– Mark Twain
Duncan Jones is a genius. In bringing his feature debut Moon to the big screen he has made a film that pays graceful homage to such luminaries as Kubrick, Spielberg, and Robert Wise to name a few, and can stand proudly in their company with his beautiful metaphysical movie which is as accomplished in its execution as it is limitless in its ambition.
Jones’s Moon is a unique and intelligent thriller with the twin benefits of an outstanding (and Oscar-worthy turn) by Sam Rockwell and a script which takes familiar sci-fi concepts and draws out a superior narrative without ever relying on the conventions of the genre. It is an incredibly difficult trick to pull off, but as I was watching the film I sat literally breathless in admiration as Jones let the story flow, with its dramatic plot twists underplayed to such a degree that I realised Jones had complete faith in his story and his actors that he didn’t need any artificial music shocks or strobe lighting to imbue the atmosphere with a tangible weight and power.
It is a triumphant debut and Jones has established himself as one of Britain’s foremost talents and has sent a warning shot across the bows of lesser directors and the cynical mentality of appealing to the lowest common denominator. Not only is this the most exciting sci-fi of the last ten years it is a contender for one of the best films of our young century.
Seeing the film on Blu-ray makes for a compelling experience and the effective model work is rendered with clarity and the dull and muted colours of the film are given a glorious sheen in High Definition. The score by Clint Mansell is incredibly evocative and communicates the isolation and stark nature of life on the Moon. Jones’s direction is aided by the impeccable design work by concept designer Gavin Rothery, production designer Tony Noble and his art directors Hideki Arichi and Josh Fifarek; they combine to create a complete world of perfunctory utility and deprication. Though it is inspired by the dreary monochrome of 70s sci-fi classics it avoids visual plagiarism with its own touches, Kevin Spacey as GERTY is so close to Kubrick’s HAL and yet feels so far removed from the psychotic entity of 2001 that any comparisons vanish as the story plays out.
The Extras are where this disc excels though, the film is a sublime philosophical thriller inspiring genuine emotions throughout and Jones is on hand in the two commentary tracks and the filmed Q&A sessions included on the disc to explain his influences and the real science behind this film. Each extra feature is well worth your time and the Blu-ray is an embarrassment of riches. Jones’s short Whistle is included as is a captivating Making Of featurette.
I cannot recommend this Blu-ray enough. Not only do you get to see one of the most arresting films in years, complete with stunning design work and a flawless performance by Sam Rockwell, the extras on the disc make this an essential purchase.
Blu-ray details are included at the foot of this post, and we’ve got four clips from the film to convince you, if this review failed to persuade you, to part with you money and enjoy this film.
Check out this fantastic eBay Moon Auction page selling props from the movie and you can find out more about Moon from the official site here.
Haircut from GERTY
Message from home
Blu-ray Special Features:
Commentary with writer / director Duncan Jones, director of photography Gary Shaw, concept designer Gavin Rothery and production designer Tony Noble
Commentary with writer / director Duncan Jones and producer Stuart Fenegen
Whistle – a short film by Duncan Jones
The Making Of Moon featurette
GERTY Table Tennis Easter Egg
Creating the Visual Effects featurette
Science Centre Q&A with Duncan Jones featurette
Filmmakers Q&A at the Sundance Film Festival featurette