Cool Stuff Cool Stuff Problems and Ooooooops More Cool Stuff NEW 05/30/2014
Problems and Oooooooops
Observations and Questions
If you Cruise the internet for stuff on the movie Oblivion, there are all kinds of things said about it..... some are kind things, others are not so kind.
I loved the movie, and thought nothing could top Avatar (besides, I'm losing interest in Avatar waiting for the sequel). I loved the acting and the actors, they were all perfect fits for the parts, and I can't imagine anyone else playing them, despite the alternatives sought after. There are a lot of people out there, for various reasons, that didn't care for, or didn't like the movie... oh well... That's too bad, it's their loss!
Besides the very cool "objects" in the film, like the Bubble Ship and the Drones, one of my other favorites of the movie has to be the music. It is one of the very few movie soundtracks I have bought, and can listen to over and over. The music compliments the movie to the extent that it is there, yet it is not (outside of the Led Zepplin soundtracks)..... Most of the time you are not even aware that music is playing!
The pictures above are promotional posters that were displayed in the movie theaters.
Tom Cruise plays Jack Harper, a drone maintenance technician.... the movie revolves around him. He is tech 49, pronounced 4-9. again, some people speculate that he is the 49th Jack Harper in a series of techs, but with a hydro-rig in the movie of #267 (and higher), I would say he was number 49 of a world full of Jack Harpers, all with their own operating areas, and the "radiation zones" set up by the TET to keep them out of each others areas. Especially when you consider that a 49 and 52 exist at the same time, but in different zones, separated by the "radiation zones".
Morgan Freeman plays Malcolm Beech, leader of the Scavs. He's one of my all time favorite actors!
Andrea Riseborough plays the part of Jack Harper's mate Victoria, or Vika while stationed on Earth in the Skytowers. In the "before" part, Vika was the second in command on the Odyssey spacecraft, and wound up going into the TET with Jack before the invasion of Earth started. My favorite line from her in the movie is: Jack Harper: Vika, do you have any memories? Before the mission. Before the memory wipe. Victoria: Our job is not to remember... remember?
Olga Kurylenko plays the "imaginary" love interest of Jack Harper, Julia Rusakova..... until she lands on Earth in the Odyssey spacecraft. Then Jack finds out that she is his wife.
I wonder what they did with the mock-ups of the Bubble Ship and the Drones, and if I can get one?????
Other Websites of Oblivion interest:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzV3aR19RNo Making the Bubble Ship
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TU_027xNkk More making the Bubble Ship
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmUm8dG4bTI 28 second long deleted scene with the Skytower rotating
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhuGMRL89c4 R/C model Bubble Ship
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgpfdQLg-0k Drone development
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpKN_bqkgSc One fan builds a Lego version of the Bubble Ship!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPC9ot-eOo4 Couple of quick clips of the Bubble Ship at the Hollywood premier of Oblivion
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVasu6kEdcA&list=PL7K8N6gEqL-kLWq2hUBI-npbuUzQQUzxa Promos for the film
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFe8IPxdBl8 Interview of Bubble Ship designer Daniel Simon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFiG0dz45mQ Creating the Oblivion world, good informative clip!
COOL STUFF: The Universal Logo
One of the first things we see in the movie before the opening credits, is a picture of the TET just before the Universal logo comes onto the screen. The logo has been modified from its usual for the movie - it looks rusty, and the earth looks dead :-) Kudos to the producers for adding these cool little touches!
COOL STUFF: The Skytowers
IMHO - The towers are one of the coolest things in the movie.
On the control consoles, they are referred to as SKYTOWERS (see below). A lot of great shots are presented of the towers in various scenes.
Question: Why isn't the stairway enclosed for inclement weather?
COOL STUFF: The Map
This is a detail that for most people, it zips on by without anyone ever giving it a thought, much less a second thought :-)...... Vika's displays are one of the cooler things in the movie, and one of the most graphic intensive things they did, and the map of 49's territory is shown below (minus the terrain information.
My version of the map took about 6 hours to create :-) It's not 100% accurate, but close enough..... I used Corel Draw.
One curious thing tho.... When we see any close-ups of the map, for instance, where the source of the radio signal is coming from in grid 37, we don't see the "37" on the map as we do when zoomed out!
COOL STUFF: The ONLINE indicator
This is again, one of the things that most people won't notice, but someone spent a lot of time working on this one, very small detail, so it is worth pointing out!!! Congrats to the guys behind it. On Vika's display console. You don't get the full effect of IT unless you pause the movie, and then hit the slo-motion button and check it out frame by frame. It is neat to watch the two "F's" change to a single "N", and the ON and the LINE move together to form ONLINE. It's gone in an instant!
OFFLINE in the beginning.
The two F's are vertically compressing.
The two F's are gone almost gone, and the N is materializing.
The transformation from the F's to N is complete, but is two separate words.
The ON and LINE move together to form ONLINE.
After watching the movie almost weekly for over a year, it finally dawned on me that the sign behind the shelf and stereo system is a sign from the 96th Street subway station in New York City, from the IRT line.... you can tell from the numbers in the red circles - the BMT and IND lines use letters. Nice touch, I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else, including IMDB! :-)
Question: Speaking of the Hydro-Rigs, what are the numbers of the three Rigs in Tech 49's area?
267, 492, and 542.
How do I know? Even though the numbers can not be seen on two of the three Hydro-Rigs, the status of the three rigs is shown off to the left of the huge console screen. However, the only number we ever see on a hydro-rig when we do see one, is 267.
Question: WHO keeps the Hydro-Rigs in working order if Jack fixes the drones?
The display consoles up in the "control tower" are loaded with information. On the left is the hydro-rig status, in the middle is a multi-function display and map, and on the right is the drone status board.
Below are some of the FEEDS along the right side of the middle display.
The side consoles that show the status of the TET and it's location around earth. We never do get a good close-up.
On set with a mock-up of the Skytower....
From the "how to" video, part of the interview with GMUNK on his screen design for Vika's Light Table (that's what the production crew called her console):
A lot of thought and effort was put into the rogue (at least that's what I think he said) signal display for the radio signal the Scavs were sending from the Empire State Building,
as explained by David "dlew" Lewandowski, lead graphics animator of the film:
Early test of part of the Light Table screen:
Probably more than you want to know :-)
A character in the film which no-one gives any credit to, but without the drones, we would not have a movie, the plot hinges around everything they do.
Not to mention, the sounds they make are great! I want them on my cellphone when I get a call! :-).....
1) Which drone do we see the most of in the film?...... #166.
2) What is the first drone we see in the movie?..... #109, in the dock on the lower floor of Skytower 49, we know because Sally asks about the status of drone 109.
3) What is the first drone he passes after leaving Skytower 49 for the first time?..... #185.
4a) What are the first two drones we have a problem with?..... #172 and #166.
4b) Which one is grounded in the football stadium?..... #166.
4c) What grid is the football stadium and #166 down in?..... 37.
5a) Which drone helps Jack in the library?..... #166.
5b) What grid is the Library in?..... we don't know.
6) Which drone kills the survivors of the Odyssey?..... #166.
7) Which drone does Sally send to search for Jack, and is the first to go to the Scavs outpost (following Jack's DNA trail), and then gets shot and blows up?..... #185.
8a) What are the three drones that go after Jack and Julia after leaving Skytower 49 after Vika was killed?..... #166, #171, and #180.
8b) Which drone is the first to "buy it" in the canyon?..... #180.
8c) Which drone knocks Jack and Julia into the radiation zone?..... can't really tell, but it is probably #166.
8d) Which drone deals the final blow to the Bubble Ship, making Jack and Julia crash land in the desert?..... #166.
9) Which drone is captured by the Scavs so they can weaponize it and send it to the TET?..... #172.
10) Which are the three drones that are dispatched to go after Jack again, after Jack and Julia return to the Scav outpost to help?..... I can only see one number, and it looks like #166 again, after it was put out of service by Jack #49 (it could be #146, maybe, very slightly), can't tell what the other two numbers are, it SHOULD be the same three as the ones that attack the Scav outpost, next.
11) What are the three drones that attack the Scav outpost when they are preparing to launch #172?..... #198, #195, and (most likely) #194.
BTW, did you notice that the machine guns the Scavs use inside the outpost are placed inside a drone shell for protection?
12) What are the numbers on the drones that escort Jack while he is on the inside the TET?..... none, they are unnumbered.
13a) How many drones go to attack the Scav outpost for the second time?..... 9.
13b) What are their numbers?..... Not sure of them all, I can make out #191 and #196.
Drone #185 is the first one in the movie we see flying around, ref 3 above.
Location of #166 crash site, ref 4b and 4c.
Ref 10 above
Wireframe models of the drone:
Close-up of GMUNKs development screen for drones:
Picture of a drone used in the development phase, it's featured in one of the video shorts:
The drone maintenance side when Jack is fixing 166. There's room for information on 18 drones.
There's not a whole lot of it in the movie, and most of it is late night appropriate on TV. The only thing you need to shield your youngins ears from comes at the very end of the movie when Jack and Malcolm go up to the TET to blow it up.
What is the first "bad" thing Jack says?..... "Shit", after Vika tells him there are two drones down about 7 minutes in.
Next up, around 22min in, is when Jack comes back up topside from the New York Public Library and finds his bike gone: "Not my God Damn Bike!"
Malcolm says, around 1:39, "Common you son of a bitch" as he takes over firing the machine guns at a drone when they are attacked in the outpost.
When Jack and Malcolm go to blow up the bomb onboard the TET, Jack says "Fuck you Sally."
In the G rated TV version of the movie, for the above statement, Jack says "Forget You Sally" just before he pushes the button.
Details and stuff the producers, director, and everyone else missed (or decided to not pay any attention to).
The earliest issue I have is that when we see Sally sign on for the first time, Vika refers to "them" as "Hydro-Rig Support". Which is curious, because Jack has nothing to do with the Hydro-Rigs, only the repair and maintenance of the drones.... curious.
I'm probably the only one that noticed this (and I know, its a "big deal, so what" kind of thing :-), but almost every time we zoom in for a close-up shot of a grid on the map, they do not use the same topo information, witness grid 37. Grid 37 is used for both the location of the Empire State Building, and the crash land site of the Odyssey. With all of the land out there, they should not have done that, just to avoid running into continuity issues (which obviously, slipped by everybody on the production crew).
Grid 37 when drone #166 crash landed there.
I never gave this issue a thought until I read it in the Problem section on IMDB. I never really picked up that they were around Titan, although I know Julia says she was on a trip to Titan. BUT, just maybe, couldn't the encounter with the TET have happened ONCE the ship arrived back at Earth??? Then we don't run into a problem with the radio signal delay, and it makes it much easier to believe that the sleep pod section of the spaceship didn't have to come all the back to Earth on it's own, without the benefit of having the "intelligence" of the command module!
Maybe, maybe not. I would think a prolonged space flight would involve more than just going to sleep, although Julia does wake up from it pretty easily once Jack took her to the cabin and she wakes up, again....... If they are just sleep-pods, as Malcolm calls them, then yes, in circling the earth for 60 years, Julia should be, well, 80 years old or so...... hmmmmmmmm
When the rogue signal starts being sent out from the Empire State Building, Vika tells Jack that it is originating in grid 37, yet, on the console, it is shown coming from grid 48.
One of the biggest complaints about the movie from the naysayers is one of the big premises for the movie: the destruction of the moon. Well, since none of us can prove whether or not blowing up the moon can produce the results presented in the movie, without it, we wouldn't have the movie, so we'll say it could happen.
I know it's needed to further the plot, but why, after 5 years of flying, wouldn't he already know to avoid flying into a thunderstorm with lightning?
Another thing to make you ask why, which no-one has seemed to pick up on: When Jack Harper is fixing drone #109 on the lower floor of the tower, and Sally asks Vika about the status of 109, she says it would be done if they weren't still waiting for parts. Sally replies she knows, and they are doing the best they can. Yet, when Jack goes up to the TET to deliver the bomb, there is a whole wall full of hundreds of drones (all without numbers, BTW). SO WHAT GIVES?
When the Hydro-Rig is blown up, we hear the blast a few seconds after seeing the flash. This would put the Hydro-Rig closer to the Skytower than is illustrated in the movie, judging by how far Jack has to fly in order to get there. IMDB also points this out.....
I have a problem, with IMDB having a problem with the uniforms Julia is wearing. The BODYSUIT (not a dress) was probably a unisex thing for all crewmembers to wear while in suspended animation. We don't know if Vika had any uniform other than the dress she wears throughout the movie, so we'll let the producers have this one.
WHY, WHY, WHY, when the three drones are coming to attack the Scav outpost, as they are getting ready to release drone 172 to bomb the TET, DIDN'T THEY CLOSE THE BLAST DOORS????? I know, it was needed to further the plot.
I did find it pretty funny tho that as the one drone came into the room where Julia and the others were hiding out, that the drone bumped the one guy off his feet and down further into the hallway :-)
One thing that didn't hit me until I had watched the movies more times than I care to admit, it that when we first see Jack Harper leave Tower 49 for the first time, he passes by the three hydro-rigs, and the one closest to him is #267. Then, after he fixed drone 166 at the football stadium, and is sitting on a ledge taking a snack break, we see the same three hydro-rigs, but this time, the one closest to him is still number 267. How can that be when we are looking at them from two different directions?
Also notice the difference in the terrain with snow vs. no-snow. And, the orientation of the hydro-rigs is not the same, unless they spin while working.
My buddy Jim Southern who has also watched the movie many times says that maybe Jack is on a ridge on "the other side" of the Hydro-Rigs, something that doesn't show up on the map we see on Vika's display.... could be, could explain why we see the snow in the "after" scene and not before......
Big ooooops, but not noticeable as we are watching the movie because too much other stuff is going on. When the Odyssey space craft plummets to earth, it lands in grid 17, HOWEVER, on Vika's display, it is shown landing in grid 25. The accompanying photo shows the grid that is highlighted on Vika's display immediately after the crash.
Details: When we look at the three hydro-rigs above, they are in a straight line. Yet, when we see the three of them on Vika's display console, they are not.
Details: When Beech goes to release Jack and Julia, he opens a sliding viewing port/window in the metal door..... there is no sunlight coming through, yet it is daytime.... ooooooops.
Continuity/Details: After the one hydro-rig is destroyed, when we see Vika's display console the next time, the one destroyed is now gray, but towards the end of the movie, it is again shown in white! The screen shot below is when Jack is making his observation fly-around the blown up hydro-rig, notice the slight difference in color. This is the only time they show the destroyed hydro-rig in gray.
Details: When Jack and Julia flee from Tower 49 after Vika got killed, and fly into the storm to lose the drones, the three of them get hit by lightning. However, they recover much, much more quickly than the drone in the football stadium, or the one that the two Jacks fought over in the desert - both of which needed to reboot. One can only assume that the ones getting hit by lightning would also need a similar amount of time to reboot and recover, which means they would have crashed by the time they did.
Continuity: When Beech asks Jack to program the drones, and he refuses and gets shot, we have a nice impact area with burn residue on his uniform.
In most subsequent shots however, it is missing.
Just after getting shot.
Signaling for rescue (another ooops, the radio is a low power device and would not spark like that!).
On return to tower 49.
When saving Julia after the bubble ship got shot down.
Continuity: When Jack goes to Tower 52, the strap for his gun is not in the same position (covering up the fact that he is Tech 49 instead of 52) in the many takes it took to film the scene.
Trivia question - What grid is tower 49 in? #51
Trivia - Unless you watch the movie as often as I do, and periodically pause it to take in everything in the frame, you probably didn't notice that the towers could rotate, did you??? The second picture comes from a 28 second clip I found on YouTube of a deleted scene where Vika is rotating the Skytower.
Trivia: We all know that Ramble On is not the first song on Led Zepplin 2, right?....... it's the third song on the second side of the record album, or #7 on the CD
Do you know where the Latitude and Longitude of the homing beacon landing coordinates point to (in grid 17)?
It is New City NY, about 28 miles or so north of the Empire State Building.
What are the guns used in Oblivion?
(I don't know squat about guns, but here is an exhaustive description of the weapons used: http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Oblivion )
Jack's Rifle (Bushmaster ACR)
Sykes' Skeleton Rifle
Heckler & Koch USP Match
Heckler & Koch UMP
Heckler & Koch MP5
At what locations was the movie filmed?
When Jack decides to go off by himself to his cabin, the river bed he is flying in is not shown on the map.
After the hydro-rig is blown up, Sally tells Vika that THEY have put the whole operation at risk. Why would she say that when Jack and Vika have no control over what the Scavs are doing?.... it was just plain stupid.
Who really cares why Jack calls the bobble-head Bob? Never gave it much thought either before or after I read the blogs where people brought it up and complained :-) It's not important.
The gorge that Jack flies down to get to the green valley where his cabin is located, has a pretty good size river flowing through it. However, when we get to the other side of the "natural tunnel" and into the valley, it is almost all gone. Where did it go?
After 60 years, you would expect more vegetation and wildlife around than is depicted. Except for the lone dog, we see nothing of life outside the green valley where Jack has built his cabin (you can even hear birds if you're listening with headphones on). Even 10 years after Mount St. Helens exploded, a fair amount of vegetation has regrown around the volcano.....
There sure is a LOT of waste space inside the TET, I think even a machine would optimize it's space, because that way, your ship doesn't need to be as large, doesn't need as much material to be built, and doesn't need as much power to move around.
How did the TET originally come conscious, build itself, the drones, and figure out how to clone a living organism? And where are the "things" that build and maintain everything on the TET, we saw no evidence, nada, of that or them on our short trip to the center of the TET.
How does the TET know what to make for humans to eat, and how does it manufacture the food, clothing, shoes, devices, etc that the Jack Harpers and Vika's use/eat/consume on the towers. And the medical stuff, how does it know?
And on the tail of the above question, why would the TET need humans to do anything on the surface, if they have machines (or something else) on the TET to make the drones and the clones? Why couldn't the TET use them? (I know, we wouldn't have a movie)
Why is the Empire State Building the only tall building left in New York City??? And how did we get enough land shift and movement to cover everything in New York City with 1000 feet of dirt and rocks? I would propose that any significant movement of the earth like that would also wipe out the Empire State Building.
Are there any more TET's out there in the galaxy or universe that could come to earth? Oblivion 2.
So what happens to the other Jacks and Vikas once the TET is destroyed, and they haven't a clue as to what happened? How are they going to survive without food and other supplies from the TET?
Being a techie and electronics person, I have a few key questions which come from my observations:
1) Why would Jack Harper know Morse code, considering even today, in 2013 when the movie was made, it is pretty much an obsolete form of communications? With the level of technology the TET deals with, there is no plausible reason for the TET to implant that knowledge into Jacks memory.
2) When we get towards the end of the movie, and now realize that the TET is not our "friend", wouldn't it make sense that considering the advanced stage of technological development it brings along with it, that it ALWAYS knows where the bubble ships are? So how is it that it doesn't know where Jack goes when he is at the cabin on the lake?
3) When Jack takes the bomb to the TET, there are two things I have a problem with:
a) Again, considering the advanced sensing capability the TET has, why could it not sense the fusion power cells and NASA nuclear power source aboard the sleep-pod?
b) When the TET/Sally is asking Jack why he is there, the TET has assumed control of the bubble ship. We know this because once Sally says to proceed, and atmosphere is provided, we see the ship power up so Jack can regain control of it. So OK, I'm cool with that, until I realize that the TET could have, from the very moment it realized that Jack was leaving tower 49 after drone 109 killed Vicka, "killed" the bubble ship right then and there. But we couldn't do that, because the movie needed Jack to get to the Scavs and take the bomb to the TET. A little technical oversight by the producers.
4) Why does the advanced intelligence of the TET not have auxiliary satellites so they can maintain contact with the towers 24 hours a day?
5) How does power from the hydro-rigs get up to the TET? And to the skytowers? Long extension cords? :-)
6) What fuels the bubble ships?
7) Why doesn't the TET know where Jack is when he visits the cabin by the lake in the green valley? (sorry, I already mentioned that....)
8) Why is the TET still using the GPS satellite network? Especially after 60 years of being up there on their own with no replacements or maintenance? Also, GPS satellites require periodic calibration from a ground station.
9) Why did the flight recorder keep recording the command module communications once it was separated from the rear part of the Odyssey spacecraft, where the recorder is/was located?
10) And speaking of separation..... Why is it that the sleep module could escape from the TET's "tractor beam", and not the command module/front section? The sleep module was way bigger!
11) Why, with all of the TET's advanced everything, are we/it still using aircraft instruments designed in the 1930's inside the bubble ship
Witness the artificial horizon display in the middle of the panel.
You can buy a 1/48 scale model of the Bubble ship (that's "O" Scale). Thanks to Steven Jones for finding this and passing it along!!!
This picture, featured above too, is from Plastic Fantastic webpage for the model....
Yes, we can all agree that the purpose of the clones is to maintain the drones.
Yes, the movie never answers how anything, much less the Hydro-Rigs were constructed.
However, I would take issue that it is easier to make clones than drones, mostly because the maintenance of clones is way more intensive and demanding than that of the drones (ie: clothes, food, environmental, medical maintenance, and the chance for an sentient being from doing the things that Jack does to destroy the TET). A drone would not require a Skytower, a motorcycle, a bed, clothes, food, etc. And besides, who built the Skytowers? As the reader points out, after the war, did the TET have the Jack's construct the Skytowers?
Opinions are personal, and I don't agree that things are terrible and contrived. The reader probably doesn't watch any sitcoms on TV because EVERTHING is contrived on them, some more than others. We watch to be entertained, so just sit back and enjoy. And if young and hungry actors are the only ones worth watching, Gandalf wouldn't have been the hit he was/is! :-)
My only comment is that the other screen characters are only there for support in Jacks role to blow up the TET. Nothing is really needed more than what the producers did. Maybe if an Oblivion 2 is produced, we can go into those details more. Also, if the story is not new, where have we seen it before?
My thoughts exactly!!! THANK YOU :-)
I agree, and I addressed the issue above.
Again, I agree, but as "d-speaksone" says, don't overthink :-) This is why we need a prequel to the movie!
Various and sundry pictures I have found.....
Apparently, Universal has a trivia question of the day......
Everything written on this page is my opinion and comes from my observations of the movie, you may or may not agree with them. I know most are details, and my wife said I was OCD over them. But it still doesn't take away the pleasure from watching the movie over and over again.
How can I get one of the Bubble Ship OR drone movie models?
Last Modified 23-Apr-2017
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