Wednesday, April 24, 2013
F This Movie! - Oblivion
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Also discussed this episode: The Place Beyond the Pines (2013); Shakespeare in Love (1998); Quartet (2013); Sleepwalk With Me (2012); Witness (1985); Fat Kid Rules the World (2012); It's a Disaster (2013)
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I enjoyed it well enough...but man, there is one plot hole that's really starting to bug me.ReplyDelete
That's the flight recorder that's found with the sleeping portion of the ship but has data from the pilot portion of the ship after the detachment.
Also, other quibble? High heels in a structure composed mostly of spiral staircases seems kind of weird.
As podcasters, you two are visionaries.ReplyDelete
I haven't seen Oblivion, but what I'm hearing about it is exactly one of the things you guys talked about: It's just trying to approximate and mash together other, better movies in the genre, like Moon and 2001. That description doesn't really inspire me to see it. In addition, the movie was already spoiled for me elsewhere, so I don't even feel like I can go for that reason. Oh well, I still enjoyed listening to you discuss it. Now, let's talk about Tom Cruise.ReplyDelete
I do like modern-day Tom Cruise. Between Magnolia, Collateral (which you didn't mention, but I liked him in that movie, and thought it was a different kind of role for him), Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Jack Reacher, he's mostly gotten more interesting as of late. We'll forget Rock of Ages.
As far as older Cruise movies go, I'm a big fan of A Few Good Men. However, I don't really even know if it's just because of Cruise that I like that movie so much, because I also LOVE that era of Rob Reiner's career (this was pretty much the tail end of his greatness, though), and everybody else in that movie is also pretty awesome, so my love for that movie could be tied to any number of things.
In other news, I'm so stoked to see The Place Beyond the Pines. It looks pretty darn interesting and potentially great to me. If nothing else, I'm definitely a fan of Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. Even if it's just 2/3 of a really good movie, I'm still on board.
I agree with you about Collateral. I enjoy that movie quite a bit, especially the look of it. Additionally, I think Cruise added something interesting to his role in the film. What he did for that character (in my view) is hard for me to put into words, but he felt both dark and comforting. A strange character with a certain depth and unknown direction yet also a layer of compassion below his surface of cruelty.Delete
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I like Collateral a lot, too. Cruise is great, and his role is different from just about anything else he's been in, as far as I can remember. I agree with what you said. He also doesn't play the bad guy too often (ever, outside of this? I'm not sure), and he's really good at it in Collateral (Jamie Foxx is also very good, but this isn't about him). That movie goes kind of crazy toward the end, but I still enjoy it very much.Delete
I don't know why we sort of forgot about Collateral when we were talking about it, but I like that one too; it doesn't feel like Cruise is calling as much attention to himself as in other things where he shares screen time. That's what it feels like, at least.Delete
Glad that a "medium" movie like PINES is getting love, though obviously helped by some big star power. Also, I am excited about ONLY GOD FORGIVES.
Yes, I'm very much looking forward to OGF. After a great movie like Drive, I definitely want to see a re-teaming of Nicolas Winding Refn and Ryan Gosling to see what else they can do together. I have a lot of faith in both of them. Also, the trailer looks awesome.Delete
I was kind of hoping Olga was going to get all up in Cruise's business about Andrea Riseborough. Like "I thought I was the woman of your dreams, who the hell is that *****?" "Hey redhead, that's MY MAN! He's just cloning around with you!"ReplyDelete
I was anticipating "Oblivion" for months (the trailer was rather good), but the week it came out I had completely forgotten about it and now I'm totally 50-50 on whether I want to see it or not (same with the "Evil Dead" remake, which I haven't seen yet). Heard the podcast up until the spoilers part began, so I'm still on the fence about "Oblivion" but if I don't see it this weekend I'll forget about it again. It's so weird because, technically, we're already in a "summer movie" mode (began with "Oz" in mid-March) and "Oblivion" seems like the type of star-vehicle, competently-made disposable movie I'd be all over.ReplyDelete
Oh well, at least we got out 'F This Movie' weekly podcast back, hooray! The consecutive-week streak broke at 163 but hey, who's counting? :-P
My latest NEW-TO-ME TRILOGY (and yes, I've fallen behind):
4/19/13: 'Squeal like a pig, Lisbeth--. Oops, sorry, wrong Swedish film. :-P Niels Arden Oplev's THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2009) on Amazon Prime HD.
4/20/13: 'THANK YOU FOR BEING MY FRIEND.' Daniel Alfredson's THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE: EXTENDED VERSION (2009) on Amazon Prime HD
4/21/13: 'Thank you for everything.' Alfredson's THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS' NEST: EXTENDED VERSION (2009) on Amazon Prime HD.
CLICK HERE FOR REVIEWS
NEXT ON TAP: Rainer Werner Fassbinder's BUNDERSREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND (BRD) TRILOGY
I liked Oblivion a little more than Patrick & Mark did (I did see it at a $6.50 Tuesday matinee so that might have influenced my opinion of it). It was good to see an attempt at smart (at least in the 1st two-thirds)sci-fi that had its moments.ReplyDelete
The visual designs & the CGI effects were incredible, Cruise was solid, & I always like any Morgan Freeman scene where he’s doing his Samuel L Jackson swearing act. The drone chase in the canyon was well done with no shaky cam or slow motion garbage. The last third of Oblivion is where I would’ve done another rewrite on the screenplay.
Patrick & Mark nailed it that there should’ve been a flashback scene to show the destruction & deaths that the TET’s drones & Jack Harper clones caused. The TET & the drones just don’t come off as menacing as they should be. Sorry TET, but you are no HAL. I didn’t hate Morgan Freeman’s rebellion group but I didn’t really care too much for them either.
Another unnecessary twist was having Beech be in the lifepod on Jack’s ship instead of Julia for the suicide trip into the TET. I don't care if it does make sense with Beech’s earlier dialogue about wanting to be there in person. It would’ve been more interesting if Jack & Julia confronted “Sally” & Sally would offer to clone Julia for Jack in exchange for Jack not nuking the TET. Jack’s sacrifice would’ve meant more that he died with the woman he really loved. To me, it's a way better finale than the generic PG-13 one time F-Bomb one liner & then we wouldn’t have to deal with how all the Harper clones on Earth would react to the real Julia. This also maybe nitpicking, but if Sally’s sensors could detect if Jack is lying why couldn’t it detect a different human being inside the lifepod.
As for Patrick’s “What is this movie about” question. Uh, I don’t know either. It sure looked pretty though.
I thought that maybe I came off a little too tough on the movie, and didn't underscore enough that I (and Patrick too) thought it was just ok. I can think of a lot of people who will watch it and have fun despite it's "just ok"ness.Delete
Love the nitpicks, JK. I did think while watching that the Beech thing was a large oversight.
Aww, I actually liked TRON: LEGACY. Sadly, it seems to have crash landed on the planet of Movies-I-Like-But-Everyone-Hates.ReplyDelete
Anyway, OBLIVION: I'd file it under "pretty good." Yeah, it borrows from a lot of other movies, but it has a style of its own, which I liked. I agree the best performance was the hot English lady, as I kept getting the sense she knew way more than she let on, and, if that was intentional, I liked how that didn't have to be spelled out for us. The action was filmed nicely (I could tell what was happening, at least). The drones were awesome. They had those cool sound effects, and they shot stuff up real good.
As for what the movie's "about," I'd guess it's about longing for what once was. Cruise's character is obsessed with the past, one that he can never recreate. When Olga Kurabondgirl reenters his life, he sees an opportunity to go back to the way things were. Then the big plot twist happens and he realizes there's no going back. Or is there? (The movie's ending isn't really backing up what I'm saying, so... shrug).
Man, I really wish TRON: LEGACY would have worked. I didn't even want it to be great, just a little better than, I don't know, CHRONICLES OF RIDDICK. I could see it becoming something I see when it pops up on TNT or TBS again.Delete
As for the "about," I could go with your guess that it's "longing for the past," except then it's about the past of a clone, which bumps against the scab of my personal hatred for the whole genetic memory trope.
Great Podcast guys. Man Oblivion is one hell of a frustrating movie. Its shot beautifully, the action is well done, and the acting is pretty good (While definitely the least of the main 3 I don't think Olga was that bad.)ReplyDelete
If Joseph Kosinski can just find a point to make in his stories and get a little more emotional depth out of his actors this guy could get to the top of Awesome Mountain. My comments on the film would just be repeating Patrick and Mark's comments but my biggest pet peeve with this movie is the ending. SPOILERS AHEAD-
After Cruise says "F you Sally" and blows up the ID4 spaceship that's filled with HAL's like some sort of Space Twinkie they have to go back to the cabin and show Tom 2.0 checking out Olga and her daughter who apparently Cruise 1.0 impregnated with the same power of Jeff Bridges Starman. Look had you ended the movie after the explosion and showing his wife is still alive that's the happy part of the self sacrifice Jack Harper did. The ending as it is reminds me a lot of the theatrical cut of Blade Runner. I would love to know if the ending of this movie was studio interference.
Quick note on TRON LEGACY, I am with Mac I really liked it so you are not alone my friend.
Mark Ahn was not just imagining the issues with the dialogue mix. I had the same problem with the print shown in the theater I went to. I was lucky enough to have subtitles. But they were in Korean, which didn't help me at all (I live in Koreatown in LA; I'm within walking distance of the theater).ReplyDelete
Matt, thanks for making me feel less crazy.Delete
Also, super cool that LA's K-town has Korean subtitles for new releases.
Hey I don't want to be 'that guy' but you guys definitely threw out a pretty big Game of Thrones spoiler with no warning. Ruined the moment for me!ReplyDelete
Our bad, mr teaspoon.Delete
I watched "Place Beyond the Pines" last night and totally loved it. I get Patrick's comments about it being "2/3 of a good movie" but I was still on board for the final third. I like that as the film goes it keeps asking "then what happened?" and delivers story I never expected to see. It was a movie I didn't want to end and would have happily watched another act.ReplyDelete
I agree. I was still very much involved during the last third. I hated BCoop's son but since you were supposed to feel that way I can't hold it against the movie.Delete
While Luke and Avery were each complicated characters that I could simultaneously like and dislike, Jason and AJ were more clearly defined as good and bad. And I think it's natural to be critical of the third act because it lacks the earlier complexity but I feel as though it were part of the film's design. Their nature is the manifestation of their fathers' decisions and priorities and they are simplistically defined to drive the film's themes home.Delete
If the film had stopped with act 2, I'd still have walked away thinking I'd seen a great movie but I'd have considered it two stories only tangentially connected like in an Altman movie. Act 3 is essential for making the film a single story with a central theme.