Tuesday, July 28, 2009


So, D. Jones launches a promising career with a tale of alienation suffered by a solitary astronaut...

"Planet Earth is blue, and there's nothing I can do."

It is nice to see someone attempting a lightly updated stab at a '70s-style "thoughtful SF" story, complete with model-based effects rather than CGI. It's not really very hard SF, despite the early reference to He3 mining to prove that somebody has read some popular science in the last decade; the movie mostly depends on the usual middleweight SF blend of implausibly advanced handwaved technology (to drive the plot) and other technology that's barely changed since 1965 (to keep the plot on track and the special effects budget down). Moderately regular SF readers (or even viewers) will guess most of what's coming after about twenty minutes, and the film doesn't really pretend to be a mystery - the big reveal, such as it is, comes about half an hour in - but I'll be polite and not give away too much. I will just note that, for an operation that's being run on a tight-fisted budget, Lunar Industries has constructed a remarkably spacious base, and even shipped out an old leather armchair for no clear reason, and no, neither is ever explained.

For that matter, there's little or no attempt to convey the fact of lunar gravity, and no consideration of communication lags over Earth-Moon distances. But, you know - white corridors, clunky spacesuits and lunar rovers, existential angst, no guns. Heading back to 1970, in a good way, means taking the clunky with the cool. Young Jones clearly has a brain as well as useful friends; his career may be worth watching.

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