Movie Reviews: Paper Moon and Moon

Going with two “Moon” related reviews this time, though they couldn’t be more different. The first is Peter Bogdanovich’s Paper Moon, a delightful film about a con-man saddled with a girl who may or may not be his nine year old daughter in 1930s America. The con-man is played by Ryan O’Neal (of Howard Bannister “What’s Up Doc?” fame) and the girl is played by his real-life daughter, Tatum O’Neal (who won an Academy Award for her role in the film–best supporting actress (though why she wasn’t in the Best Actress category is beyond me). There’s also the wonderful Madeleine Kahn (of Eunice Burns “What’s Up Doc?” fame) playing Trixie Delight (guess her occupation). I’m not sure how I’d classify the film. It’s definitely funny, but not a comedy. Has some serious sides to it, but isn’t really a drama. It’s a mutt of a film, but a friendly mutt that you can’t stop petting. 🙂 Tatum does a great job in it, and Ryan was so different from his Bannister role that I didn’t recognize him as the same actor. DKC and I both thoroughly enjoyed the film. It had a great Depression-era feel to it–like you were seeing how life might have been like then–without being too bogged down in depressing subjects. What’s better yet is that it’s a film I felt like I could analyze. Like it wasn’t just a movie, it was art. Does that make sense? A strong three and a half stars for me. Suitable for all audiences.

The other film is Moon, essentially a one man show, starring Sam Rockwell as a man who’s stationed at a one-person moon base that harvests Helium3 for energy back on earth. He’s there on a three year stint, and that stint’s two weeks from being done. His only companion is a robot (voiced by Kevin Spacey). It’s an intense film–very hard sci-fi, and really well done. Brutal in places, and definitely R-rated (for language), but a fantastic example of what a movie can do with a limited budget and a great story. I don’t want to give too much away on this one–better for you to go into it knowing less than more. Three and a half stars.

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