Friday, July 3, 2009

Is Good Sci-Ii Making a Comeback?

Plain and simple, Moon is a movie to watch as soon as possible. Today marks the first time in a while that I have been to the Fox Tower theatre downtown since Juno was released. I don't like downtown but I think that I am going to have to venture there to visit this theatre more often as it houses the more independent movies in town. Actually, the Hollywood theatre and Cinema 21 do as well, but I'll just lump them in with Fox Tower.

I'm getting pretty tired of the big blockbusters and their rehashing of tired old stories. While the Roland Emmerich and Michael Bay movies serve their purpose a shift in the flow of my money that goes to those pictures is going to have to be diverted to more independent films. Not to say that I'm smarter than the upcoming 2012, because I'm not, I am very excited for that one, but I am more excited for the underdogs nowadays. I am excited for the filmmaker's attention to be focused on the story and tone and the craft of the film instead of money being thrown at effects. I love big effects movies and again, I bring up 2012 because I've never seen world destruction in a trailer look more convincing. But those movies will always be there. Films like Moon won't be. They are too risky and I can't see Moon raking in many millions. But I hope that it gains an audience in time or gets a wider release soon.

Intelligent Sci-fi is something lacking in today's cinemas. Knowing could have been it if there was about $100 million dropped off the budget, major recastings, and the ideas that were there, further explored. With only a $5 million budget, director Duncan Jones puts his efforts into the story and creating a believable world. The lunar effects are all done with convincing miniatures and practical mock-ups and the set is all interconnected, lending to a cohesive and claustrophobic feeling. Being the first in a planned trilogy of Moon films, this is a great entry in what is shaping up to be an amazing story arc.

Where the film really shines is in the performance of Sam Rockwell. Not really a big Hollywood leading name, Rockwell has stuck to a more supporting character role in his career up until last year's Choke and completely holds his own in this film. Being the sole person on screen for the majority of the film there wasn't a moment that I wished he hadn't gotten the role. This film has solidified Sam Rockwell as one of my favorite actors working today.

I am aware that I haven't written anything about the plot of the film and that has been intentional. All you need to know is that it takes place on our moon. Avoid the trailer if you can and go watch this movie. That's it. I'm done. You can go back to watching your soccer game.


Bryce said...

I appreciate the lack of plot disclosure in your write-up. I saw Moon last weekend, and it was really good. I have never categorized myself as a sci-fi fan, but maybe I am . . . but in more of a Twilight Zone way than a Star Wars way. Big ups to watching soccer!!