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I generally don’t have time for the movies of Tom Cruise. Haven’t for years. But for whatever reason (likely random chance), last night we watched Oblivion. To my surprise, I found myself enjoying it.

Like many people, I really enjoy science fiction, but why did this one hit me right on this night, when so many of his other movies have made me shut them off long before their completion? Was I that exhausted from a week of long days? (yes) Was it because Morgan Freeman shows up? (maybe) Was it the pacing, and the way the story was revealed? (definitely). There’s plenty wrong with it, including glaring plot holes and some bad acting, but overall it wasn’t too bad.

On further reflection, probably the main reason I liked it was because it’s an obvious mash-up of a bunch of other movies and stories, so the familiarity makes it easy to digest. It’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Wall-E, Titan A.E., the Matrix and a long list of others. Heck, him putting his wife in a cave so he could go get help and come back for her was from The English Patient. And so on. If you’ve seen it, I’m sure you can mention other obvious ones I’ve neglected to mention in this short list. Which is to say, it’s calculated to resonate with your memory but be just different enough that, on the surface, it doesn’t seem like these are all lifted ideas.

I also noted the music (thus making this an official KMA post). I don’t know who M83 is, but they made a fairly evocative soundtrack to match this film. The landscapes, the events, all tied together by the electronic mixed with classical score suits its bleak futuristic vision very well. It’s oppressive and lifting in the right spots.

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