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Case Number 21683: Small Claims Court

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Oblivion

Shout! Factory // 1994 // 94 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 1st, 2011

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All Rise...

Sometimes Judge David Johnson feels like he's trapped in movie oblivion.

The Charge

On this planet, it's cowboys and aliens.

The Case

Wait a minute…There's a big-budget summer action movie coming out this year called Cowboys and Aliens! How's that for a coincidence?!

Oblivion predates the upcoming Daniel Craig sci-fi actioner, but its release is no doubt a tactic to cash in on the looming Western/laser-beam genre rush.

But setting aside the cold-blooded studio strategizing, how does Oblivion score on its own merits? Not well. Originally released in 1994, the film offers a campy blend of spaghetti Western and sci-fi fantasy, which sounds okay in theory, but in execution ends up being a corny, disposable relic.

The story goes like this: the evil troublemaker Red-Eye, who looks just like the lizard-like co-pilot from The Last Starfighter, shows up at the small jerkwater town of Oblivion to sow discord and shoot people. He's got a fearsome gang of outlaws behind him, including some mullet-headed oafs and a leather-clad woman with a whip.

After he ventilates the local marshal, the marshal's son, some weenie named Zack (Richard Joseph Paul), opts to set aside his pacifist ways and seek violent retribution. He's accompanied by a crude Native American stereotype and an undertaker. Also, Meg Foster is in this as a cyborg. George Takei shows up, too.

Even with an impressive list of "Where have I seen him/her before?" faces (Hey, is that Julie Newmar?), Oblivion fails to achieve that moderate cult status it was certainly shooting for. The humor is flat and the plot is dopey. Red-Eye is a cool villain and his make-up is nicely done, but he's surrounded by buffoons. Worse, our protagonist is a douche-nozzle. Only give this a whirl if you want to see a world-record concentration of genre C-listers.

A nothing of a DVD: full frame, stereo and only one option on your menu—play.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 60

Perp Profile

Studio: Shout! Factory
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 1994
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
Genres:
• Adventure
• Science Fiction
• Western

Distinguishing Marks

• None

Accomplices

• Official Site








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