Whenever I’m racking my brain for a film to talk about on these pieces I usually hit up a website to see what movies were released on this day five, ten, fifteen or more years ago and sometimes I get really giddy when I see certain titles. Today’s film is one of those, and one I feel is entirely underrated, Joseph Kosinski’s Oblivion which is five years old this week. Made for about $160 million the full total on its gross was a bit over $262 million, something that isn’t any sort of indicator on its cinematic worth. This movie is gorgeous, intriguingly written and features a great performance from Mr. Scientology himself, Tom Cruise.
You may know Kosinski’s name from the brilliant sequel slash reboot Tron: Legacy, a film that made us nerdy fans take note of his name and patiently await what was next. Oblivion is directly adapted from his own unpublished graphic novel about a man that is basically a caretaker for the earth sixty years after a war with aliens force mankind to abandon the planet for a new home near Saturn. If you haven’t seen the film yet, I will stop my synopsis there and get back to my geek out over this movie because it’s immense. Kosinski’s reverence for sci-fi bleeds into every frame of this film with Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey being a big inspiration but other classics like Aliens and Blade Runner play their own influencer roles in this vision as well.
With the visual style being so dazzling and enthralling, under the eye of Kosinski’s regular cinematographer Claudio Miranda, you need a soundtrack to go along with it and Joseph Kosinski kept true to having French electro pop stars scoring his films. For Tron: Legacy he recruited Daft Punk who’s contribution is one of the pieces that makes that movie so incredible so the fact that M83’s Anthony Gonzalez adds a special atmosphere to Oblivion should be no shock and the song that closes the film featuring Suzanne Sundfor is one that is still currently in my constant rotation.
All in all, after many time watching it, Oblivion continues to be one of my favorite modern sci-fi films, along with Moon and Sunshine, and makes it into my “if you haven’t seen it, watch it immediately” pile of movies. I saw this Blu-Ray at Walmart the other day for $6.99 and I had so many conflicted emotions. On one hand, it feels like a travesty for this movie to hit bargain blow out pricing, which makes me sad, but on the other hand, this is a price that EVERYONE can surely afford and it gets the movie into people’s players that much quicker then I am supremely happy with that outcome.