Sun 17 Mar 2013
I recently formed a sci-fi movie club along with some other friends, where we watch a movie each month and chat about it with each other. The catch is that none of the others are based in the city that I am in, so it’s all done electronically: we stream movies from iTunes or wherever, and discuss it over email. It’s a bit different from the book club that I’m in, but still enjoyable. Kate is convinced that the real purpose of the club is to justify watching movies that none of the partners of those involved would ever want to watch. She is entitled to her theory.
But I wanted to mention one of the movies that we’ve watched that I found surprisingly enjoyable. It seems to be a film that got very little attention at the time, although it is a bit of a gem.
A well-made sci-fi mystery set on the moon
There was clearly a big budget set aside for this film. The production values are apparent from the very beginning, and yet the special effects are not gratuitous, despite being set in space. The movie is all about the story.
However, it doesn’t rush the story, and perhaps this feels a little slow at times, but also builds a sense of suspense around what is going to happen next. There is a real mystery here. The acting is also first-class, supporting the feeling of unease around the events. Even the robot character, Gerty, is well “acted”, which is a rare thing indeed.
I found it interesting how Gerty is given just three or four emoticon-type expressions based on how advanced the AI is otherwise. It is probably a fair approach to avoiding any uncanny-valley problems.
In hind-sight, this feels a lot like old-school sci-fi, of the ilk of Robert Heinlein. He was keen on Moon stories, too.