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Music video by Rihanna performing Take A Bow. YouTube view counts pre-VEVO: 66288884. (C) 2008 The Island Def Jam Music Group.
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Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joseph Kosinski|
|Editing by||Richard Francis-Bruce|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||124 minutes|
|Box office||$243,594,360 |
Oblivion is a 2013 American post-apocalyptic science fiction film based on Joseph Kosinski's Radical Comics edited unpublished graphic novel of the same name. The film was co-written, produced and directed by Kosinski. It stars Tom Cruise. The film was initially scheduled for release on July 10, 2013. Since the 3D re-release of Jurassic Park was set for April 5, 2013, the US release date was moved forward to April 19, 2013. According to Kosinski, Oblivion pays homage to science fiction films of the 1970s. It is Cruise's twentieth film to gross more than $200 million worldwide.
The film received favorable reviews. The acting and visual effects were well praised, while critiques of the story were mixed.
In the year 2077, Tech 49 Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is one of the last drone repairmen stationed on Earth. The planet was nearly destroyed sixty years earlier, during a war with a race of alien invaders known as Scavengers ("Scavs"). The Scavs destroyed the moon, causing massive earthquakes and tsunamis, and then launched their invasion. They were only defeated by the use of nuclear weapons, which left most of the planet irradiated and unlivable. The few surviving humans migrated to a colony on Titan, which is powered using energy harvested on Earth by giant ocean-borne power stations that generate fusion power from seawater. From Tower 49, a base standing above the remains of the northeastern United States, Jack and his partner Victoria "Vic" Olsen (Andrea Riseborough), with whom he is romantically involved, work as a team to maintain the autonomous drones that defend the power stations from the few remaining Scav bandits. They receive their orders from Sally, their mission commander, who is stationed on the "Tet," a massive tetrahedral space station that orbits the Earth. Jack flies recon and repair missions to the surface, while Vic supervises from Tower 49. The two expect to leave Earth and join the other survivors on Titan in two weeks. Although Jack and Vic had their memories wiped five years prior for security purposes, Jack has recurring dreams about meeting a mysterious woman at the Empire State Building in a time before the war, which occurred before he was born. Additionally, Jack keeps a secret retreat in a forested area on the surface he sometimes visits.
A Scav signal beacon transmitting coordinates is followed shortly by the crash of a pre-invasion American spacecraft. Drones come and kill much of the crew, but Jack rescues a woman, Julia (Olga Kurylenko), recognizing her as the woman from his dreams. Julia says her ship—the Odyssey—was a NASA mission, the objective of which she refuses to reveal, and she and Jack retrieve the ship's flight recorder. They are captured by Scavs, who are revealed to be humans living in an underground stronghold. Their leader, Malcolm Beech (Morgan Freeman), claims that the alien invasion was a lie and demands that Jack reprogram a captured drone to destroy the Tet by delivering an extremely powerful nuclear weapon. When Jack refuses, Malcolm releases the captives but urges them to seek the truth in the so-called "radiation zone" that Jack is forbidden to enter.
On their way back to the Tower, Jack takes Julia to the ruins of the Empire State Building and asks her who she is. She reveals that she was his wife before the war. His dreams were flashbacks to the day he proposed to her on the Empire State Building's observation deck. As Jack and Julia share a kiss, Vic watches via her video link to Jack’s ship and, when they return to the Tower, refuses them entry. When she informs Sally that she and Jack are no longer an "effective team," Sally activates a drone that kills Vic. Before the drone can kill Jack, Julia uses the weapons on Jack's ship to destroy the drone. Sally requests that Jack return to the Tet and bring Julia, but they flee in his ship instead, pursued by more drones. They crash in the radiation zone, where Jack comes face to face with Tech 52, a clone of himself. He fights the clone, who begins experiencing memory flashbacks before Jack renders him unconscious. Jack then finds Julia has been seriously injured. Jack impersonates Tech 52 and goes to Tower 52, where he encounters a clone of Victoria, and steals a med kit to help Julia.
Shocked, Jack and Julia return to Beech, who tells them the disturbing truth: there is no colony on Titan. The Tet is in fact an alien artificial intelligence that seized Earth to exploit the planet's resources, and Jack is a clone of the original Jack Harper, an astronaut from 2017. The Tet initially used Harper's clones as an invading army, then switched to drones programmed to kill humans on sight, thus forcing the survivors to disguise themselves as the Scavs. The Tet now uses Harper's clones to maintain the drones and thereby maintain its dominance. Jack agrees to reprogram the stolen drone to destroy the Tet. When leaving the underground stronghold with the reprogrammed drone, they are attacked by three other drones. The drones enter the base and wreak havoc inside, destroying the reprogrammed drone in the process. The humans finally manage to destroy the three drones, but are forced to find another way to deliver the nuclear bomb to the Tet. Jack proposes to deliver the bomb himself. To throw off suspicion, Julia suggests that she accompany Jack, since Sally had already requested that he bring her to the Tet.
During the flight, Jack listens to the Odyssey's flight recorder, which reveals that he and Victoria were originally pilots on the Odyssey mission to Titan, which was reassigned by NASA when the Tet was discovered near Saturn. Sally was their supervisor at NASA mission control, with other personnel, including Julia, on board in sleeping capsules. Upon approach, the Tet drew them in with a tractor beam. Recognizing that capture was imminent, Jack was able to jettison the passengers, who orbited for sixty years in suspended animation until Beech sent the signal to recall their craft.
Jack enters the Tet, where he is met by a sentient tetrahedral structure that had adopted the persona of Sally. She welcomes Jack home. Jack opens the sleep capsule to reveal Beech; Julia simultaneously emerges from another sleeping capsule in Jack's secret forest retreat. The two men trigger the nuclear bomb and destroy the Tet. The destruction of the Tet also deactivates the remaining drones around the world.
Three years later, Julia is living with her young daughter in the forest retreat on the recovering Earth. A group of survivors arrives there, and Tech 52 emerges from the group. A voice-over by Tech 52 reveals that his previous encounter had re-awakened memories of Julia, and he had searched for her for three years. Julia's daughter asks her who Tech 52 is, and Julia replies that he is the girl's father.
- Tom Cruise as Commander Jack Harper, a clone of a NASA astronaut killed by an alien artificial intelligence. He repairs the alien drones that hunt down the last remaining free humans on a ruined Earth.
- Andrea Riseborough as Victoria Olsen, another clone. She Jack's communications officer, lover, and former co-pilot.
- Morgan Freeman as Malcolm Beech, a resistance leader stationed on Earth.
- Olga Kurylenko as Julia Rusakova, an astronaut and Jack's wife before the invasion.
- Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Sykes, a battle-hardened, intelligent, and highly athletic military weapons expert in the resistance.
- Melissa Leo as Sally, Jack and Victoria's mission controller.
- Zoë Bell as Kara, a resistance soldier.
Kosinski wanted to film a cinematic adaptation of the graphic novel Oblivion which he co-wrote with Arvid Nelson for Radical Comics. Disney, which produced Kosinski's previous direction Tron: Legacy, acquired the film adaptation rights to Oblivion in August 2010 after a heated auction. Disney subsequently released the rights after realizing the PG-rated film they envisioned, in line with their family-oriented reputation, would require too many story changes. Universal Pictures, which had also bid for the original rights, then bought them from Kosinski and Radical Comics and authorized a PG-13 film version.
The script for the film was originally written by Kosinski and William Monahan and underwent a first rewrite by Karl Gajdusek. When the film passed into Universal's hands, a final rewrite was done by Michael Arndt. Universal was particularly appreciative of the script, saying "It's one of the most beautiful scripts we’ve ever come across."
The Bubble Ship operated by Cruise's character was inspired by the Bell 47 helicopter, a utilitarian 1947 vehicle with a transparent round canopy that Kosinski saw in the lobby of the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, and which he likened to a dragonfly. Daniel Simon, who previously worked with Kosinski as the lead vehicle designer on Tron: Legacy, was tasked with creating the Bubble Ship from this basis, incorporating elements evocative of an advanced fighter jet with the Bell 47 to create a light, functional vehicle that was both practical and aesthetically pleasing, much as he observed with the ships in 2001: A Space Odyssey. "When Kubrick made 2001, rather than going to the hotshot concept designers of the day, he hired NASA engineers," said Simon. "I believe in form follows function. I'm not a fan of excessive decoration, of putting fins on something because it looks cool." Rather than employ digital models, Wild Factory, a Camarillo concept car company, built the Bubble Ship as a 25-foot-long, 4,000–5,000 lb., mostly aluminum prop. Elements of the cockpit, such as the placement of the joystick and pedals, were customized for Cruise, who is a pilot in real life, and who had some input into the design. The craft was also made to be easy to disassemble and assemble, in order to facilitate transport to the Iceland shooting locations, where it would be mounted on a gimbal for shots of it flying. The unmanned aerial drones that figure prominently in the plot were created to appear to be in the same design family as the Bubble Ship.
For casting the lead role of Julia opposite Cruise, the producers considered five actresses: Jessica Chastain, Olivia Wilde, Brit Marling, Noomi Rapace and Olga Kurylenko, and all five auditioned on August 27, 2011. It was subsequently announced that Chastain would play one of the film's two female leads. In January 2012 Chastain entered into talks for a part in the Kathryn Bigelow film Zero Dark Thirty and subsequently dropped out of Oblivion contention. It was later announced that the role had been given to Kurylenko. In preparation for the role, Kurylenko watched astronaut training videos as well as classic science fiction and romance films (such as Solaris, Notorious, and Casablanca). "What's funny is I actually watched [Solaris]; Joseph never brought it up," said Kurylenko. "I come from Tarkovsky-land, and at that point I hadn't watched it for many years. I watched the new one as well, with George Clooney and Natascha McElhone. The story – both in Solaris and Oblivion – deals with space and memory."
For the other leading role, Victoria, the producers initially considered Hayley Atwell, Diane Kruger and Kate Beckinsale. The three actresses traveled to Pittsburgh to screen-test with Cruise, who was filming Jack Reacher. The role finally went to Andrea Riseborough. Melissa Leo was cast at a later date as Sally.
Production began on March 12, 2012 and concluded on July 14, 2012. Filming locations included Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana. Much of the film was shot in Iceland in June 2012, when the daylight lasts for nearly 24 hours a day. As well as showcasing Iceland's volcanic landscapes, the film's director Joseph Kosinski sought to take advantage of the round-the-clock light, in particular the 6pm to 1am waning light known as "magic hour", to "bring sci-fi out into the daylight", in contrast to films such as Alien, which spent their time in dark hulls or benighted planets. The single most difficult scene to film in the entire movie was when Harper takes a break to admire the view and waters a flower; it was filmed by having Cruise sit next to a 800-foot drop at the top of Earl's Peak, which is only accessible by helicopter. The scenes set at Harper's idyllic forest retreat were filmed at Black's Pond in June Lake, California.
Oblivion was filmed with Sony's CineAlta F65 camera, which was shipped in January 2012. A Red Epic was also used for scenes that required going handheld or when body mount rigging was applied. The film was shot in 4K resolution in Sony's proprietary raw image format, but for cost reasons (and over Kozinski's protests), both the digital intermediate and final version were done at 2K resolution.
For the Sky Tower set (built on a soundstage in Baton Rouge), Kosinski and cinematographer Claudio Miranda worked closely with visual special-effects house Pixomondo to establish both environment and lighting by the use of 21 front-screen projectors aimed at a huge wraparound backdrop to form one continuous image, rather than blue screen backdrops. The backdrop consisted of a single seamless piece of painted white muslin, 500 feet by 42 feet, which was wrapped around the set for 270 degree coverage. This enabled the full environment to be captured in camera, and assisted in lighting up to 90 percent of the set. If they had used blue screen on a "glass house" set like the Sky Tower, the glass would literally have disappeared into the blue lighting, and the VFX people would have been forced to reconstruct most of the set in post-production. Naturally, "the actors loved being in it" since unlike blue screen, they could look outside and actually see a sunrise or sunset. This new technique allowed them to cut down on both the effects shots, which ended up on around 800 in total, and the expenses.
To obtain the necessary footage to create the illusion that the Sky Tower set was sitting high above the clouds, Pixomondo sent a crew to film the view from the peak of Haleakalā in Hawaii for four days with three Red Epic cameras mounted side-by-side on a single rig. Pixomondo's Stuttgart office then stitched together the data from the three cameras to form a single gigantic video stream (with each still image consisting of 26 megapixels), and produced a variety of different time-of-day clips to be projected on the set.
On June 28, 2012, it was announced that French electronic/shoegaze band M83 would compose the soundtrack for Oblivion. On why he chose M83 to score the film, director Joseph Kosinski said, "I went back and I found my first treatment for Oblivion from 2005 and it had listed in the treatment a soundtrack of M83. Obviously the Tron: Legacy collaboration with Daft Punk worked out as good as I would have ever hoped, [so] I wanted to do something similar in that I’m pulling an artist from outside the movie business to create an original sound for this film." Kosinski continued, "Daft Punk’s music wouldn’t make sense for this movie. It had to be an artist whose music fit the themes and story I was trying to tell. And M83’s music I felt was fresh and original, and big and epic, but at the same time emotional and this is a very emotional film and it felt like a good fit."
In an interview with Rolling Stone, M83 frontman Anthony Gonzalez said, "I started to write the soundtrack just reading the script, and then when you get the picture in, it's different, and you kind of switch to another vibe and change stuff and start experimenting a lot with the music." Gonzalez added, "I worked with Joseph a lot, and he's very particular about the music in his movies, so we spent a lot of time talking about music and working the arrangements together."
|Oblivion: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by M83|
|Released||April 9, 2013|
113:36 (deluxe edition)
|Label||Back Lot Music|
|Consequence of Sound|||
The soundtrack album was released on April 9, 2013 by Back Lot Music. A deluxe edition of the soundtrack was released the same day exclusively through iTunes. It features an additional 13 tracks.
Track listing 
|10.||"You Can't Save Her"||4:56|
|12.||"I'm Sending You Away"||5:38|
|13.||"Ashes of Our Fathers"||3:30|
|14.||"Temple of Our Gods"||3:14|
|16.||"Undimmed by Time, Unbound by Death"||2:26|
|17.||"Oblivion" (featuring Susanne Sundfør)||5:56|
|Deluxe edition (iTunes release)|
|12.||"Return from Delta"||2:22|
|17.||"Return to Empire State"||6:41|
|21.||"You Can't Save Her"||4:59|
|24.||"Knife Fight in a Phone Booth"||4:39|
|25.||"I'm Sending You Away"||5:40|
|26.||"Ashes of Our Fathers"||3:32|
|27.||"Temples of Our Gods"||3:16|
|29.||"Undimmed by Time, Unbound by Death"||2:27|
|30.||"Oblivion" (featuring Susanne Sundfør)||5:57|
Details about Oblivion were kept secret, though the studio was said to have been "very excited" about the film. Promotions began April 2012, with a part of the footage being screened at the 2012 CinemaCon despite the fact that filming had begun just one month prior to the event. The footage was described as "a combination of early concept art, rough animation, and unfinished dailies," showcasing a glimpse of the film's landscapes.
Theatrical release 
Oblivion was first presented in Buenos Aires on March 26, 2013, Dublin on April 3, 2013 and in Hollywood on April 10 at the Dolby Theatre where Cruise himself announced before the screening that the film was actually the first feature to be mixed completely "from start to finish" in the latest state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos surround sound.
Home media 
The DVD and Blu-ray for Oblivion became available online for pre-order on April 24, 2013, just five days after its initial North American release. The release date and disc specifications have yet to be announced.
Box office 
In North America, the film earned $37.1 million during the course of its opening weekend, including $5.5 million derived of IMAX screenings from 323 theaters, making it Cruise's best North American opening outside of the Mission: Impossible film series and War of the Worlds.
As of May 14, 2013, Oblivion has grossed $82,694,360 in the U.S. and Canada and $243,594,360 internationally.
Critical response 
Oblivion received mixed-to-positive reviews. The film has a 56% "Rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 182 reviews, with the site's consensus stating "Visually striking but thinly scripted, Oblivion benefits greatly from its strong production values and an excellent performance from Tom Cruise." The film has an average score of 5.9/10. On Metacritic the film holds a score of 53 based on 40 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter stated "Oblivion is an absolutely gorgeous film dramatically caught between its aspirations for poetic romanticism and the demands of heavy sci-fi action". Justin Chang of Variety said "Insofar as Oblivion is first and foremost a visual experience, a movie to be seen rather than a puzzle to be deciphered, its chief pleasures are essentially spoiler-proof." Kevin Harley of Total Film gave the film three stars and said "It isn’t a reboot or reimagining, refreshingly, but Oblivion plays like a stylised remix of superior sci-fi ground-breakers".
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- "Oblivion – released". allocine.fr. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- "Oblivion (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
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- "That Oblivion "graphic novel" will probably never be published". 1 April 2013.
- Steve Suno (July 22, 2010). "CCI: KOSINSKI ILLUMINATES "OBLIVION"". comicbookresources.com. Retrieved July 22, 2010.
- Matt Goldberg (August 4, 2010). "Disney Locks Down OBLIVION for TRON: LEGACY Director Joseph Kosinski". Collider.com. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
- Trumbore, Dave (January 19, 2012). "Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough Join Tom Cruise in Untitled Sci-Fi Pic". Collider.com. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
- Chitwood, Adam (March 15, 2012). "Universal Moves Sci-Fi Film OBLIVION Starring Tom Cruise Up to April 26, 2013". Collider.com. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
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- Kit, Borys (March 16, 2011). "Karl Gajdusek Tapped to Re-Write Disney’s Horizons (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
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- Vineyard, Jennifer (April 22, 2013). "Olga Kurylenko talks "Oblivion," "To The Wonder," and "Erased"". IFC.com. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
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- Interview: 'Oblivion' Director Joseph Kosinski on Sci-Fi Filmmaking
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- "Album Review: Anthony Gonzalez and Joseph Trapanese – Oblivion: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Consequence of Sound. 2013-04-08. Retrieved 2013-04-19.
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- Official website
- Oblivion 2013 Official Trailer
- Oblivion at the Internet Movie Database
- Oblivion at Rotten Tomatoes
- Oblivion on Soundtrack Stream
- Film Review