September 10th, 2010

moon

(this entry is about a movie that I saw.  as such, it obviously contains spoilers.  viewer discretion is advised)

Could somebody please tell me what's so great about the movie Moon?  I mean, it was okay enough, but I don't understand the effusive praise that everybody's heaping onto it.

For one thing, I think the pacing was off.  Way, way, way too slow.  Too many scenes of him walking around the space station.  And yes, I get it, this is supposed to convey loneliness.  But really, like I wouldn't get it anyway?  People who've heard me rant on the subject will know that I think very few movies should be longer than 90 minutes.  A really good movie (or book, or meal, or painting, or whatever) should always leave you wanting more.  I feel like movies have gotten progressively longer over the past 15 years, to the point where even goofy comedies regularly clock in at over two hours.  Rarely am I left wanting more.  So yes, I think this movie could be shorter, and I think they could have trimmed a lot of the "Sam Rockwell walking around the space station" and "Sam Rockwell sitting there and being sad".

Second, I'm not so okay with the plot twists.  The clone thing I saw coming a mile away.  And the thing with the computer being good and not evil?  Well, okay, I didn't see that coming, but they squander this plot twist by leaving it completely unexplained.  I mean, at least we know that HAL violated his programming because of acute proximity to the God Child or whatever.  But why does GERTY help out Sam and do all kinds of shit his programmers would never want him to do?  We don't know.  We'll never know.  It doesn't make any sense.  When does a plot twist become a plot hole?  Well, they're treading dangerously close here.

And I'm not even going to talk about the whole flawed premise of the thing.  For one thing, why clones?  And why three years?  Is there some kind of radiation on the moon that kills people after three years?  Couldn't they just give the workers better protective gear?  Couldn't they just hire people to work the moon base, saving themselves all the technology and psychological manipulation necessary to create this sort of legion of brainwashed clones, not to mention the risk of being exposed for crimes against humanity?  Who the hell is running this company anyway!? 

Okay, okay, enough negging.  So what did I like about the movie?  Well, I liked Sam Rockwell.  I liked his acting.  I liked the dialogue.  Basically, I liked most of the scenes that had Sam interacting with ... Sam.  At first, I was bugged at how unsurprised they were to see each other.  I expected so much more "OH MY GOD HOLY SHIT I'M A CLONE WHAT THE FUCK!?"  But actually, I kinda liked the way the movie treated the situation.  I like how the two sort of grudgingly accept each other, while at the same time being constantly annoyed.  It seems realistic.  I mean, if you suddenly met your clone, you'd definitely look out for him, you'd feel common cause, etc, but at the same time, tell me you wouldn't be annoyed!  I mean, think of all the things you don't like about yourself, personified in a single person who looks like you, sounds like you, and for all intents and purposes, *is* you.  Pretty realistic.  So yeah, I liked that aspect of the film.

In all, it was a decent-enough film, not by any means revolutionary, and as such, it fits squarely into the "80" part of my 10-10-80 theory of film.