Readily available in Widescreen 2.35:1 on UK region 2
Emperor Diocletian | Ex Spalatii | 03/30/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whoa! I watched this film yesterday and I am still going over several scenes in my mind. This is one of those unknown, little-marketed sci fi films that will just blow your mind away. Moon 44 has excellent production values, miniature sets, model work and special effects. The movie sets look organic, worn and authentic and remind you of films like Aliens and Blade Runner. Everything is topped off with a great storyline and believable performances by lead actors Michael Paré, McDowell, Devlin and Brian Thompson. I jumped in the seat when I saw that kid from Fright Night playing a pro drug dealer. What the ....? I guess they all just popped their red and yellow ones to stave off boredom on Moon 44 before the arrival of the pilots. That's when all the action starts. This has got to be the only movie I have seen where one man affectionately put his face up to another man's butt and wiped his cheek on the same butt, and it still came off as a heartfelt and natural scene. You've got to see the movie to know what I'm talking about.
The storyline mainly focused on the rivalries between the ex-fighter pilots who are now convicts and the navigators. In the end they were forced to cooperate to defeat the drone army of the Pyrates - one of the many multinational conglomerates trying to get their hands on the natural resources on Moon 44. This movie shows how natural resources and profits are worth so much more than the lives of some puny humans on a far-off planet...erm...moon. I viewed the UK region 2 release from Boulevard Entertainment which is in true Widescreen 2.35:1 and anamorphic. It is readily available from amazon.uk for about $5 just remember to buy the Boulevard Ent version as the other one is in full screen 1.33:1 just as the sloppy US release. Highly recommended!"
Great back-story. So-so main story.
SRFireside | Houston, TX United States | 03/10/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"We have a very mixed bag here. On the one end you have a poorly executed plot rife with clichés and stereotypes. On the other hand you get an excellent back-story that far outshines the main one. Moon 44 is not your average B-movie fare. You get an interesting mix of good and bad that ultimately makes the movie worth watching? if you keep in mind certain things.
The first thing you need to keep in mind is the main plot can almost be completely discarded. It?s way too stereotypical and ultimately does nothing but give the good guys a reason to chase the bad guys and the bad guys a reason to be bad. This, more than anything else, makes Moon 44 no better than any other B-movie. Now that you have this in mind you can pave the way to see the excellent background story developing here. There are a couple of little sub-plots that really make the script shine. For instance there is a conflict between the pilot/convicts and their youthful navigators. This kind of storytelling makes for great drama and this is what?s pulled off perfectly. Other little things are going on in the back-story as well like the rivalry that turns into respect between Stone (Michael Pare) and one of the pilots Jake O?Neal (Brian Thompson) as well as several other tidbits. The great background characters and storylines are what save this movie from being just another clichéd B-Film.
The acting is also a mixed bag. Michael Pare doesn?t bring anything different to the table here with his tough-guy special operative role and Malcolm McDowell?s performance didn?t really give anything fresh to the movie either. I can?t really blame Pare and McDowell too much as their roles are a victim of a canned script. Dean Devlin however gives a brilliant performance as Tyler, the good-natured navigator who comes to terms with hard realities. I always enjoy seeing Brian Thompson in a film and I believe he is often an underrated talent. Other notable performances come from Leon Rippy and a quirky yet heartfelt performance by Stephen Geoffreys. As far as the rest of the supporting cast you do get some great performances. Overall the acting is quite good, save for a few standard performances
The sets look like this movie comes out of the Alien universe, which means they look cool and functional. You don?t get many dark and eerie Sci-Fi sets like that those anymore. The design for the gun ships is pretty cool even though they are still just helicopters. The robot attackers look cool, but you would think they would have had robot ships and not robots flying ships. I guess you can explain that away for various reasons, but it still sits odd with me. The special effects are serviceable considering this is a low budget movie. Probably the model work will be the thing that is most evident of a limited budget. Still I prefer to take all things into account and can easily forgive the limitations as the model work still looks reasonably realistic, and compared to other B-movies it?s downright excellent.
Moon 44 is a B-Movie. No doubt about it. However it?s one of the better B-Movies out there. If it wasn?t for the weak main plot and script that followed it you would have a truly great movie. As it stands the film is saved by very strong character development, great acting, well executed sub-plots, and better than average special effects. You will get a good movie if you can get past the main storyline, which isn?t too hard, as it seems to only be there to move events forward. If you?re just out for flashy effects and lots of action then I suppose you won?t find this movie as interesting as I did. For those of you driven by story and character development I say with Moon 44 you will find a diamond in the rough.
Moon Convicts Are Totally Rude
C. A. Luster | Burke, VA USA | 07/06/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"What were they thinking? I like Michael Pare, but I haven't seen him in awhile. Is this movie the reason? Okay I'm a big fan of SciFi, but something is missing here. The effects are pretty good in parts, and pretty bad in others. Some of the stuff looks like it could have been used in "Alien", and others look like plastic diorama models hung in a kids bedroom on a string. The acting is a bit disappointing but passable, but the dialogue is what hurts this movie the most. I think with a decent screenwriter this movie would have made a good showing despite the special effects and any other flaws in my humble opinion.
When Pare is sent to Moon 44 as an undercover agent, he is unaware the corporation he is working for doesn't care about the humans dying on the other moons that have been attacked and destroyed. They only care about their shuttles used for mining. They are so hard up for pilots they use convicts to pilot helicopter fighters to protect the moon. They are teamed with kids at the base in order to be guided through foggy ravines with rock columns. Kids are brutalized by convicts, shuttles are stolen by internal management, robot fighters kill all moons in their path, but Pare is there to save the day. Can he save this movie? No, but it isn't his fault."