Archive for the ‘Joseph Kosinski’ Category

Temple of the Infinite Gods

Oblivion

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The undeniable truth about Tom Cruise Sci-Fi movies is that he doesn’t really star in a bad film. Like the success of  the riveting 2002 Steven Spielberg film Minority Report, Oblivion is a glossy 21st century version of 2001 a Space Odyssey with gorgeous cinematography by Claudio Miranda (who won an Oscar for Life of Pi) and a very tantalizingly post-modern narrative involving Jack Harper played by Cruise and his effective team member Victoria played by Andrea Riseborough (W/E) who live in a post apocalyptic earth high above the carnage in a swish pent house resembling Bespin Cloud City from The Empire Strikes Back and whose job in 2077 is to look after huge hydroelectric plants which are converting the earth’s ocean energy to be used towards the future colonization of one of Saturn’s more inhabitable moons as Earth is no longer entirely livable.

Oblivion through some stunning production designs sets up a seemingly post apocalyptic planet in which scavengers have invaded and attacked the moon causing much havoc with the world and the tidal systems, and once where there were cities lies a wasteland. Except that Jack Harper whose memory has been wiped clean of the apocalypse has flashbacks of a meeting with a mysterious woman, Julia subtly underplayed by Olga Kurylenko (Quantum of Solace), at the base of the Empire State Building sixty years earlier back in 2017, pre-apocalyptic New York City. Themes of liberty and the eternal struggle of the human spirit against insurmountable odds is beautifully explored in Oblivion and as the film progresses, one gets the feeling that this is a three act Scientology inspired opera on the Infinity of Space.

As Jack and Victoria report to a distant projected screened image of Sally, their supervisor, played with a Southern drawl by Melissa Leo on the orbiting space station Tet, one gets the sense of something sinister occurring much like the omniscient spaceship computer Hal 9000 in Stanley Kubrick’s groundbreaking 2001: A Space Odyssey.

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Without giving away too much of the plot twists, and in Oblivion there are many, Tron Legacy director Joseph Kosinski’s existential version of the Odyssey is superb to watch and whilst the film is evenly paced, the last act of the film, in which many narrative threads are elegantly woven together, Oblivion clearly appears as a cinematic pastiche of all successful Sci-Fi films from the last four decades from Star Wars to The Matrix trilogy to the Mad Max movies.

Not as tightly woven as Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, Oblivion is a gorgeously slick odyssey to the Temple of the Infinite Gods namely in outer space with a huge amount of twists and certainly shows that Cruise at the age of nearly 51 still has what it takes to carry such an inventive and intriguing science fiction cinematic fantasy. Oblivion is worth watching especially for serious Sci-Fi fans! Also stars Morgan Freeman  as the mysterious Beech sporting a huge cigar in a sadly underwritten cameo and Danish actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who plays Sykes also familiar as Jamie Lannister in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones.

A Neon Coated Inception

Tron Legacy is more impressive for its fantastic digital effects and a dazzling homage to the original Tron movie back in 1982 than for any impressive plotline beyond the eternal battle of good versus an evil form of the original 3 dimensional creator.

The effects are better, the look glossier and the action captivating. This version of Tron is a neon-coated Inception without Christopher Nolan’s psychological plot twists, but retaining high production values, stylish sets and director Joseph Kosinski emphasizes the infinity of the Tron digital grid, with all its notorious battlegrounds and ravishing images.

Digital Hero with Charming Dexterity

Garrett Hedlund proves himself as a leading man, the energetic Sam Flynn opposite the versatile Jeff Bridges reprising his role as Sam’s father Kevin Flynn, mysterious founder of Tron video Games, languishing in digital exile and battling an existential identity crisis with his own nemesis. Watch out for a scene-stealing camped up performance by Michael Sheen as Zuse, a sort of Electronic Discotheque owner and dubious double-crosser. Olivia Wilde makes a wonderful appearance as the fearless warrior and digital queen Quorra.

Tron Legacy is really best suited for 3-D and definitely has to be watch in a big screen cinema, with the spectacular effects and brilliant soundtrack by daftpunk. Fans of Science fiction films be sure to watch Tron Legacy more for its dazzling production design and digital effects than any unusual surprises in plot. Tron Legacy pays homage to Star Wars, Blade Runner, Terminator and all the epic science fiction films of the eighties most importantly the original ground-breaking film Tron released in 1982.

Digital Classic for the Computer Generation

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