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Oblivion

Oblivion

Oblivion-poster

Director: Joseph Kosinski
Writer: Karl Gajdusek, Michael Arndt
Starring: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko

 

Plot: After a war with invaders from another planet, Earth is uninhabitable. A clean up crew is left behind to oversee the removal of natural resources before the remaining humans head off to their new home called on a colony called Titan.

 

 

Rate It: (0 -3 guys)

 

Adam:

1andHalfGuys

 

Scotty:

1andHalfGuys

 

Griff:

1andHalfGuys

 

 

 

So what did you think? 

Adam – I enjoyed the look of the film quite a bit.  The sets and gizmos all looked top notch.  Similarly, there was plenty of action to keep folks entertained.  On the downside this film was extremely derivative and you could see the twists and turns coming from a mile away.  An entertaining Sci-Fi film for folks that don’t like to think to much that probably would not stand up to repeat viewings very well.

Scotty - This film is visually stunning but utterly boring.  Oblivion had all the bells and whistles of a sci-fi extravaganza but the story and characters were forgettable.  I continue to struggle with Tom Cruise and his way of reenacting past characters for future roles and the story lacked anything new, not a terrible film but certainly not memorable.

Griff – Well visually it was pretty good but that can only take you just so far. Eventually you are going to have to rely on some story and that is where things fall apart. The plot, the characters, the twists, all of it has been done before in other movies. It all plays out like a bad pilot for some new series on ABC this fall.

 

 

Any thoughts before you saw the movie? 

Adam – I was in the mood for a little Tom Cruise so why not check this out.  Besides there was nothing else at the theater worth watching.

Scotty -I was not looking forward to this one.  When Morgan Freeman was playing his best Morpheus in the trailer I knew I could be in for a trip to the movies that could be terrible.

Griff – This looked real bad and it’s placement before the summer blockbusters tells me that the studios didn’t think much of it either.

Oblivion Still 1

 

Did you think this movie was fresh and/or innovative? 

Adam – Not in the least bit.  The script cobbled together about ten different Sci-Fi film plots and video games then regurgitated them up on the screen.  If it was not for the stunning visuals I would have dinged this film even more than I did.

Scotty - Worst innovation ever, take Top Gun, The Matrix, and Wall-e, and Total Recall, mix them all up and Oblivion happens.

Griff – Take the best elements (and some bad elements as well) of a dozen or so other better sci-fi movies. Put them in the cup, shake them up, and yell “Yahtzee!” cause you just made a movie.

 

 

Did you think the script was well written? 

Adam – If you had never seen a Sci-Fi film before I could see where you might think the script was well done.

Scotty – The script was poor and the first hour was slow.  Oblivion struggled to become its’ own movie as it rips and tears from all other films and finds its’ identity with about a half hour left.

Griff - It’s not the worst thing in the world but it is pretty fare from great as well. This is the plain white toast of sci-fi movies. It is going to keep you going but nobody is excited to be eating it.

 

 

Was there a performance you really liked or really hated? 

Adam – Morgan Freeman looks good in cape.  I also enjoyed the brief screen time that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau had.  I am turning into a big fan of the King Slayer.

Scotty -I did not like or hate anyone, I thought they all were just okay.

Griff - It was a real shame to see Nikolaj Coster Waldau in this movie and have him have such a small role. I think having him in the lead role would have been a better choice and made for a more interesting movie. Morgan Freeman seemed like he was sleeping walking through this movie. Andrea Riseborough had a nice little performance and was probably the most interesting character. Also, I would like to mention that Olga Kurylenko is very attractive.

Oblivion Still 2

 

Do you remember a song from the film?

Adam – Yes, but not in a good way. Can we all agree to never have that Procol Harum tune Whiter Shade of Pale in any film for the rest of eternity?  Check out this site devoted to documenting just such occurrences http://procolharum.com/phfilms.htm

Scotty -“Ramble On” by Led Zeppelin

Griff - I believe they played some Zeppelin

 

 

What was your favorite line? 

Adam – “Are you an effective team?”

Scotty – “I am Jack Harper. And I am home.”

Griff – “Are you an effective team?”

 

 

What would have made this a better movie?

Adam - I would have rather seen at least a third of this film devoted to struggle of the “Scavs”  More screen time for Freeman and Coster-Waldau would have made for a much more interesting film.

Scotty – Oblivion needed to find itself earlier in the film, I honestly could not wait for the finale and when it finally came I enjoyed the spectacle.

Griff - This movie was just plain generic from start to finish. I know it’s difficult not to borrow from other ideas but everything here is rehashed tired old plots. It makes for a watchable but not overly enjoyable film.

Oblivion Still 3

 

Is it worth seeing in the theater? Or could you have waited for the DVD/Stream?

Adam - Save your cash, nothing special here that you can’t watch at home on your couch in a few months.

Scotty -If you have to see it see it in IMAX or the theater.  The special effects are truly the only thing worth watching.

Griff – Wait for this to show up on TNT or HBO but don’t waste your hard earned money on it.

 

 

What other movies would you recommend if someone enjoyed this film? 

Adam – Hmm lets see what films does this Oblivion rip off?  You can see the films that inspired the script by watching Wall-E, La Jette, Planet of the Apes,  and Alien, I could probably think of a few more films to add to this list as well.  Why not play some Fallout when you finish watching those film to see some of the visual inspirations in video game form.

Scotty – The Matrix, 2001 Space Odyssey, Wall-E, to be honest if you enjoyed this sci-fi film you would probably like any sci-fi film.

Griff - I am going to throw out a couple of odd sci-fi choices here. A couple of picks off the beaten path. (Both of which I have reviewed in the past…) Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970) – Way ahead of it’s time and War Games pretty much stole directly from this movie and then Silent Running (1972) with the exceptional character actor Bruce Dern. This one is a bit of slow mover but with amazing visuals and great story.

Oblivion Still 4

 

Any final thoughts on this movie? 

Adam – While this film is not terrible it is certainly not excellent either.  At best this is a mildly interesting film with above average visuals.   A better title for this cinematic doppelganger would have been “Obvious.”

Scotty – Oblivion lacks much of what makes a movie good; the story is a total retread of really good sci-fi films, the pacing struggles, especially in the beginning, and the characters are forgettable.  That being said it is visually stunning and the last half hour was enjoyable at some level.  I kind of wish I could do a mind wipe after watching it, actually you do not even need a mind wipe it wipes itself from your mind and that is the problem with the film.

Griff - Oblivion is a watchable but utterly forgettable entry to the genre. This is the kind of movie you can fall asleep watching on some lazy Sunday afternoon. I don’t think anyone will walk away from this thinking it was terrible but you aren’t going to recommend it at the water cooler either.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Chris May 17, 2013, 5:49 pm

    I love how you all pretty much come to the same conclusion with this film, and I actually pretty much feel the same way as well. I enjoyed certain aspects, mainly the visuals, but overall, it’s a very forgettable experience, and I actually found myself distracted by just how much it borrows from other movies, constantly reminding me of those better movies throughout. Nice review, guys!

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:42 am

      Chris it is odd how sometimes all three of us reach the same conclusions on a film. I wonder if it was something in the drinking water when we were growing up.

  • Marilyn Armstrong May 17, 2013, 7:51 pm

    So after all that, I guess we just wait till it shows up on cable. Most science fiction movies kind of suck. Which is a pity, because science fiction is my favorite literary genre. It’s about ideas, concepts … but they always seem to end up space westerns. Pity. I live in hope.

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:43 am

      Marilyn you are certainly on the right track with regards to waiting for this one to show up on cable.

  • Nick May 17, 2013, 9:48 pm

    I was hoping for so much more for this movie. I don’t have time for average.

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:43 am

      “I don’t have time for average” That would be a good motto in general Nick

  • ckckred May 18, 2013, 5:09 am

    Nice review. I was hoping to see this as the trailers looked interesting, but after seeing most reviews it sounded nothing special and you guys confirm it.

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:44 am

      Ckckred, you will not be missing anything by waiting to check this one out in the comfort of your own home.

  • Evan Crean May 18, 2013, 7:14 am

    I agree with you guys that there’s nothing special about Oblivion. So many other sci-fi films have done all of these themes better. In addition to the movies you referenced, I think portions of Oblivion are influenced by elements from Total Recall, Moon, Independence Day, and even Kosinski’s own Tron Legacy. I was frustrated by how this movie couldn’t decide whether it wanted to be a gritty human story or big budget action spectacle. I also would have liked more focus on the Scavs and a larger part for Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and perhaps music that was less silly.

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:45 am

      Yes Evan, more Kingslayer!!! Hell I wish the whole movie was about him.

  • Chris May 18, 2013, 9:54 am

    You guys pretty much nailed this. It was OK but there are so many more better movies like this out there. I watched Moon not long after this and the similarities are astonishing. But Moon does the whole thing a lot better.

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:46 am

      Chris, Moon is a much better film, well at least in my humble opinion.

  • Tim The Film Guy May 18, 2013, 10:16 am

    What other films would you recommend if they liked this film? Haha every sci-fi film since the 50′s

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:48 am

      Tim well except for Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull and Waterworld but otherwise yes every sci-fi film since the 1950′s. ;-)

  • Lights Camera Reaction May 19, 2013, 6:39 am

    I pretty much had the same thoughts as you guys. I didn’t even bother writing a review of the film haha.

    It was pretty to look at though.

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:49 am

      Damn LCR, so uninspiring you could not even drag yourself to write a review.

  • Keith May 19, 2013, 1:32 pm

    OUCHIE! I rather enjoyed this movie a bit more than you guys. That said, I really havent had a big craving to see it again. That may say something about the point you fellas are making! Hmmm….

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:53 am

      Keith, I don’t see myself ever giving this a re-watch but who knows it might happen.

  • Josh May 19, 2013, 10:21 pm

    I figured as much with this one. Haven’t seen it, but the trailers never struck me as anything special. My expectations are that it looks good (which is evident by the trailers), but just generic and lacking in the narrative department. You guys have confirmed my suspicions it seems. My plan was to just wait until it’s streaming on Netflix or comes on HBO or something. Looks like I’ll stick to that plan.

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:55 am

      Josh, I saw they had a first look trailer on HBO Go for this film so I Imagine it will be heading for HBO in a few months.

      • Josh Lyons May 20, 2013, 1:08 pm

        Oh yeah? Cool. I’ll check out then. I figured between HBO, Showtime and Starz, one channel would get it soon enough.

  • mummbles May 19, 2013, 10:58 pm

    Yeah the movie is pretty average but is somewhat entertaining. I am not sure if it was touched on before but the music was amazing, M83 did the soundtrack and I thought it really stood out.

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:56 am

      Mummbles, I really wasn’t much of a fan of some of the retread musical selections used in the film. Please no more Whiter Shade of Pale in a film ever again ;-)

  • Dan Ryan May 20, 2013, 5:41 am

    I liked the look of this film and the story was entertaining enough. I also felt as if it was a compilation of other films but it did not bother me as much as the 3 guys. I have the same favorite line as well…”are you an effective team?”

    • Adam May 20, 2013, 8:59 am

      Hey thanks for stopping by Dan. I have seen worse films at the theater this year and Oblivion was cool to look at but the plot sort of dragged the whole thing down. Which is a bummer cause this film had a lot of promise and high production values.

  • Colin Biggs May 21, 2013, 11:32 am

    The general consensus must be universal, I haven’t come across anyone who was ecstatic about the film, but most appreciate the special effects.

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