Moon Discussion Thread **SPOILERS**

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by Lapis Exilis, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    GERTY's desire to protect Sam was one of the more refreshing aspects of the film for me.

    The equivalent in 2001, HAL, is driven insane by the conflict between its design (to process information accurately without distortion or concealment) and its orders to keep the discovery of the Monolith secret from the crew he was supposed to protect. The resulting errors forced HAL to attempt to eliminate the crew so that it would not have to lie any longer and would thus be able to reconcile both parts of its programming.

    Here, GERTY also has two conflicting sets of programming. One says that it must keep (the current) Sam happy, healthy and safe. The other says that it must keep the mining operation going and must also keep the nature of Sam's existence a secret from Sam. When the younger Sam brings back the older Sam, GERTY now has two charges to protect. My guess is that having two Sams disrupts the balance between the two contradictory sets of programming and shifts it towards protecting them.
     
  2. Downfall

    Downfall Cadet Newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2009
    Just saw this, and agree the corporation's plan makes no sense.

    But other than a handwave about how a corporation is a slave to its shareholders, there's never so much as a hint about why the corporation actually does this. It seems utterly inexplicable to me. They would surely have no trouble recruiting people for the job-- in real life, people work in oil tankers and wells on facilities far less luxurious and are separated from their families for years at a time. If you factor in how nice the accommodations are, that they're capable of real time video communication with Earth (and this presumably would mean TV as well), the coolness factor in being able to work on the moon, and the high number of people who would give just about anything to go into space, they would have no trouble recruiting good people at a reasonable salary. Does Sam Bell have some skill that's absolutely vital and nobody else has? If so, the movie didn't deign to tell us what it is. How can this enterprise-- which, if the end is to be believed, carries high risk of criminal and civil liability and requires the silence of at least half a dozen people-- possibly be worth it? I wanted to enjoy the movie, but I was waiting for answers that never came. The free labor they get is surely not worth the number of man-hours needed to create and sustain the deception, plus the costs of the cloning et. al. itself, plus the risk of getting caught. The 'visions' were also unexplained and, I guess, just meant to be attributed to general clone breakdown.

    EDIT: And I disagree that they get away with it because they're on the far side of the moon. Are you really suggesting the media would have zero interest in the one man who was a linchpin in solving one of our most intractable social problems? They wouldn't notice that the original Sam came back, but nobody else ever did? Nobody would find it at all odd that the station was completely incommunicado? The more I think about this, the less sense it makes.
     
  3. Ryan

    Ryan Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2001
    Location:
    Lincoln, NE
    I agree the reason for using clones isn't well developed. I think it was ultimately a suspension of disbelief issue; I just accepted that for whatever reason it was cheaper for the corporation to use a single, disposable person than a paid crew. Who nows, maybe Sam wasn't even dying because he was a clone. Maybe it's a side effect of long-term habitation on the moon (solar flares?) or the helium-3 mining.

    The legal status of what happens on the moon is probably a murky issue at best. The movie even delves into it a bit with the hilarious line at the end about Sam being an "illegal immigrant".

    I imagine there's more than one base. But even if there's just one I still believe it. We're happy to ignore the shady things the energy industry does here and now. Just look at Shell in Nigeria.
     
  4. Lapis Exilis

    Lapis Exilis Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2004
    Location:
    Underground
    Really? Those sweat shops often do things like employ 11 year old kids in 14 hour a day shifts. That's pretty morally abhorrent. Perhaps even more so than cloning, which at least has a little wiggle room on the issue of whether or not the clone is actually a person, especially if it only has a three-year life span.


    No, I didn't miss it. That's why I said I respect your reasons. They made me think a little harder about the central premise, which I appreciate.

    That's an interesting thought. From what we know of mammalian clones, they do tend to have shorter lifespans, but they don't go through the kind of physical breakdown we see the Sams experiencing, which look a little more like radiation poisoning - losing his hair, extreme fatigue, vomiting blood.
     
  5. Level 2 Diagnostic

    Level 2 Diagnostic Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Location:
    A Man Called Hawk
    Did anyone notice that the gravity throughout the movie was pretty much the same as earth's? The only times there were any signs of the moon's lesser gravity was when Sam went outside.
     
  6. wamdue

    wamdue Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2001
    Location:
    wamdue
    I think the media would have some interest in the first Sam who did a shift at the moon, but after that it would be old news, does the media care about the people who work on oil rigs?
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2009
  7. OdoWanKenobi

    OdoWanKenobi Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Location:
    Ysmault
    Wouldn't the Sam from the begging of the film be Sam4, and the second Sam we see be Sam5? I'm assuming that the messages from his wife were sent in the same order that they were to the original Sam. Thus, he went into space soon after his daughter was born, as she is about three in the message we see at the beginning. If she is actually 15, then the first Sam we see is the fourth Sam (though the third clone)
     
  8. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2002
    Location:
    The Barmuda Triangle
    Saw it this weekend. I really enjoyed it, though it did strain credulity a bit.

    One of my lingering questions is whether or not GERTY was sentient? I mean clearly it was programmed as a caregiving machine and was mostly just responding to input but at what point does one make the distinction? Confronted with the human cost of it's past actions, GERTY seemed to make a decision to take whatever actions necessary to prevent it happening again. In this respect the character seems human. But it could also be explained away as a malfunction introduced by the presence of two Sams.
     
  9. OdoWanKenobi

    OdoWanKenobi Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Location:
    Ysmault
    ^GERTY was programmed to help Sam in any way Sam needed help. Itss only concern was Sam's safety and contentment. Thus, it followed the orders that Sam gave it even if they conflicted with what the company would have wanted.
     
  10. Hermiod

    Hermiod Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    As I said upthread, my view is that GERTY had two sets of programming. One to ensure Sam's health, safety and mental well-being. The other to ensure the continuous production of Helium-3.

    GERTY is able to reconcile the two sets of programming because Sam's mental well-being would be jeopardised if he knew he was a clone, so from a purely logical point of view GERTY is protecting Sam.

    Sam #1 (I am not going to speculate on how many Sams there actually were, Sam #1 is the first Sam we saw in the movie, the one who burned his hand) then apparently dies in an accident due to his worsening mental state. GERTY follows standard procedure and activates the next Sam. However, Sam #2, out of his sense of duty, attempts to repair the faulty equipment outside and finds Sam #1, still alive.

    GERTY then has two Sams to look after and thus, through almost basic computer science, the first set of programming is simply scheduled to run more often than the second. GERTY's programming to protect Sam(s) becomes overriding. Nothing GERTY does is illogical from that point forward.

    I appreciate this spin on the common computer gone insane, following its programming too literally idea.
     
  11. Witterquick

    Witterquick Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    Why is this film only shown in a handful of cinemas? I had to go to some arthouse to watch it. Will it have a wide release later?

    I like the film but I'm not sure about the unresolved story. It left me feeling vaguely dissatisfied. I would love to have found out what happened to Sam.

    When Eve came on, I thought she was a granddaughter or even great granddaughter. I like that the film doesn't follow some common scifi conventions though, like having an evil HAL (we got a very loveable GERTY instead) or having these clones about for much longer than 12 years like I thought at first.

    The interactions between the two Sams were great too. Overall an enjoyable film but not one of the greats to me.
     
  12. Witterquick

    Witterquick Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2003
    That's a good point. I was wondering why the corporation wouldn't act like a normal corporation and hire a crew of people to work on the moon instead of having a lone person and subject him to the mental distress of being all alone for an extended time.
     
  13. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    1123 6536 5321
    Saw it yesterday


    Who was that woman Sam kept seeing? Once in the "canteen" area, and once before he crashed the moon buggy?
     
  14. Luckyflux

    Luckyflux Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2006
    Location:
    USA-CA-LA(Hollywood)
    Unexplained visions of his daughter. They were used to get Sam to crash the vehicle.

    Great explanation about Gerty's programming. Is that why Gerty gave him the password to see the past log entries? To protect his mental health?

    Also didn't really get that the other clones were vaporized. I saw the dirt collection under the bay, but I never made the connection.

    I liked the details of the movie, I bet the more times you watch it the more undercover things you'll find. In one shot an expression was shown that said something like Abstinence is great, but only if practiced in moderation. I thought that was funny.
     
  15. Rackon

    Rackon Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    May 17, 2009
    Location:
    Middle America, Sol 3
    The log scenes showed previous (debilitated) clones getting into capsules "to go home". Capsule closses and is sealed. White mist enters capsule. End of entry.

    I assumed it was "euthaization" and disposal of some sort. The clones are dying.
     
  16. Ethros

    Ethros Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2001
    Location:
    1123 6536 5321
    Anyone notice the girl playing his daughter was Effy from Skins
    Not an overly massive fan of the show, but seen a few eps to catch it
     
  17. timelord1010

    timelord1010 Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2004
    Location:
    Sector 001
    Anyone know when Moon is coming out on DVD/Blueray? It didn't play anywhere near where I live...
     
  18. Neopeius

    Neopeius Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    Location:
    OSF Headquarters
    Disappointing movie. People are too expensive to train and import, but the second a clone has a problem, they send *three* dudes to handle it? Just lying around, I guess.

    And they didn't make just one clone. Not five clones. Dozens, perhaps hundreds of clones. I guess they got a discount for quantity.

    And clones that spring fully grown from a clipping complete with memory? Those went out of serious science fiction in the 70s.
     
  19. Kelso

    Kelso Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    May 3, 2001
    Location:
    On the destruct button until the last minute!
    ^ They mentioned that the rescue team was being diverted from another assignment... but I don't recall the details.

    This is probably the best explanation I've seen. If the helium-3 mining causes certain death within three years, then the elaborate clone operation makes a lot more sense.

    Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed the flick. Rockwell gave a great performance(s). I was thrilled that GERTY didn't go crazy and try to kill anyone.
     
  20. Ward Fowler

    Ward Fowler Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2005
    Location:
    Lucerne's Parlor of Mystery
    They sent them out more for the harvester than the clone problem. That should make good economic sense to you.