Apologies for the horrendous use of colons in that headline, in penance this week we present our mind-shattering remake of 2001: A Space Odyssey…
Tom: we’ll do 2001 next 😛
John: i’m not sure i like you any more
Tom: first thing we do….remove all ambiguity
audiences dont like to think
John: so it’ll be the first film released with the director’s commentary as part of the overall sound mix
the film needs a lot more work than that
where are the A-list actors?
where is the CGI?
HAL is fine, but he needs an evil face
John: you’re pushing me tom, you’re testing our bond
Tom: also what the fuck is a Space Odyssey? no one knows. We’ll call it 2001: A Space Adventure
well it’ll have to be 3001 since 2001 is a little dated
3001: A Space Adventure!
John: but then some people might assume it’s based on the book 3001: A Final Odyssey
Tom: with the exclaimation mark as mark as part of the title
like anyone reads these days
John: people will have to read our script though
or is this pure improv?
as long as i can retain the rights to the lunchbox merchandise on this project then you can do what you like
Tom: with actors like Paul Walker, David Arquette and Chris Klein in the lead, who needs a script?
Tom: AND despite it being a little weird, we’re keeping the big baby at the end
played by Billy Zane
the investors will be on board because of the big monkey battle at the start
John: this is starting to sound like planet of the apes
planet of the apes: in space
Tom: funny you should say that. we’ll just use longshots from the tim burton film for that
no one saw it and it’ll save money
John: and then the apes battle the fierce HAL for control of the universe?
Tom: the monkeys will have to speak too
Brian Blessed is the head gorilla
John: monkeys + robots = cashprofitmoney?
Tom: i won you back with that one
John: you always win me back with monkeys
if it works on hard-nosed film investors then it’ll definitely work on a sap like me
i want to get Calvin Harris to do the soundtrack
Tom: every 10 minutes there needs to be an action beat
open with the monkey battle
the last monkey standing throws the bone up in the air
people expecting it to cut to a spaceship
it cuts to a freaking laser rifle
huge laser rifle battle
then main character wakes up
it was just a dream
which proves our movie is so badass, people dream action set pieces
John: or maybe our main character is secretly a laser rifle-toting ape in a past life
Tom: you seem desperate to tie the apes from the start of the movie with the rest of it
John: but where’s the link?
audiences don’t like ambiguity, you said it yourself
Tom: i dont know
they just saw an epic monkey battle
but fine…we can make HAL the disembodied brain of the last surviving ape after that battle
all the other apes are dead
turns out this surviving ape was behind every one significant event on earth
he shot Kennedy
erm. invented velcro
and then becomes a mass computer brain
John: i think you’ve gone mad with power
you need to calm down
Tom: hey i was happy to leave the ape battle seperate. this is the only logical way how we can tie it into the rest of the movie
John: ok fine
can we also have a bad CGI John Colicos saying to the camera at the end “deep down we’re all a bunch of monkeys”
Tom: wow thats a sucker punch
John: roll credits
not a dry eye in the house
everyone is giving us money
Tom: dont know what to do about those monoliths
they seem irrelevant to the story so maybe remove them
no one will miss them
John: or make them into massive orbital cannons
HAL invented them
Tom: well thats works too
also HAL can have two robotic henchman, called Stanley and Kubrick, for a nice in-joke
John: won’t that involve a level of intelligence on the part of the viewer? i’m deeply troubled by a movie that starts out simply to entertain the audience with a massive monkey laser fight only to have a somewhat subtle in-joke later on
Tom: well you have to please the original fans too
John: i don’t think any of this will even remotely please the original fans
i feel that we may have to go into hiding
Tom: as a comprimise, we’ll still call it 2001: A Space Odyssey
so they know what we’re trying to do
John: that’s somehow worse
but i like it
can we have a scene of someone being put into a rubbish bin and thrown down a hill?
this is the only thing i feel the film is missing
what’s a space odyssey without a man in a bin
Tom: the bad guy will have to do that ‘Taking out the trash…the SPACE trash’
John: bin rolls slowly down the hill and exploooodes
cue Calvin Harris
Chris Klein rolls in on a trained ape
defeats HAL somehow
Arquette and the other guy help a little
someone is singing
HAL is singing to Chris Klein
Klein weeps and turns on Arquette and the other guy
Calvin Harris gets louder and appears on screen
HAL and Klein destroy everything
i want my money now please
Tom: i have a huge problem with this
drama, intrigue, sexiness
Klein riding a monkey
Tom: when i see the poster for ‘2001: A Space Odyssey- A visionary reimagining of a Stanley Kubrick movie’
i dont want to be looking at just apes and Chris Klein. that’s a bit homoerotic
i want to be looking at MEGAN FOX
and some other talented actresses
wearing skimpy space suits
John: let’s get Elisha Cuthbert in then
i want my bin scene though
it can be a real bin too. a nod to the lack of CGI used in the original
that’s two winks
John: i feel you’re playing a risky game here
Tom: we need a video game too. for the monkey battle, it can use the LOTR: Conquest engine
John: i’m off the project, you lost me at that one
going to call time on this one, here’s your last chance. what’s the tagline on the poster going to be?
‘a remake of a film that time (and space) forgot’
John: good luck with this
***Spoiler warnings! This review discusses some of the finer points of Moon which do contain a few spoilers, read at your own risk!***
I love science fiction, a fact that has been established on our show a number of times. It’s fair to say that Primer changed the way I look at the genre in regards to films, I now have this ridiculously high standard when it comes to narrative but also low standard when it comes to effects or other aspects of the film. It’s a strange way to watch a film genre being equally hyper-critical and lovingly forgiving. In Primer for example some of the sound mixing is very poor but you can forgive it easily considering the film’s painfully restrictive budget and how well it achieves its main goal of portraying a convincing depiction of time travel and the breakdown of a once close friendship. It’s hard to describe but this is the kind of mentality that I took into the cinema when I saw Moon recently.
Moon has often been compared to such stalwarts of the sci fi genre such as 2001 and Silent Running, it’s easy to see why. The film wears its influences on its sleeve with a heartfelt sincerity that’s instantly endearing. From the grainy and dirty look of the station exteriors to the pseudo-1970s design of the interiors, this film is already steeped in science fiction history from the very start. Everything in this film is a treat to fans of the genre. The premise, the design, the characters, everything.
The crux of the narrative reads like a thousand early Philip K Dick short stories. A lone worker on a Moon base carrying out the kind of maintenance that robots can’t perform wakes up in the base infirmary after suffering an accident outside on the surface. When he goes back out to investigate the crash he discovers his own body in the wreckage. What a hook! This kind of high concept science fiction is exactly what I look for in a film and Moon delivers on every level.
Considering Sam Rockwell is essentially the only visible cast member bar the ones we see fleetingly on video screens, he does a remarkable job of pulling the audience through the film. You’re with him every step and he carries the right amount of emotional weight during the heavier scenes while expertly judging the shifts in tone to more lighter comedic moments. It’s an incredibly detailed and rich performance, a performance that this film really needs its lead actor to command otherwise it’d be a crushingly dull flick.
Moon is played out with a conviction and reverence to science fiction sensibilities that’s sometimes overwhelming. Just like Primer, I couldn’t quite believe how perfect the film is in its purity as a good slice of sci fi. For all its little faults Moon is a spectacularly entertaining story near-flawlessly told.