Sundance Review: Moon

In the near future, Astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) is sent on a three year mission to live on the far side of the moon and mine Helium-3, a chemical that has now become Earth's primary source of energy. His moon base has lost live communication with Earth and is rather lonely. But luckily his contract is almost up and he will soon return home to his loving wife Tess and their three year old daughter Eve. But as the final days clock down, Sam suffers a freak accident and discovers a secret which puts into question everything. This is only the beginning. What is Lunar Industries up to?I'm a huge sci-fi geek, so I guess I'm predisposed to like a film like Moon. The film is a throw back to the old space sci-fi films of the 1970's, and even borrows heavily from Kubrick's 2001. But at it's core, the story is WALL-E meets The Island with Twilight Zone undertones. It”s a film filled with interesting ideas — big ideas, like any great sci-fi film. Charlie Kaufman was unable to construct a better horror film about death with last year's Synecdoche, New York.

Sam Rockwell gives a multi-layered dual performance. Kevin Spacey provides the dry voice of the robot Gerty, which is an advanced version of Hal 9000. Able to move around the space station on a track mounted to the ceiling, Gerty also is equipped with a robotic arm and a hilarious smiley face display screen. Clint Mansell turns in possibly his best non-Aronofsky score, and I can't wait to download it.

Produced on a low budget by first time filmmaker Duncan Jones, Moon makes great use of realitic sets, a remote control robot, old school miniature work, and even some CG. Like last year's Sleep Dealer, I'm convinced that Moon is at the beginning of a new renaissance of indie sci-fi feature films which will challenge Hollywood's big budget computer generated spectacles.

/Film Rating: 8 out of 10