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Old April 20 2013, 09:27 PM   #32
stj
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Re: The Official "Oblivion" Review Thread

Admiral2 wrote: View Post
stj wrote: View Post
I've seen a few professional reviews that seemed off, like they were repeating from a script. That script is that Oblivion is totally derivative. This may seem plausible except that if you've seen Oblivion you haven't seen much of the movies it's supposedly ripping off.
Then I guess you've missed a lot of movies, because this is one time the paid reviewers got it absolutely right. I lost count listing all the movies it cribbed from in my head. (And cartoons. That blown-up moon looked like they took it right from Thundarr the Barbarian.)

Doesn't mean it was a bad movie. A good science fiction story and decent acting all around.
Or the destroyed Moon might have come from The Time Machine remake. The ultimate source is probably Arthur Clarke. Whether a few seconds of scenery constitutes cribbing is another question. I don't think that the supposedly unique images being ripped off by Oblivion are quite as original as assumed.

Love Affair, An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle are by far the movies Oblivion stole most blatantly from. Yet I don't think anyone could sensibly argue that Oblivion's Empire State Building experience is old hat and stale for that reason.

Yet another question is, why single out Oblivion when most movies do exactly the same thing? A recent example is Olympus Is Fallen. I too was thinking of previous movies and lost track of bits of movies it reminded me of. There was no chorus of reviewers singing in chorus about that. Singling out Oblivion on this issue like complaining one pot in the kitchen is black, when most of the others are too. The amount of borrowing in movies is so large that there are numerous movies that have taken nothing from real life at all.

In the sense of actually addressing the movie, I must still maintain that the blather about ripping off other movies is at best misconceived. It misleads attention, for instance, from the weakness of the female characters, which is a genuine criticism. In that sense, the paid reviewers most certainly got it wrong.

As to whether Oblivion is a good SF movie? I suppose it depends upon what standard you want to choose. It forthrightly declares that people are who they are because of their experiences, their memories. Bad news for Alzheimer's patients! But is this something true about people? Part of assessing Oblivion as a work of art means deciding whether you agree. If you do, I suppose you might think Oblivion is profoundly insightful. The movie also says that a true love can't be eradicated from a memory, which I think we can all agree is unfortunately not true. Does this mean Oblivion is sentimental hokum?

Again, the thing is, whatever you think of Oblivion, is that tripe about ripping off other movies isn't a real review. Maybe people think that a favorable review of a Cruise movie is supporting Scientology against Christianity?
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