Our brand new writer, Chris Inman, has not only provided the world with his top five movies of 2009, he now furnishes you lucky people with his top twenty movies of the decade. A couple of controversial more recent choices are included and should be debated immediately, but otherwise it’s a bloody strong list that will definitely find one followers amongst the existing MOD clan who will thoroughly agree with the winner.
Onwards then, and look our for more articles to come from Chris in the very near future as he kicks off his tenure with us in earnest.
This week we debate the merits of remaking my favourite film of all time, Primer…
Tom: we’ll do Primer next
all 6 versions of the protagonist fight through time
John: they’ll fight the other guy
7 to 6
Tom: dont worry. the outnumbered guy went back to prehistoric time and stole a T-Rex egg
he reared it for many years, and rides it with a saddle
John: maybe each one of the 6 Aarons could get an awesome weapon from different eras
like a trebuchet
and a howitzer
also, Abe has been recast with Wesley Snipes
Tom: i love it
‘Your TIME has run out Abe’ Aaron shoots Abe with a blunderbuss
lots of time puns
‘You’re LATE for your funeral’
John: early to bed, early to die
Tom: we might have to steal from The Fly, and have some creature get in the box while Abe is travelling
John: that’s so crushingly lame it could work
somewhere along the line aaron becomes a woman
Tom: who gives birth to the original Aaron
creating the ultimate paradox
John: which the movie then proceeds to never address again
close-up shot of Willem Defoe screaming
Tom: the sequel can be called Primers, and is set in a dystopic future, where everyone carries around a time travelling box
John: box? too unwieldy. in the future everyone carries around a metal sash
Tom: except one unassuming character who can travel through time at will and is the chosen one
he is THE PRIMER!!!
and wears black glasses and a long leather coat to prove this
John: he wears it because it was the first coat ever given to him (by himself from the future)
some terrible symbolism in there: first coat, primer, paint
i think i’m falling out of love with this project
Tom: you could say it’s before its time
John: time to call it a day
***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.