Wednesday, August 14, 2013


"Oblivion";  Starring Tom Cruise and occasionally featuring Morgan Freeman. It's 2077, earth is in ruins, the moon is trashed and civilization is supposedly on Titan. Aliens invaded, we nuked them, and now, we're sucking up the water supply to use as an energy source for the colony.  There is a giant pyramid in space called the "TeT" that controls the water sucking equipment, and humans on the planet that repair the drones; the drones protect the water sucking equipment from what aliens are left trying to destroy humanity.

To begin, let's start with this is almost exactly like every SciFi movie about aliens descending on humans, screwing up our planet and causing problems for the next century.  It's also a mash-up of several "humans vs. Aliens" movie from the 90's. 

[Ed. Contains Spoilers]

BUT, there's a funky twist - There ARE no 'aliens' ! Never Were!  The "TeT" is actually a mech control (ok, so 1 alien, but it's a machine, not an organic or even an hybrid lifeform) that is killing the human survivors that live underground on earth. And what drove those humans underground? What could one alien mech force do to humanity?  Send in the CLONES!  That's right, the main character is one of THOUSANDS of Clones! AND --- He does not know it; but this ONE clone who is the focal point, THE main character, is haunted by flashes of memory he can't place, which is where it got slightly more interesting than eating photopaper.

It's not until twist #'s 2,3 and 4 come along that we get more of the picture....we never get the FULL picture.....

In the end, I suppose, "Oblivion" is mildly interesting for those who, like my husband, enjoy post-apocalyptic films. I felt oblivious, as there is no discernible plot! WHAT is motivating the characters? WHERE is the Climax? WHO is the Hero? WHAT is the antagonist?  This film does not move properly, and was poorly drafted. According to IMDB, it started as a 'treatment' and while I have NO clue what that's supposed to be or do, it should have STAYED as such.

-side note- Tom Cruise did some decent acting, and it didn't feel forced like so many of his other films have in the past. There were also some fairly decent special effects, but they were not HEAVY.

This could have been a great story - but they rushed it too much. Questions are many, where answers are few. To say "I don't get it" is acceptable when you finish it.

I don't recommend buying this unless it's $1.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I&II (2010/2011)

Watched the last Harry Potter movie last night with some friends.  I'm glad they were patient enough to put up with and answer my non-fan questions and my cross-geekdom jokes (Neville hanging off the bridge -"Fly you fools!").  There were some cool moments in the movie though and it was cool to see some of the staff of Hogwarts proving to be badass.  Big V's snake buddy was pretty cool.  Dobby turned out to be awesome (though a very underused asset a la the Eagles in LOTR).  The Deathly Hallows tale animation was really slick - I'd love to see a movie in that style.  Maggie Smith knocked it out of the park. Neville was pretty awesome and to me, he's the real hero.

I still don't really get some of the mechanics/stuff'n'junk of the Potter-verse - e.g. the need for wands when there are numerous occasions when people are casting without them.  Why aren't there some whoop-ass international magic users coming to help?  Why didn't the Hogwarts crew enlist some more monsters (that griffon could have been handy)?  What's the back story on the subjugation of metahumans (a.k.a Why are wizards such dicks)?  Why don't warding spells refocus and rebound incoming attacks (a shield is a weapon just as much as is a defense)?  Why does England turn into an Orwellian dystopia so easily?  If Hogwarts has a legion of House Elves slave bound to Hogwarts why didn't they join in the fight?  If the Gobbos have a blind cave wyrm protecting the vaults why did it have the ability to fly on pinioned wings?  Why were they only pulling one Basilisk tooth at a time (any RPGer worth their salt would have looted that whole corpse and crafted it into something awesome [like a wand or a nice piece of hickory studded with teeth or bullets] or had the teeth stockpiled in the bag of holding)?   How did Harry and Ron get so ripped?  My friend brought up an excellent point of - "Why isn't there magic theory at Hogwarts?".  I'm curious as to why Hogwarts didn't have more of an inbuilt defense system - I mean, hell, it's a castle - where are the wall mounted scorpions and trebuchets?  Wait, if the bridge to Hogwarts was destroyed by explosion kid, how did the baddies get across - like the giants?  Was there another causeway?  Why didn't a cadre of baddies storm up from the docks?  Where was Death's cloak of invisibility?

All random questions but I never got into Harry Potter (even though I am a fantasy fan with over thirty years of experience under my belt), never read the books, or the slash, or fangirled out so I'm kind of coming at the last installment as an outsider.  Oh, and before you whine about it being for kids - shut up.  Lloyd Alexander's The Chronicles of Prydain and Michael Ende's The Neverending Story were also children's books.  Alexander's Queen Achren is more than a match for Bellatrix (Achren was Arawn's teacher).  Big V never had the Huntsmen of Arawn (some of my all time favorite baddies of all time, even more so than the Nazgul).

I'm splitting hairs and being grumpy.  Harry Potter is superficially entertaining and anything that gets kids to read is a good thing in my book.

I leave you with one of my favorite cross-geekdom fan pics:

"In the grim dark future of Hogwarts, there is only war."

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