The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Sony Pictures Classic - 2009
MPAA Rating: R
Feature running time: 97 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Audio Format(s): English/French/Portuguese DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Spanish, Portuguese
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Dominique McElligott, Kevin Spacey (voice)
Directed by: Duncan Jones
Music by: Clint Mansell
Written by: Nathan Parker (story by Duncan Jones)
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: January 12, 2010
"250,000 miles from home, the hardest thing to faceis yourself"
Sam Bell is nearing the completion of his 3-year-long contract with Lunar Industries, mining Earth's primary source of energy on the dark side of the moon. Alone with only the base's vigilant computer Gerty as his sole companion, Bell's extended isolation has taken its toll. He longs to return home, but a terrible accident on the lunar surface leads to a disturbing discovery that contributes to his growing sense of paranoia and dislocation so many miles away from home.
Sam Bell (Rockwell) works in an isolated environment, completely cut off from human contact. His only respite from the tedium and loneliness is the taped messages he receives from his wife and baby daughter and the companionship of Gerty the computer that oversees the operation of Sarang, the moon base that houses the operation. Sam has only a few short weeks left and is looking forward to getting back home to his family. Lately Sam has been have a nagging feeling that something is amiss but can't quite put his finger on why. He has inexplicable bouts of de-ja vu and has begun suffering from paranoia, headaches, and flu like symptoms. While out on a routine repair mission in a lunar rover on the moon's surface he has a near fatal crash. He wakes up in the infirmary with Gerty looking after him and no recollection of the crash. Sam has been restricted from leaving the base and earth advises that a repair ship, the Eliza, has been dispatched by Lunar Industries to fix a damaged mining vessel on the moon's surface. Sam's uneasy feeling returns after he overhears a live communication between Gerty and earth. To that point he had been told that live communication with earth wasn't possible. With his suspicions aroused he begins to actively pursue the reason for it. He is able to override the system and takes a lunar rover out in an attempt to ascertain why he is unable to send/receive live communications from earth. It is then that he makes a startling discovery that explains everything..
I saw the trailer for Moon a number of months ago and thought it looked interesting. I have liked Sam Rockwell since first seeing him in The Green Mile and Galaxy Quest. I am a sci-fi fan and this appeared to have intrigue and mystery built around a different type story that looked promising. The plots mind bending aspects and just beneath the surface secret, work extremely well, thanks to the strong performance by Rockwell and tightly focused screenplay. Its façade is reminiscent of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone but with deliberate pacing that carefully draws upon the human condition as it pertains to the raising of moral and ethical questions. This is where its strength lies as it doesn't attempt to over stimulate with effects laden visuals or a multifaceted storyline that ventures off in too many unanswered directions. This is an entertaining, well conceived, and character driven film that remains simple in aspect yet contemplative in execution. I was delighted that it was everything I hoped it would be and made for an engaging film that I look forward to revisiting in the near future.
The rating is for language.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Moon comes to Blu-ray from Sony Classic Pictures featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 27 mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2.9 mbps.
This is a solid high definition video presentation from Sony that offers excellent image quality. The color palette is deliberately held to primary use of black, grays, whites, and blues that give it a cooler emphasis. Colors are rendered well with realistic depth and delineation. This is a high bitrate encoding that offers stable resolution and appreciable refinement. Close ups reveal crisp definition and perceptible detail that reveals the presence of pores, stubble, peach fuzzy hair and subtle complexional variations. The texture on the surfaces of objects was just as defining which gave them visibly apparent structure and lifelike quality. Black levels are slightly elevated but not detrimentally so and contrast is spot on which delivers bright punchy whites and appreciable dimension when mixed light/dark elements are present onscreen. The video had a noticeably clean and pristine quality that appeared to be devoid of video related anomalies and artifacts.
I think this is a well designed lossless audio presentation that plays well to the film's thematic components. It effectively uses the entire sound field to elicit reaction to sounds emanating from differing vantage points based on the camera's perspective (meaning the subject onscreen). The soundtrack's recorded elements are enhanced by its rich clarity, punchy dynamics and robust bass that resonate through the room with tangible authority. Dialogue through the center channel is crystal clear and maintains a position of prominence within the front soundstage. The beautifully crafted music permeates the listening area with its light instrumentation and superlative tonal balance. This surround mix capably handles the subtle intricacies thrown at by this excellent soundtrack as it augments the enjoyment of this film.
- Commentary with writer/director Duncan Jones, director of photography Gary Shaw, concept designer Gavin Rothery, production designer Tony Noble
- Commentary with writer/director Duncan Jones, producer Stuart Fenegan
- Whistle a short film by Duncan Jones - 28 minutes
- The making of Moon - 16 minutes
- Creating the visual effects - 11 minute documentary
- (HD) Science center Q&A with Duncan Jones - 20 minutes
- (HD) Filmmakers Q&A at the Sundance Film Festival - 11 minutes
- (HD) Theatrical trailer
- (HD) BD Previews:
- The Boondock Saints II: All saints day
- District 9
- Michael Jackson's This is it
- Black dynamite
- It might get loud
- The Damned: United
- Coco before Channel
- Close encounters of the third kind
- Blood: The last vampire
- BD-Live enabled
Moon is a wonderfully engaging as it eschews the large scale special effects and varied themes associated with many of today's genre films and harkens back to classic sci-fi cinema by enticing us with a rewarding and intelligently crafted narrative that examines the human condition. It works on a number of levels thanks to writer/director Duncan Jones' insightful and staunch direction and the superb performance by Sam Rockwell. I am happy to report that its presentation on Blu-ray Disc from Sony looks and sounds great while boasting a well balanced and pertinent set of bonus supplements. Moon comes highly recommended. Enjoy!
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JVC DLA-RS20 1080p High Definition Front Projector (Calibrated by Jeff Meier)
Carada Precision Brilliant White 96" Screen
Anthem AVM50v THX Ultra 2 Preamp/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-83 Universal disc/Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Oppo 970HD universal disc DVD Player (480i HDMI)
Philips TSU9400 Pro Series Touch Panel Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" Series speakers
Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers
SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)
APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Furman SPR-20i Stable Power Regulator
Wireworld, VizionWare, Audioquest, Best Deal Cables - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package