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The Berlin File

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The Berlin File


Hangul RR MR Directed by Produced by Written by Bereullin Perllin Ryoo Seung-wan Kang Hye-jung Ryoo Seung-wan Ha Jung-woo Han Suk-kyu Ryoo Seung-bum Jeon Ji-hyun

Starring

Jo Yeong-wook Music by Cinematography Choi Young-hwan Kim Sang-bum Editing by Kim Jae-bum Distributed by CJ Entertainment January 31, 2013 Release date(s) Running time Country Language Budget Box office 120 minutes South Korea Korean, English, German $9.6 million $48 million

The Berlin File (Hangul: ; RR: Bereullin; lit. "Berlin") is a 2013 South Korean spy thriller written and directed by Ryoo Seung-wan.[1][2][3] Ha Jung-woo stars as a North Korean agent in Berlin who is betrayed and cut loose when a weapons deal is exposed. Together with his wife, a translator at the North Korean embassy in Berlin played by Jeon Ji-hyun, they try to escape being purged, with Ryoo Seung-bum and Han Suk-kyu playing North and South Korean operatives on their trail.[4][5][6][7][8] The film was released in South Korea on January 31, 2013. It also had a limited theatrical run in 21 North American cities on February 15, 2013, including Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, New Orleans, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.[9][10][11]

Contents Plot
After a tense illegal arms deal in a Berlin hotel involving North Korean spy Pyo Jong-seong (Ha Jung-woo), a Russian broker, and a Middle Eastern terrorist goes wrong when disrupted by unknown assailants, Pyo narrowly escapes but encounters morass of conflicting evidence that may reveal why he was set up. Also investigating the failed weapons sale, embattled South Korean intelligence agent Jung Jinsoo (Han Suk-kyu) goes after Pyo to uncover his identity, but is left trying to decode whether the North Korean "ghost" agent (whose information cannot be found on any intelligence database) is a double agent or taking the fall for a more insidious plot. Finding himself embroiled in a vast international conspiracy, Jung must determine the North's role in the deal, as well as the potential involvement of the CIA, Israel's Mossad, international terrorist organizations, and any other covert operatives lurking in Berlin's polyglot underworld. Confronting the possibility of a double agent within Berlin's North Korean embassy where his wife Ryun Jung-hee (Jeon Ji-hyun) is a translator, Pyo discovers that Pyongyang security authorities have dispatched ruthless fixer Dong Myung-soo (Ryoo Seung-bum) to sort out potentially conflicting loyalties at the consulate. Dong's investigation quickly implicates Ryun and he gives Pyo just 48 hours to incriminate his wife, who is suspected of leaking information on the arms deal to South Korean agents trying to gain access to a secret multi-billion dollar bank account controlled by Pyongyang authorities. Despite an apparently loveless marriage, Pyo is reluctant to betray Ryun, particularly after she discloses she's pregnant. He senses that she was set up by Dong and his father to gain favor with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. But when the North Korean ambassador makes an attempt to defect to the West, Pyo becomes incriminated as well. Narrowly escaping an assassination squad dispatched by Dong, Ryun and Pyo go on the run, with the rival Korean intelligence agencies closing in fast.[12][13][14]

Cast

Ha Jung-woo ... Pyo Jong-seong[15][16] Han Suk-kyu ... Jung Jin-soo[17][18] Ryoo Seung-bum ... Dong Myung-soo[19][20] Jeon Ji-hyun ... Ryun Jung-hee[21][22][23][24][25] Lee Geung-young ... Ri Hak-soo, North Korean ambassador John Keogh ... Marty, CIA agent Numan Aar ... Abdul Pasquale Aleardi ... Dagan Zamir, Mossad agent Choi Moo-sung ... Kang Min-ho Kwak Do-won ... Chung Wa-dae Kim Seo-hyung ... North Korean embassy secretary

Thomas Thieme ... Siegmund, German politician Tayfun Bademsoy ... Assim Werner Daehn ... Yuri, arms broker Sinja Dieks ... restaurant waitress Bae Jung-nam ... Myung-soo's agent Baek Seung-ik ... agency personnel Park Ji-hwan ... agency personnel Seo Ji-oh ... agency backup personnel Toni Varvasoudis ... Abdul's men Matthias Gnther ... Abdul's men Oskars Lauva ... Abdul's men Can Aiyden ... Abdul's men Baek Dong-hyeon ... North Korean agent Jo Ha-seok ... North Korean agent Ji Geon-woo ... North Korean agent Kwon Ji-hun ... South Korean agent Kim Seon-woong ... South Korean agent Kwak Jin-seok ... South Korean agent Myung Gye-nam ... Dong Jung-ho, Myung-soo's father Yoon Jong-bin ... South Korean field analyst Lee Kyoung-mi ... South Korean office analyst

Production
While preparing for the film, director Ryoo Seung-wan met with several North Korean defectors and shot the documentary Spies for Korean broadcaster MBC as part of a special series that aired in 2011, intending "to make a realistic, fast-paced, Korean-style espionage action film about South Korean agents discovering North Korea's secret accounts and how political dynamics between the two Koreas get involved." Ryoo said he wanted the film to be reminiscent of The Bourne Identity, and on an emotional level, to focus on the solitude and sorrow of those who live as secret agents.[26] Budgeted at US$9 million, the film was produced by Ryoo's own production shingle Filmmakers R&K, and financed by CJ Entertainment. Seasonal aspects play an important part in the film; Ryoo shot the film almost 100% on location in Europe, hoping to capture its eerie chill.[26] Filming began on April 16, 2012 on a film set in Namyang, south of Seoul, in Gyeonggi Province.[27] After wrapping there, cast and crew relocated to Berlin, Germany and Riga, Latvia in early May 2012, and among the locations were the roof of Berlin's Westin Grand Hotel, in Schneberg, at the Hackescher Markt, and on Pariser Platz in front of the iconic Brandenburg Gate in full view of the American and French Embassies. The shoot involved a 15-person German crew from Film Base Berlin, but the majority of production elements and talent were Korean, including around 80 crew members who brought their entire equipment. Observing that Ryoo did the recces of the locations with the actors so that they could get used to the settings, Film Base boss Mathias Schwerbock described the director as "very thorough and precise in his preparations. They are fast at shooting and very efficient."[28][29]

Stunt coordinator Jung Doo-hong choreographed the film's action sequences.[30] With over 40% of the film in English, American screenwriter Ted Geoghegan was hired to construct and polish the film's English dialogue, based on writer/director Ryoo's translated Korean text.[31]

Box office
The action blockbuster had a strong opening, drawing more than 2.8 million admissions (US$19 million) in just over a week after its release, with 1.53 million tickets sold during its first weekend alone.[32][33][34][35][36][37][38] A scene in which Ha Jung-woo's character gobbles a baguette was not included in the final edit, and director Ryoo Seung-wan promised fans to make the footage public when the film exceeded 3 million admissions. The clip was released on February 7.[39][40] The film reached 5 million admissions after 14 days of release,[41][42] and 7 million by March 5, 2013.[43][44] It took in US$48,146,202 at the Korean box office.[45]

Critical reception
Local critics gave unequivocal praise for the action set-pieces and acting performances, with the caveat that the film's overall quality was hindered by the overly convoluted plot. According to Yonhap and Screen Daily, the film's highlights were "its spectacular and breathtaking fight and action scenes" and "secretive and gloomy atmosphere."[46][47] Film Business Asia stated that the film is "flawed by a finale that doesn't top the previous set pieces but otherwise contains enough superbly staged action and rich performances to keep any audience hooked for two hours."[48] The Korea Times called the actors "superb," with special mention to how Ha Jung-woo "breathe(s) a layer of complexity into the shortest of lines," the "brilliant" Ryoo Seung-bum, and that Jeon Ji-hyun "deftly handles" her role. But though it opined that Ryoo "has never produced a more polished action movie" with its "tightly-packed and smartly-placed action scenes," it panned the script for being "preposterous and un-ambitious at the same time."[42] The Berlin File received mostly positive reviews from major US media outlets during its North American theatrical release.[49][50] The New York Times hailed its "exhilarating action set pieces," adding that Ryoo "brings his brand of muscular action and quicksilver agility to the shifting battleground of international espionage."[51] The Hollywood Reporter praised the careful balancing of narrative tension, writing that "the film crackles with tense character conflict."[12]

Bloomberg gave it four stars out of five, saying, "the film offers just about all you could ask of a genre flick; poisoning, defections, a secret North Korean bank account, gloriously choreographed fights that go insanely over the top, febrile tension and doomy romance."[52] The Village Voice said, "the enjoyable analog antics end with one character boarding the train bound for Vladivostok, but judging from the evidence, it's Hollywood where we can expect to see Ryoo Seung-wan appear before long."[53]

Awards and nominations


2013 Baeksang Arts Awards[54][55]

Best Actor - Ha Jung-woo[56][57] Nomination - Best Film Nomination - Best Director - Ryoo Seung-wan

2013 Mnet 20's Choice Awards


Nomination - 20's Movie Star, Male - Ha Jung-woo Nomination - 20's Movie Star, Female - Jeon Ji-hyun

Mud (2012 film)


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Mud

Theatrical release poster Directed by Jeff Nichols Lisa Maria Falcone Produced by Sarah Green Aaron Ryder

Jeff Nichols Matthew McConaughey Tye Sheridan Starring Sam Shepard Reese Witherspoon David Wingo Music by Cinematography Adam Stone Julie Monroe Editing by Everest Entertainment Brace Cove Productions Studio FilmNation Entertainment Lionsgate Distributed by Roadside Attractions May 26, 2012 (Cannes) April 26, 2013 (limited US) Release date(s) Written by Running time Country Language Budget Box office 130 minutes[1] United States English $10 million[2] $26,879,778[3]

Mud is a 2012 American coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Jeff Nichols. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Sam Shepard, and Reese Witherspoon. The film competed for the Palme d'Or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[4][5] It was shown at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2013, and had a limited release in select theaters on April 26, 2013.[6][7]

Contents

1 Plot 2 Cast 3 Production 4 Release 5 Reception 6 References

7 External links

Plot
Two teenage boys in the Arkansas delta, Ellis and Neckbone, travel to a small island in the Mississippi River where Neckbone found a boat stuck high in a tree, likely from a flood. They intend to make it their own. They realize someone is living in it and meet Mud a fugitive who grew up in the area. He wants to reunite with his old girlfriend Juniper and then skip town. Mud explains he killed a man who had impregnated Juniper and then pushed her down a flight of stairs, causing her to lose the child. The boys decide to lend Mud a helping hand, working to free the boat and get it working again, in exchange for Mud's .45 pistol. Mud also tells them about Juniper, whom he claims to love. He describes her as having a nightingale bird on her hand, and Neck and Ellis spot her at the local Piggly Wiggly. When they follow her, they interrupt abuse of her by another man. Ellis charges the man and shoves him off Juniper, but is punched and gets a black eye. Juniper thanks Ellis for saving her. The police are searching for Mud, but the boys don't give away his hiding place. Notified by his surviving son that Mud is in the area, King Carver, the vengeful father of Mud's victim, arrives in town. The Carvers pay off the police and hire a small militia to find and kill Mud. Meanwhile, Ellis is dealing with personal troubles. His parents are heading for divorce, which threatens their old river houseboat, owned by his mother. Once no longer used as a residence by the owner, the boats are being taken off the river, due to recently passed laws. Ellis falls for a high school girl named May Pearl and thinks he's in love. Mud looks to Tom Blankenship, an older father figure from his childhood, for help. Tom lives across the river from Ellis, so he is easy to find. Tom is disturbed that Mud is in trouble again over Juniper and refuses to help. Stealing machine parts and other supplies from junkyards, the boys help Mud repair the boat and rebuild the engine. They also locate Juniper, but she decides not to leave with Mud, and breaks his heart by having an affair with another man. Ellis suffers heartbreak when May Pearl rebuffs him in front of her friends. Ellis angrily calls Mud a liar and says he made Ellis a thief when he returns to the island. Running away, Ellis falls into a creek with water moccasins and is bitten. Mud and Neckbone get Ellis to the mainland and Mud takes the boy to the hospital. Recognizing the wanted man, one of the hospital employees tips off King. Mud and Neckbone get the repaired boat into the water. Mud gives Neckbone his gun but not the bullets. As Mud wants to say good-bye to Ellis, Neckbone takes him to Ellis houseboat, where he is recovering. While Mud is there, Carver and his posse arrive and start shooting. From across the river and the roof of his houseboat, Tom uses his old sniper rifle to pick off several attackers. Mud saves Ellis and tries to get away, but appears to be shot before disappearing into the river. After all the posse members are dead, including Carver, the police arrive. One trooper calls King and delivers the message that his other son is dead.

Ellis parents separate and when his mother moves to a town apartment, their houseboat is taken off the river. Seeing attractive teenage girls there, Ellis renews his sense of hope. He is uncertain of Mud's fate but believes again he has some redeeming value. Tom finds Mud in the river, alive, and treats his wounds. The duo use the repaired boat to travel down the Mississippi, where they see the river has flooded, and the island Mud stayed on is now deep under the water.

Cast

Matthew McConaughey as Mud Tye Sheridan as Ellis Sam Shepard as Tom Blankenship Reese Witherspoon as Juniper Jacob Lofland as Neckbone Michael Shannon as Galen Joe Don Baker as King Ray McKinnon as Senior Sarah Paulson as Mary Lee Paul Sparks as Carver Stuart Greer as Miller Michael Abbott, Jr. as James Bonnie Sturdivant as May Pearl

Production
Jeff Nichols wrote and directed Mud, which was fully financed by Everest Entertainment and produced by Everest and FilmNation Entertainment.[8] Nichols came up with the concept for the film in the 1990s. He had always had McConaughey in mind after seeing him in Lone Star (1996).[9] While still a student, Nichols began developing the story, inspired by Mark Twain's works, including the 1876 novel Tom Sawyer. He also sought to reflect the theme of love: "I wanted to capture a point in my life in High School when I had crushes on girls and it totally broke my heart and it was devastating. I wanted to try and bottle that excitement and that pain and that intensity of being in love and being a teenager."[8] Nichols said he had long envisioned the role of Mud for Matthew McConaughey.[10] In May 2011, Chris Pine was in talks for the lead role.[11] McConaughey was cast as Mud the following August and was joined by Reese Witherspoon.[12] Witherspoon was at the same agency as Nichols, so he was able to approach her for the role of Juniper.[10] For the local boys of a small Delta town, Nichols cast boys who could already pilot boats and ride dirt bikes, instead of ones who would have to be taught on set.[13] For the teenage role of Neckbone, over 2,000 boys auditioned, and 15-year-old Jacob Lofland from Yell County, Arkansas was cast.[14]

Nichols started shooting Mud in his home state of Arkansas on September 26, 2011.[15] Filming took eight weeks and concluded on November 19. He filmed in Southeast Arkansas; locations included Dumas, De Witt, Lake Village, Crocketts Bluff, and Stuttgart.[14] The island in the film was located outside the city of Eudora.[16] The cast and crew numbered over 100 people, around half who were Arkansas residents. Over 400 locals were also involved as extras. According to the state government's Economic Development Commission, "Mud is the largest production ever to be filmed in the state."[14] Nichols said about filming in parts of Southeast Arkansas, "These places and people have such a particular accent and culture, and they're quickly getting homogenized. I wanted to capture a snapshot of a place that probably won't be there forever."[13] Mud's cinematographer Adam Stone used a Steadicam for filming. Stone, who was also cinematographer for Nichols's previous films Shotgun Stories and Take Shelter, said, "If you look at 'Shotgun Stories,' the camera is fairly moored. With 'Take Shelter,' we had a lot more dolly work. In 'Mud,' the camera never really sits still. The locations were either super-remote or really small and cramped, so the Steadicam was the only thing that could get in there."[17] The film was shot on Kodak VISION3 35 mm film stocks in the anamorphic format with Panavision G-Series lenses.[18]

Release
Mud premiered on May 26, 2012 at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, where it had a competition slot for the festival's prizes including the Palme d'Or.[10] Reuters reported that the film "[earned] warm applause at a press screening".[19] Variety's film critics Justin Chang and Peter Debruge considered Mud one of their favorites of the film festival. Debruge said the film was reminiscent of the novel Huckleberry Finn: "It so elegantly addresses what masculinity and family really mean in the heartland." He said the Mississippi River in Mud was "a mythic backdrop... in which old values struggle against stronger modern forces in the world".[20] British film critic Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian gave the film 3 out of 5 stars, stating that "Mud is an engaging and good-looking picture with two bright leading performances".[21] After its Cannes premiere, no distributor immediately purchased rights to release the film in the United States.[22] By August 2012, Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions acquired rights to distribute Mud in the United States.[8] In January 2013, Mud screened at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and the Austin American-Statesman reported, "His modern take on Mark Twain played to an enthusiastic sold-out crowd of more than 500 people."[22] The film opened in limited release on April 26, 2013, before expanding on May 10, 2013.

Reception
Mud received nearly universal acclaim from film critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a score of 98%, based on reviews from 150 critics, with the site's consensus: "Bolstered by a strong performance from Matthew McConaughey in the title role, Mud offers an engaging Southern drama that manages to stay sweet and heartwarming without

being sappy."[23] Metacritic gave the film a normalized average score of 76, based on 35 reviews.[24]

References

Oblivion (2013 film)


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Oblivion

Theatrical release poster


Directed by Joseph Kosinski

Produced by

Joseph Kosinski Peter Chernin Dylan Clark Barry Levine[1] Duncan Henderson Joseph Kosinski Karl Gajdusek

Screenplay by

Michael Arndt

Oblivion by Based on

Joseph Kosinski Arvid Nelson Tom Cruise Olga Kurylenko Andrea Riseborough Nikolaj Coster-Waldau Melissa Leo Morgan Freeman

Starring

Music by

Anthony Gonzalez Joseph Trapanese M83

Cinematography Claudio Miranda Editing by Richard Francis-Bruce Relativity Media Chernin Entertainment Monolith Pictures Radical Studios

Studio

Distributed by Universal Pictures Release date(s)


April 10, 2013 (France[2]) April 19, 2013 (United States)

Running time 124 minutes[3] Country Language Budget Box office United States English $120 million[4] $285,600,588[5]

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.[6][7][8] It stars Tom Cruise.[9][10] 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 back to April 19, 2013.[11] According to Kosinski, Oblivion pays homage to science fiction films of the 1970s.[12] The film received mixed reviews. The acting and visual effects were praised, while critiques of the story were mixed. It performed well at the box office, particularly outside of the US. It is Cruise's twentieth film to gross more than $200 million worldwide.

Contents Plot
In the year 2077, Tech 49 Jack Harper (Tom Cruise) is one of the last drone repairmen stationed on Earth. According to Jack, the planet was nearly destroyed sixty years earlier, during a war against 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 uninhabitable. 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 and lover Victoria "Vica" Olsen (Andrea Riseborough) 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 (Melissa Leo), 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 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 shipthe Odysseywas 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 Jacks 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, upon catching sight of Julia, begins experiencing memory flashbacks, before Jack renders him unconscious. Jack then finds Julia has been seriously wounded by a stray bullet from his struggle with Tech 52. Jack impersonates Tech 52, activating his vehicle and going 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 truth: the Tet is in fact an alien artificial intelligence that seized Earth to exploit the planet's resources, and Jack and Victoria are just two of many thousands of clones of their original versions (astronauts from 2017) that were created as soldiers to carry out the invasion of Earth. The Tet uses drones programmed to kill humans on sight, thus forcing the survivors to disguise themselves as the Scavs. The Tet now uses clones of Harper and Olsen 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 delivering the bomb himself. To throw off suspicion, Julia suggests that she accompany Jack, since Sally had 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 cryogenic capsules. Upon approach, the Tet drew them in with a tractor beam. Recognizing that capture was imminent, Jack was able to jettison the sleeping crewmembers, 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. Jack opens the sleep capsule to reveal Beech; Julia simultaneously emerges from another sleeping capsule at Jack's secret forest retreat. The two men trigger the nuclear bomb and destroy the Tet at the cost of their own lives. The destruction of the Tet also deactivates the remaining drones around the world, just moments before they were able to slaughter the survivors at the Scavs underground base. 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 since the Tet's destruction. Having the same latent memories as Tech 49, he then reunites with "his" family.

Cast

Tom Cruise as Commander Jack Harper, he repairs the alien drones that hunt down the last remaining free humans on a ruined Earth.[13] Morgan Freeman as Malcolm Beech, a resistance leader stationed on Earth.[14] Olga Kurylenko as Julia Rusakova, an astronaut and Jack's wife before the invasion. Andrea Riseborough as Victoria Olsen, Jack's communications officer, lover, and former co-pilot. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Sykes, a battle-hardened and athletic military weapons expert in the resistance.[15] Melissa Leo as Sally, Jack and Victoria's mission controller. Zo Bell as Kara, a resistance soldier.

Production
Development

The Bubble Ship seen in the film (above) was inspired by the Bell 47 helicopter (below).

Kosinski wanted to film a cinematic adaptation of the graphic novel Oblivion which he co-wrote with Arvid Nelson for Radical Comics.[16][17] Disney, which produced Kosinski's previous direction Tron: Legacy, acquired the film adaptation rights to Oblivion in August 2010 after a heated auction.[18] 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.[4] The script for the film was originally written by Kosinski and William Monahan and underwent a first rewrite by Karl Gajdusek.[19] When the film passed into Universal's hands, a final rewrite

was done by Michael Arndt.[20] Universal was particularly appreciative of the script, saying "It's one of the most beautiful scripts weve ever come across."[13] 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, 4,0005,000 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.[21]
Casting

Tom Cruise had expressed interest in the film for a considerable period of time, and officially committed to it on May 20, 2011.[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] 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).[25] "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."[26] 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.[27] The role finally went to Andrea Riseborough. Melissa Leo was cast at a later date as Sally.[28]

Filming

Production began on March 12, 2012, and concluded on July 14, 2012. Filming locations included Baton Rouge and New Orleans, Louisiana.[15][29][30][31] 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.[21][32] 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.[33] The scenes set at Harper's idyllic forest retreat were filmed at Black's Pond in June Lake, California.[34] Oblivion was filmed with Sony's CineAlta F65 camera, which was shipped in January 2012.[35] A Red Epic was also used for scenes that required going handheld or when body mount rigging was applied.[36] 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.[37] 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.[38] 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.[37] This enabled the full environment to be captured in camera, and assisted in lighting up to 90 percent of the set.[36] 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.[37] Naturally, "the actors loved being in it" since unlike blue screen, they could look outside and actually see a sunrise or sunset.[37] This new technique allowed them to cut down on both the effects shots, which ended up on around 800 in total, and the expenses.[39] 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 Haleakal in Hawaii for four days with three Red Epic cameras mounted side-by-side on a single rig.[38] 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.[38]
Music

On June 28, 2012, it was announced that French electronic/shoegaze band M83 would compose the soundtrack for Oblivion.[40] 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 Im pulling an artist from outside the movie business to create an original sound for this film." Kosinski continued, "Daft Punks music wouldnt make sense for this movie. It had to be an artist whose music fit the themes and story I was trying to tell. And M83s 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."[41] To guide M83 through the scoring process, director Kosinski brought in Joseph Trapanese, who co-wrote the score alongside Gonzalez. Kosinski states, "Together they have created the score that I have dreamed about since I first put this story down on paper eight years ago."[42] Trapanese first came to Kosinski's attention when he collaborated with Daft Punk on "Tron: Legacy" as arranger and orchestrator.[43] 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."[44]

Oblivion: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack


Soundtrack album by M83 Released Recorded Genre Length Label April 9, 2013[45] 2013 Soundtrack, Electronic 69:06 113:36 (deluxe edition) Back Lot Music Anthony Gonzalez Joseph Trapanese Bryan Lawson M83 chronology
Hurry Up, We're Dreaming

Producer

Oblivion

(2011)

(2013)

Professional ratings Review scores


Source Allmusic Consequence of Sound Pitchfork Rating
[46]

[47]

[48]

The soundtrack album was released on April 9, 2013 by Back Lot Music.[45] A deluxe edition of the soundtrack was released the same day exclusively through iTunes. It features an additional 13 tracks.[49] Track listing
No. Title 1. "Jack's Dream" 2. "Waking Up" 3. "Tech 49" 4. "StarWaves" 5. "Odyssey Rescue" 6. "Earth 2077" 7. "Losing Control" 8. "Canyon Battle" 9. "Radiation Zone" 10. "You Can't Save Her" Length 1:22 4:09 5:58 3:41 4:08 2:22 3:56 5:57 4:11 4:56

11. "Raven Rock" 12. "I'm Sending You Away" 13. "Ashes of Our Fathers" 14. "Temple of Our Gods" 15. "Fearful Odds" 16. "Undimmed by Time, Unbound by Death" 17. "Oblivion" (featuring Susanne Sundfr) Total length: [show]Deluxe edition (iTunes release)

4:33 5:38 3:30 3:14 3:09 2:26 5:56 69:06

Distribution
Marketing

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.[13]
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.[50]
Home media

The DVD and Blu-ray for Oblivion became available online for pre-order in North America on April 24, 2013, just five days after its initial release in the region.[51] One month later it was announced that the United Kingdom branch of Universal Studios would be releasing the film on home video in its region on August 6, 2013 with the on-demand version on August 18, 2013. The release is schedule to be in both a standard and a SteelBook Limited Edition form.[52] In June

2013, it was announced that the film would be released on home video in America also on August 6, 2013. The Blu-ray releases will feature commentary with Tom Cruise and director Joseph Kosinski, deleted scenes, M83's isolated score, and a series of making-of featurettes.[53]

Reception
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.[54] As of June 27, 2013, Oblivion has grossed $89,021,735 in the U.S. and $196,493,353 internationally, bringing the worldwide total to $285,600,588.[5]
Critical response

Oblivion received mixed reviews. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 55% based on 211 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.[55] Metacritic gives the film a score of 53 based on 40 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[56] 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".[57] 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."[58] Kevin Harley of Total Film gave the film three stars and said "It isnt a reboot or reimagining, refreshingly, but Oblivion plays like a stylised remix of superior sci-fi ground-breakers".[59]

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