Is there really any chance that "Chuck" is on the cancellation bubble? Even if one of every four or five people in the world (or at least California) is a Fulcrum agent, it's still just about the funniest and smartest thing on TV now, so here's hoping the Hollywood Reporter story listing it as only 50-50 to return isn't the beginning of the end. ("Dollhouse" is on the list too, but even though that show has gotten remarkably better through the weeks, it wouldn't surprise me to see it end.)
The thing that would really kill me is that if "Chuck" does die, it will be at the hands of that dastardly Jay Leno (no, I'm not a fan), who is getting five hours of primetime space a week and taking it directly from both more and less worthy shows.
Oh well. I don't really have any power over that, so instead I'd like to talk about some things I saw at the Atlanta Film Festival 365, which is continuing through Saturday at the fabulous Landmark Midtown Art Cinema in, of course, Atlanta. For the schedule and how to get tickets for movies (including "500 Days of Summer" tomorrow night), click here.
I saw seven movies in three days (well, eight, but I paid for the first one, "Sin Nombre," because I was just dying to see that ... yes it's a disease), and I'd like to start today with Duncan Jones' "Moon," the one most likely to play anywhere near people who might read this site when it opens in limited release June 12.
First, I suppose, a bit about what it's about. Sam Rockwell (and you'll see A WHOLE LOT of him) stars as a man who lives alone on a remote lunar outpost where he harvests helium, which has become our primary energy source.
And before I get to the good stuff, of which there's quite a bit, a word about the movie's limitations is in order. First, the plot is simply wafer thin. You won't hear any more about it from me, but you'll probably figure it out extremely early, and if not it's revealed about halfway in anyway.
But like any great science fiction, which Duncan Jones' film almost manages to be, it's much more about the allegory than the principal story, and in that department it's the best example yet of capturing the "zeitgeist" (man, do I hate that word, so I apologize) of our troubled times. I'll just say that for anyone (like me) who toils in an industry in which uncertainly looms everyday, what the story by Jones and screenwriter Nathan Parker has to say about the expendability of human life will definitely hit home.
Now, I didn't bother to see "Castaway" because I was just certain I couldn't take that much Tom Hanks (and I've never had any regrets about missing it), so I really have nothing to compare to exactly how well Sam Rockwell carried this movie. As you can probably tell from the storyline, he's in just about every frame of this movie, with only brief interruptions from his wife via satellite and the input of his helpful station computer Gerty, voiced in comforting monotone by Kevin Spacey (and yes, it bothered me at first that this was a direct ripoff of Hal, but two thoughts: First, who the heck else was he supposed to talk to out there, and second, the way the computer plays into the story just gives it more power.)
But back to Mr. Rockwell. I've always liked him quite a bit, but worried that seeing that much of him would grow old pretty quickly. Wrong. As he slowly deteriorates both mentally and physically, I can guarantee you will be riveted, and his reaction to everything that happens is natural and believable in what turns into a pretty intense psychological profile.
The remote moonscape is also beautifully filmed and plays into the theme of isolation perfectly. And if you'll excuse me, I have to cut this off rather abruptly and get ready for work, so I'll leave you with just one more odd thought: Duncan Jones is the son of David Bowie. Hopefully that and the fact that this is being distributed by Sony Pictures Classics will get it a pretty wide run in June, because I certainly wouldn't mind seeing it again. Peace out.