IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'Oblivion'

Tuesday, 06 August 2013 10:14 Written by  iamrogue
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IAR Blu-ray Preview: 'Oblivion'

As Jack Harper in Oblivion, Tom Cruise has one of the coolest houses ever to grace the screen.  Sitting thousands of feet above Earth, the home in question is a dream of technological slickness poised against a backdrop of clouds.  It even has a pool and a landing pad for Cruise's equally cool bubbleship.

Now that Oblivion is available on Blu-ray, you can hang out in this immeasurably high-gloss pad from your own home.

More importantly, you can accompany Cruise as Harper on an adventure across a landscape of desolate beauty as he seeks to unlock the secrets of our planet's future.  Harper's workday existence involves zipping over what used to be the United States repairing drones designed to hunt down the remainders of an alien force whose attempted invasion left Earth ravaged and the moon shattered.  As Harper and his partner Victoria wait to end of their military service and join humanity in the stars, he makes a perplexing series of discoveries that upend his entire image of the world and his role in it.

The film is the sophomore feature from acclaimed visual stylist and sci-fi storyteller Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy), for whom Oblivion has been a longtime passion project.  "Well, I wrote this story, the first version of this story, about eight years ago," Kosinski explained at the film's press conference.  "I thought it would be my first film, so I wrote it as a contained cast.  The sky tower was going to be the main setting.  It was always the story of drone repairman Jack Harper and his kind of journey of redemption, but I never would have imagined eight years ago that I'd be able to make it on this scale, going to Iceland, New York City, building all the incredible sets and vehicles, and getting the cast that I was able to get for this film.  But I will say, in the end, it’s the same story I originally wrote."

Cruise does what he does best as Harper, while Andrea Riseborough (Shadow Dancer) lends support as Victoria.  Olga Kurylenko (To the Wonder) plays a mysterious stranger who crashes on Earth and immediately captivates Harper, with Morgan Freeman (The Dark Knight Rises), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (HBO's Game of Thrones), Melissa Leo (The Fighter), and Zoe Bell (Death Proof) all playing characters whose surprises we won't reveal here.

As of today, August 6th, Oblivion is available on 2-disc Blu-ray Combo Pack and single-disc DVD. The Combo Pack features the theatrical version of the film in hi-definition on Blu-ray, while the film is in standard definition on DVD. The Blu-ray includes a digital copy of Oblivion and UltraViolet, which allows consumers to download and instantly stream the standard definition theatrical version of the film to a wide range of devices including computers, compatible tablets, smartphones, game consoles, Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray players.

Kosinski and cinematographer Claudio Miranda's absolutely gorgeous visuals are presented in pristine 1080p high definition.  The futuristic soundscape and score by Anthony Gonzalez are represented by a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mix that allows viewers to feel like they're riding shotgun in the bubbleship.

Of course, the Blu-ray also comes fully loaded with special features that add to the Oblivion experience.  Kosinski and Cruise provide insight with a feature commentary track, and an isolated score presents the film with all sound except the M83 score stripped away.

Four minutes of deleted scenes fill in a bit more character and story, while several featurettes delve into the making of the movie.  "Destiny" chronicles the origins of Oblivion and how it eventually came to fruition.  "Illusion," then, shows the surprising amount of practical effects utilized and how they blend with digital effects.  "Combat" concerns the action sequences, particularly Cruise's expertise with stunts, while "Voyage" focuses on the design and creation of the famous bubbleship.  Finally, "Harmony" examines the making of the film's musical score.

So pick up Oblivion on Blu-ray to check all those features out.

And see IAR's exclusive video interview with Joseph Kosinski by clicking here.

Take a look at another IAR exclusive with vehicle designer Daniel Simon by following this link.

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