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Oblivion presents a very unique take on a post-apocalyptic/science-fiction film. Instead of initially seeing the life of people living in direct horror of such a cataclysmic event, we are presented with a much more organized aftermath in which man has given up on any chance of reclaiming earth, and are headed for the stars.
Background — We are told the people of the earth are headed to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. While most have already made the journey, a small contingent of people –two that we know of– are actually left on the planet to perform maintenance on machines that harvest resources from the earth for their new home. The contingency duties also include preventing sabotage of said machines from a group of aliens called the Scavs, who aim to dwarf their plains. Jack Harper, played by Tom Cruise, heads the actual repair part of the operation, while Victoria Olson, portrayed by Andrea Riseborough, is Jack’s communications officer.
From the onset of the movie, one of the most beautiful and disturbing views is seeing the moon hanging in the sky in shambles. We are told the destruction of the moon preceded the invasion of the Scavs, who invaded earth in an attempt to takeover the planet. The destruction of the moon sent earth into climatic chaos, making it all too easy for the invasion force to get the upper-hand against the nations of earth. In a last-ditch effort to eradicate the enemy, earth deployed its nuclear arsenal to eradicate the enemy. Earth won, but at a grave cost, destroying all sustainability in the process.
This set up the premise of the film which goes on to present many more reveals and a deeper plot line. I’ll avoid any more spoilers, but I will say things are not as they seem. If you wish to be completely spoiled, see Wikipedia.
The Good — Tom Cruise does an excellent job portraying Jack Harper, as expected. I know it’s popular to hate on him sometimes, but I honestly can’t say I’ve seen one of his movies in which I totally hated him in. Be that as it may, he gave a very believable performance, as most of the film hinges on the audiences connection with him directly. For most of the first part of the film, he’s the lone person on screen.
I thought the whole moon destruction thing was very clever. Although we don’t actually see this event play out in the film, it just felt brilliant to me as I had not heard of that being done before. Not to mention it is most certainly a great precursor to invasion by throwing earth’s weather system out of whack. It’s not given very much attention in the movie, but I still thought it was pretty cool.
Computer visuals in this movie are great. With the most notable instances being the post-apocalyptic vistas, the weather effects, and Jack’s aircraft, as well as the drones in which Jack had to repair. Other things like the moon, computer displays, the alien space station, and worn-down versions of notable landmarks, were also beautiful nonetheless and highly-believable. The visual in this film are right up there with the Asgard visuals in Thor, which have been my favorite special effects in recent memory.
The Bad — Easily the worst part of the movie is the love story. While the events that lead up to the realization of this relationship were pretty interesting, it all played out in the cheezy-stereotypical manner that most movies employ these days. Instead of playing this portion of the movie down and giving us more good sci-fi, it eventually becomes a pivotal part of the film and at times just seems forced.
Oblivion has pretty-good action sequences, but it doesn’t feel like it. The problem is not in the action sequences themselves, which were pretty good, but more in the pacing. This film lends itself to having a slow, drawn-out type of vibe due to the overall premise, which leaves it with the challenge of having the pacing be spot-on to keep the audience engaged. The pacing just felt slightly off with this film.
Pacing issues aside, this scripts leaves a bit to be desired. While the plot twist are great, it seems the writer wants the audience to be satisfied by those and visual effects alone, rather than flushing out a rich story. And the ending felt too cliche, with the all to often case of the antagonist having a supreme lapse in judgement, which seems highly unlikely once you know who the antagonist is.
And then there is Morgan Freeman. While I love Morgan Freeman, him being in this film is pretty unnecessary. They could have very easily given his role to a no name actor to jumpstart their career. Having Freeman play the role didn’t provide any much needed flare, and was pretty forgettable as far as his plethora of roles go.
The movie also features Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Jaime Lannister on Game of Thrones, as a military weapons expert. While it was interesting seeing him on the big screen, I really don’t get the casting decision, as he is completely a throw away character, and honestly it seems as if this role was written just to get him into the film.
Conclusion — All in all, Oblivion is a good movie, not great. If more elements of the universe were flushed out –rather than falling back on the ever so present love story, this may have been a greater film.
If you love science-fiction and stunning visuals (score was good also), you will probably enjoy Oblivion. Although the film’s potential is not truly realized, all the elements are there for a great sci-fi story. Oblivion also presents a great plot twist that will keep you interested throughout the film.
I dare say that most of the Tom Cruise’s fan-base won’t enjoy this film, as the action only seems moderate due to its pacing, which I’m not entirely sure could have been avoided, considering the premise of the story. That being said, for some, the pacing issues may be offset by the awesome visual effects.
Final Verdict — Unless you really love sci-fi and don’t mind being bored with a love story that’s given way to much attention, stay away.
Back in 2007 my slightly older cousin and a high school friend, along with myself planned a trip to Vegas. Of course I was exited about the sights and sounds, hustle and bustle that I would see on the trip, but deep in the back of my mind, the geek in me was saying, “Yes, I finally get to see Star Trek: The Experience”. Yeah, weird I know, but I was excited none-the-less.
In the midst all the casinos and shops, slot machines and shows, I finally made time to partake of the experience, which was a short tram ride from the Grand, which is where we were staying. Not surprisingly, my invitation for the fellas to join me was met with a polite letdown. Not deterred one bit, I was one my way.
After making my way to the Las Vegas Hilton and purchasing my ticket, I was on my way for the first of the two experiences. The walk to the actual entrance to the experiences was awesome in its own right, which included museum like displays of Start Trek memorabilia. These displays contained everything from uniforms and phasers, to full scale replicas and props. The following few pictures are from said walk. Enjoy.
Great look at the sound behind “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes”! Boy do I love this movie.
Acting as a foundation with an origin story for a new film series, Director Rupert Wyatt takes the audience on the science fiction summer hit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The stunning visual effects produced by Weta Digital for the apes are complimented by the wide range of sounds recorded and edited for the film.
Leading the sound team is supervising sound editor and sound designer Chuck Michael and co-supervisor John Larsen with the talents of first assistant sound editor Smokey Cloud and sound re-recording mixers Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett.
Update. For some reason, the creator Ruairi Robinson, made the video private (who knows why). So I’ve replaced it with the trailer. Sorry if you didn’t get to see the full film.
Things with the delightful android, Blinky, go horribly wrong. Great short film and a must watch.
Written, Directed & Edited by Ruairi Robinson.
Starring Max Records from “Where The Wild Things Are”.
Cinematography by Macgregor
Music by Ólafur Arnalds courtesy of Erased Tapes
Funded by Bord Scannán na hÉireann / Irish film Board
Smallville, my journey with you has been a trying one. Times when I thought I had rid myself from your persuasive snare you somehow still managed to bring me back into your ever-changing fold. Yes, your following is ever-changing.
In one corner, you have the Superman faithful. Those who have followed the multitude of comics and have never been able to let go of the draw of truth, justice, and the American way that is represented by the one who adores the red and blue tights. At first, the hardcore fans may have been disgusted by the notion of a universe in which Clark and Lex could co-exist as best friends, but soon jumped on board the Smallville train to see the modern yet vastly different portrayal of Superman in a somewhat odd but pleasing light. These are the same fans who catch all the nuances and tidbits that are buried within the plot that tend to put a smile on their face as they look on in gratitude for the subtle but juicy morsel.
In the other corner, you have the teen and young adult female audience, to which many of the narratives of the past ten years have played on. From the Clark and Lana romance that was played upon throughout the early years of the series, to the obvious Lois and Clark romance that has been the plot driver of the later seasons, the love interest of Superman has seemingly been a major draw to keep this demographic on board.
Finally, in the last corner, you have the viewers like myself. Whom of which are not really huge Superman fans, but look at the comic genre from a distance and are ready to admire it whenever we can see something come to the big or small screens. Yes, this is me. And with the lack of good content in this genre (until recently) in said media spaces, my demographic of viewer will chomp at the bit to see almost anything. With a lack of understanding of the greater Superman universe, we can look on and take in much of the series as just being something cool and new, and not be jaded by the multitude of liberties taken with the series, while trying to stomach the romance as much as possible.
And after ten years of being on the air, I dare say that many of the Smallville following have left the series at one time or another, only to come back and be more and more disappointed. Ever-changing? Maybe a more appropriate choice of words would be ever-dwindling.
According to Wikipedia, episode ratings peaked around the second season, and have been on an almost steady decline ever since. Season one had around 8.4 million viewers for the season premiere and 3.8 million viewers for the season finale, while season nine viewership was around 2.98 and 2.45 million. These number could easily backup my point, or it could be the result of the steady decline in overall television ratings, or is could simply be due to the burnout of a series running for ten years.
All my aforementioned points could easily be forever forgotten by the hope of the closing episodes of Smallville’s tenth and final season. One thing about us Americans, for all the wrong in the world, if you do something great, we’ll forgot it like it never happened. Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant –I’m looking at you. But then again, there are numerous instances where the potential for the much anticipated redemption story never came to pass. Chris Brown anybody. I guess the only question I can really have for Smallville as we await on the airing of the final episodes is whom will they be? It all rests in their hands, but then again, I guess they know that.
2006 is the year of Star Trek’s 40th anniversary. What a huge milestone! To set this year apart from the rest, and also to ensure longevity of the franchise, Star Trek: The Original Series is set for a remastered release. What will this remastered version include? Well, first off, thier will be a CG version of the Enterprise, along with new special effects for certain scenes. The remastering will undoubtedly include scratch and dust cleanup, which also will be upconverted to high definition. This will bring a huge improvement to the whole TOS experience. Can’t wait! Full article found on Star Trek’s official website, along with a slew of questions and answers about the whole remastering process.
Just in from SuperHeroHype! via a Yahoo Webcast…
Transformers screenwriters Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman revealed all the robots that will appear in the anticipated film today in a webcast on Yahoo! Movies. The Transformers that will be in the film include:
Optimus Prime, Bumblebee, Jazz, Ratchet, Ironhide
Megatron, Starscream, Brawl, Bonecrusher, Barricade, Scorponok, Frenzy, Blackout
Orci and Kurtzman also announced that there will be a contest on the official website soon in which you send in a line that Optimus Prime should say in the movie. The studio will pick one line that will make it in the film.