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“I’m here to keep you safe, Sam. I want to help you.”–Sam Bell
Quick, name ten no-kidding “serious” science fiction movies. Ready, go! Okay, well, let’s see. There’s 2001, of course, the granddaddy of all serious science fiction movies. There’s Solaris. There’s that French time travel movie that isn’t really a movie. Humm. Give me a minute. Wait, wait. Okay, stop! Darn it! I ran out of time!
I suppose I could have cheated and looked at the list I did earlier in this blog, but the point is there’s not a heck of a lot to choose from. Part of the reason for this, I think, is that, in addition to the high brow types not always taking the genre seriously, science fiction often doesn’t take itself seriously either. It doesn’t have to. Alien and Star Wars are brilliant, wonderfully entertaining movies, but they aren’t really serious science fiction. Every now and again, a movie like Moon comes along to remind us what Science Fiction looks like when it does take itself seriously. It’s pretty dang cool. In place of monsters, or blasters, or warp drive, Moon delivers a riveting character study examining individual struggle and identity in the face of callous corporate greed. Sam Rockwell is in top form as the lead (and virtually only) character, and the fact that the movie manages to maintain tension with nary an explosion in sight is an impressive tribute to him and to the film’s very, very good pacing. Highly recommended for any true Science Fiction fan.