viewing choice last week, and finally plumped for this on the grounds that “if we turn up at “Band Camp”, we might be marked down as a couple of ageing pervs.” I didn’t have the heart to tell him I’ve already pre-ordered the Extended Edition DVD. So we settled on Moon. In the near future, a valuable energy source has been discovered in our nearest celestial body, and so a mining camp has been set up to oversee the harvesting of this precious resource. The mining company has established a 3 year cycle in which one man oversees the operation, with just robots and machines for company. If this is starting to sound a little 2001-ish, you’re not wrong, there are parallels all the way through this.

Sam Rockwell plays the eponymous lone astronaut, Sam, who we discover is just a few scant weeks away from returning to Earth after his 3 year stint. He is in regular contact with his wife and young daughter (who he has never actually met), but as the film begins, “live” communication with Earth has unfortunately been lost and so he’s relying on periodic updates and recorded video messages for human contact. For company is the sentient computer/robot “GERTY”, voiced by Kevin Spacey. As you’d expect after so long in isolation, Sam is starting to go slightly loopy, and his daily routines of exercise, checking the harvesting machines, playing Lexulous and updating his facebook status with meaningless drivel are becoming a bit dull. And to make matters worse he’s started to hallucinate.

Just days away from his return to Earth, Sam suffers a horrifying accident out on the lunar surface, and is apparently left for dead in his mining support vehicle. Mysteriously we then see him wake up in the infirmary, with no memory of what happened. It’s at this point that things get strange. Sam then overhears GERTY apparently talking live to the mining company, despite being told that such communication is no longer possible. He initially puts this down to side effects of the accident, but then as more and more odd things start to happen, he realises that perhaps his entire existence is very different to what he believes, and he spends much of the remainder of the film piercing together exactly who he is, what he’s doing and what precisely is going on up in space.

I can’t really go into any more detail without revealing any of the films twists, but suffice to say there are quite a few, and they come thick and fast in the second act of the movie. It’s a really enjoyable film, and it is to Sam Stockwell’s credit that he manages to keep us engaged, with no other actors* for distraction.

* actually there are other characters that appear but I can’t really explain!

I did start to have the odd random thought during the film. GERTY for example, is a very dull robot that looks like it’s been nicked from a low budget 70s sci-fi flick, and with the monotone voice of Spacey, it’s not a very engaging character – it’s only when you begin to see the robot/computer may be slightly more aware of the bigger picture than his human counterpart that things pick up. Personally I’d have liked to see the computer represented as a giant keyboard and named QWERTY instead …

Clearly skype hasn’t progressed much in the future either – if the live satellite link goes down, why don’t they just do a bit of skype calling? You can’t tell me they can’t beam a signal a couple of hundred thousand miles to the lunar surface!

So, no bottoms at all?

Oh god yes! Sorry, I forgot amidst all the excitement! There is indeed a gratuitous bottom shot in the shower scene early in the film!! And we see the back of the robot a few times too 🙂

G and I really enjoyed this film – for a relatively low budget, and indeed pretty short movie, it packs quite a bit of punch. There are a lot of twists and turns, and whilst a few are very predictable, it’s still interesting to see how they’re unveiled and how that then pans out. For a film predominantly starring one actor and another man’s voice, this is the best since Phone Booth!

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