Astronaut Sam Bell has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, where he, working alongside his computer, GERTY, sends back to Earth parcels of a resource that has helped diminish our planet's power problems.
Sam Bell has a three year contract to work for Lunar Industries. For the contract's entire duration, he is the sole employee based at their lunar station. His primary job responsibility is to harvest and periodically rocket back to Earth supplies of helium-3, the current clean and abundant fuel used on Earth. There is no direct communication link available between the lunar station and Earth, so his only direct real-time interaction is with GERTY, the intelligent computer whose function is to attend to his day to day needs. With such little human contact and all of it indirect, he feels that three years is far too long to be so isolated; he knows he is beginning to hallucinate as the end of his three years approaches. All he wants is to return to Earth to be with his wife Tess and their infant daughter Eve, who was born just prior to his leaving for this job. With two weeks to go, he gets into an accident at one of the mechanical harvesters and is rendered unconscious. Injured, he ... Written by
The film makes several references to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). GERTY looks and sounds similar to HAL 9000. They also have a similar dot: HAL's is red and GERTY's is blue. This film choreographs scenes in space to classical music, just as Stanley Kubrick did. See more »
Lunar regolith that has been turned over by harvesters is shown as darker than untouched regolith, but in fact newly exposed regolith, for example that which has been exposed by meteorites, is bright, becoming darker with age. See more »
Searching for long-range comms.
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The letters in the credits at the beginning of the movie, are sitting parallel to the surfaces that are shown and are also casting shadows/reflections on these surfaces. See more »
While book racks are brimming with thought provoking, high concept science fiction, the movie genre tends to be populated by invading aliens, intergalactic wars, and adventure, which makes Director and co-writer Duncan Jones' Moon that much more of an oddity.
Not since Steven Soderbergh's much overlooked 2002 rendition of Stanislaw Lem's Solaris has a movie firmly rooted in the sci-fi realm delivered reflections on the human condition, which Moon does deftly.
It tells the story of Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), the only inhabitant of an automated lunar mining base extracting Helium-3 from lunar rocks to be shipped back to Earth to fuel the energy starved planet.
Sam's isolated three year posting is about to come to an end and he longs to return to Earth to see his wife. His only company throughout this sojourn has been that of Gerty, the base's HAL-like robot voiced by Kevin Spacey. Unfortunately, the final weeks and days are proving to be the most difficult, and Sam finds himself going a bit squirrelly, leaving both he and the audience to wonder if what's unfolding is actually happening, or merely a drama taking place in his addled mind.
That's about as much plot detail as I'm going to deliver, for to delve any deeper into the story would give too much away. Be prepared, however, for a thought provoking narrative that touches on issues such as scientific ethics, corporate greed, human identity, and compassion.
There are no aliens, lasers/phasers, wormholes, warp engines or jump drives here, just a lonely space age concierge, an unflappable monotone robot, and a whole lot of fodder for your brain to chow down on.
This is what science fiction was meant to be.
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