The Movie: 8/10
I really really really liked this movie. Is that enough? Do I need to write more? I suppose it’s only fair to explain why I like Oblivion so much. Let me start from the beginning. When I was a child, back in the days before the future, I dreamed of a day when this Earth would be devastated, humans would no longer have roads and electricity, and we would all have to just wander around until this universe gobbled us up. Well, that might not be something I thought about as a kid, but through my movie watching years I have always wanted that to be up on the big screen for me to absorb and be convinced it was possible.
Oblivion tickles that itch I have for future desolation. I’m not being bleak or anything. My view of this life just happens to include the acceptance that one day this planet will be done amusing us and move on. The story of Oblivion is laid out pretty much up front. A voice over tells us the reason we see our hero tending drones on a devastated Earth. We understand right away this is the future, how far in the future, why things are f’d up, and what kind of future we are about to dabble in. The sleek design of the house our main couple live in is THAT kind of futuristic theme, straight lines, clean colors, simple, minimal almost. Got it. We have seen total devastation of our civilization as humans, our monuments, our roads, our cities, our countries, the varying geography of the world we live on, and now we make cool furniture and awesome showers.
I’m not being snotty,I happen to love the vibe of it. The technology combined with the coldness of how we are being directed to view the landscape. It’s clear it is no longer useful to us, so we are packing up and hitting the galactic road. The job of our hero is basically a high-tech repair man, and his partner is his communications officer. It starts being more like the future we imagine, the dangers of alien scavengers, radiation poisoning, super fantastical equipment and computer interfaces to talk to, touch, and be amazed by. I will say that just being able to touch my tablet and say what I want to look up, or get in my car and say, “Call mom” and IT DOES is cutting into this fantasy version of life. The future had begun!! Is that even possible? Hasn’t the future always been happening, starting? Oh, that’s a whole other topic.
As for our story, this movie, it took me right there. I was absorbed and convinced and enthralled. There are some issues, of course, some of the devastation seems more like a millions of years in the making instead of the time line they give. There is the very typical grungy survivor fashion that seems to always crop up in this type of movie, which is more of a disappointment than a problem. Along with these imperfections is some of the best things I have seen with my own eyes on a movie screen in a long time. The ravaged moon, New York City mostly buried, water sucking machines taking all the water from our oceans, a flying machine that made me not hate the eventual chases. There are a lot more good things in Oblivion, not to mention the cast, the music, the whole look and the way the story is told has all stayed with me and I want to watch it again, and maybe again. These are the hallmarks of a movie I will rank up there at the top for our year end review.
Overall Oblivion tells me something, I’m not sure what, but it does. It reminds me, visually at least, of what I already know. We are on a rock floating in this universe, subjected to it’s unflinching continuousness and whatever might be beyond what we can see with our current technology. Oh, and it’s a really fun movie to watch, that counts for a lot:)
- Making Of Featurettes – A set of Five featurettes covering the main aspects of making the film. This has some great behind the scenes footage of Tom doing all his own stunts.
- M83 Isolated Score – listen the the amazing soundtrack by M83 without the dialog of the movie spoiling it for you. This is such a beautiful film it makes a great screensaver.
- Deleted Scenes – Four deleted scenes with a alternate opening for the completionists.
- Feature Commentary With Tom Cruise & Joseph Kosinski – Tom & Joe take us through an extensive commentary that features little tidbits on every aspect of the films production. Including some new details on the original comicon graphic novel.
- DVD & UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 3/10
What a wasted chance to have an awesome image. Just slapping the faces of the stars right in the middle is about the most boring way to make a cover. Why do I need to see Tom Cruise on the cover? I don’t. I want to see a cool image from inside the movie, and this one has lots of options for that. The menu only requires a mention because Ascully mentioned as we were settling in to watch the movie that the menu was transparent and usually they are not. Other than that, menus, whatever.
Audio & Video: 10/10
Have you ever wanted to see a perfect Blu-Ray transfer? Well here in 2013 we finally have it as Oblivion lands on our coveted shiny disc format. Oblivion is a stunning looking vision of the future after Armageddon has wiped us out, and the transfer here is stellar. Crisp detail, the blackest of blacks and no hints of pixelation or crush anywhere to be seen. This is a top-tier effort all around and a must for any self-respecting sci-fi fan.
The DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track is loaded with bass and surround effects. Standouts include the bubble ship panning from one side to the other and the sound of the drones as they throb their way into your living room. The low end of the spectrum is well used with the final moments having some great room shaking jiggery pokery.
I really enjoyed this movie and I do plan to watch it again, but I’m torn about the price. I think I would just rent it online for my next viewing or watch it on Netflix when it comes out. The thing about charging over 20 bucks for a movie on Blu-ray just doesn’t sound appealing in any way.
Overall Score 8/10