Oblivion



Well...I've just watched this picture.  It reminded me of Tron 2.  I was unsurprised to learn that its director was the man who directed Tron 2.  Why is this in my review/commentary?

Do you remember that groovy hideaway apartment Flynn had in the grid?  It was ultra modern, fascistic, Architectural Digest meets Mussolini/Hitler follies decor.  I've yet to meet anyone who doesn't get wide eyed at that living space in the film.  It is the reason anyone remembers Tron 2.  Because, shit, it sure wasn't the STORY that was memorable.

So the powers that be in Hollycrazy decided to make a movie about that apartment.  It is called Oblivion.

We sure do spend a lot of time in that gorgeous apartment on top of the clouds.  The creators behind this baby knew where their money shots were located.  It had a GLASS POOL!  In the clouds!  Wraparound Picture windows! In the CLOUDS!  It had cool computers in desks ala Tron/Tron 2!  Who doesn't love tables embedded with computer surfaces?  One of the female leads color coordinates her wardrobe with that apartment!  See the above photo!

Now the story?  It was passable.  A lot of filmgoers sometimes wish they could see a film with the best elements of their favorite films.  This movie is it.  It is a mish mash of other successful films.  It steals creative shots from Star Wars, Alien, Gattaca, Wall-E, The Matrix, Inception (it even took that film's music score), Avatar, etc. etc.  It could have been an embarrassing mess.  But fortunately it is cobbled together that the seams don't show and the film works.  Is it a great film?  No.  Does it move the Science Fiction genre forward?  Heck no.  Is it entertaining?  Yes.  The re-watch value?  Well, it all depends on how much you love that personal, little, Empire Strikes Back Cloud City apartment.  If you covet it, then you will watch again and again.  Because once you know the ultimate hook, the story kind of fizzles out like a flabby balloon.

The acting? Not too much acting in this film.  It doesn't require it.  The actors just hang around to provide scale for the sets and dress up the special effects.  It does showcase Tom Cruise as a contemporary Dorian Gray.  I swear there must be a film or picture of him aging hidden in an attic somewhere.

What I don't like about the film.  What I don't like about it isn't exclusive to just this film.  But the extravaganza, sci-fi event films of the past few years.

I call it the death celebration aesthetic.  Because, invariably, someone decides to commit suicide in the film.  No matter how many solutions that are available, the character in question just throws his/her hands up in the air and pronounces " I gotta kill myself, it's the only way".   Why?  Why market that to children?  Because, honestly, children between the ages of 10 to 21 are the target and main audience members for this film and other films like it.

Also there are stunningly obvious esoteric, gnostic, cultic symbols used in the film as well.  The upside down triangle is a very important symbol called the Shakti.  It represents the female. The film doesn't miss a beat to use the birth canal and vagina dentata imagery as well.  I also see many Alchemical symbols, but I can't pinpoint any of the steps to the great work as of yet.  It seems fantasy and science fiction films can't be made without some kind of magical mumbo jumbo inserted into it.  Again WHY?

Anyway, the film is good eye candy, the story is passable even if it is only a pastiche.  I recommend just renting it.  Then go out and buy a magazine dedicated to minimal, modern interiors.  It will be cheaper in the long run and provide more fantasy material than this film.

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