Raise your hand if you kind of have a big ol’ crush on Sam Rockwell!  Me!  Me!  I do!  Looking back over his filmography it was probably the underrated Matchstick Men where I first really saw him and it was definitely last year’s Choke that sent me over the edge to full-fleged crush status.  He was even a charming relief in the mostly mediocre Frost/Nixon.  He manages to convey an attitude that straddles a line between self-deprecating and entierly arrogant.  He frequently seems tired and overwhelmed, like it’s just been so much work getting to where he is that maybe he needs to sit down for a minute.  He’s always  little bit dirty.  And his new vehicle Moon let me in on another secret: he has a hot ass.  I’m not one of those girls that’s always like “Ooh, look at that guy’s ass!”  For the most part, I could give a shit.  But I’ll be damned if his ass didn’t look really good in those space jumpsuits.

All of this is to say that if you swoon at the sight of quirky indie bad boy Sam Rockwell like I do, you will probably find Moon to be wholly watchable.  If you are ambivalent or hold any negative feelings towards him, well, you might not.

The year is…sometime in the not so distant future.  Sam Bell (Rockwell) is working alone on the Moon, seemingly mining resources for use as energy back on earth.  He spends his days in the station with no companionship besides intermittent video messages from the company for whom he works and his wife and daughter and a space computer voiced by Kevin Spacey.  As the film begins he is nearing the end of his 3 year contract and preparing to return home to earth.  Unfortunately, something goes awry and when he returns to the ship after crashing his moon-mobile (I’m certain there is a more technical term for this) he finds himself face to face with a hotter, meaner, better groomed version of himself.  At first it’s impossible to tell if this is real or if so much time alone in space with KevinSpaceyComputer has caused him to go insane.  We quickly realize that the former is true and the two Sam Bell’s have to both figure out why there are two of them and how they will get back to earth unharmed.

The premise of Moon treads familiar science fiction ground and while it is an intrinsically interesting idea, something is missing in its execution.  The pacing of the film is uneven: it’s slow to get started then throws a lot of information at you, rapid fire.  Combined with direction that is passable at best and characterization that never goes quite as deep as I wanted it to left Moon without the stakes that it needed to be a really good movie.  By the end, I was still interested but the amount that I actually cared about the outcome was slim to none.  It also suffered from overscoring which is admittedly a pet peeve of mine but makes it that much easier to dismiss dramatic events with a frustrated eye-roll. 

I enjoyed watching Moon, but it’s the kind of movie that you’re not going to keep thinking about when it’s over…unless you see it on Netflix and wonder “why wasn’t that movie better”*

*or, “Sam Rockwell has a hot ass”

This entry was written by FilmFemme , posted on Thursday June 18 2009at 10:06 am , filed under drama, indie, reviews, sci fi . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

6 Responses to “Moon”

  • shine says:

    Okay, I do. He’s just so…quirky. He had me at the only reason I watched Charlie’s Angels. Or something that makes sense.

  • Patrick says:

    On Christmas, I saw Sam Rockwell and Paul Schneider at the Arclight. They were seeing the same screening of that shiftfest Benjamin Button. They both had that world-weary, disheveled look about them, which I think might have had something to do with the actressy chicks they were with. I never found out what they thought of Benjamin Button.

    I prefer the sequel to “Moon,” where he watches all the bad movies with those two robot guys.

  • spectacle_triage says:


    For a much deeper look in the same realm as Moon’s attempt at thought-provocation, I’ve been told to read

    In it, you can cook up copies of yourself, that can then go off and do whatever. When they come back you can download what they’ve experienced back into you. They are fully sentient, but only survive for a few days. So, some people have them go do dangerous shit, others boring shit, but no matter what the copies die after some amount of time. (or so I’m told)

    Apparently there are ethical issues with this… that I don’t seem to have, so it doesn’t provoke all that much thought for me… aside from like “fuck yeah, if I were a kiln-me I would be psyched to go fight some other kiln-person to the death so that the real me could experience it vicariously … what’s the issue?”

  • FilmFemme says:

    Patrick, you make me laugh. Also, “world weary” is exactly what I meant by saying he looks like he needs to sit down. A much more eloquent way of putting it.

    As for Kiln People, I swear I have seen a trailer for a movie about this same thing (practically) that is coming out soon. I can’t figure out what it was though. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just from a Vicodin dream that I had…

  • spectacle_triage says:

    I think it was less of a Vicodin dream, and more of a Vicodin watching of some MTV pseudo-reality show like The Hills. They totally grow those people in ovens and keep backup clones around for when they finally see themselves on television and commit suicide. That’s how Spencer and Heidi have quit that one show so many times… they just keep quitting and being fed to baby jungles animals. Then their clones are “woken up again” and say “I’m a celebrity, get me outta here!”… wash, rinse, repeat.

    Seriously, his name is Pratt? Are those to completely fabricated people? Did MTV just figure out that everyone only knows that wrestling is fake because you can’t hit someone with a chair… so they make millions by fabricating villainous shills to be the object of America’s attention and spite? Well, that’s certainly true, I suppose the question is if the shills are in on the joke or not…

  • RoboNixon says:

    I enjoyed Moon in the way that I enjoy reading short sci-fi collections: Interesting idea, interesting questions arise, and ultimately, at the end, you feel like someone presented something new to you that made you think about things in a different way, if only for an hour (or two).

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