FORUMS: list search recent posts

Oblivion

COW Forums : TV & Movie Appreciation

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
Mark Suszko
Oblivion
on Apr 20, 2013 at 7:34:36 pm

Just came back from a matinee' of "Oblivion", starring Tom Cruise.

It is a pastiche of pasted-together tropes from all the popular SF blockbusters of recent years...

and yet...


It holds together quite well for an entertaining tale... if you don't mind one huge plot problem that makes the entire story moot.

The photography, effects, sound design, art direction, are all very good. The acting is okay too. Spoiler coming up...


















....












....it makes NO DARNED SNSE that an alien entity that is completely non-organic machine intelligence, needs anything in terms of resources from a planet like Earth, and goes to the incredible effort of building invasion forces and resource-glomming mechanisms when it already, by it's existence, proves it is interstellar-capable and able to live in space, getting any resources it needs directly FROM space, without tedious mucking around in a gravity well.


To me, a more compelling story would be such an entity arriving in our outer solar system and totally ignoring everything about us, no matter what we do, because we're barely alive or sentient compared to them.


If such plot holes make you angry, maybe skip the movie until it's a red box buy. The kids will probably dig it because they don't tend to question the assumptions in it, they just think the art direction and props are cool.


Return to posts index

Scott Roberts
Re: Oblivion
on Apr 23, 2013 at 8:25:14 pm

I didn't go into this film with the highest of expectations, nor did I go into it thinking it would be a stinker. At the very least, I was hoping that I'd be saying more after walking out of the theater than "Where did I park again?", but that's about right where it fell.

I actually struggled to retain much from the movie in the couple of days since I've seen it. I remember it had excellent cinematography and visual effects. Everything blended very seamlessly into the environments, and most of the shot composition was superb. You'd probably be hard pressed to find someone who saw Oblivion and at the very least didn't say that it looked great.

The story kind of borrowed from a lot of different places. Especially the third act, which was a mashup of The Matrix, Independence Day, and Moon. Actually, throughout the entire duration of Oblivion, I couldn't help but feel like everything in it was something that I'd already seen before. Being a big fan of Tarantino, I'd be a hypocrite to say that this it's a no-no to borrow so much from other sources; but that practice works sometimes, and doesn't work other times. It didn't even necessarily fail in Oblivion, either, it just didn't feel all that special.

Is it sad that when I watch Tom Cruise movies nowadays, I spend the entire time thinking about how big of a weirdo he probably is in real life? Once the film started to lose me for even an instant, I start to think about how Cruise was potentially behaving on the set during the scene. Does he get along with people? Is he like going around smacking interns on the back, doing his loud, toothy laugh? Or does he really get into it, and between takes he's practicing doing somersaults and yelling "ZEW ZEW ZEW" with his prop gun because he's insane? I like to think it's a combo of the two. Maybe he sits in the cockpit of his fake spaceship, using the intercom feature to alert the film crew that he finds their work to be satisfactory of the mission.

Anyway, the rest of the cast was alright. I had no idea who Andrea Riseborough was before this movie, but she was great in Oblivion. Easily the standout member of the cast. The dude who plays Jaime Lannister was there too, reduced to the "hot-headed" human resistance guy. Morgan Freeman didn't do it for me, though. I love the guy in a lot of things, but for some reason I just wasn't digging him in Oblivion. Maybe it was too Morgan Freeman-y of a performance? Like, I wasn't able to establish the character at all because I was going "Hey look, it's Morgan Freeman in a jumpsuit!"

The drones may actually have been the best characters in the film now that I think about it. They served their purpose as a rightfully frightening entity. Nearly unstoppable forces that can have the potential to turn on characters at the drop of a hat. And great sound design on all of them in addition to the visuals. And a nice nod to HAL with the red camera eyes.

Like all science fiction films, there are logic flaws abound. If I cared more about Oblivion more, I'd probably care more to be more critical of them. But if someone started to attack the logic of this movie, I don't think I'd waste my energy to defend it. Or vice versa, if someone was praising it immensely, I wouldn't feel the need to bring them down to Earth and tell them why Oblivion was stupid. If anyone talks to me about Oblivion, I'm probably just going to say "Yeah, it's fun I guess. Nothing special." Perhaps it doesn't make sense that an alien force that is fully sustainable living in outer space needs the resources of a planet like Earth and deem it necessary to invade us. At the same time, maybe I AM in the camp that has overlooked such flaws for its pretty looking visuals and laser gun noises? I'd like to think I'm not in most cases, but here we are... Maybe I'll just put Oblivion behind me... Which is odd, considering I kind of liked it.

Side note: my body was pretty out of control when I went to go see Oblivion. I fell asleep for a few minutes minutes during the scene when Jack discovers the survivor of the wreckage, and I had to go to the bathroom for a few minutes during the scene when Jack crosses into the radiation zone. So, perhaps I didn't watch the two most plot twisting scenes of the entire film, but what was I supposed to do about it? I got tired, so I fell asleep; and my stomach hurt, so I went to the bathroom (my friend filled me in on the details after the movie). I'm not saying Oblivion was solely responsible for either of these things, but the jury is still out on this one, you guys. Regardless, this has felt like one of my most rambling, inconclusive reviews yet. So, I'll end things by saying that there was a moment when Jaime Lannister helps a character up after a battle in this movie, and they do a closeup of his right hand, which I found to be subtly hilarious.

7 out of 10


Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Oblivion
on Apr 23, 2013 at 10:58:13 pm

"Are you an effective team?"


Return to posts index


Stephen Smith
Re: Oblivion
on Sep 30, 2013 at 4:52:24 pm

The art direction and props are cool.

I loved the color grade job. I loved the black and white (B&W) parts and how it went to color. The B&W was more of dark gray and white. Very cool. This film was very cool to look at and was worth a Redbox rental to just visually look at.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


Return to posts index

Mike Cohen
Re: Oblivion
on Nov 4, 2013 at 10:38:57 pm

Of the 3 movies I watched last weekend (This is the End and Ironman 3) this was the only one filmed partially during the day. I guess film budgets are low so lights are the first thing to go.

Glad I was not the only one who thought the story was basically Moon with a more famous lead actor.

If you have not seen the movie, then stop reading now, or continue reading and save the $1.30.








Matte Paintings - cool city scapes buried underground, or whatever. I guess if the moon blows up, the Earth swallows up buildings...?

I liked the Empire State building motif.

The fact that in 50 years the Earth would turn into such a wasteland, moon or no moon, seems implausible.

The expository monologue about how aliens invaded and the few humans who survived built these fantastic spaceships and Jetsons houses...I guess they chose Tom Cruise to believe that BS out of all available humans. Seriously, if the Earth was reduced to scrap, how could humans build a campfire, let alone these sleek futuristic houses and associated technology. They lost me from the start, or forced me to immediately start thinking there was another game afoot.

So anyway, aliens kidnap Tom Cruise and his co-pilot who shall remain nameless, clone them, and populate these tower outpost thingies in order to monitor the drones which are protecting the moisture farms against attack by "aliens" who are actually humans led by Morgan Freeman. The human resistance then lets one of the Tom Cruise clones in on the secret and that's it for the rest of the aliens.

As Mark said, what purpose do the human clones really serve if the aliens can do everything they can do?

Imagine the pitch meeting with universal:

Studio Boss:
Ok, what have you got?

Writer/Director:
In the future, Earth is invaded...

Studio Boss:
Is Will Smith in this?

Writer:
I dunno, this is a pitch.

Boss:
Well could he be?

Writer:
Sure, i guess, or maybe Morgan Freeman.

Boss:
I like him. Can we make him the narrator who explains everything at the end?

Writer:
That's been done. We could make him the resistance leader.

Boss:
Against the aliens?

Writer:
Sure.

Boss:
Ok, who else is in this?

Writer:
Hypothetically?

Boss:
Yeah.

Writer:
Tom Cruise?

Boss:
Nice. Can he wear those aviator glasses from Top Gun?

Writer:
I don't see why not.

Boss:
Great. I had a pair of those back in the 80's - they were so cool.

Writer:
Yeah they were sweet.

Boss:
Ok, I like where this is going. Is there a love interest?

Writer:
For Tom Cruise?

Boss:
Yes.

Writer:
I guess so. Who's available and wants to work with Tom?

Boss:
Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Hold on, let me call someone.

dials phone

Boss:
Harvey....Hey it's #$%^&*( over at Universal.....Yeah....Fine thanks....Yeah it was quite a Bas-Mitzvah.....Lady Gaga was the perfect choice for the Motzie....Agreed...Listen, who have you got willing the play the love interest of Tom Cruise.....yes in a movie....it's about aliens or something, and we've got Morgan Freeman....no she doesn't get to sleep with Morgan, but we might be able to write something in, a hug or whatever....nobody?....how about Kelly McGillis, they had chemistr.....you don't say? Wow...shocking...Andrea who? Riseborogh? Is she pretty? You guess so...ok we'll take her. Anyone else you can suggest?...Jamie Lannister...from Game of Thrones...Nicolas Kloster-Waldau...yeah he was great in New Amsterdam....wait are we still talking about the love interest?....oh I see he's available? Let me talk to the writer. Ok, bye bye.

Boss:
That was Harvey over at William Morris. They can give us Andrea something and Jamie Lannister.

Writer:
Which one is the love interest?

Boss:
Suppose we can let Tom decide.

Writer:
Funny. Ok. So we got Tom and Andrea as lone survivors of an alien invasion, Morgan and Jamie as resistance fighters, and a bunch of explosions and matte paintings.

Boss:
What's your budget?

Writer:
$150million

Boss:
Can you do it for $120million?

Writer:
Music to my ears.

Boss:
Can you shoot on RED?

Writer:
Sure, I guess.

Boss:
Great. We'll post-convert to 3D, so the movie has to be locked in 6 months. Get to work.

Writer:
Thanks.



I don't mean to oversimplify this - it was beautifully shot and has some great effects. But it felt like a familiar story.

I did like the surprise ending but saw it coming a mile away.

Now the debate is obviously, did Tom 49 switch places with Tom 52, or do all versions of Tom act and think the same, making it not matter which one eventually ends up with Julia as neither of them knows which Tom is the original.


Return to posts index

Mark Suszko
Re: Oblivion
on Nov 4, 2013 at 11:22:38 pm

Your Top Gun experience takes on a new dimension in Chinese:

https://medium.com/war-is-boring/2a454bf48e9d

Really, don't bother watching any of it except the last 20 minutes: that's worth it for the bad translation captions alone, which are so off that I can't even quote some of them here)


Return to posts index

<< PREVIOUS   •   VIEW ALL   •   PRINT   •   NEXT >>
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]