Saturday, August 3, 2013

Oblivion

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 1-5. 1, of course, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Just hearing the title makes me feel like listening to Mastodon's amazing album Crack the Skye.




Oblivion – 3 out of 5

This post-apocalyptic sci-fi action thriller (can I fit any more adjectives in there?) was a film that I ended up struggling with mentally to come up with the proper score that I felt comfortable with. There’s A LOT of great things working in this film’s favor and only one real detractor. With all the epic that is thrown in, a 4 out of 5 seemed almost assured but that one detractor makes a 4 feel too generous. Since I don’t give out half points (and this literally would have been a time where 3.5 would make a lot of sense), I settled on a 3 out of 5…and I’m still not sure if I shouldn’t bump it up to a 4.


Even if I don't bump this up to a 4, at least I found the cover to my first metal album.

"This gun is armed to the teeth with 'pew-bullets.'"
 The world is in ruins. After an alien force destroyed our moon, the world went all tantrum-teenager and ripped itself apart with earthquakes and tsunamis. When the people weren’t dying from Mother Nature’s insanity, they were killed off when the aliens invaded and man was forced to use nukes to fend them off. Decades passed and humanity now lives on the distant moon of Titan and is getting to enjoy watching Saturn and its glorious rings in their skyline. Meanwhile on Earth, large machines harvest the remaining natural resources for the colonies and two sole humans are left to oversee the drones that protect the harvesters and kill off any remaining alien invaders that hunt the graveyards that is now the planet. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is the hotshot engineer who gets to ride around in his sweet bubbly ship repairing the drones while his partner, Victoria (Andrea Riseborough), watches from their even sweeter glass home in the sky! Everything seems fine (especially since their mission is on the verge of coming to an end) until an unknown ship enters the planet holding a woman named Julia (Olga Kurylenko) that ends up waking up long erased memories in Jack and ends up directing him to a group of surviving humans out in the wastelands led by a man named Beech (Morgan Freeman) who makes the claims that everything they know about the world around them is a lie.

She's suppose to be overseeing Harper's repairs of the drones but it's clear she
is watching YouTube videos of cats.


Like I said, I struggled with my score for this movie because I really enjoyed it and there were a lot of really great and awesome things working in its favor. First and foremost, the special effects are some of the best I’ve ever seen in my life. Everything from the destroyed landscape to the killer-looking drones in action, shooting things with their futuristic alien-blasters, looks incredible and incredibly realistic. The scenes where you get to watch the cool (albeit, kinda testicle-looking) ship Jack Harper zooms around in just look fantastic and are just exciting to see because the sequences are not only enjoyable from a storytelling perspective but from a “wow, they really worked hard on that scene to make everything look realistic and non-special effects-y.”


Yeah, the ship looks like a dick but tell me you wouldn't fly the hell out of it.

I also really enjoyed the sound in this film. The sound effects ripping apart the speakers with their awesomeness as they successfully made the technology that liters this film—like the weapons, that ball-ship and the also ball-shaped drones—come to life in a great way. As strange as it sounds, I actually wanted more drone action in the film because I found the sound they gave it to be that captivating to my audio holes in the side of my head. Not to mention that this audio element, mixed with the special effects element, helped make the action scenes just that more badass to experience.

Sure they kill everything in sight but they sound awesome!

A woman with a pouty-face?  Classic sci-fi.
The story on this one was just classic sci-fi story-telling that hearkens back to the days of the old sci-fi stories but with the added benefit of killer special effects and modern day camera and editing technology. Sure, post-apocalyptic stories are all the rage (especially in tween-fic/dystopian society form lately) and it’s hard to do anything new with them. I’m not saying Oblivion’s story was a breath of fresh air in this genre but the movie took staples we’ve come to be overly familiar with and present them in a way that didn’t feel overdone or rehashed from other stories. Right off the bat, the film throws you into a torn apart world and it grabbed me immediately. Then the final moments made me gasp and just rewarded me for sticking around and watching the film with an extremely killer ending. The only problem was…most of the middle of the film sucked.

Shockingly, this film didn't rely on Cruise's two go-to moves:  Sprinting and smiling.
The Two S's.


As I stated, there was one element that kept me from giving this film the nearly deserving score of 4 out of 5 and that element was the middle part of the film drags badly and I found it to be really boring and it allowed my attention to wander too easily (but it didn’t happen because I still wanted to watch the bubble ship fly and those great special effects splash across the screen). Everything else about this movie is great: Special effects, sound, story, the characters are interesting and all the actors are great in their roles—hell, there’s even some funny moments thrown in here and there to break up the monotony. However, I just got bored in the middle of the film and started to think that the great opening to the movie was as good as it got—thankfully, the movie redeemed itself with a great, compelling ending that seemed to make up for the boring middle half.


You gotta wonder if he narrated the planet's destruction and if people just suddenly
became okay with the decimation that occurred around them.


Oblivion is fantastic. It has an entertaining story, the action is great, the special effects are some of the best movies have ever had and the actors all do their job phenomenally. The only issue is that the film’s story takes a major dip in the middle. Yes, the opening and close are mind-blowingly tremendous but the middle part really couldn’t keep pace, live up to or even stand on the same ground as those two parts and that really hurt the film for me. Other than that, Oblivion was better than I anticipated since I really didn’t have much in the way of expectations going into it. 


And Jaime Lannister is in it with both of his hands.  What's up with that?!?


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