The goal for this week is 2 posts! I’m working my way back up to 3 but I’m still working out some kinks in my life, and this blog is a secondary priority. That being said, I’m not giving up!
For those of my readers who are into vinyl, I had a very good national Record Store Day last Saturday. I picked up 4 great albums (and one disappointment). So far, I’m loving Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons and Lungs by Florence and the Machine. I haven’t listened to either 5 Finger Death Punch or Rob Zombie (which is a reverse printed record! I’m interested in seeing how that works.) I was very dissapointed with the xx Jamie xx remixes- the songs were great, but $15 is way too much for what amounts to 2 songs.
Today’s review is of Oblivion, starring Tom Cruise and Morgan Freeman. Now, the only reason I saw this movie in the first place was upon the request of my girlfriend- we needed to go on a date, we both have a crush on Morgan Freeman’s voice, and quite honestly we’re not desperate enough to see the Croods and nothing else out is good. I’m waiting until May before I start going broke from too many movies. Thus, going into this movie, I was fully prepared for it to be awful. I was ultimately not disappointed.
Now, the overall movie was cliche and uninspired- there was some stuff about cloning, everyone being really bummed at the fact that the world had ended, more CGI’d shots trying too hard to establish the setting in post-apocalyptic New York than are really necessary, and a resistance movement that only served to remind me of how the plot, and a lot of the acting, for the original Total Recall was better. I’m quite serious when I say that Arnold Schwarzenegger did a better job than Tom Cruise here. I think Arnold even out-performed Morgan Freeman- not Freeman’s fault, the writing was just terrible. I will give out props to Andrea Riseborough (Victoria) for inspiring the only scene after the relay tower that I had any feeling for, but this isn’t a gold star on anybody’s resume.
While the majority of Oblivion was god-awful, I have to admit, there was one part that I really, really liked- the beginning. The premise was simple and clean- mechanic + communications experts maintaining drones for monitoring and protecting fusion reactors. A mysterious alien race whose existence threatened the security of mankind- We won the war, but lost the planet. A blank slate protagonist, which, while a little cliche, could have worked if it weren’t for the latter 2/3 of the movie. They set up the movie really well. They gave Jack, the protagonist, a deep love of Earth, a secret desire to stay when the rest of the human race left. They kind of were a little derpy using a record player to symbolize a fondness for the past, but hey, I loved the same move in Warm Bodies, so I’ll forgive the result for the effort. Jack was really well balanced with Victoria, a somewhat introverted woman who was practically afraid of leaving their house, who only wanted to go to Titan with Jack. Ultimately, I was really taken with the tones that the movie was establishing, a lot like the tones of I am Legend, but better done. Then, one of the writers said, “You know what sold really well in box offices recently? Total Recall remake! Let’s add a human resistance, and Morgan Freeman! This is going to sell so well!” and that’s the precise moment that this movie turned into suck. All of a sudden, cliches are pouring out of the woodwork, and what could have been an epic story about choosing to stay behind on a dangerous and dying planet because it was his home over leaving becomes an attempt at harvesting the dead horse that is the Total Recall market. I can’t stress this enough: Oblivion is a Total Recall clone that was poorly done!
Overall, I would not recommend that you see Oblivion either in theaters or on DVD/rental whatever. This is the kind of movie that Hollywood writers need to remember won’t sell well because somebody already did it twice (See: Total Recall and Total Recall). I would have preferred an I am Legend clone instead, something where Jack saves the Earth from being destroyed by the human race, and that choice about whether to stay or leave Earth, but instead I got The Resistance and (SPOILER) a robot overlord, more Tom Cruise clones than this planet will ever need, and a really, really, really tacky closing line from Tom Cruise clone #49, “Fuck you Sally!”
I rated the previews for other movies right beforehand higher than the movie itself.