(Didn’t go to the theater this week, but did catch a little known movie on STARZ. A total GEM I must share with you! So here I am.)
Starring: Sam Blackwell, Kevin Spacey, Dominique McElligot, Kaya Scodelario and more.
Directed/Written by: Duncan Jones. Screenplay: Nathan Parker
Premise: Sam Bell has been under contract to be on the Moon for the last 3 years maintaining equipment and sending shipments of H3 back to earth. His contract is almost up and he’s about to go home when there’s an accident. He wakes up in medical only to find out he’s been restricted to base, despite the fact one of the machines is not functioning and he needs to go repair it. Feeling stubborn, Sam creates a problem so he’s able to convince GERTY, his semi AI computer companion, to lift the restriction. Going out to the harvester, he finds a wrecked buggy and someone inside – and he’s alive.
Review: This isn’t your typical SF movie. But it is a more typical SF short story! And that’s one of the things that makes this movie totally awesome. It doesn’t try to be super exciting, or overwhelm you with special effects or action (though all that is there is very well done). What it is is a well told story, with great acting, great props, and an awesome starry sky.
Sam Blackwell did a great job, even more so when you consider that he’s just about the only character in the movie (97% all him!). There is a lot of subtlety in the script and it is made of awesome. Human nature is shown in many levels and I loved the visible differences between Sam in 3 years. (I’m trying not to give too much away! It’s so hard! You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it!)
Kevin Spacey as the voice of GERTY was a blast. Dead pan forte! I loved how they made the computer a unit with independent arms and how the main console and its arm pieces rolled on ceiling grid tracks. Even more fun was the small screen on the computer’s front side. It would show different smiley faces for the emotions it was trying to emulate. At first it seemed a little silly, but the longer I watched the movie the more poignant those smiley faces became. Kudos for that!
Many significant moments were beautifully underplayed. They were the type of thing that on their own would mean nothing, but when placed in the context meant so much more than you’d ever imagine. When Sam pulls off the “kick me” sign off the back of GERTY’s unit, I teared up. Such a simple sign of affection and new found respect. Yet something the computer itself would never be aware of and there for us to notice or miss on our own.
The movie might seem a little slow, but it is only to allow the watcher to digest each layer as the veil is slowly but inexorably peeled back. Well worth it. There are several things the characters never says but they are obvious in the showing. Even the ending you pick up from reports spoken but unseen, as if that result truly is nothing when compared to the realizations made on the Moon itself.
Make sure to look out at the sky whenever Sam goes out driving. It’s gorgeous! And exactly what you’d see without atmosphere clouding out the stars. Movie is worth it for that view alone! Heh heh
If you love Science Fiction and the social aspects it brings into question, this movie is totally for you!
Rating: 4.25 out of 5!