Monday, 22 April 2013

Film Review: "Oblivion" (2013).

"Earth, before the war. New York, before I was born. A place I've only seen pictures of… I know I'm dreaming. But it feels like more than that. It feels like a memory. How can that be?" This is at the heart of Oblivion. This science fiction film co-written, produced and directed by Joseph Kosinski and based on his unpublished graphic novel of the same name edited by Radical Comics. One of the few remaining veteran and drone repairmen assigned to extract Earth's remaining resources from its surface, devastated after decades of war with aliens, discovers a crashed spacecraft with contents and begins to question everything what he knows about his mission, he believed about the war and himself. This thus may put the fate of mankind in his hands.

The film presented two worlds - first, the Skytower, 150 meters above the ground, safe and "dreamlike." The feel is very reminiscent to Stanley Kubrick, an Arctic world of shimmering technology Kosinski described as "almost ideal". Second is the abandoned world, that was once Earth, below. Below lies the soiled glamour of Ridley Scott, a "Blade Runnerian" wilderness of petrified skyscrapers, rusted factories and eye-popping and visually stunning horizons. As well as the school of '70s films of loneliness, the heaven and hell worlds of Kubrick and Scott. The Bubble Ship operated by Cruise's character was inspired by the Bell 47 helicopter, a utilitarian 1947 vehicle with a transparent round canopy that Kosinski saw in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, and which he likened to a dragonfly. Daniel Simon, who previously worked with Kosinksi as the lead vehicle designer on Tron: Legacy (2010), was tasked with creating the Bubble Ship from this basis, incorporating elements evocative of an advanced fighter jet with the Bell 47 to create a light, functional vehicle that was both practical and aesthetically pleasing, much as he observed with the ships in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Rather than employ digital models, Wild Factory, a Camarillo concept car company, built The Bubble Ship as a 25-foot-long, 4,000 - 5,000 lb., mostly aluminum prop. Elements of the cockpit, such as the placement of the joystick and pedals, were customized for Cruise, who is a pilot in real life, and who had some input into the design. The craft was also made to be easy to disassemble and assemble, in order to facilitate transport to the Iceland shooting locations, where it would be mounted on a gimbal for shots of it flying.

It stars Tom Cruise, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo. Cruise gave an incredibly performance. Kurylenko gave an incredibly emotional performance. Riseborough gave an incredibly human and yet cool performance. Freeman, as always, gave another brilliant performance. Finally Leo gave a cool and enigmatic performance.

Oblivion boasts dazzling visuals, but its human characters and story get lost amidst its state-of-the-art production design. This is a movie of astonishing high-end gloss, fused to a pounding M83 soundtrack, populated with futuristic vehicles and mysterious alien creatures, boasting a post-apocalyptic and primal landscapes to make Blu-ray viewers weep.

Simon says Oblivion receives:

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