Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Fri Aug 22, 2014 11:57 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
OBLIVION 
Author Message
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3136
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post OBLIVION
Click here for the review of Oblivion

SPOILERS must be tagged with the "SPOILER" tag!


Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:32 am
Profile WWW
Second Unit Director

Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2012 8:07 pm
Posts: 200
Post Re: OBLIVION
"We don't get many idea-based science fiction films these days so, when one comes along, it represents a welcome change of pace from the fantasy space opera that has co-opted the genre."

Didn't we just have Prometheus?


"It's easy to nitpick Oblivion to death. There are a lot of little holes and inconsistencies."

Again, this applies to Prometheus.


"Oblivion is imperfect but some of its imperfections result from being overly ambitious. And, while one could argue that characters are secondary to the ideas and storyline throughout Oblivion, I found myself caring about what happens to the people at the end and what that last moment signifies for the concept of identity."

Once again, this can apply to Prometheus.


Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:40 pm
Profile
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 3485
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: OBLIVION
This looks pretty good, i'm sure it will be considerably better then Promotheus was.


Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:18 pm
Profile
Cinematographer

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:09 pm
Posts: 724
Post Re: OBLIVION
ck100 wrote:
"We don't get many idea-based science fiction films these days so, when one comes along, it represents a welcome change of pace from the fantasy space opera that has co-opted the genre."

Didn't we just have Prometheus?


Saying "we don't get many" is a lot different from saying "we don't get any". The existence of Prometheus doesn't really take anything away from the point being made. Idea-based sci-fi is still rare, even if Prometheus is a somewhat recent example of idea-based sci-fi.

ck100 wrote:
"It's easy to nitpick Oblivion to death. There are a lot of little holes and inconsistencies."

Again, this applies to Prometheus.


"Oblivion is imperfect but some of its imperfections result from being overly ambitious. And, while one could argue that characters are secondary to the ideas and storyline throughout Oblivion, I found myself caring about what happens to the people at the end and what that last moment signifies for the concept of identity."

Once again, this can apply to Prometheus.


I'm not sure I understand the point here. Saying what Oblivion is doesn't say anything about what Prometheus is. I don't understand what pointing out those similarities accomplishes. Two different idea-based sci-fi movies have similar strengths and weaknesses. Ok.


Thu Apr 18, 2013 2:40 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director

Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:11 pm
Posts: 396
Post Re: OBLIVION
ck100 wrote:
"We don't get many idea-based science fiction films these days so, when one comes along, it represents a welcome change of pace from the fantasy space opera that has co-opted the genre."

Didn't we just have Prometheus?


"It's easy to nitpick Oblivion to death. There are a lot of little holes and inconsistencies."

Again, this applies to Prometheus.


"Oblivion is imperfect but some of its imperfections result from being overly ambitious. And, while one could argue that characters are secondary to the ideas and storyline throughout Oblivion, I found myself caring about what happens to the people at the end and what that last moment signifies for the concept of identity."

Once again, this can apply to Prometheus.


This reminds me of a friend who showed me his college paper in Greek Humanities on comparing Hector and Achilles. He lead off with the sentence; Achilles and Hector are similar in many ways and different in many ways. The professor snarkily wrote in red pen in the margin "So are any two things in the universe"

Though it is good to have any scifi movie that is based on an idea rather than just an action movie. Prometheus was just a bad movie with a very interesting premise that got lost in the mess of a story.Though to disagree I didn't care what happened to anyone by the middle of the movie and Ridley Scott vindicates me with the silly utterly pointless turn for Charlize Theron and Noomi Rapace's big decision at the end of the movie which contradicted everything she was saying and doing for an hour. If Oblivion can hold my interest past half time and still make any kind of logical sense towards the end it will not be like Prometheus at all.


Thu Apr 18, 2013 7:52 pm
Profile
Cinematographer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 10, 2012 4:40 pm
Posts: 547
Post Re: OBLIVION
ck100 wrote:
"We don't get many idea-based science fiction films these days so, when one comes along, it represents a welcome change of pace from the fantasy space opera that has co-opted the genre."

Didn't we just have Prometheus?

"It's easy to nitpick Oblivion to death. There are a lot of little holes and inconsistencies."

Again, this applies to Prometheus.

"Oblivion is imperfect but some of its imperfections result from being overly ambitious. And, while one could argue that characters are secondary to the ideas and storyline throughout Oblivion, I found myself caring about what happens to the people at the end and what that last moment signifies for the concept of identity."

Once again, this can apply to Prometheus.

Crazy idea: see the film before you compare it to another. Just saying.

_________________
"Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain."


Thu Apr 18, 2013 8:50 pm
Profile
Gaffer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:17 pm
Posts: 37
Post Re: OBLIVION
Great review James. :)

I was mildly interested in this film based on the trailers, but your review has put it over the top for me. I'll be checking it out this weekend.

And I'm itching for some good sci-fi after the dearth of interesting movies so far this year. Thanks.


Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:58 pm
Profile
Gaffer

Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:08 pm
Posts: 28
Post Re: OBLIVION
ck100 wrote:
"We don't get many idea-based science fiction films these days so, when one comes along, it represents a welcome change of pace from the fantasy space opera that has co-opted the genre."

Didn't we just have Prometheus?


"It's easy to nitpick Oblivion to death. There are a lot of little holes and inconsistencies."

Again, this applies to Prometheus.


"Oblivion is imperfect but some of its imperfections result from being overly ambitious. And, while one could argue that characters are secondary to the ideas and storyline throughout Oblivion, I found myself caring about what happens to the people at the end and what that last moment signifies for the concept of identity."

Once again, this can apply to Prometheus.


Except Prometheus' ideas were dumb and the plotholes were huge and it was not in any way ambitious instead trying to retreat into half-baked scifi horror. I haven't seen Oblivion yet, but if Prometheus counts as idea-based scifi then the genre is essentially dead.


Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:30 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:37 am
Posts: 1022
Location: Laurel, MD
Post Re: OBLIVION
Well, regardless of how often we really get ideas-based science fiction movies, I'm all for more of them. Also can't forget how Looper, my favorite movie from 2012, fell into this category.

_________________
https://www.facebook.com/ken.rossman.5


Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:33 pm
Profile
Gaffer
User avatar

Joined: Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:17 pm
Posts: 37
Post Re: OBLIVION
Hi All,

Just saw the film last night (opening night, Friday). Packed theater.

I definitely agree with James B on this one: I found "Oblivion" to be a solid Sci-Fi Adventure film, with some interesting, thought-provoking ideas, and some great Action Sequences, to boot. :)

Tom Cruise was solid as the protagonist, Jack Harper, and while I hoped Morgan Freeman had more screen time, his role was fine.

Some of the ideas and twists threw me for a loop (pleasantly surprised), and those mentioning Prometheus can rest easy: Oblivion was nowhere near the "WTH?!" or obscurity found in Prometheus (and Ridley Scott is my favorite director, but I was disappointed with Prometheus).

And I agree with James that there was so much back story / information about the universe they were in, that they were still fleshing out things near the end (but I loved it). ;)

Whereas "The Hobbit" felt like they were stretching things out to milk 3 movies out of the book, "Oblivion" was the opposite, with lots of information / story / back story crammed into 1 two-hour movie. It was an interesting Sci Fi / Action movie, with great CG moments / battles, nice Sci-Fi ideas / elements (although some familiar), with a solid protagonist. It isn't as hardcore Sci-Fi as the best, nor does it mess with your head or confuse you like Prometheus may have, but it was solid entertainment and definitely fills a segment we don't have enough of (there were *3* Comic Book Movie Trailers in front of this film - it's the age of Comic Book Movies! :lol:

Overall, a solid 3 Stars out of 4.


Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:35 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 4:57 pm
Posts: 423
Post Re: OBLIVION
Wow......was this disappointing. It certainly looks great, there is no argument there as shots of the ruined Earth looks amazing. Though when it comes to humans...it does look all gamey, like Uncharted IN THE FUTURE(admit it, Tom Cruise has a bit of Nathan Drake in him). The acting isn't too bad, though there needed to be more Morgan Freeman...much more Morgan Freeman, that costume looks badass!

Everything else.....wow. Ok, at first I was kinda liking it, liking the backstory and the mundane life of drone repair with some scav action. I liked the idea of the Tet spaceship. Then the plot actually kicked in gear where the following spoilers happened.

[Reveal] Spoiler:
-Hey, why are the drones killing the human survivors from the crash site!
-At least I saved this human female...who knows my name...and says I'm her wife!
-Humans...lead by Morgan Freeman? Who are actually the Scavs?!
-So we can weaponize the drones fuel cells into nukes!
-Clones motherfucker!
-When will perfectly symmetrical violence work!
-Hey my hot british clone girlfriend, bye my hot british clone girlfriend who we will never see again and have no idea what happened at the end.
-Time to nuke the shit out of The Tet!
-Clones mutherfucker!


Does any of that sound like actual ideas? It shouldn't. There are no ideas except the idea of giving up on one plot thread and pulling another out of its ass!

Not only the most disappointing movie of the year...but the worst thus far.


Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:44 pm
Profile
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 1:35 am
Posts: 2050
Post Re: OBLIVION
*** 1/2 of five, with an extra half-star because the actress who played Victoria reminded me favorably of Emily Blunt. (Actually, I thought it was Emily Blunt. It's Andrea Riseborough, who I hope to see more of.)

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I, too was concerned with poor Victoria 52 being left alone on her tower with no operational drones at all. But I did console myself that there were at least 50 Victorias who did get their Jack.

_________________
Evil does not wear a bonnet!--Mr. Tinkles


Sat Apr 20, 2013 8:44 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 10:09 pm
Posts: 1264
Post Re: OBLIVION
Syd Henderson wrote:
*** 1/2 of five, with an extra half-star because the actress who played Victoria reminded me favorably of Emily Blunt. (Actually, I thought it was Emily Blunt. It's Andrea Riseborough, who I hope to see more of.)

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I, too was concerned with poor Victoria 52 being left alone on her tower with no operational drones at all. But I did console myself that there were at least 50 Victorias who did get their Jack.

Indeed, Andrea Riseborough is like Emily Blunt 5 years ago: a lovely, intriguing British actress who seems on the verge of her breakout. 8-)


Sat Apr 20, 2013 11:21 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director

Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:11 pm
Posts: 396
Post Re: OBLIVION
They did a pretty good job on this movie with the right balance of action and real science fiction story. It beats the pants off of Prometheus and I liked the way they incorporated the real life classical book "Lays of Ancient Rome" and the legend of Horatius. The one thing I found interesting was the anti technology slant vs the pro human spirit angle in the film which contrasted with watching nearly half the people in the audience playing with their Iphones before the screening even while sitting with their companions.

The only thing I didn't understand

[Reveal] Spoiler:
Who exactly were the aliens or was it just an automated space station and what exactly were they doing with the water. Was it for fusion power or was that a lie too?


Sun Apr 21, 2013 6:00 am
Profile
Assistant Second Unit Director

Joined: Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 68
Post Re: OBLIVION
Oakenshield

[Reveal] Spoiler:
The space stations (the "Tet") WAS the alien. It was machine life, somewhat like the borg without the assimilation, I was thinking. The fusion stations were providing power to the Tet, so that part wasn't a lie.


Mon Apr 22, 2013 4:08 am
Profile
Second Unit Director

Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:52 pm
Posts: 273
Location: North Carolina
Post Re: OBLIVION
I thought JB's review was right on the money. Liked the story, the acting, but they had to rush things at the end. It was a fun movie for me; I saw it in Imax, which probably added to the experience.

Out of habit, I went over to Roger Ebert's old site. They had a guy writing a review of this movie like it was a thesis in a film school course. It was full of sexual psychobabble: the flyer was a sperm, the space station was a womb... and, of course, he absolutely hated it. Thanks, JB, for not subjecting us to that.


Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:59 am
Profile
Second Unit Director

Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:52 pm
Posts: 273
Location: North Carolina
Post Re: OBLIVION
One other comment. A constant problem with alien invasion movies, even those that are well written, is figuring out a rational reason for aliens to bother to invade us. Alas, this movie failed on this point:

[Reveal] Spoiler:
OK, so this Tet device wants our water to power their fusion reactors. This would have made sense in a movie shown 40 years ago, when Earth was the only known water planet and water was thought to be a rare commodity. But today we know that water is commonplace throughout the universe. In our own solar system, you could harvest water from the rings of Saturn, or several water-covered moons, or from billions of comets in the Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud. Any of those alternatives would seem to be easier than conquering Earth.


Of course, in any science fiction film, you have to throw the writers a mulligan for some illogical or impossible plot point, otherwise none of these films would ever get made. I get that; I just wish they would put a bit more thought into it.


Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:01 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:37 am
Posts: 1022
Location: Laurel, MD
Post Re: OBLIVION
Saw it today and 3 stars sounds about right. It is a movie about identity, and even with thought-provoking ideas, there's still plenty of heart and soul. Some of the story's twists were easy to guess for veteran sci-fi fans, but others were genuinely surprising. This isn't a blow-the-doors-off experience, but definitely entertaining and welcome for those who don't want to turn their brains off at the movies.

_________________
https://www.facebook.com/ken.rossman.5


Mon Apr 22, 2013 5:07 pm
Profile
Second Unit Director

Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:11 pm
Posts: 396
Post Re: OBLIVION
Thanks Macharia that makes sense and I think slksc has it correct saying it is a MacGuffin just to get the story to work. Though....

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I will say that sometimes wars are started not for rational reasons but irrational reasons as military historian Victor Davis Hanson theorizes in his book The Father of Us All. It can be about pride and honor or just we thought we could get away with it instead of some rational reason. Sure you could collect water from a Saturn or comets but if your outfitted as an intergalactic man of war then your mission is maybe just to take for the sake of taking.The AI had emotion in getting angry at the end and even megalomania in saying I am your god.Sounds bit lame but that is the only explanation that sort of makes sense.


Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:46 pm
Profile
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2009 10:55 pm
Posts: 3136
Location: Mount Laurel, NJ, USA
Post Re: OBLIVION
H.I. McDonough wrote:
Syd Henderson wrote:
*** 1/2 of five, with an extra half-star because the actress who played Victoria reminded me favorably of Emily Blunt. (Actually, I thought it was Emily Blunt. It's Andrea Riseborough, who I hope to see more of.)

Indeed, Andrea Riseborough is like Emily Blunt 5 years ago: a lovely, intriguing British actress who seems on the verge of her breakout. 8-)


See DISCONNECT - you can see quite a bit more of her. :)


Tue Apr 23, 2013 6:02 pm
Profile WWW
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 27 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Thom20 and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr