has an average rating of 8.0 on IMDb
1080p in AVC MPEG-4 on a 50gb disc
DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio
are pretty lengthy & mostly in Hi-Def
– 108 minutes
This uses 25.2GB for the movie out of 37.2GB total.
Overall Verdict – Highly Recommended
— Review written by: Justin Sluss —
The Movie Itself was co-wrote and directed by Duncan Jones, son of musician David Bowie. The film shares many obvious similarities to “2001: A Space Odyssey” directed by Stanley Kubrick. Jones‘s father Bowie wrote a song about Outer Space (titled “Space Oddity“) and various other songs Space-themed, so it really comes as not much surprise that his son would both write and direct a film such as this. The film has had a great reception from critics and film goers, in fact it currently has an 8.0 (out of 10) average over at IMDb and has received much critical-acclaim, including being an “Official Selection” at Sundance Film Festival 2009.
The film takes place in the not-too distant future. Our main character is an astronaut by the name of “Sam” (played brilliantly by Sam Rockwell) living alone in a mining facility on Earth’s moon; hence the title “Moon“. The reason that this astronaut works on the mining facility is to harvest H3 which is used back home on Earth as a fuel source to power cars, electricity in homes and so forth. One might as their self why only one astronaut is here on this facility (not colony, because that word implies that it has inhabitants, plural) and I can totally understand why you might be a bit thrown off by that at first viewing the film. There really is no clear reason upfront why only one astronaut is needed aside from the routine being really simplistic that he has to do daily on the surface of the Moon. It is pretty easy alone in a situation like this, especially on the surface of the Moon in what pretty much resembles the cabin of a extremely spacious (no pun intended) Space Station to catch a bit of “cabin fever” and start to lose your mind. We are lead to think that is why our main character Sam starts to have issues early on in the film but we play it off, much like the main character and go about our business (viewing). The only other thing with a voice here on the Moon with Sam is a robot attached to the on board computer and its artificial intelligence. This robot is referred to as “GERTY” and is voiced by the always excellent Kevin Spacey.
I cannot really tell you too much more about this film in my own honest opinion without discussing some things that I consider “spoilers” so I will cut this synopsis short.
In closing, “Moon” is a very impressive Science Fiction film, much like Stanley Kubrick‘s adaptation of “2001: A Space Odyssey” of which it draws obvious inspiration from. One thing I will remind folks here is that writer/director Duncan Jones claims this film was done on just a 5 million dollar budget. That is pretty cheap for a indie Sci-Fi film, especially when you take in comparison Danny Boyle‘s indie Sci-Fi film “Sunshine” had a reported 50 million dollar budget. I can’t tell you if in fact those numbers are accurate or not but they are the claims of the writer/director of this film. Regardless, this really proves you can do something equally as impressive with 1/10 the budget of what it took Danny Boyle on his film just a few years back.
Video Quality on this release is in full 1080p using the AVC MPEG-4 codec on a BD-50 (50 gigabyte dual-layered Blu-ray Disc) in the 2.35:1 aspect ratio. As IMDb clearly states and one can tell from the “behind-the-scenes” footage, this was shot on traditional film, Super 35mm to be exact on Panavision cameras and lenses. This makes for a really nice transition to Hi-Def with not much real film grain present in the presentation. The black level here is very solid which is very important in any Science Fiction film that takes part in Outer Space, or in this case on the Moon. The color palette is vibrant at times but obviously a bit subdued due to the physical settings (a moon base), dim lighting conditions and such. The fleshtones are accurate here, with only really one Actor in color visible to judge from, that being the star Sam Rockwell. The amount of detail present here is impressive and doesn’t show off really any flaws in the film’s indie (5 million dollar) budget and it’s use of miniatures and CG visual effects. Overall, this really delivers an extremely solid presentation visually, earning “Moon” on Blu-ray Disc from Sony a “4.5 Star Rating” for video quality.
Audio Quality on this release is presented in DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio. The film starts up with a wonderful bit of opening Narration done by Sam Rockwell. This does a great job here in this opening bit with dialogue and then throughout the film, being very distinct, delivered from primarily the front center channel and never requiring any volume adjustments. The film’s original music by Clint Mansell sounds great here, getting an excellent 5.1 mix with good rear channel presence and very nice LFE presence. The sound effects make good use of the entire 5.1 soundscape, especially the subwoofer (LFE) during some somewhat action-filled sequences involving Sam driving a rover on the surface on the Moon to go repair the harvesters. Overall the audio presentation here is really impressive, not quite “demo material” but still very impressive, enough so to earn it a “4.5 Star Rating” for audio quality.
Bonus materials are presented in both High Definition (HD) and Standard Definition video in MPEG-2 with Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo sound @192kbps — unless otherwise noted.
- BD-Live is include on this Sony release which requires the user to be on a “Profile 2.0” capable Blu-ray Disc Player to access online content from the studio.
- Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Duncan Jones and Producer Stuart Fenegan
- Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Duncan Jones, Director of Photography Gary Shaw, Concept Designer Gavin Rothery and Production Designer Tony Noble
- “Whistle – A Short Film by Duncan Jones” (28:46 – SD) is pretty self-explanatory (to a degree) from it’s title.
- “The Making of Moon” (16:18 – SD) is a great featurette very much worth watching. You’ll find great interviews with Writer/Director Duncan Jones and Actor Sam Rockwell here as well as some great behind-the-scenes footage on the set.
- “Creating the Visual Effects” (11:09 – SD)
- “Science Center Q&A with Director Duncan Jones” (20:48 – HD)
- “Filmmaker’s Q&A at The Sundance Film Festival” (11:15 – HD)
- Theatrical Trailer (2:08 – HD) features Dolby Digital 5.1 sound @640kbps.
Overall, the bonus materials are pretty impressive. A majority of them are in Hi-Def, they run rather lengthy too, almost an hour or so roughly. Fans of the film will really enjoy the “making of”, visual effects featurette and especially the Q&A’s Duncan did in promotion for the film. It does suck we don’t get a digital copy of the film but oh well.
Blu-ray Disc packaging:
NOTE: The full-sized 1920×1080 files are in a .PNG file format and uncompressed. Bare with the slow loading times, keep in mind these files are at least 1MB (1 megabyte) in size each.