Thursday, January 21, 2010

Movie Review: Moon

Moon, an indie sci-fi film by Duncan Jones (David Bowie's spawn) is an excellent space drama set in the not too distant future. Without giving too much away (and there are major plot points that could spoil this movie for you), I'll just state the plot overview. Sam (played by Sam Rockwell) is an employee of the LUNAR corporation and is stationed on the Moon to operate mining equipment that harvests energy from moon rocks. The whole movie focuses on Sam's three-year experience on the Moon and effectively explorers the internal loneliness of someone isolated in space. Sam's only real companionship during this time is in the form of a robot named GERTY (supremely voiced by Kevin Spacey).

The whole atmosphere of the film reminds me of 2001: A Space Odyssey as well as Alien. Jones creates a very realistic glimpse into the future of space travel and does it seamlessly on an astonishing budget of only 5 million. The subtle and slightly creepy score by Clint Mansell is superb. The same soft tones are heard throughout the movie and really add to the overall eeriness of the setting. The word "eerie" is the proper way to describe this movie. I believe I have a soft spot for these types of films that make it seem that something is not quite right. It's not really a scary feeling you get from watching but rather a sense of slight uneasiness. I felt the same way when watching other sci fi classics like Alien, Event Horizon and Sunshine.

The interaction between GERTY and Sam is excellent and Rockwell himself gives an incredible performance. He, along with Sharlto Copely of District 9, will not be nominated for an Oscar. I have no idea how the Academy can overlook these two performances. Perhaps the Oscars need to expand the Best Actor nomination list from 5 to 10 as well.

I can't really explain exactly why Rockwell's performance is so good without revealing too much of the plot. In fact, the LESS you know about Moon before you see it, the better. Trust me and go rent this movie immediately. You will not be disappointed. My only real beef with this movie was the ending. It seemed too abrupt and left several unanswered questions. Moon gets a near-perfect 4.5 out of 5 JR's and enters the Top 5 of my favorite films of 2009 (updated below). Duncan Jones immediately joins Neill Blomkamp as the flag bearers for the future of science fiction film-making.

#1 District 9
#2 Inglourious Basterds
#3 Star Trek
#4 Moon
#5 The Hangover
#6 Avatar
#7 Up In The Air
#8 Adventureland
#9 I Love You Man
#10 Up

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Cereal Review: Wheaties Fuel

Time for my first ever cereal review on this blog. As I was shopping at BJs last night I came across a new cereal offering from Wheaties. As you all well know by now, as soon as I see new packaging I immediately scoop up the product and put it in my cart. I was able to resist the temptation of Chocolate Cheerios but could not stop myself from purchasing Wheaties Fuel.

I've never been a big fan of Wheaties. The bran flakes taste too bland for me to actually seriously consider consuming it on a regular basis. When I got home last night I had a bowl of Fuel and was very pleased with my decision to give it a try. With Peyton Manning looking at me from the box with a pissed-off "this cereal will kick you in the ass" glare, I sampled the puffed rice, oats, granola and flakes that make up Wheaties Fuel. The cereal tastes good, slightly sweet and very crunchy. I guess one would compare it to Kashi but I found it to be more flavorful and satisfying (and probably not nearly as good for you).

The box claims that this formulation of nutrition that Fuel provides will give you the energy boost you need to start your day. I ate mine at night but did manage to stay awake for two hours of 24 after dozing off during the premiere on Sunday night. I'll have to test it out in the morning over the weekend to see if it really does provide an extra boost. If you want a change in your cereal routine, give Wheaties Fuel a try. I can see myself becoming a regular consumer of this brand.