Screen Junkies » Oblivion http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 26 Sep 2014 21:02:10 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 ‘Oblivion’: An Affair to Barely Remember http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/oblivion-an-affair-to-barely-remember/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/oblivion-an-affair-to-barely-remember/#comments Fri, 19 Apr 2013 22:50:04 +0000 Screen Junkies http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=254470 A review by Inkoo Kang...

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By Inkoo Kang

It’s hard to blame Tom Cruise, now aged 50, for clinging to the kind of high-concept, spectacle-heavy, sci-fi action films he’s made his career on. Between his limited thesping skills, increasingly unhinged private life, and refusal to hang up his leading-man aviators, the middle-aged star is facing fewer and fewer ways to stay on the A-list. After three decades in the biz, though, you’d think that Cruise, who stars in and produced Oblivion, would know how to spot an obvious turkey by now.

Oblivion takes place on a whitish-gray, post-apocalyptic Earth with two inhabitants, pilot/drone repairman Jack (Cruise) and his ground controller/wife Victoria (Andrea Riseborough, W.E). Decades ago, Earth was destroyed during a war against extraterrestrial invaders called Scavengers, a catastrophic event that left the planet under human control but inhospitable to life. The human survivors settled on a moon off Saturn and have been converting the remaining water left on Earth into energy.

Jack and Victoria’s mission is to oversee the drones that perform energy extraction. They know their memories have been wiped to make them an effective team, but they seem surprisingly fine with that. They live in a glass house in the sky (because hey, it’s the future), but Jack keeps a secret lake-side cottage where he goes to try on baseball caps, read old books, and talk to his belongings – traits that are supposed to prove his likability, but just remind you of your not-totally-there grampa.

Two weeks before the end of the mission, a space capsule crashes near Jack during patrol, and its lone survivor turns out to be the beautiful, not-at-all age-appropriate woman Jack always sees in his dreams. Her name is Julia (Olga Kurylenko, Skyfall) and she claims she’s his wife, leading to an awkward Three’s Company scenario with Victoria.

The rest of the film is structured as a series of reveals: who Jack and Julia used to be, how Julia ended up on Earth, where the Scavengers come from, and what’s really on the Saturnine moon. Two, maybe three, of the reveals are genuinely surprising and presented in visually imaginative ways. One even complicates the romance between Jack and Julia in a way that seriously threatens their relationship.

But audiences can only be expected to care about character- and universe-subverting twists when we have a firm grasp of their specificities and an emotional investment in them. Sadly, neither the script nor the stars – all of whom act as if they were in completely different movies – provide any reason to care about any of the characters. And it doesn’t help that the film’s mysteries unravel so slowly that the film is three-fourths over by the time Act One breaks, nor that the plot developments are, on the whole, so by-the-numbers it’s impossible not to dwell on the crater-sized plot holes and the countless cribbings from much better movies like Total Recall, Planet of the Apes, and 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Ultimately, Oblivion is aptly named – no other movie so far this year has been so instantly forgettable. For those who need their fix of movies about ravaged dystopias, they should wait a few months for the can’t-be-any-worse-but-could-definitely-be-better Elysium, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, After Earth, or World War Z. (It’s nice to see Hollywood’s so hopeful about the future.)

See it now, see it later, or run in the other direction? See it later, ideally when you’re bedridden with the flu and the syrupy slowness of the plot will lull you into sweet dreams of Olga Kurylenko.

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Tom Cruise Wants The Truth, Once Again, In Latest ‘Oblivion’ Trailer http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/tom-cruise-wants-the-truth-once-again-in-latest-oblivion-trailer/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/tom-cruise-wants-the-truth-once-again-in-latest-oblivion-trailer/#comments Wed, 13 Feb 2013 13:50:07 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=253513 This guy's always chasing the truth.

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The last trailer for Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion offered very little beyond showing Tom Cruise flying around in a ship that looks like the Ambiguously Gay Duo penis car, and that was a wise move. We were able to process the film’s setting, marvel at the special effects and get all the Wall-E jokes out of our system. This time around, we’re treated to the film’s actual plot.

Tom Cruise stars as a drone repairman who lives in orbit with his wife. By day, he helps clean up the surface of a dead Earth and eliminate the alien beasts that still inhabit it. His life is shaken up when he begins to experience visions of a woman he’s never met, and is pulled into a conspiracy when that mystery woman arrives on Earth via escape pod.

It looks like it combines elements from several existing science fiction films. Except Battlefield Earth. Scientology learned their lesson with that one.

 

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Tom Cruise Is The Future’s Best Janitor In ‘Oblivion’ Trailer http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/tom-cruise-is-the-futures-best-janitor-in-oblivion-trailer/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/tom-cruise-is-the-futures-best-janitor-in-oblivion-trailer/#comments Mon, 10 Dec 2012 13:38:32 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=252339 Mop, mop, mop. Make it shine.

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Sixty years ago, planet Earth got all jacked up and now Tom Cruise has to clean it up. With just two weeks until off-planet retirement with the rest of mankind, Cruise gets pulled into a greater conspiracy involving alien creatures, Morlock Freeman, and what look to be clones. That said, it’s all looks a bit mysterious so it’s hard to latch onto what this movie’s really about but at a glance I’d call it a blend of Tron: Legacy and I Am Legend. But in a good way.

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Tom Cruise To Die Over And Over And Over Again In ‘All You Need Is Kill’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/tom-cruise-to-die-over-and-over-and-over-again-in-all-you-need-is-kill/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/tom-cruise-to-die-over-and-over-and-over-again-in-all-you-need-is-kill/#comments Thu, 01 Dec 2011 21:32:18 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=238395 He'll be playing a tiny little soldier. How cute!

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I can’t tell if All You Need Is Kill is an awesomely bad title for a film, or an awesomely awesome title. It really doesn’t matter, because either way, it’s going to be made now that Tom Cruise has agreed to star in the project.

The film offers a soldier in battle, repeatedly living out the day of his death, and over time becoming, a better soldier. Doug Liman, who directed the first two Bournes (and Swingers!), will be directing the project. It’s anticipated that filming will start in fall of next year.

Aside from his weird turn in next summer‘s Rock of Ages, it seems that Tom Cruise has been pursuing more action-oriented fare recently, filming One Shot where he will play serial badass Jack Reacher, and signing on for Joseph Kasinski’s sci-fi film Oblivion.

That’s why they call it “acting,” I guess.

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Save The Date For ‘Obilivion’, ‘Savages’, ‘Despicable Me 2′, And ‘Haywire’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/save-the-date-for-obilivion-savages-and-despicable-me-2-and-haywire/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/save-the-date-for-obilivion-savages-and-despicable-me-2-and-haywire/#comments Thu, 16 Jun 2011 22:21:37 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=216546 In 760 days or so, we'll all be basking in the glory that is 'Despicable Me 2'.

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4 photosGina Carano Just Beating The Hell Out Of People In 'Haywire'

Universal has set three release dates for some of its prestige and tentpole projects. The good news is..they have release dates. The bad news is that the nearest date is September 28, 2012 for Oliver Stone‘s Savages. Despicable Me 2 will be dropping July 3, 2013, the way our forefathers would have wanted it, and Oblivion (or is it Horizons?) will hit theaters on July 19, 2013.

Fortunately, Relativity aren’t quite so witholding with their films, so we have been granted a January 20, 2012 release date for Steven Soderbergh‘s Haywire, starring MMA star Gina Carano.

There really aren’t enough hours in the day, ya know?

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Official Bidness: Tom Cruise Finally Enters ‘Oblivion’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/its-official-tom-cruise-finally-enters-oblivion/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/its-official-tom-cruise-finally-enters-oblivion/#comments Fri, 20 May 2011 21:29:39 +0000 Geoffrey Golden http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=213087 The actor has been light biking around the $100 adaptation of the popular graphic novel, ever since the project jumped spaceship from Disney to Universal.

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Tom Cruise has officially signed on for Universal’s Oblivion, to be helmed by Tron: Legacy‘s Joseph Kosinski. The actor has been light biking around the $100 adaptation of the popular graphic novel, ever since the project jumped spaceship from Disney to Universal. (The project couldn’t be made family-friendly enough for the House of Herbie the Love Bug.) Now the deal is closed, and the ancient prophecy was proven correct.

Cruise will play a soldier in this post-apocalyptic world where the Earth’s surface becomes toxic, forcing humans to live in the sky. The soldier is stuck on the planet, repairing robots and shooting stuff, until along comes a beautiful girl to change his outlook on everything. So… WALL-E? A live action version of WALL-E? I could be down, if Jeff Garlin at least makes a cameo. (Deadline)

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‘Oblivion’ Might Find A Rebound Studio And Actor In Universal And Cruise http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/oblivion-might-find-a-rebound-studio-and-actor-in-universal-and-cruise/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/oblivion-might-find-a-rebound-studio-and-actor-in-universal-and-cruise/#comments Tue, 12 Apr 2011 23:03:31 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=206755 They say the best revenge is living well, and Kosinski seems to be living well with Universal on one arm and Tom Cruise on the other (not in a gay way).

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Oblivion was only in turnaround for two weeks before it found a potential suitor in Universal. It’s still unclear why Disney decided to step away from the project, especially after the success of Kosinski’s last film, Tron. However, the obvious merits weren’t lost on other studios, who have been quietly pursuing the Joseph Kosinski production.

Update: The title has been changed to Horizons, apparently.

The deal only got sweeter, as Kosinski had managed to land Tom Cruise in early talks for a starring role in. With Cruise’s name added to the “pros” column, Universal only has one thing left to ask of Kosinski – get the budget down to $100 million. Considering Cruise’s fee could take a quarter of that amount all by itself, don’t be surprised to see Tom get involved in a production role in order to get some of that sweet, sweet back end.

This new arrangement could be a blessing for all involved. Kosinski gets more control, Disney doesn’t have to worry about sullying their image, and Cruise gets yet another opportunity to demonstrate to the public that he isn’t a lunatic. Win-win-win. (Deadline)

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Disney Bails On ‘Oblivion’, Lets Joseph Kosinski Shop It Around http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/disney-bails-on-oblivion-lets-joseph-kosinski-shop-it-around/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/disney-bails-on-oblivion-lets-joseph-kosinski-shop-it-around/#comments Tue, 29 Mar 2011 23:08:42 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=204343 Disney told Kosinski that it wasn't him, it was them, and that he should see other people.

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Disney won’t be going forward with the Oblivion adaptation that has been nurtured by Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. It’s a bit strange to call the project an “adaptation” seeing as how the source material and the movie were being developed on parallel paths.

Regardless of what it should be called, Disney doesn’t want to do it. Why they don’t want to do it remains a bit of a mystery, as the project had undergone a draft by The Departed screenwriter William Monahan and was considered a high priority by Disney the last they spoke of it to the trades. Since the project was tracking well, it’s a safe bet that external pressures or a noteworthy substitute are waiting in the wings to fill the void left by this project.

As for Oblivion, Kosinski is free to shop it around where he would like at this point, so don’t be surprised to find a number of studios clamoring to get after this project. Unless Disney is keeping quiet about some shortcoming of the project, which rarely happens. The “keeping quiet” part, not the shortcomings. (Variety)

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Joseph Kosinsky’s ‘Oblivion’ Is Having Identity Issues http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/joseph-kosinskys-oblivion-is-having-identity-issues/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/joseph-kosinskys-oblivion-is-having-identity-issues/#comments Wed, 16 Mar 2011 19:35:08 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=201953 There have been some changes over there at old man Joseph Kosinski's Oblivion.

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There have been some changes over there at Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion. First of all, it’s not called Oblivion anymore, so get to know it as Horizons. Secondly, Karl Gajdusek has been brought in for the re-write, who most recently put his beautiful words in Nicolas Cage‘s mouth for the film Trespass.

The plot of the sci-fi action flick follows a soldier hired to patrol a deserted planet who comes across a mysterious visitor. So it’s like that “pop-in” episode of “Seinfeld” with the much-needed addition of laser guns. (THR)

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