Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hey, you have to be more careful. This is a dangerous neighborhood.

Sobriety is a game for the thick-skinned and unfortunately I am one overly sensitive motherfucker. I've come down to this conclusion after about half a year, so I've been thinking on how to get back to not giving a fuck anymore. I don't know, maybe I don't need booze or weed, maybe I just need some time alone for a while, like on that island I was going on about in my Man with the Golden Gun ramblings, or better yet, my unemployed ass should try to find a job that would take me far away, all alone, with minimal possibility of getting a bug up my ass about something.

Take Sam Bell in Moon, for instance. This fuckin' guy has a job working on the motherfuckin' luna, and he's contracted to stay up there, all by his lonesome, for three years. That would be an awesome fucking job for me, but I'm not a fictional character in a movie with a futuristic setting, so I guess I'm fucked there. In this flick, some Enron of the future has figured out how to harvest something called Helium-3 from the moon and they're using that shit to help give Earth some much needed energy resources.

Of course I have to digress, so let me say how I'm all for not depending on oil anymore to power our shit. I'm down with more of those wimpy-looking Priuses (Priusi?) on our streets and all that. Not because I'm some Save-the-Earth environmentalist, but because I'd like nothing more than for our country to finally be able to say "Hey, (name of country redacted) -- GO FUCK YOURSELVES!" when it comes to how we're getting that precious black gold to begin with. I want this Helium-3 stuff or Mr. Fusion to become a reality soon. If we absolutely need to still use oil, then lets just fuckin' go Daniel Plainview on our coastlines and do a little DRAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIINAGE on those beaches. And before you start moaning about drilling the waters, let me just remind you that jellyfish will sting you, sharks will eat you and surfers are just a bunch of assholes. If it has to get to that point, fuck 'em.

Anyway, even though they have these harvesters roving all around the moon, the Weyland/Yutani's who run the whole Helium-3 deal need guys like Sam Bell to for any necessary manual fix-its and to make sure everything's everything. One can only hope the gig pays really well, because in Sam's case, he's leaving behind a wife and kid at home. It seems to be pretty comfortable up there on the moon base, and any free time Sam has can be taken up occupied with the use of a gym, reruns on television, and enough wood to carve a whole model town out of (he brought a tree along with him?). If there are any downsides to it, it would have to be having to eat English-style breakfasts out of plastic bags. Oh, and then I guess there's that whole loneliness thing as well. That can really suck.

Sam's only company is a gay HAL 9000 voiced by Kevin Spacey (no comment), but even with a talking computer, he still finds himself having conversations with plants. He's not quite Silent Running, but the cracks are showing. Not being with his old lady and little girl is taking its toll, and to make things worse, Sam's beginning to hallucinate things. Even though his three year contract is coming to an end, the guy can't keep it together long enough and ends up fucking up on the job something awful. It's like that scene in Last Action Hero where that old cop gets blown up and before he dies, he says "Two days to retirement" before croaking. He was so fucking close!

What happens is that Sam ends up crashing his moon-roving thingy into one of the harvesters and gets pretty banged up in the process, and I guess this is where I have to stop telling you what happens next because everyone else who's talked about Moon stopped here as well. There's still enough surprises that I should just go ahead and tell you what the fuck happens next, but whatever, I won't go any further. I'm just gonna do both of you readers a favor and make this a short one. What happens in Moon isn't some kind of Sixth Sense twistery anyway, it's just the kind of shit that is best not given away ahead of time. I'm not fuckin' Brian Grazer, telling people that he didn't care if a big turning point in Ransom was given away from the trailer as long as it meant asses in the seats. I know that shit's like 13 years old now, but it still bothers me.

Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell, and I've always liked that dude, and hopefully most of you do too, since he's pretty much the only person in the entire movie. He's really good here and he's particularly good at, uh, how should I put this, uh...playing variations on a theme. That's not saying too much, is it? For Christ's sake, this isn't the goddamn Crying Game. If it was, I'd be turned on right now. That's a joke, I think. My favorite bit of acting in the entire movie is during a scene where he's talking to...someone...and for a second, his voice starts to crack and his eyes tear up a bit, but then another second later he gets back on track. It's like he started feeling so helpless, and for a moment he considered just going into Cry-In-Fetal-Position mode but then thought better of it and instead switched to Man-The-Fuck-Up mode and continued on like nothing happened. He turned into Terrence Howard there for a second, that was pretty awesome.

Even though the gay HAL 9000 is nothing more than a big piece of plastic set design with only smiley faces to show emotion, Spacey manages to give a good performance through it, using just his voice. Maybe it's just me -- I watched Electric Dreams as a kid too many times -- but I left the movie thinking I knew where this machine was coming from. Or it may have something to do with the alleged personal lifestyle of the actor behind the voice, adding some extra dimensions and baggage and all that. Either way, it was unexpectedly sweet to me, the way shit turns out between gay HAL 9000 and Sam Bell.

This movie was directed by David Bowie's son, and kudos to him for trying to make a name for himself as a director, rather than live off of daddy's Ziggy Stardust money. Or maybe Daddy told him to get off his ass and get a job. Either way, I definitely look forward to his next movie. His is a name to remember, whatever the fuck it is. But enough about David Bowie's son, let me focus on the producer of this fine movie: Ms. Trudie Styler. To you, she might be nothing more than the alleged receiver of many an 8-hour orgasm from her husband Sting, but to me she will always be Eva, the goofy chick with the goofy socks from Fair Game (aka Mamba). Obviously, the themes of that snake-on-the-loose movie remained with her over the years and she looked for a project where she could continue to explore them. She found the right movie in Moon, where Sam Bell is Eva and his shattered psyche is the snake. Sure, why not?

It's not perfect; the movie can get a little too slow in some spots, as the only other guy in the theater would make clear to me by loudly sighing when shit needed to move on, and I think people who are being sold on this movie like it's the second coming of Kubrick or that it's Solaris for the 00's, will be disappointed. It's neither. Besides, there was already a Solaris for the 00's -- it was called Solaris. Moon definitely feels like a mind-fuck for a while, but at heart it's just a good ol' fashioned Well Told Story. It's like the best episode of The Outer Limits that was never made, in the same way that I felt Drag Me to Hell was the best Tales from the Crypt episode that was never made. But unlike Drag Me to Hell, there were no old loud ladies in the audience ruining what should have been a good time. With Moon, there was only an impatient man who sighed a lot -- and in these days of horrifically shitty movie etiquette, that's as good as it will ever fuckin' get.

Whatever, you won't see this and you won't see The Hurt Locker. You'll be going to see The Ugly Truth with the rest of 'em, and I'll be sitting a few rows behind you, laughing my ass off because I'm too drunk to care what I'm watching -- and that, folks, is sometimes the closest thing to contentment one could ever hope to achieve.

I take that back. I'm pretty sure no amount of booze is gonna fix *that* fuckin' movie.