Oblivion (2013)

Kylara

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Not sure if there is another thread on this around, I had a look but couldn't find one - mods feel free to move it about if there is...

Oblivion - supposedly one of the big sci-fi films this summer - personally I thought it was pretty awful, just predictable trope after trope, massive annoying info dumps... on the plus side the scenery was incredible (shot in Iceland I think?) and the music was great, acting not so great and plot a bit stupid...

Anyway, what do you lot think about it?
 

Lenny

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I rather enjoyed it. It definitely borrowed liberally from decades of films, and because of that the plot was mostly predictable, but I thought it combined all of its borrowed elements rather nicely, and the end result was a decent film that somehow felt original.

What I liked most about the film, though, has to be the look of it. You're right that the outside shots were all Iceland. For things like the bubble ship and the house, full replicas were built, and filmed, on soundstages. Although the bubble ship was done green screen (they had a full replica sat outside the house, and just the cockpit on a crane that moved it around for the flying shots), the house was shot with the clouds projected onto screens all around it (they put a camera on top of a mountain in Hawai'i and recorded four days of clouds, then cut that footage into weather sequences), rather than doing it on blue screen and editing the clouds in later. My absolute favourite visual thing has to be the drones, and I also really enjoyed the user interfaces on Vicker's desk and in the cockpit of the bubble ship.

The director, Joe Kosinski, directed TRON: Legacy, which I also liked for how it looked. Whilst he's never going to be as brilliant as someone Guillermo del Toro at making visual films, I think Kosinski has obvious visual talent, and I look forward to his future films, particularly if he manages to find himself a good screenwriter to partner with.

M83 did the soundtrack, by the way. Which may be another thing Kosinski will get a name for, as another popular electronic artist, Daft Punk, scored TRON: Legacy. We'll have to wait and see if the trend continues (who knows, we might get a soundtrack from yet another French electronic artist for his next film. Justice maybe? :p).
 

Vince W

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Pretty awful pretty well sums up this film. It was gorgeous though.
 

Moonbat

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Just watched it and I'm surprised at Lenny's positive review. It was cheesy, very predictable and full of holes. There was a nice gem or grain of a story in there, but the large info dump required at the beginning at end of the second act was poor.
The scenery did look nice, but wasn't really convincing to be New York type area, too much geological difference, although it was explained by the destruction of the moon causing gravity problems and tsunamis.
I don't understand why searching by motorbike over a desert like plain is better than using the helicopter plane thing?
I feel it would have been a better film if they had made it into the first contact and subsequent invasion, that would have been a better film imo.
Still, it does fill a little sci-fi hole with lots of fancy tech and futuristic (grey leather) clothes :)
It wasn't really anything special, a bit too formulaic and Hollywood film-making by numbers.
 

Lenny

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Eh, nobody's perfect. I also really enjoyed Prometheus. :D :rolleyes:

I enjoyed it as much, if not more, on my second viewing. Possibly because I didn't have to concentrate on the story, but could take in the visuals and the awesome design of future things (after all, a film is more than its story). I'd kill for the desk in the house, for example.
 

Aloreth

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My expectations were super low for this film. On balance the combination of beautiful scenery and a not terrible storyline made it quite enjoyable. If you enjoy the shift genre it's definitely worth a watch
 

DaCosta

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Lenny, I too enjoyed Prometheus! I got yah back.

Oblivion was okay; it's not nearly as bad as it's been made out to be.
 

Glitch

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Watching Oblivion, I thought there was similarities to Tron. The look and feel, the sound.
 

Kylara

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Haha I believe it has the same director as Tron Glitch :) I will reiterate that I am in love with the music and the scenery was amazing
 

Dave

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Oh dear! More clones with memories of their clone source.

Apart from that, I rather liked it, but unfortunately that was a major plot point and the story's raison d'être.

All these new scifi films have beautiful scenery and visually look fantastic but they massively fail on plotting. And as Lenny said, the story did definitely borrowed liberally from decades of films.

Like Moonbat, I did wonder about the mountains and desert around New York, but with half the Moon gone who knows. What I also wondered about was why only some of the New York streets were filled up, while others were huge ravines. I also expected that sea beds would be covered in vegetation. That could have been explained by high radiation levels, but then I wondered why Jack survived without some kind of environmental protection suit. Later we discover that the radiation is complete fiction, so what was going on? Why one scrappy dog? Why not herds of animals and packs of wild dogs? When a film has me thinking about these things, instead of me wondering if he is going to be able to blow up the Tet/Death Star/Borg Cube/Gou'ald Pyramid or not, then it has lost me.

And the ending... I mean there were 100 million copies of him. Did it really matter that #52 survived?
 

Glitch

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And the ending... I mean there were 100 million copies of him. Did it really matter that #52 survived?
Wasn't it something to do with #52 seeing Julia that woke the memories in him? And some producer probably said "You can't kill off Tom Cruise!" :rolleyes:

I didn't buy the amount of destruction that would have been caused by just the loss of the moon. But I did like how the movie took him from being just some guy to an agent of the enemy.
 

Brian G Turner

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Watched this last night and found it a bit too cheesy and cliched. There were so many holes in the story that nothing really held together. It seemed the plot relied too much on "twists" to awe viewers - but, unfortunately, these were obvious long before they came up.

It didn't manage to rise to the various heights of recent films I've watched, such as Enders Game, Gravity, and even Elysium.
 

monsterchic

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I bought it with high expectations--was kind of disappointed. I've seen worse movies. But the plot was really cliched and every few minutes I said, "Hey, that's not right--should have been this."
 

Phyrebrat

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I was really pleased with this movie. I agree it had its share of tropes but I was pleasantly surprised.

Now, that may be because I can't stomach Tom Cruise but I thought his Tom Cruiseness was pretty invisible in this movie. This is the first film of his I can recall seeing since War of the Worlds (and before that Cocktail (when it was in the cinema!))

I thought it had a lovely feel to it, and I loved the design and music.

Someone mentioned Elysium and Ender's Game, but I didn't enjoy either of these as much, especially not EG. Elysium had some pretty ridiculous holes whereas -although I'm sure it did - I can't recall any from Oblivion that occurred to me when watching the movie.*

pH
*I'm not the sharpest tool in the box, mind ;)
 

JunkMonkey

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I enjoyed it. Okay it borrowed a lot of ideas and imagery from all over the place but it welded them all together with a style that pleased me. The one thing I did have trouble with however was wondering why Morgan Freeman's character didn't just write Tom Cruise's character a letter and pin it to a wall somewhere: "Hey, Jack! We're humans! Stop killing us!"

Coincidentally the film I watched prior to Oblivion was Battlefield Earth. Both films:
  • Starred prominent Scientologists.
  • Dealt with a devastated world being stripped of its natural resources by aliens.
  • Ended with a nuclear weaponized suicide bomber destroying the bad guys..
 
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Rodders

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Still not seen Battlefield Earth. I'll get around to it one day, but i must confess that i'm a bit ascared of that one.

As for Oblivion, i thought it was underrated and enjoyed it a lot. Perhaps because i'd read so much negative stuff about it on it's release.
 

JunkMonkey

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Oh dear! More clones with memories of their clone source.
To be fair I don't think it was ever mentioned that all the Jacks were 'clones' merely copies. So the way I saw it was that the Tet had mindwiped the original, thrown him through a 3D scanner, pressed the go button on its complex 3D biological printer, and out popped a gazzilion identical movie stars all with the same personality and memories - including traces of the ones that been erased.

Rodders, Battlefield Earth is best enjoyed in the company of friends. Certain substances may be good to have around too.
 

Dave

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...the way I saw it was that the Tet had mindwiped the original, thrown him through a 3D scanner, pressed the go button on its complex 3D biological printer, and out popped a gazzilion identical movie stars all with the same personality and memories - including traces of the ones that been erased.
If we are really being fair then that would be even less likely. The number of different possible combinations that would be needed to be be stored is something like the number of atoms in the Universe. This is why the matter transporter is also impossible, but since a lot of other sci-fi has one of those, I guess I can't only criticise this for it.
 

Brian G Turner

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Well, watched it again tonight and found it reasonably enjoyable, though there were a few weak plot elements, and his wife - despite being a highly qualified astronaut - did little other than act the damsel in distress. But interesting enough, and some great visuals.

One odd point - I could have sworn that when I first watched this film, it ended with many Tom Cruises at the end. Unless that was something I suggested to my wife I would have found a fun alternative ending?
 
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