Oblivion best viewed on the big screen
By Lynne Martin
OBLIVION (2013) starring Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, and Olga Kurylenko is opening in theatres under the intense scrutiny of fans from all around the world. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, who many will remember from TRON: LEGACY back in 2010—this release is definitely geared toward science fiction audiences. Not exactly breaking any boundaries with its originality, OBLIVION will still be an enjoyable ride for fans of the genre.
The year is 2077 and Cruise is working as a droid-repairman back on planet Earth. His home planet, long void of any human settlements, is now being scavenged for its remaining resources by humans and aliens alike. With the entire Earth’s surface laid waste after decades of war with alien invaders known as ‘Scavz’, only selected humans are assigned to the planet to oversee resource recovery. During his daily routine, Cruise stumbles across a crashed spacecraft whose contents make him question everything he knows about the war and mankind’s plans for the future.
Few movies advance their plot as effectively through character narrative as OBLIVION does—and what better way to deliver vital information than through the commanding voice of Morgan Freeman? With a few scenes and a couple of the droid’s responses reminiscent of the original Star Wars, audiences should have no trouble relating to this latest fare. Not a copycat by any measure, OBLIVION just has a familiar feel to it.
With an ageless Tom Cruise at the helm of this Sci-Fi adventure, you can guarantee that viewing this picture on the largest screen available will only enhance audience enjoyment. Pg-13, 125 mins, Action, Adventure, Sci-fi. **** 4 stars out of 5.
Evil Dead delivers for horror/gore fans
Is the movie EVIL DEAD (2013) starring Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, and Lou Taylor Pucci a remake of the 1981 original—or is this the fourth instalment in the cult-classic series? You’ll have to be the judge, as this picture could easily fall into either category. The first in the series not directed by Sam Raimi, EVIL DEAD still delivers all the blood drenched, horrifically gory death scenes audiences have come to expect.
A group of five friends purposely isolate themselves at remote cabin in the hopes of helping one of the girls overcome her addiction to opiates. When the Book of the Dead or the ‘Naturom Demonto’ is discovered and an incantation inadvertently read aloud, an evil presence known as the Taker of Souls is summed from the surrounding woods. Alternately possessing the five friends, the demon effectively turns the attempted detox into a bloodbath, leaving only one of the original five still alive and fighting for their life.
When you realize that no CGI was used in this film, other than post production touch ups, you can’t help but admire the setups and the special effects. Genuine admiration garnered from the knowledge that the explicit scenes of mutilation and dismemberment could have easily been manipulated on a graphic artist’s computer screen instead of physically filmed with props and synthetic fluids. Audiences will also be treated to better chainsaw action than we witnessed in TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D.
Kudos to director Fede Alvarez for taking the initiative to be creative without resorting to cost-cutting computer trickery. Warning: Be familiar with the slasher/horror genre before viewing EVIL DEAD, as it will only appeal to specific fans with the stomach for this level of violence. Rated R, 91 mins, Horror. **** 4 stars out of 5.
– Lynne Martin is an avid movie collector and a staunch supporter of sexual education. She currently resides in Alberta, Canada with her husband and their large extended family. For a complete list of her reviews and other works, or to leave a comment, please go to: www.lynnemartinbooks.com.