Escape to the Movies: Oblivion

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I enjoyed myself watching this, albeit in German since the cinema I went to didn't show it with subtitles (in Switzerland - many do though).

However, if you are going to poke holes in the plot, why not identify the elephant in the room of all movies that show a species coming to Earth to suck us dry of energy/resources. There's a damn great fusion reactor eight light minutes away capable of powering anything you want in one direction, and iron and other elements in sufficiently manageable chunks floating around in the form of the asteroid belt in the other direction; any alien species, robot or biological, wouldn't have to go anywhere near us.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:
SNIIIIP

Wait wait wait...

How are THIS:"I WOULD argue about how life will always be more versatile and efficient than a simple robot like the drones and how in reality, Bob missed a major theme of even the AI needing life, thus illustrating how even the most advanced machine can't compare to humans, but that would be silly since I will apparently never convince you."

and THIS:"As for exploring themes, yeah, Oblivion didn't, but I don't see that as a needed addition. A science fiction story doesn't need to have an exploration of the meaning of life, the universe and everything if it presents a very alien situation and cool technology to play in that world."

compatible? Either Oblivion explored themes, or it didn't and you can't use that as an excuse! Also, I think it's pretty dishonest, intellectually, to say that because I didn't like the twists in this movie, I must not like twists at all.

If you like this movie and think it's great, that's awesome. Really. But stop acting like Bob or anyone else is looking at it the wrong way, is too bitter and hates fun, or wanted to hate the movie going in. I wanted to like this movie, wanted to love it even. Saw it on opening night for my birthday, for goodness sake. I went in with an open mind, and didn't think it was all that good. That doesn't mean my perspective is stilted.

Dr Killpatient:

More to the point, who the hell would want to watch a movie about drones fixing drones?

Someone who wants a movie to make sense? It's not like if one repair drone goes down, the entire takeover has to be scrapped because none of the others can repair it. Maybe there are reasons they use the humans, like they have all these leftovers from the invasion and might as well use 'em. But none of the explanations have room for "They need to use living organisms", at least none that the movie addresses, so it's all conjecture.

More to the point, I saw the movie for myself, wanted to like it, and didn't. Bob isn't totally out of his gourd on this one. It's perfectly possible to think the movie is bad, you know?

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:
In terms of half-life, I don't see how that kind of convincing could have worked. When Breen joined the Combine, there's still a lot of humanity left, the Earth is in relatively good shape and there an opportunity for a good future. This was not the case with Oblivion. I don't see ANYONE willingly going along in the situation presented if they knew they were working for the attackers.

In Half Life, all native sea life has been destroyed and the oceans themselves are being slowly drained into the Combine dimension through a portal on the sea floor. Human reproduction has been halted and non-essential humans are being systematically transformed into lobotomized cyborgs. Breen knows all this, he's actively participating in and administrating much of it. He's not serving on the promise that Earth will be spared, he's serving on the promise that, as part of the Combine, some part of humanity will be allowed to survive on other worlds (or in other dimensions).

When people know (or feel) that their situation is genuinely hopeless, they will cling to anything which appears to give them a chance, however slim. If an alien race was capable of wiping out humanity to the degree depicted in the film, I can pretty much guarantee some people would be willing to go along with it in exchange for a reprieve. Heck, I certainly can't promise that I wouldn't.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:
As for exploring themes, yeah, Oblivion didn't, but I don't see that as a needed addition. A science fiction story doesn't need to have an exploration of the meaning of life, the universe and everything if it presents a very alien situation and cool technology to play in that world.

I agree to an extent, there is such a thing as a cool but dumb movie and there can be cool dumb sci-fi movies. For example, I actually sort of like the movie Independence Day even though I know it would have to take smart-drugs to be considered dumb. I could do without all the wanking on the American flag, of course, but the basic premise of doing an alien invasion movie in epic scale with big-ass visuals and Will Smith and horribly stereotypical support characters. Yeah, I can totally get behind that.

..but put it this way.. why does everyone rag on M. Night Shyamalan while giving far less daring filmmakers a free ride? Is it because his movies are incompetently made or hard to watch or even particularly bad? Not really. It's because they're pretentious.

The word pretentious gets overused, but when you put a bunch of twists and visual flourishes in your movie as if it's a substitute for an interesting narrative, that is genuinely pretentious, and unfortunately a lot of genre movies now seem to have adopted the notion that you can just use twists or interesting looking visuals as a substitute for having anything to say while still pretending you had something to say.

I agree, this is a pretty, pretty film and I totally wanted to like it, but it is kind of pretentious. It's not trying to be a dumb movie, it really wants you to believe that it has something to say, with the bleak visuals and aesthetic and poster shots of Tom cruise posing near destroyed landmarks, but when you actually dig in there's nothing there.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery:
And again, the loyalty clearly wasn't that much of an issue until the one breach. Only one Tom Cruz made the discovery, it was many many years into the process AND it required Morgan Freeman to bring down a spaceship with his wife in it.

The point, and the one I think Bob was making too, is more along the lines of how did he not work it out sooner? The only reason I can see that it took any of these events to make him realize is that he doesn't follow up on any of the blatantly suspicious things about the situation he finds himself in.

Anyway, since you asked..

Dr Killpatient:
Did Bob like Moon or did he hate it as well?

I didn't like Moon, but I will say that it is far less pretentious and I can see why some people would like it more.

There are dumb things in Moon. Technology is inconsistent, a bunch of things essential to the plot have absolutely no reason to exist and the premise itself is ludicrous, but at the end of the day it's a claustrophobic, character driven film which never cuts away from its actual focus, which is on the characters themselves.

While I don't think either version of Sam is as fleshed out or well acted as some reviewers have claimed, he comes off as a human being like yourself. There's enough of him to carry a movie. I don't think the same can be said of Jack here.

A nonsensical premise or silly plot holes can be ignored if the movie it's built around has something to say beyond just holding your hand through a story. In this case, I'd question whether that's true.

I liked this movie better when it was called Moon

I was able to buy into the first lie, about the whole memory thing they talk about right up front because I didn't know what the rationale was. However...

DVS BSTrD:
***SPOILERS BELOW***

So Tom Cruise was conditioned to work for Aliens and lost his wife? This isn't an original story, it's a documentary!

***SPOILERS ABOVE***

This, this and thrice this!

10 internets to you, sir.

Madman Muntz:

duchaked:
it bothered me that I saw this movie's trailer right before (or after idr) seeing the After Earth trailer (the one with Will Smith?) during the same film screening's previews lol...

seriously do studios just happen to come out with Armageddon and Deep Impact films at the same time or what? :P

Yes. Its been a long time tradition in Hollywood for the big studios to investigate what the competition is making and then just copy that. That's why we have whole decades that were filled with mostly bible epics, crime noir dramas, musicals, westerns, war films, disaster movies, space operas, slasher flicks, coming of age comedies, biographies, and comic book super hero adaptations.

lol don't remind me of the time when Disney and Dreamworks were going back and forth and back and forth...

not saying they aren't still doing that, but it's a bit less obvious at the moment...for now

Hm. Oh well...

I watched it, I liked it and I thought it was pretty good. Nothing too fancy, but a perfectly acceptable and enjoyable post-apoc movie. I didn't feel that the twist was a twist just for the sake of it either.

Guess it's an advantage of not being a professional critic. I get to enjoy media much more easily.

It sucks that this movie is being panned by critics everywhere I look. I loved the movie. Maybe I'm just that 1% that understood exactly what the writers were trying to show. Everything Bob points out made perfect sense to me, but I can see how if you don't have a very specific mindset toward it, the story can become very confusing.

I don't watch many Cruise movies, so I can't compare, but I think tired-of-life-and-perpetually-confused fit very well in this context. Everything about it points to a different source material, but I thought this Frankenstein was pretty good looking, even if the stitches were showing a bit.

That being said, I actually wrote notes on the different things I could compare Oblivion with:

*** SPOILERS ***

Name: Elder Scrolls game. Setting: Mass Effect + Fallout. Starring Chell and Booker DeWitt. Music: Inception + Tron: Legacy. Tom Cruise builds a house on Earth resembling the one in Narnia. Morgan Freeman is Morpheus in Power Armor. Trench Run against drones. PLOT TWIST: It's actually the plot of Red vs Blue. In the end, Tom Cruise pulls an Independance Day on Master Control Program/HAL 9000 with a "fuck you sally" to go along with it.

*** /SPOILERS ***

Dr Killpatient:
Where is all this hate coming from?
I've heard this one before. But who would maintain the repair drones?

How about that big machine sitting in the sky. It came from somewhere. It traveled vast distances without people and all of a sudden human clones are vital to it's operation?

What if Tet is programmed to take advantage of the indigenous species and incorporate them in the harvesting cycle?

Either humans are the better tool or they aren't. If humans are the better tool then there shouldn't be drones an army of humans already took over the planet. Tet was capable of maintaining that, so it's reasonable to believe that it would be able to maintain a smaller force. If humans aren't the right tool, then they shouldn't be there.

What if fixing drones on Earth is cheaper and quicker than sending them back to Tet to be fixed?

Conversely how are humans avoiding the Z-rays from man-in-the-moon marigolds? The fact that someone can rationalize something doesn't mean the plot is well thought out. If there is a reasonable question to be answered then the film should answer it. Period.

More to the point, who the hell would want to watch a movie about drones fixing drones?

Reminds me of Burnside's Zeroth Law which IMHO does about as much harm as good. So much crap writing is justified by it. Here's a hint, if you can only write a nonsensical story...don't. write. it.

Folks, this is a definition of bad movie reviewing. A reviewer who considers movie to be bad, simply because he doesn't agree with it's premise.

It's not a very good definition. So I can't call a movie bad which because it's a documentary where the premise is Butz's "The Hoax of the Twentieth Century"? I'm pretty sure I'm allowed to call such a film bad without further qualification. Like I said earlier, the fact than you can dream up a reason why something might be possible doesn't mean the movie is well-thought out.

For me Oblivion was nicely designed, stupidly paced (how many times did we watch people walk around?!), ended badly and was poorly thought out.

I don't know I liked it. Reason being, the problems that Bob brings up are so OBVIOUS early on that they really don't matter. The "plot twists" are obvious too, but honestly I was more curious to see how they got to the ending more than what it was, because I could already figure out the ending.

Anyway it wasn't great, but I enjoyed it. It was better than Prometheus for sure.

And again, Bob and I completely disagree. What is it with Bob always hating genuinely enjoyable movies? Stop being such a nitpicker, jees.

I should know better than to watch MovieBob's reviews but here I am one again shaking my head in disappointment. I get the feeling that he didn't even watch the same movie I just did, because most of the "plot holes" that he points out are completely explained by the end and everything fits together quite nicely. To be honest, I will admit that I did see a lot of the plot twists coming. The trailers gave away far too much information and it does stumble over several sci-fi cliches, but in no way does that make this a bad movie.

What disappoints me even more is the fact that so many of these comments are saying how this review made them decide to skip this movie. It's truly a shame that so many people are going to skip out on this movie because of his review. Truly, this is a well directed, gorgeous, atmospheric movie with an excellent soundtrack driving the whole thing. Certainly not going to win best picture, but definitely worth a watch.

Friendstastegood:

karamazovnew:

Thanks for the insult, I'll have to write that down, it's a keeper.

OK, huge misunderstanding here: that wasn't directed at you, I was saying that one of my favourite pet-peeves in movies is when movie-writers try to write intelligent beings and or humans but aren't intelligent enough to make it believable. It was directed at the movie, and movies in general. It's why I can't stand Watchmen, because the supposedly more intelligent than any human being Dr. Manhattan is just so stupid it hurts my brain.

As for the bit about the actual movie:

Sorry for the late reply. Was pretty pissed that day and I'm glad more people enjoyed the movie for what it was. I didn't expect to write an essay about it, but then again as a Star Trek (not the new action crap) fan, this movie touched some buttons and made me like it a lot. Anyway...

I still hope you're gonna see this movie. It's not a masterpiece, by far, but it's a damn good sci fi movie. I've just seen War of the Worlds again and... boy that was bad. But it got 4/5 stars just because it was made by Spielberg?! Oblivion is much much better.

But, it's got Morgan Freeman wearing sunglasses in a cave, smoking a cigar, and sitting on a lounge chair with posture that says "I am the boss, and your argument is invalid."

You just read that in freeman's voice, didn't you?

captcha: it is different
That was my first thought when I watched the trailer, but different doesn't always mean bad.

Kaulen Fuhs:

Dr Killpatient:

More to the point, who the hell would want to watch a movie about drones fixing drones?

Someone who wants a movie to make sense? It's not like if one repair drone goes down, the entire takeover has to be scrapped because none of the others can repair it. Maybe there are reasons they use the humans, like they have all these leftovers from the invasion and might as well use 'em. But none of the explanations have room for "They need to use living organisms", at least none that the movie addresses, so it's all conjecture.

More to the point, I saw the movie for myself, wanted to like it, and didn't. Bob isn't totally out of his gourd on this one. It's perfectly possible to think the movie is bad, you know?

Yes, it is. But not for the reasons Bob presents here.

The movie implies quite clearly that the machines are running short on droids. Victoria asks Tet multiple times to replace broken droids, and Tet tells her that they cannot afford to do that and they have to make do with what they have.

Are people's brains really shrunk to the size of a walnut from all the Internets, that they cannot presume that perhaps the Scavs with their actions and the war with humans has taken its toll on the Tet and has exhausted its supply of droids? Just because a movie doesn't address every fine detail to a perfection doesn't mean it is bad.

And what is this "please movie explain, because I can't think for myself" mentality crippling this generation?

Boy, am I glad you numbnuts don't have to watch movies like 2001 Space Odyssey and Blade Runner - I'd hate to see those hoards of drooling mugs coming out of the cinema and mumbling "Durrr, movie no make sense" to themselves.

sarkeizen:

How about that big machine sitting in the sky. It came from somewhere. It traveled vast distances without people and all of a sudden human clones are vital to it's operation?

No, human clones are vital to maintaining the droids and reporting on Scav presense, while droids are there to protect the harvesters. If Earth was uninhabited or would lack species that could oppose them, Tet wouldn't need to use the clones or the droids.

Either humans are the better tool or they aren't. If humans are the better tool then there shouldn't be drones an army of humans already took over the planet. Tet was capable of maintaining that, so it's reasonable to believe that it would be able to maintain a smaller force. If humans aren't the right tool, then they shouldn't be there.

Well, clearly humans are not able to shoot bullets from their fingers the way those three battle droids tear up that Scav compound.

Conversely how are humans avoiding the Z-rays from man-in-the-moon marigolds? The fact that someone can rationalize something doesn't mean the plot is well thought out. If there is a reasonable question to be answered then the film should answer it. Period.

The fact that you cannot think for yourself and need the movie to explain every effing little detail makes me weep for the future of humankind.

It's not a very good definition. So I can't call a movie bad which because it's a documentary where the premise is Butz's "The Hoax of the Twentieth Century"? I'm pretty sure I'm allowed to call such a film bad without further qualification. Like I said earlier, the fact than you can dream up a reason why something might be possible doesn't mean the movie is well-thought out.

For me Oblivion was nicely designed, stupidly paced (how many times did we watch people walk around?!), ended badly and was poorly thought out.

Sure, you can call any movie bad if you like.

But if your reasons for a movie being bad is your inability to use those two brain cells your mommy and daddy gave you when they bumped uglies, just shows we have turned around and are now taking steps down on our evolutionary ladder.

Dr Killpatient:

Kaulen Fuhs:

Dr Killpatient:

More to the point, who the hell would want to watch a movie about drones fixing drones?

Someone who wants a movie to make sense? It's not like if one repair drone goes down, the entire takeover has to be scrapped because none of the others can repair it. Maybe there are reasons they use the humans, like they have all these leftovers from the invasion and might as well use 'em. But none of the explanations have room for "They need to use living organisms", at least none that the movie addresses, so it's all conjecture.

More to the point, I saw the movie for myself, wanted to like it, and didn't. Bob isn't totally out of his gourd on this one. It's perfectly possible to think the movie is bad, you know?

Yes, it is. But not for the reasons Bob presents here.

The movie implies quite clearly that the machines are running short on droids. Victoria asks Tet multiple times to replace broken droids, and Tet tells her that they cannot afford to do that and they have to make do with what they have.

Are people's brains really shrunk to the size of a walnut from all the Internets, that they cannot presume that the Scavs with their actions have taken its toll on the Tet and have exhausted its supply of droids?

And what is this "please movie explain, because I can't think for myself" mentality crippling this generation?

Boy, am I glad you numbnuts don't have to watch movies like 2001 Space Odyssey and Blade Runner - I'd hate to see those hords of drooling mugs coming out of the cinema and mumbling "Durrr, movie no make sense" to themselves.

That a clown such as yourself could take every word of the villain at face value and then denigrate my intelligence is reason enough for me to be secure in my view of the movie.

Kaulen Fuhs:

That a clown such as yourself could take every word of the villain at face value and then denigrate my intelligence is reason enough for me to be secure in my view of the movie.

Don't flatter yourself. I'm not singling YOU out as the only one.

There seems to be a whole new generation of people incapable of thinking for themselves. That somehow for them movies should require no mental effort and a movie director should sit there and spoon-feed them every tiny little detail.

The fact of a matter is that plot inconsistencies or an arbitrary premise DOES NOT make a bad movie (one thing Bob seems to forget).

Exhibit A: Mulholland Drive.

That movie made little to no sense and though I didn't like it personally, it is still a pretty good movie (rottentomatoes 81%) regardless.

Dr Killpatient:

Kaulen Fuhs:

That a clown such as yourself could take every word of the villain at face value and then denigrate my intelligence is reason enough for me to be secure in my view of the movie.

Don't flatter yourself. I'm not singling YOU out as the only one.

There seems to be a whole new generation of people incapable of thinking for themselves. That somehow for them movies should require no mental effort and a movie director should sit there and spoon-feed them every tiny little detail.

The fact of a matter is that plot inconsistencies or an arbitrary premise DOES NOT make a bad movie (one thing Bob seems to forget).

Exhibit A: Mulholland Drive.

That movie made little to no sense and though I didn't like it personally, it is still a pretty good movie (rottentomatoes 81%) regardless.

Perhaps the sentiment has weight, but accusations of lazy thinking coming from someone who answers critics with "numbnuts" (seriously, are you 14 years old?) don't count for much in my book.

ProfessorLayton:
I should know better than to watch MovieBob's reviews but here I am one again shaking my head in disappointment. I get the feeling that he didn't even watch the same movie I just did, because most of the "plot holes" that he points out are completely explained by the end and everything fits together quite nicely. To be honest, I will admit that I did see a lot of the plot twists coming. The trailers gave away far too much information and it does stumble over several sci-fi cliches, but in no way does that make this a bad movie.

What disappoints me even more is the fact that so many of these comments are saying how this review made them decide to skip this movie. It's truly a shame that so many people are going to skip out on this movie because of his review. Truly, this is a well directed, gorgeous, atmospheric movie with an excellent soundtrack driving the whole thing. Certainly not going to win best picture, but definitely worth a watch.

Don't think the movie is any good, but this here is true. It's going to be a movie that some people love, and some hate (I was relatively indifferent towards the end), and it would be a shame if no one saw it because someone gave it a bad review. It's one of the movies everyone should see and decide for themselves if they like it or not.

evilthecat:

shephardjhon:
snip

Yeah, if you physically can't talk to women and think they have no place in "your" special man genres it's probably a safe bet that you're a misogynist.

However, you're also a misogynist whose completely missed the point.

Bob's point, which was spelled out quite specifically, is that the "two female characters competing for the affections of the male protagonist" thing is overused. It's been overused for a long time. We've seen it in hundreds if not thousands of pieces of media, and it's very rarely handled in an interesting or original way. It's always simply retreading the same tired steps over and over and over again.

In short, it's a minimum-effort way to write in some crude dramatic tension without having to put in any thought or any originality, because it's been done so many times at this point that a monkey with a supply of DVDs could figure out how to do it.

Grow up. Step outside your front door. Get over whatever weird issues you have with women and you'll start to realize that noone is complaining about these kinds of things because "the womenz" have taken over, they're complaining because they're sick of being fed wallpaper paste while being told it's caviar.

I can talk to women, I am not that idiot from The Big Bang Theory(the show I was talking about), I just don't talk pointlessly. I only mentioned this point to make it clear that I don't want anything from them or am not reeling form loneliness or rejection or breakup(in fact several girls have flirted with me many times only to be ignored or politely have the subject changed). I only want my entertainment the way I like it.

What I was complaining about is why are women allowed to have this as a central plot device in their entertainment, with no critics complaining about it(at least not to the point that its use is stopped or reduced) and when it shows up here critics like Bob complain and we have to put up with a woman-pandering plot device in our entertainment, family entertainment and women's entertainment.

How is this version overused? I am looking for stuff that uses it but beyond Archie(and they get over it very quick) and this and a handful of other stuff I can't find it.

And I am a busy man, I am at university from 8 am till 4-5 pm, I often have assignments, projects or revision to do at home, I am free only on Saturday and/or Sunday so when I turn on the TV or PC, I want what I watch or play to not insult my gender and I don't want to spend long hours on Google looking for something that panders to me for a change only to find it exists only in one genre that I can't exactly watch in public and then having to resort to asking if it anyone on this site knows of its existence.

Meh... I liked the movie. Does it have plot holes? Yes sir it does! Do I care? Not really. I'd go into how illogical it is for earth to look like it's been abandonment after a nuclear war for over a couple million years (in the movie timeline it's only been over 50ish) given the fact there's glaciers overlapping the New York skyline, but... I don't know. I was fine with it.

:/

I agree to a point. I don't think it's aggressively bad, like branded or seven psychopaths, but was just kind of drifting and ultimately forgettable like most of what gets pumped into theaters. The twists are ultimately pointless since everything needs a happy ending because audiences can't handle an ending without the reassurance that everything's alright. At the end of the day, it isn't good, but it isn't bad. It's unambitious.

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