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I just came out of a screening, and can't say anything yet, except plan on seeing this.

And please, for the love of moviegoing, read as little as possible about this film before you see it. Spoilers will be everywhere, and that's a shame.

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Well, the subheadline on this thread mentions Kevin Spacey, which is already more than I knew about the film before, I think.

But that's not why I'm here today. I'm here today because I just found out (or was just reminded) that the director of this film, Duncan Jones, is the Child Of An Artist formerly known as Zowie Bowie.

There wouldn't happen to be any "Ground Control to Major Tom" references in here, or "The Man Who Fell to Earth" references in here, would there? :)

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 4 weeks later...
There wouldn't happen to be any "Ground Control to Major Tom" references in here, or "The Man Who Fell to Earth" references in here, would there? :)

I don't think so. But you do get plenty of

2001: A Space Odyssey

as well as

Solaris

.

And while Moon doesn't ultimately reach for transcendence in the manner of those touchstones, it engages some of the same fundamental themes in a remarkably strong and assured way.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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Some people have had the experience of having this movie come apart for them somewhat with time and further reflection. I'm happy to say that my experience has been sort of the opposite. Misgivings about the film's depth have dissipated as I've thought and written about it, and I admire it more now than I did the day after I saw it.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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SDG, does this mean we will see this review from you at your website at some point? Perhaps on the date of the wide release? (I thought I would see it last Friday, when it opened in NY and LA, and was bummed when it didn't appear. Incorrect expectations - drat them!)

I got dratted by incorrect expectations myself over the last month or so, and pre-release screening opportunities I expected to come to pass didn't (to say no more). I saw the film this weekend, and my review will appear this Friday at CTMovies with a teaser at Decent Films, with the full review at Decent Films on Saturday.

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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So... it's playing now? We can talk about it? It played here in Seattle at the Film Festival, so I guess I can say a few words.

While there are a few moments in the film that feel a little forced to me, I am otherwise enthusiastic. It is a work of compressed and concentrated storytelling that reminded me of Primer and the original Alien. (I'm especially reminded of Alien with the film's simplistic sci-fi sets and claustrophobia-inducing sense of space.) I really like how everything looks clunky and "lived-in." Sam Rockwell's performance is really impressive. The special effects are modest but very effective. And while I think the nods to 2001 and Solaris feel a little overdone, and Spacey's voice makes it hard for me to suspend disbelief... those are more quibbles than complaints.

I need to see it again, because once the "twist" is revealed... or once you see it coming... the early scenes of the film deserve another look.

Fortunately, it's a film that is about much more than its own twist, so there are plenty of reasons to revisit it.

Having never seen Silent Running, I can't join the masses making that connection.

Edited by Overstreet

P.S.  I COULD BE WRONG.

 

Takin' 'er easy for all you sinners at lookingcloser.org. Also abiding at Facebook and Twitter.

 

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It is a work of compressed and concentrated storytelling that reminded me of Primer and the original Alien.

Actually, having watched a few clips posted on comingsoon.net, I was reminded of Primer quite a bit (a good thing). I got this weird sense of dread too. Is that apparent in the movie, or was I just projecting something onto the clips that really wasn't there?

Having never seen Silent Running, I can't join the masses making that connection.

For a split second I thought you meant this movie! :P

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  • 4 weeks later...

Thanks for the review, Steven, although I remain unsure what to think about the film -- and that uncertainty is in itself a bit of a disappointment, as you and Jeffrey had hinted at great things.

Maybe Moon is a great thing, but my gut says "no." This movie had me for about half its running time, but somewhere along the way -- I'm still trying to figure out when, and why -- it became ... conventional. The climax of the film, with its loud, pulsating music, is so out of keeping with the rest of the film's tone that I don't see how it could be overlooked as a minor mistake. I thought it might have been forced on the filmmakers by the studio. It's that out of keeping with everything else. I didn't have to wait until I thought about it afterward for the film to "fall apart," as you mention others have experienced.

As you can tell, I left the theater a bit miffed, and that's now settling into disappointment. But I want to cling to that first half of the film and talk about how good it is. If only I didn't have to deal with the story's resolution. I'm thinking primarily of the resolution in terms of execution, not in terms of themes. I'm not sure what I was supposed to conclude thematically.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I don't know why we're dancing around the "twist." Steven mentions that several reviews give away the twist, which he avoids doing in his own review, but the studio apparently thinks the twist is something that should be publicized. They've included it in the plot summary posted on the Moon Web site. I'll black it out, but I don't know why we need to talk around it:

It is the near future. Astronaut Sam Bell is living on the far side of the moon, completing a three-year contract with Lunar Industries to mine Earth

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Thanks for the review, Steven, although I remain unsure what to think about the film -- and that uncertainty is in itself a bit of a disappointment, as you and Jeffrey had hinted at great things.

Yeah, "great" is too strong a word. I really admire what the guy did though.

I'm thinking primarily of the resolution in terms of execution, not in terms of themes. I'm not sure what I was supposed to conclude thematically.

Well, it's open-ended, but what I took from it had to do with "the deconstruction of human nature and the commodification of human life" as well as "existential loneliness, alienation and the dehumanizing effects of corporate ruthlessness."

I don't know why we're dancing around the "twist." Steven mentions that several reviews give away the twist, which he avoids doing in his own review, but the studio apparently thinks the twist is something that should be publicized.

The studio isn't always right. :) This is one case where less (foreknowledge) = more (of a viewing experience).

“I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” — Flannery O'Connor

Writing at the new Decent Films | Follow me on Twitter and Facebook

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This Duncan Jones interview with Dave Poland includes the director's explanation, about three quarters of the way through the interview (the running time isn't displayed)

of who "the real Sam" is and his role in the ongoing events on the moon

. He also says that his next film

will include a cameo of Sam and an indication of what comes after the conclusion of

Moon

.

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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What are we to make of the model Sam is building, and his specific mention of the church and Salvation Army building? He also calls the game of ping-pong very

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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This seems like an authentic post on IMDB from Duncan Jones Here.

Edited by Persona

In an interstellar burst, I am back to save the Universe.

Filmsweep by Persona. 2013 Film Journal. IlPersona.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Loved this film and I was so pleased to see the fusion of Bradbury and Kubrick style with the Absurd thematic territory of Beckett. It was enjoyable, moving and fascinating.

Show hidden text
It was so strange to find myself trying to sympathize with a clone and never actually meeting or seeing the original. It called to mind the idea that we are all just living infinitely reiterable existences that are little more than an imitation of something real. Baudrillard writes of the Simulacra, when the imitation, or simulation, is as the real as much (if not more) than the referent. This movie explored that territory. Is our life similar to Sam Bell's. Are we living disposable lives that have been lived before and will be lived again? Are the memories we hold on to even our "own" or are they the remnant of when we were real many years ago?
Edited by DanBuck
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This was one of those movies I thoroughly enjoyed watching, for the acting and the fact that I couldn't guess what was going to happen or predict what the character(s) were going to say. I didn't find myself pondering it long after or anything. It was like a really excellent episode of The Twilight Zone.

I do love Sam Rockwell. For me, his performance in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (which I loved) was absolutely top, top notch.

Sara Zarr

author, person.

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Overstreet wrote:

: (I'm especially reminded of Alien with the film's simplistic sci-fi sets and claustrophobia-inducing sense of space.)

That's funny, because I kept thinking how spacious the interior of that base looked, compared to most "realistic" sci-fi space bases.

I, too, wondered what to make of the church and the Salvation Army in the model village. And I'm surprised that no one has yet mentioned here the fact that the four lunar harvesters (stripping the surface of the moon, oh no) are named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (or that Sam renames the third harvester "Judas" after it stops to function). Or that Sam prays silently during one of the climactic moments. Maybe one of the links gets into those motifs, but I don't have time to check them out right now.

Side note: I caught a matinee of this after attending a morning preview screening of District 9 (which ALSO takes a lo-fi, realistic approach to spaceships etc.!) and before attending an evening preview screening of Adam (which concerns a guy with Asperger's who's a huge astronomy buff!). Today was my space day: space, space, space, space, space. And thankfully, I at least liked all three movies.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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  • 2 months later...

I had a hard time watching this without seeing/hearing the guy from Psych. Which wasn't actually a bad thing at all.

Edited by MLeary

"...the vivid crossing of borders between film and theology may save the film from the banality of cinema and festival business, and it may also save the church from the deep sleep of the habitual and the always known."

(Hans Werner Dannowski)

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  • 2 months later...

*My comments from the duplicate Moon thread I created when I couldn't find this one.*

(FWIW, an A&F: Moonhit came up when I Googled it, but the link took me to the thread for The Song of Bernadette.)

Anyway, I finally got to see Moon since it's out on DVD now, and I really hope someone in the awards pantheon recognizes Rockwell for his work here. It's my favorite performance of the year so far. (There are still several 2009 movies I haven't gotten to see yet.) The making-of and special effects featurettes on the DVD make his performance even more impressive, by the way.

I was expecting Moon to be more of a "puzzle" movie than it was, so I was a little wary when I guessed the twist twenty minutes into the movie and wondered how they were going to drag it out for another hour. But thankfully, the movie doesn't just rest on its premise.

Edit: Like some other people in the thread, I was a little disappointed by the ending. Not so much because it didn't fit the movie as because it veered toward a more conventional sci-fi story, which it had avoided up until then.

It's the side effects that save us.
--The National, "Graceless"
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