• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Moon

TITLE: Moon

YEAR: 2009

GENRE: Science Fiction

There was a day when science fiction films were deigned to be more social commentary on the world and the issue surrounding it for the time. Early sci-fi such as Metropolis, The Day The Earth Stood Still, and Things To Come were statements on current issues designed to bring up certain topics and show the end result if the current world did not combat the situation now instead of shelving it for future generations. Science fiction periodically will pump out a film that is more socially geared than the explosion and fight-filled mega-budget extravaganzas that fill the multiplex theaters during the summer season. Moon is a smaller budget release that was an official selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and it is obvious why the prestigious movie event chose this project as on of its features. Moon may be a bit lower budget, but it is a smart and well written film with quality acting and presentation.

Sam Bell (played by Sam Rockwell) is an astronaut working for Lunar Industries, an energy company that is mining helium-3 on the moon to help solve the world’s now catastrophic power crisis. Sam is on a three year mission on the lunar surface virtually alone with the exception of his super computer GERTY (voiced by Kevin Spacey). At the end of his three year mission Sam’s health begins to fail and his yearning to see his wife and child are becoming unbearable. With just two weeks to go he has an unfortunate accident on his rover. Upon getting rescued Sam discovers that there was more to his mission and his life and perceptions are about to be altered forever.

Moon is not going to wow anybody with its special effects as they are minimal, but there are numerous qualities with this film that are not as common in science fiction. Rockwell is the lone thespian throughout the film and he is absolutely fantastic as the isolated and occasionally stir crazy moon man. Rockwell makes the film work as Moon would have been a more typical production without his amazing performance. In addition, the story by writer/director Duncan Jones is dramatic and touches on many issues including solitary confinement, corporate greed, human rights, and scientific ethics. Jones shows through his writing the devaluing of mankind for the pursuit of the almighty dollar, and Moon displays his viewpoints in an effective and desiring manner.

Jones has moved into the Hollywood mainstream and directed the critically acclaimed Source Code in 2011 and is sure to become a force. Many science fiction films are nothing more than a bunch of flash and no substance, and fortunately Moon is almost the polar opposite. None of the effects will cause your eyes to pop out of your head, but the storyline and situations throughout Moon will stimulate the viewer and create some conversation. This is the best part of science fiction: to display issues in the current society and present them in a creative light that spark action. This is a film that is designed to create discussion about the ills of our modern society rather than the destruction of a certain societal monument or city. Moon is one of those films, and it is a shame in our day and age that projects like Moon get a fraction of the exposure of the latest Michael Bay explosion fest.

* * * *

–Mark

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