Film Review : Moon
Think your job is monotonous? Spare a thought for Sam Bell who comprises the entire crew of the lunar base that supplies the Earth with Helium3. Sam looks after the giant automatic mining machines that rove the Moon's surface, sending back the recovered fuel to a world he hasn't seen in years. The only thing to talk to is GERTY - a banal robot that helps to keep the base functional.
Hardly ideal working conditions, but if that wasn't enough real-time communications with home have been cut off. Sam is only able to exchange short, recorded messages with his wife and mining company superiors, and the isolation is beginning to get to him. The good news is that he only has a few more weeks to go before his three year contract is up and he can return to his family. But even a week can be a long time for a man in such a fragile mental state...
For a low budget sci-fi film, Moon holds up very well. The tone is more reminiscent of more thoughtful films such as 2001 A Space Odyssey rather than the more usual alien infested fare. The plot moves at a fairly slow pace, but the lead actor (Sam Rockwell) and spectacular effects (the outdoor lunar surface looks particularly good) go a long way to make up for it. The one thing I thought was a little grating was that Sam was a fairly unlikable character to watch at times, stubborn and a little dim, but that can be explained by the tense situation - the film does a good job of putting you inside his one-note life.
Apparently Moon cost only 5 million dollars to make, but manages to both look more impressive and tell a better story than its blockbuster siblings. Highly recommended if you like this sort of thing.