Everyone who has seen the movie Moon raise your hand. Okay, you can both put them down now.
Moon is a remarkably well told story set in a mining operation on the moon. This operation is efficiently overseen by a single human and a seemingly benevolent computer. Together they serve humanity with their isolated and sacrificial labor. The human is praised as a hero.
Sam Rockwell plays the human and does a remarkable job carrying the weight of what we soon discover is a chilling tale.
The best science fiction creates a world in which the implications of scientific and technological advances and possibilities are explored and often critiqued. This film accomplishes that and is worthy of a watch. This is not Star Wars or Star Trek. This is a movie exploring the consequences of ideas.
Like science fiction, fantasy and animation also provide venues for exploring alternate realities. Coraline is the story of a young girl lamenting her family situation. Her parents are busy and unresponsive, and have dragged her away from her friends into an isolated house surrounded by weirdness. She wishes for a different life. As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for.
There is terror here, terror in a life that becomes ‘all about me’. This is the stuff of nightmares.
I’ve not seen but a few minutes of the highly touted film Avatar. It is said to be visually stunning. I find it hard to imagine that it could surpass the visual beauty of Coraline, a beauty which in this case is actually wed to a good story.
[In fairness to my snide Avatar comments, a friend has promised me a review of Avatar revealing its redemptive themes. Once I receive it, I’ll post it. I can’t wait.]