Kurt Loder Reviews Oblivion and Upstream Color


Courtesy of Universal Pictures

The new Tom Cruise movie Oblivion is a light sci-fi snack of gently pre-chewed elements from other, meatier futuristic films, writes Kurt Loder. Biding your time as these familiar tokens drift by—the Blade Runner identity games, the hovering white pods and menacing red HAL eye of 2001: A Space Odyssey, a half-buried urban landmark not unlike the one in Planet of the Apes—you think: not bad, not bad. Then you go back to biding your time.

Upstream Color, on the other hand, is a picture that's baffling from beginning to end, at least on first viewing; but it's also woozily beautiful. And since self-taught writer, director, producer, and editor Shane Carruth is clearly no poser, we at least have to accept that this is the movie he really, really wanted to make.