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The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )

Film:


Extras:


Audio/Video total rating:

( Max score: 100 )
96





Studio and Year: Universal - 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Feature running time: 125 minutes
Genre: Sci-Fi/Action

Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 2.40:1
Resolution: 1080p/24


Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio, French DTS 5.1, Spanish Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, French
Starring: Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Melissa Leo
Directed by: Joseph Kosinki
Music by: M83
Written by: Karl Gajdusek & Michael DeBruyn
Region Code: A,B,C

Blu-ray Disc release Date: August 6, 2013
"Earth is a memory worth fighting for"


Film Synopsis:


This groundbreaking cinematic event stars Tom Cruise as Jack Harper, the lone security repairman stationed on a desolate, nearly-ruined future Earth. When he rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft, her arrival triggers a nonstop chain of events that alters mankind’s fate.

My Take:


It is 2077 and Earth has been decimated by war between an invading alien force and the human race. We won the war but Earth’s resources suffered as a result and we have moved the remaining population off planet to Titan, a moon of Saturn. Large machines have been devised to convert Earth’s remaining water to energy for use on Titan however Alien forces secreting themselves on Earth constantly thwart those efforts by attacking/destroying the machines. Robotic drones have been devised to protect them from attack. Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is a drone repairman assigned to the evacuated planet, working with his partner Vika (Andrea Riseborough) to salvage vital resources. As their assignment approaches its final days, Jack observes the crash landing of spacecraft after it was shot down by alien ground forces, and rescues a beautiful stranger (Olga Kurylenko) from the wreckage. What Jack soon comes to discover as a result will force him to question everything he thought he knew ultimately leaving humanity’s fate in his hands.

Oblivion is based on director Joseph Kosinski’s graphic novel of the same name and is a post apocalyptic sci-fi action/thriller that is epic in scope but isn’t supported by a narrative that keeps pace. The character base is small which coincides nicely with the plot however I would have preferred a bit more depth with respect the storyline’s development. There are purportedly mind bending elements but as the story plays out some of those implied earlier don’t satisfactorily come to fruition. Essentially Oblivion starts out well but doesn’t finish as strong. The wrap up takes more of a trite and even sentimental approach than I would have liked, of course being the mush that I am I didn’t have a big problem with it.


Shortcomings aside Oblivion is pretty fun to watch. There is ample action which is supported by excellent production elements and big league stunt work much of which is performed by star Tom Cruise. As I have said before like him or not there is no denying his dedication to his craft and his ability to make entertaining big budget films. I enjoyed the performances of both Olga Kurylenko and Andrea Riseborough each of whom shared solid chemistry with Cruise onscreen. I felt that Melissa Leo was sorely underused and Morgan Freeman was strictly there for window dressing.

Oblivion is an ambitious, visually engaging and conceptually evocative sci-fi action/thriller that with a stronger script could have been a thoroughly gratifying film experience. Nevertheless I found it to be an entertaining and worthwhile two hours that I look forward to revisiting.


Parental Guide:


The rating is for sci-fi action violence, brief strong language, and some sensuality/nudity.



AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65

**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**


Audio: 96

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Dynamics:

  • Low frequency extension:

  • Surround Sound presentation:

  • Clarity/Detail:

  • Dialogue Reproduction:



Video: 96

(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)

  • Resolution/Clarity:

  • Black level/Shadow detail:

  • Color reproduction:

  • Fleshtones:

  • Compression:

Oblivion comes to Blu-ray disc from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 28 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 4.6 Mbps.


This is a reference quality video presentation that looks superb. Images are visually arresting and have a rich dynamic quality that highlights its near flawless rendering of detail. The video has a three dimensional and razor sharp clarity that never left me wanting. The visual design is pure Ridley Scott as it features a limited color scheme that is aesthetically perfect for the subject matter. The majority of the film boasts deep shades of gray, blue, sepia, white and black. These colors are not vivid in tonality but their depiction is stark and fully appreciable onscreen. Contrast is strong and blacks are deep without compromise to delineation. Shadowy areas exhibit excellent depth of field and visible gradational stages. The wide angle shots of darkened interiors and the open exterior expanses look stunning. Flesh tones are not overtly complex in tone but appear diverse in subtle structure and complexional makeup. This is a sophisticated visual design that uses more CGI than real imagery. The end result is a superlative video presentation that truly evokes the emotion of the film.


The DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack is reference quality and is sure to please those who like to play their systems loud. I had high expectations for this soundtrack and this lossless audio presentation didn’t disappoint. I was treated to an impeccably detailed, powerfully dynamic, and enriching surround sound experience. Multi-layered sound effects are appropriately placed within the soundfield so that their purpose is definable yet never overstated. The mix makes effective and occasionally aggressive use of the surround channels to elongate the front soundstage and reproduce the spatial and discrete sounds of this demanding soundtrack. The front and rear sound fields are integrated with precision which enables a seamless transference during panning sequences. The eclectic music score by M83 occasionally takes center stage and sounds superb. This is a fairly aggressive mix that utilizes the subwoofer to accentuate its already extended dynamic range. The quality of the bass is first rate as it is fills the room with clean, hard hitting, and deep resonating low frequency detail. Dialogue has excellent presence with clear, defining vocal character and noteworthy room penetration. I thoroughly enjoyed every minute with terrific soundtrack. Oblivion on Blu-ray is truly demonstrative worthy as it looks and sounds terrific.

** It should be noted that the isolated music score (found in the bonus features) presented in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 exhibited numerous audio dropouts when played back through my Oppo Blu-ray player but played without issue through my Panasonic Blu-ray player. I have notified Oppo regarding the problem. This in no way effects playback of the film’s DTS-HD 7.1 Master Audio soundtrack. **

Bonus Features:

  • Feature commentary with director Joseph Kosinski and Tom Cruise

  • (HD) 4 deleted scenes

  • (HD) Promise of a new world: The making of Oblivion:
    1. Destiny: Looks inside the conceptualization, development and preproduction

      of Oblivion and the planning that went into the huge task of shooting the film. – 11 minutes
    2. Voyage (Blu-ray Exclusive): Follows the creation of the amazing Bubble Ship from its early design conception to its journey around the world – 9 minutes
    3. Combat (Blu-ray Exclusive): Explores the film’s ground-breaking action and death-defying stunts, all performed by start Tom Cruise – 15 minutes
    4. Illusion: Focuses on the film’s post-production and dazzling visual effects – 5 minutes
    5. Harmony: Delves into the innovative musical world of M83 – 6 minutes
    6. Isolated Music Score in Dolby TrueHD 5.1 - Watch the entire film accompanied by the evocative music track
  • Bonus DVD

  • Digital Copy

  • Ultraviolet Digital Copy



Final Thoughts:


Based on director Joseph Kosinski’s graphic novel of the same name Oblivion is an ambitious, visually engaging and conceptually evocative sci-fi action/thriller that is epic in scope but is slightly derailed by a middling script. Be that as it may I still found much to like and had a good time. It comes to Blu-ray from Universal Studios Home Entertainment featuring glossy reference quality high definition video superb DTS-HD Master Audio surround sound and a fair supplemental offering that looks behind the scenes and includes the option of watching the film while listening to the isolated music score. I am pleased to add Oblivion to my video collection and highly recommend that you check out its terrific presentation on Blu-ray.












Ralph Potts
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews





Reference Review System:



JVC DLA-RS55 3D Ready 1080p High Definition Front Projector

(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6 Meter from Spectracal )

Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen

Marantz AV8801 11.2 Channel Audio/Video Processor

Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier

B&K Reference 200.7 Series 2 Seven Channel Amplifier

Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)

System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control

Canton "Ergo" Series speakers

Axiom Audio QS8 Quadpolar speakers

SV Sound PB-13 Ultra (Rosenut finish)

APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector

Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling

Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package

Oblivion (Two-Disc Combo Pack: Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + UltraViolet)

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nice review...I was anticipating a reference video/audio Blu-ray and am glad to see it does not disappoint in those areas...never saw it in the theater but will give it a rental
 

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I actually saw this one in the theater upon release. I had not planned to see it but my brother being a single father gets the rare opportunity to take in a film that is not animated and he asked me to go so I did. Putting aside how strange Tom Cruise is in real life, I can't help but be entertained by him on screen so I always enjoy his movies. Oblivion was just a fun movie to watch and in the beginning I'm thinking, the apocolypse has happened and this guy gets to live in a super cool penthouse in the sky, fly spaceships all day and play with a smokin hot redhead. That doesn't sound so bad to me. Of course, it's more complicated than that as you soon find out. I will be picking this one up just for the visuals if nothing else. Thanks for the review Ralph!
 

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The last movie I actually went to a theater to watch. I am sure the Blu-ray with lossless audio will sound superb. It actually sounded pretty decent at the local AMC chain. To me the movie did seem to read more like a novel the way it is paced. Very entertaining movie overall. Thanks Ralph!
 

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I saw this at the theater and pre-ordered shortly after. There are shortcomings in the storyline but A/V quality was excellent, I enjoyed the music throughout, and it was generally a fun watch. Glad to hear the BD release seems to have held up well.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe  /t/1482702/oblivion-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_23552631


Awesome! Blind buy on this one for me.

This may be more of a rental first title. It definitely has some serious narrative flaws, if you care about plot and character.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Hitchman  /t/1482702/oblivion-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_23552742


This may be more of a rental first title. It definitely has some serious narrative flaws, if you care about plot and character.

Thanks for the heads up Dan. I have read these complaints elsewhere as well. I am fairly forgiving when it comes to Sci-Fi for some reason so I hope I can get around the flaws. We will see!
I'm a technical junkie of sorts as well, so at least it has that going for it. Blind buys are always a gamble though so I am hoping for the best. I may still rent first as well though....
 

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I saw this in digital imax in rockaway and enjoyed it. Is the bluray the imax version? Might get this soon....for the deleted scenes.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe  /t/1482702/oblivion-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_23552631


Awesome! Blind buy on this one for me.

Yep blind buy for me too
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe  /t/1482702/oblivion-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_23553166


Forgot to ask Ralph, but how was the isolated music score? Hope Oppo gets a fix out for this.

Greetings,


Todd, the isolated score is excellent...




Regards,
 

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Street date purchase for me... You guys crack me up on the rental first, then you buy the movie sooner or later and you end up spending more for the movie, making the studios richer.


Great review King P !
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by EAGLEFAN67  /t/1482702/oblivion-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_23553871


Street date purchase for me... You guys crack me up on the rental first, then you buy the movie sooner or later and you end up spending more for the movie, making the studios richer.


Great review King P !

Very few movies I watch are worth owning since most are not worth more than one watch IMO. I buy or blind buy the few I think will have repeat value for me which sci-fi commonly do. Because of all this, very few rentals have turned into future purchases. I am optimistic Oblivion will have repeat value for me which is why I am leaning toward buy.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrolicBeast  /t/1482702/oblivion-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_23553071


Excellent review Ralph.  Finally, an A/V experience to hold me over until StarTrek Into Darkness and Man of Steel are out on Blu Ray!!!  Blind buy for me--just for A/V.

I agree, and thanks Ralph.


I see you upgraded to a 103 already... good choice
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toe  /t/1482702/oblivion-blu-ray-official-avsforum-review#post_23553989


Very few movies I watch are worth owning since most are not worth more than one watch IMO. I buy or blind buy the few I think will have repeat value for me which sci-fi commonly do. Because of all this, very few rentals have turned into future purchases. I am optimistic Oblivion will have repeat value for me which is why I am leaning toward buy.
I feel much the same way. A movie has to have heavy replay value to me before I make a buy but being a Sci-Fi fan Oblivion struck me as one that would and I pre-ordered it as soon as it became available.

I've been itching to hear what Mr. Potts thought of it and after reading his review I don't think it will disappoint me in the least. Plus I usually like movies with Tom Cruise and I haven't seen too many with Morgan Freeman in them that I didn't like either!
 
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