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[Comments] (1) You Will Go To See Moon: You should, anyway. It's a good movie. I'll see pretty much any movie set on the moon (offer not good for other celestial bodies) and this is one of the best. It's got beautiful visuals, the characterization is great, and the callbacks to precursors (2001 and Silent Running) are well-done and often extremely inventive. But I can't leave well enough alone, I have to pick at things.

There's artistic license stuff like sound in space and stars visible from the lunar surface during the daytime. That stuff doesn't really bother me, and Moon at least gave alternate POVs for most of the sound you heard while the camera was in vacuum. There's stuff that would just be too expensive to get right, like filming all the scenes in lunar gravity. Moon did get the exterior scenes right. And then there's... the whole premise of the movie. Which doesn't make any sense.

And the movie knows it. As in many movies, there's a scene where the characters nibble around the fact that the premise doesn't make any sense, and then defuse it with a joke and move on. I call this the "Gremlins 2" solution. I wasn't even happy about it in Gremlins 2, which played it for laughs. I'm sorry but I can't let it go.

It's a good enough movie that I keep thinking of ways to tell similar stories without doing anything nonsensical. While the movie was going on I coped with the situation by deciding I was watching a horror movie. Horror movies work on the logic of nightmares, where something like what happens in Moon can make sense. But it's not satisfying to me as science fiction.

The other thing I was worried about was that this movie would be so similar to a story I wrote that I'd never be able to sell the story, but despite some shared inspirations the stories are pretty different. Not that I'll ever sell that story!

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Posted by Leonard at Mon Jun 29 2009 16:00

A spoilerous example of a great callback. HAL in "2001" is programmed to want the mission to be a success, and given great flexibility towards that goal. Meeting the goal takes precedence over the health of the crew, so HAL starts killing people to meet it.

Gertie in "Moon" is programmed to protect Sam, and given great flexibility towards that goal. Protecting Sam takes precedence over the success of the mission, so Gertie helps Sam ruin the mission rather than see him die.

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