I love science fiction movies and recently saw two that couldn’t be more different. Here are two mini reviews:
Oblivion: Oblivion was an enjoyable ride while it lasted but didn’t really stay with me. The production values are off the charts with some particularly stunning visuals of a house situated above the clouds. But the storyline is kind of quite predictable (at least for adults, our 13 year old didn’t think so) and the movie borrows very heavily from others. During one scene even our son leaned over to me and said “that’s straight out of Star Wars” — with other scenes based on Planet of the Apes, Matrix, Inception and Star Trek, etc. Tom Cruise is his usual cocky self. You will definitely want to see this on a big screen.
Robot and Frank: This movie is all the way at the other end of the scifi spectrum. It could be set in the relatively near future and has no obvious special effects. But it tells a compelling story about memory and identity that left me thinking for many days later. Frank Langella is magnificent as an old time burglar who is slowly fading and whose son gets a robot to take care of his aging father. As it turns out the Frank and the robot make a great team. This movie easily fits on a small screen and in fact I only caught up with it on a recent Virgin America flight.
The overall verdict here is that if you are scifi fan also you should see both. If you just care about good storytelling and acting, then see Robot & Frank.