Whether or not it's fair of me to do this, I always ask, could only this actor have been in this role, or did they just plop someone in who needed a vehicle? Oblivion is classic Tom Cruise and I actually don't think another actor could have done this role, not like Cruise does. I've never been a big fan of his, but Cruise communicates a humanity you feel and cherish, and in a film about clones, that's a sign of great skill and craft. Without a doubt, it's 100% pro-capitalist and pro-American, very consciously aware of the arguments it puts up and the films to which it's responding (The Hunger Games & The Vow), so there's a lot to discuss and numerous elements we shall be referring back to in the future as Oblivion makes a direct point. The visuals and special effects are fantastic on the big screen, so if you are in the mood for a film, take it in this weekend!
|Something you might particularly like about Oblivion is the role this painting plays in the film. You know the role of the implied viewer in art: the artist knows that the audience/viewer has knowledge about "something," so they incorporate that "something" to create a sub-text dialogue with the viewer and expand the realm of the art's message: for example, of the many books Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) reads, one of them we see clearly is Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities. If you have read the book--or should I say, if you remember having read it in high school--then you know it's about the French Revolution. The film makers know people know this book title, to they included it in Jack's reading so we would know something more about him without the film having to stop and spell it out for us; the people, like my dad, who haven't the slightest idea what A Tale Of Two Cities is about, is the unimplied viewer, because--not knowing what the book is about--he can't complete that part of the message the film is trying to send him, he can't even recognize it's a code he is supposed to decipher, just like the coordinates that have to be deciphered in the film. So, back to the painting. This is a perfect example of when you don't have to be an implied viewer to get the message of the painting being included because they give it to you: "It reminds me of home," Julia (Olga Kurylenko) tells Jack, and you can make the mental calculations to fit in her emotions with the scene depicted in the painting. Of all the paintings they could have chosen, however, (and the scavs have an actual art museum of works they have saved and preserved, so they consciously know they could have chosen any number of paintings) we have to ask, Why this one? In my original critique of the painting I did last year, I closely analyze the details and why artist Andrew Wyeth chose this scene to depict and why it has become so recognizable to so many people, and I think that's part of why it's still important today and, in effect, being resurrected today, because we are in the same plight as the girl in the image (for my complete analysis, and I will be looking at the painting again in my full review of Oblivion, please see Christina's World & Our World).|
Moving right along,...
I just saw the trailer for RIPD last night at Oblivion, and this has me concerned; what does this remind you of?
|Without a doubt, there is also an element reminding me of Ghostbusters, perhaps because the third one--according to rumors--has finally been approved by Bill Murray and nostalgia is creeping in.|
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner
|"Earth is a memory worth fighting for," and the role memories and identity play are crucial in the film. Have fun catching all the film references throughout the narrative, because there's a lot of them, I don't think I even got them all.|