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Joseph Kosinski
Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough
Writing Credits:
Karl Gajdusek, Michael Arndt

A veteran assigned to extract Earth's remaining resources begins to question what he knows about his mission and himself.

Box Office:
$120 million.
Opening Weekend
$37,054,485 on 3783 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG-13.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English Descriptive Video Service
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 125 min.
Price: $14.98
Release Date: 8/6/2013

• Audio Commentary with Story Writer/Director Joseph Kosinski and Actor Tom Cruise
• Deleted Scenes
• Isolated Score
• “Promise of a New World” Documentary
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Oblivion [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (December 27, 2020)

Though Tom Cruise turned 50 during the shoot for 2013’s Oblivion, don’t expect a film that makes concessions to the actor’s advancing age. Instead, this becomes another in a long series of Cruise action flicks, albeit one with a stronger than usual science-fiction orientation.

Set in the year 2077, Earth has become nearly depleted of resources after decades of war with an alien species called “Scavs”. Most of humanity relocated to Saturn’s largest moon, but a handful of people remain on Earth to extract the few remaining supplies.

Drone technician Jack Harper (Cruise) serves in this capacity, and he nears the end of his job. However, his work gets interrupted when a mysterious craft crash-lands on Earth.

Jack investigates and finds Julia Rusakova (Olga Kurylenko), a woman who appeared in Jack’s dreams before her arrival. This sets off a chain of events that forces Jack to challenge all his beliefs and that may impact humanity as a whole.

When Oblivion hit screens in spring 2013, I can’t claim I rushed to see it. Maybe I’d taken in too many Cruise movies that felt similar, with Tom as the savior of humanity or something close.

Face it: Cruise settled into a certain kind of role long ago, and as the years progressed, he seemed less willing to challenge that stereotypical role. Once upon a time, he took on more challenging parts like a war-hardened Vietnam vet in Born On the Fourth of July or the misogynistic motivational speaker in Magnolia.

However, Cruise seemed more stuck once we got into the 21st century. Sure, he deviated from the Strong Male Lead on occasion – especially during a small comedic role in Tropic Thunder - but he usually stayed with his tough heroes.

Oblivion falls into that pattern. Expect Cruise to play his typical Alpha, also paired with much younger love interest. We also find the usual scenes intended to show off Cruise’s buff physique.

Despite these nods toward the stereotypical Cruise effort, Oblivion manages to develop its own personality and becomes something deeper than expected. With a vibe that leans toward a mix of WALL-E and Planet of the Apes, the flick delivers an engaging mix of drama, action and emotion.

Though it does take a while to get into gear. While the opening act provides good exposition, it also moves a little slowly, and that threatens to frustrate.

Once the story begins to kick into gear, though, it catches fire. Even with the nods to earlier films, Oblivion still feels like its own beast and not just a rip off.

This creates a story that becomes much more involving than I expected, and it brought a lot more heart than the average sci-fi/action flick. I got a bit choked up at the end and found the tale to be emotional.

All of these factors turn Oblivion into an above-average genre effort. It mixes different elements together to become a satisfying effort.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus B

Oblivion appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a strong presentation.

Sharpness worked fine, with virtually no softness on display. This meant the vast majority of the film was accurate and well-defined.

I saw no signs of jaggies or moiré effects, and the film lacked edge haloes or print flaws.

Colors leaned toward amber/orange or a quiet sense of teal. Though it followed fairly predictable palette choices, it didn’t accentuate these tones in an extreme manner, and the Blu-ray portrayed them appropriately.

Blacks came across nicely, as dark tones were deep and rich, without any muddiness or problems. In addition, low-light shots gave us smooth, clear visuals. All in all, this became a pleasing presentation.

One disappointment: although Oblivion was shot entirely on digital IMAX cameras, the Blu-ray didn’t include that “opened up” version of the movie.

I felt happy with the solid DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Oblivion. The mix offered plenty of opportunities for lively auditory information, and it took good advantage of these.

With a bunch of action and environmental elements, the mix filled the speakers on a frequent basis. The track placed information in logical spots and blended all the channels in a smooth, compelling manner.

Audio quality was also positive. Music sounded lively and full, while effects delivered accurate material. Those elements showed nice clarity and kick, with tight low-end.

Speech was always distinctive and concise, too. This mix worked well for the film.

A few extras appear on the disc, and we launch with an audio commentary from story writer/director Joseph Kosinski and actor Tom Cruise. Both sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of story and characters, cast and performances, photography, music, various effects, sets and locations, and related domains.

Few A-list actors show up for commentaries, so I respect Cruise’s willingness to do so. Unfortunately, the tracks on which he appears almost always seem mediocre at best, and that curse afflicts this one as well.

Cruise and Kosinski offer occasional nuggets of information, but mostly they narrate the movie and toss out banal praise. Not much of real value emerges in this fairly blah track.

Another audio feature, the movie can be viewed with an isolated score. This presents the music via Dolby TrueHD, a nice bonus since most isolated scores use lossy tracks.

Four Deleted Scenes pop up here. We get “Bubbleship Flyby” (0:32), “Stadium – Original Opening” (1:31), “Medkit” (1:57), and “The Archives” (0:37).

Given the brevity of the sequences, one shouldn’t expect a lot from them. “Medkit” offers the most substance, as it shows a little extra character material, but it doesn’t deliver much, and the others feel forgettable.

A five-part documentary, Promise of a New World spans a total of 48 minutes, 13 seconds. Across these segments, we hear from Kosinski, Cruise, executive producer Jesse Berger, producers Dylan Clark and Barry Levine, supervising art director Kevin Ishioka, production designer Darren Gilford, property master Doug Harlocker, set decorator Ronald R. Reiss, production services Zach Alexander, associate producer Emily Cheung, supervising location manager Michael John Meehan, unit production manager RJ Mino, location manager Thor Kjartansson, medic Richardur Thor Asgeirsson, concept illustrator Daniel Simon, engineer Jeff Vasquez, bubbleship technician Dustin Zurian, stunt coordinator/2nd unit director Robert Alonzo, moto bike technicians Justin Kell and Eric Orr, stunt rigging coordinator David Hugghins, plant site representative Jerry Melton, stuntmen Loyd Bateman, Samuel Le and Rob Mars, department head makeup Desne Holland, special effects rigging foreman Douglas Ziegler, military technical advisor Doug McQuarrie, digital effects supervisor Paul Lambert, co-producer Steve Gaub, visual effects supervisors Eric Barba and Bjorn Mayer, CG supervisor Gavyn Thompson, on-set integration lead Jesse James Chisholm, compositing supervisor R. Matt Smith, animation supervisor Steve Preeg, composer Anthony Gonzalez, orchestrator Joseph Trapanese, and actors Olga Kurylenko, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Zoe Bell.

“Promise” looks at the project’s development and story/characters, various design choices and locations, stunts and action, effects, and music.

Like the commentary, “Promise” comes with a whole lot of happy talk – much devoted to Cruise, but also a lot committed to the rest of the film as well. Despite this tendency, “Promise” compensates with a good level of movie-related info, so it offers enough substance to overcome the fluffy parts.

The disc opens with ads for Fast & Furious 6, Despicable Me 2, Dead in Tombstone, and Defiance. No trailer for Oblivion appears here.

While it invents no new wheels, Oblivion still becomes a solid science-fiction adventure. The movie uses Tom Cruise to good advantage and becomes a satisfying mix of action and drama. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture and audio along with a good collection of bonus materials. I recommend this compelling project.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 6
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