Swanner: Last night we saw Oblivion. It’s the new Tom Cruise movie that takes place on Earth after many years of war with Aliens. Cruise plays Jack, a tech repairman who services defense drones. The drones protect water conversion machines taking the last of the seawater from the all but dead planet. This is a big budget sci-fi film with an actual story. Directed by Joseph Kosinski (Tron Legacy) who also wrote the screenplay with Karl Gajdusek and Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine) and wrote the comic the film is based on with Arvid Nelson.
Judd: An actual story? Let’s not get carried away. It had a shell of a plot stretched over drawn out, loud action sequences and a droning, louder score. All four men responsible for the story ought to be ashamed of themselves. Arial dogfights with automatons is not a substitute for story, and while the plot twist came as somewhat of a surprise, the amount of plot that could have been part of this movie was sorely missed.
Swanner: I just love when we see two different movies. I thought it was really good. It was loud because we were at the IMAX. They have real sound systems there. It’s also a sci-fi film which always has a big soundtrack to it. It might also be that you are way too old for being 40 years old. Wasn’t it funny that you said it felt like Tron after the movie. I was really drawn in and I thought the twists were really good. I’ll admit that Morgan Freeman was under used, but then again if it wasn’t Morgan Freeman I wouldn’t have thought so.
Judd: The Scavenger aka “Scavs” subplot was completely glossed over. If the movie were 90 minutes that would have been acceptable, but at 2 hours long I don’t need to see Tom Cruise taking a nap while listening to A Whiter Shade of Pale when there is a colony of foragers fighting for survival. Yes, we were given the whys and hows, but Kosinki decided to forgo elaboration in order to give us a scene with Cruise having sex in a glass-bottomed swimming pool. Weak.
Swanner: It took a bit to get to the scavs but it wasn’t glossed over. There could have been a bit of editing done but the first act was lulling us into believing what information they gave us…gave Jack. The second act was were our reality gets tested…90 minutes? this is a big budget fantasy sci-fi and we all know how you hate fantasy. Brick and mortar is what you are and I don’t think anyone can really take the opinion of a fantasy hater. It was an intelligent story with great effects and good ending. What more could one ask for?
Judd: What more? I told you what more. STORY! PLOT! Something more than special effects to fill in the gaps. The reason I hate the fantasy genre is because of this very reason. The authors and directors concoct some half-assed story, fill it with bullshit unicorns, wizards or aliens, and assume that the fact that these characters merely exist is enough to satisfy the audience. It’s not. Why are they there? Where did they come from? How did they survive? These questions go unanswered so some nerd with a fantasy-boner can write “fan-fic” filling in the plot that should have been addressed by the goddamn author! Now you’ve upset me.
Swanner: 3½ Stars
Judd: 1½ Stars